Alfonso Herrera is in a fight with the devil as the protagonist of the new series “The Exorcist“. But the 32-year-old Mexican actor is often compared more with the angel of Spanish film, an Antonio Banderas look-a-like, especially in that simpathy found in his stare. “They tell me that often, and it’s a comment worth hearing”, proudly states the actor and singer born in the city of Mexico and who’s friends know as Poncho. “It is something to feel proud of, as an actor and for what he represents. I hear Banderas speak in the Premios Platino, of how we need to come together to get what we want, and I gave nothing but respect for him”, he assured in reference to a speech from the interpreter from Malaga, during an award show which has also recognized the international labor of the HFPA. Herrera is a global interpreter who has worked in Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Berlin, and now in the United States, thanks to the new-style series which retakes a horror classic that under the name “The Exorcist“, took to the novel by William Peter Blatty to the screen in 1973, generating a big cinematography saga of demonic possessions.
The television series takes off from the same premise but with one importante change in its plot. The priest who debates between his own faith and the presence of the demon is father Tomás Ortega, character which Herrera interprets.
What accounts for this change? Why a Hispanic priest?
I can’t be happier about the change. Fox Studios, the pilot producers, they have been capable of realizing the incredible Hispanic presence that exists in the United States and of their television demands, an audience that wants to see new things and that wants to end stereotypes. And I love to be part of this process of change.
What does The Exorcist have that for more than four decades from its premiere, it still keeps on giving a lot to talk about as one of the classics of the horror genre?
The movie stands as an iconic international film and I don’t hink it’s because or just because of the terror. It’s about a very well created story with full developed tridimensional characters and it is capable of evoking our fears. And that is the main purpose of this series. A great responsability due to the popularity of the movie in which we are basing it on but also a great opportunity since this way we are taking this classic to a new generation.
Do you believe in the devil? In the reincarnation of evil?
I do consider that there are energies. That light as well as darkness exists. And I always prefer the light. Although it’s true that in Mexico there exists this mysticism about death with the celebration of Day of the Dead.
In Mexico, you already rely on a long career not just as an actor but also as a singer. Is it hard to start once again in Hollywood?
When one thinks he has arrived, it means they are finished. I never stop giving myself goals and to grow as an actor and as a person.
What took you to the interpretation?
Aviation. I wanted to be a commercial pilot and register at a school in San Antonio, Texas (USA). But my friend’s dad, a movie director, offered me a role (Amar te Duele, 2002). Then when I was about to leave another role came up, and like that until now. Perhaps when I am done with The Exorcist it will be time to get my diploma as a pilot.
You work with Geena Davis in The Exorcist. How do you describe her as an actress?
It’s not really necessary because, who doesn’t know Geena Davis? They introduced her to me when I arrived at Chicago for the reading of the script. I won’t forget. Besides being a great actress she is a great coworker, generous with the whole world.
How do you compare your other work in the United States next to the sisters Wachowski in Sense8 with The Exorcist?
Both are alike in that they both have a very solid spinal vertebrate which makes the work very simple. Sense8 is something I also celebrate because it has made me form part of a televised revolution that is changing the way we watch content.
Credits: Golden Globes