interview | paco león

jacket. Missoni
trousers. The Phluid Project
jewellery. Alex Yuvero
turtleneck. Duarte
trousers. MSGM
boots. Camper Lab

Paco León is a talent whose capabilities will never stop one from achieving new heights. It’s something that provides room for creativity and the ability create a career in film from different angles. Since training at The Centro Andaluz de Teatro of Seville, Paco has never put himself into any box or label himself in a way that makes society more comfortable. Instead, he places himself into different positions in the film industry and approaches it with a multidisciplinary angle — seen through his work as an actor, director, producer, screenwriter and dancer. With his passion and devotion, this native Sevillano has made a name for himself not only in the Spanish film & entertainment industry but has quickly made his way up to Hollywood heights as well.

Paco León sat down and spoke to Schön! about his interests as a young kid, his work within cinema, upcoming projects and so much more.

Hello Paco! How are you? How do you feel about our interview? Let’s start our dive with your story, what made you choose the film path for your professional life? Was it something you were interested in as a kid?

I’m great, thanks! It’s quite strange to do an interview without having you in front of me, but… Let’s get started! Cinema was never something I aimed for. Ever since I was a little boy, I wanted to be an actor. When I completed my studies at the Centro Andaluz de Teatro (C.A.T.) in Seville, the professional expectations one could aspire to were theatre, perhaps a sitcom… But cinema was something very remote. The silver screen was somewhat of a fortunate, unexpected accident of sorts. 

Were there any moments in your early stage of life that cemented your decision to bind your life with the film industry?

It all came much later. I ventured into writing, producing, and directing my first independent feature with my mother as the lead character. After I had become a familiar face to the audiences following some ten years on a very successful sitcom called AIDA. It is then that my career as a director and my mother’s career as an actress had begun. 

mesh shirt. Mans
jacket. 032c
trousers. Adidas Originals
boots. Tommy Hilfiger
jewellery. Alex Yuvero
shirt. Mans
trousers. All Saints
footwear. KOI

In what way do you think the Spanish film and art community inspired you to take steps toward perceiving your acting career? Did your home city Seville have any role in this? 

As an actor and a director, my foundation is comedy and my formation and essence are those of a comedian although I am very interested in other genres as well. I was educated in Seville and it is where I took my first steps in this industry so, yes, I would say it does. 

Who would be the ultimate film director you always look up to or one that inspires your professional vehicle every day?

There isn’t a specific director I would say inspires me. I like many, very different directors, and you could say they influence my work. But I always sought a register of my own. 

In the film industry for a project to happen, it takes ages. Undoubtedly, it’s extremely difficult to keep the inner fire on. How do you manage to keep light up when working on projects?

Well, by making them happen very quickly. I like shooting with a fast tempo and I also like to write fairly quickly. Sometimes projects demand a certain time and that is sometimes difficult for me… This is why when I embark on a new project, I really have to be into it. 

You are one of those special who experienced filmmaking from different roles and sides. How do you think your versatile personality in these terms helps you in your professional life? 

Being an actor, dancer, screenwriter, having done costume… it gives you a greater perspective on what cinematography is all about. I only hope it renders me more conscious and collaborative because, after all, it is all about teamwork. 

What do you think about the current Spanish/Spanish-speaking film industry? Do you think any changes or reinforcements should be done?

I believe there is a very rich creative scene, but I think the industry makes very little room for smaller, more alternative projects. Also, the distribution and showing films in theatres are very complicated. Then there’s of course, very little help for production. 

suit. Mans
boots. Camper Lab
jewellery. Andrés Gallardo
mesh shirt. Mans
jacket. 032c
jewellery. Alex Yuvero

You are also a big activist in the Spanish queer community. You’re openly bisexual and dedicate a lot to HIV/AIDS social awareness. Why have you decided to raise awareness about this issue? How do you think such a public figure as you can help the community and its struggles?

Seriously?! Someone actually considers me a queer activist?! Well, this makes me happy but really my only intention ever was to live and express myself naturally. This, in itself, can be very subversive and can be understood as activism. I supported HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns along with other social issues that are unquestionable to me. I absolutely admire the true activists. Living freely and respectfully serves as a great example to others. In my films, liberty and tolerance are the ever-present themes. Perhaps this could be my contribution?

Let’s talk about your Hollywood debut in 2020 in Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, co-starring with Nicolas Cage. It was your first time playing a bad guy and being in a completely different environment. How would you describe your experience filming that? 

This picture was a challenge for me. As you mention, it was the first time I played a bad guy in an action movie. Not to mention acting in English, which is by no means my forte! It was truly incredible to work along with two giants in the industry such as Pedro Pascal — he helped me a lot —and a legend such as Nicolas Cage.

There is the upcoming premiere of a Félix Viscarret feature – No mires a los ojos, where you played the leading role. Could you give us some sneak peeks of the process behind this film? 

Yes, this film has already premiered in Spain! I was nominated for several awards for my role as Damián. A character that, fortuitously, decides to hide in an old armoire and decides to stay and live in it along with an unassuming family.

The story of the film is quite interesting. What did you do to break down the role of Damian and fully absorb his character? 

I enjoyed the building process of Damián’s character very much; the physical aspect of it, assuming the posture of distending my belly connected me with the body of my own father and I could imagine what my body would look like if I had been fixing furniture drawers and doors in a workshop during a thirty-year period. Also, the exercise of listening was very important and enriching. 

As this was a comedy film, there must have been a great number of funny moments. But what was the most hilarious and memorable moment working on this project?

Although there is a hilarious moment here and there in this picture, I wouldn’t say it is strictly a comedy. It’s in a genre that escapes classification. Metaphysical thriller perhaps? The script was adapted from the Juan José Millás’ novel and he himself once said the movie is better than the book. Maybe it was a joke. 

What’s next for Paco León?

MARI(DOS)! A comedy with Ernesto Alterio directed by Lucía Alemany. It is about a relationship between two men after discovering that their wife, which happens to be in a coma, lived a double life. It premiers on March 3. After that… Who knows? 

green jacket. Crack Studio
top. Adidas Originals
shorts. Hugo Boss
boots. Dr. Martens
cap. Louis Vuitton

photography + creative direction. Arden
art direction. Uri Serra
fashion. Charlie Dominguez
talent. Paco León
hair + make up. Isabella Ching
executive production. Martí Torrebadella
production. Carlos Montiel
retouch. Ismael Villar
fashion assistant. Osnel Arnías
pa. André Paduano
production company. MAÑANA
studio. La Mosca
words. Nino Sichinava


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