Photography by Alejandro Córdova. Grooming: LAB Series. H&MUA: Pamela Arellano.
A day before meeting for this interview and photoshoot we went over our BADHOMBRE group chat, because with four talents, three grooming people, two PR’s, one photographer, two video guys, one Juan Pablo Jim, and this interviewer, we were going to have one chaotic backstage. We know ourselves. Little did Daniel from Talent on the Road told us, three of the actors from Dead Poets Society that would be coming along Alfonso Herrera for this issue, were enough dynamite for a Saturday morning. Germán Bracco, Alejandro Puente and the flaming Paco Rueda sat down at the same time for this interview, where besides snitching out on each other about everything, they talked about the unavoidable changes that the play has made in their lives and still very young careers.
To begin with they all got to the set at the same time, then German and Paco started arguing the whole entire time besides the clothing rack over who got which look for the photo shoot, and Alejandro -a bit more serious, was backing their missbehaviour with his villain like face, identical to Michael Fassbender, like an undercover agent in Inglorious Basterds.
Then, halfway along Poncho’s photo shoot, the craziness that was happening backstage escalated to everyone talking about if us, regular folks liked theater, self-care routines, Netflix specials, and the pieces of clothing that they wanted to take with them from the shoot. Paco is obviously the fire starter -while they were doing final touches on his hair before shooting him, it came up that he’s nearly unrecognizable with a mustache. Do you recall Raul, Natasha Dupeyron’s Chiquis Corcuera’s brother in The House of Flowers? Paco Rueda.
Their comaradery transcends their range of age -that goes from a 20 to 27, joking and trolling Alfonso the whole entire time -whom has become their sensei in over 150+ presentations of the Dead Poets Society, so we start the interview on that.
How did the play change your lives? Did it change anything at all? Did you become more intelligent, more sensitive?
Germán Bracco: Yes, there’s something about a project like this changes in you. We have made incredible friendships, we are family. I learned how to be more conscious and to be more focused, regarding my job and to realize that not everything depends on me.
Paco Rueda: I think for me, it changed a bit the awareness about living the here and now.
Are you affraid of getting old?
GB: Actually, I would like to know how will that be like, and grow with every experience, to have knowledge, I would like to know how far I could go in those aspects of life.
PR: Im afraid of being dumb when I’m old, that’s what scares me. But I know that in order to avoid that, I have to live a lot and change along those experiences.
(It’s a good point Paco makes, but in my obtuse mind, I imagine that doing theater could turn into something systematic and tiresome, that could only teach you so many things. I don’t know, but they experience it three nights a week, and in such a critical point in their path to adulthood, something must have taught them.)
PR: It could be all that, but it’s also the best payed thing, and most importantly, that it’s an instant of fictional reality. The theater is alive, even if you do it a thousand times. Today you are not the same person that you were last Monday and you’ve lived different things, that of course you use in service of your work. Of course there’s a very clear dramatic line drawn, but in my case it is difficult making five shows a week, especially in the weekend, but when I realize that there’s moments happening in scene where you know you are sending across your message clearly and directly to the audience and you change their lives for 10 minutes, that’s when you remember why you are doing theater.
GB: It does turn into a weird loop working with the same people, in the same place, but at the same time, when you are there looking at the people knowing they are having a unique moment in their lives, even if you had done it for 800 hundred times, you start realizing how worthy it is. Theater is this thing that depends on fixing things as an actor on stage, that some technicians can’t fix if something goes wrong . There’s a lot of intimacy with a broken barrier with the audience. And you never do a show exactly like the one before.
Alejandro Puente: Yes it’s very difficult. When you do show number 150 it’s way more difficult than show number 1, because even though you know the scene and you know what’s going to happen next, and that the audience will react in a certain way during certain moments, number 150 requires lots of other things, like how to enjoy the montage as if it were the first week doing it. And always being curious of what I could find in me, in regard to my character. Show number 150 it’s way more difficult, but it’s also nicer, and way more rewarding.
PR: That and the actor’s muscle teaches you how to fix problems in scene way better, along with other useful tools, and coming to realize that the other is more important and learning how to measure yourself. It definitely teaches you to mature.
All of this sounds like a group of young-adults in a boiling pot and how that pushes them into being better people outside the theater walls, but how correct is this?
PR: At the end of the day it does happen, words have a weight and as the play says: “Ideas and words can change the world.”
GB: I think it changed us from the moment we read it: the first time we read the play together was a very strong thing for all of us. And after the montage, it got even tougher. What you see today in scene it’s not only the result of us finding each other with this, but also, all of us allowing it to change us so we can honestly say to the world that if ideas and words can change the world you have to do it.
PR: I see it this way: the same message that resonates with you -that for me it’s simply about being alive and present, it’s the same message that all your mates also carry with them and you know they are all trying to send it to the audience, and that’s when the energy explodes in the theater.
And what will you do with so much future ahead, having passed over this theatrical filter with a play that is already entwined with your age frame, knowing about the ways of life? I suppose all of you want to continue being actors? Or is there any of you who also wants to be a pilot?
GB: We all have hopes in making projects that are bigger every time and to keep climbing up the ladder, but at the end of the day what really matters is the day to day. If that, putting all my effort to it, takes me to making movies, or traveling, or enrolls me for three years in a school to learn what I don’t yet know, now I know that I will do it, with more dedication and willingness. Most of all, my hope for the future is to keep making things with the same attitude and diligence with which I’ve done it so far in my career.
Germán is the youngest out of the three, and with 20 years of age, he alternates with Sebastián Aguirre, another Bad Hombre, taking the play even a little further than most of his cast mates -I know with cause of knowledge, because this same afternoon that the photoshoot happened, they invited us to go see them to get a better introduction to their world. His answer is definitely one of a young men who has learned that his work and its constant exercise is only molding his character for all of life’s uncertainties. For Alejandro, the most reserved of the three, it’s equally personal but with another take.
AP: For me, this play made it clear that I’m not only an actor because I love being in scene, or because I love being in front of the camera. I know I’m an actor because I like telling stories that could change somebody’s moment in their life. Planning upon a future career would be through story-telling that resonates with me, or that has certain relevance. I’m not saying with that, that it has to stop being fun or that I have to stop enjoying it, but I want to invest my energy in stories that could take longer time to get to me, or that might not be as frequent, but overall, for me acting now needs to have an echo.
PR: I decided to be an actor because I could never find something that created the perfect circle to optimize exactly what I’m feeling, and with this play in this point of my life, as a young adult, learning specifically that what I’m saying at every moment has a weight, and it has a resonance for my future. Now it is more like, “Paco apply yourself in doing what you need to do: being alive and telling stories”. That is my future.
GB: A little while ago we had an anti-discrimination and anti-bullying campaign. I got messages from teachers, who were using it in elementary schools, for example, to teach their students about the consequences involving discrimination in a society in the 21st century and I think that by doing what I love, in hope of nothing in return, I was able to support something and give a message of awareness regarding a problem that is happening everywhere and that of course has a solution. I learned that I don’t have to be a bureaucrat or a professor to help change something… I am an actor.