Open Mexico magazine’s April Cover
Filed in News Photos Photoshoot Scans Theatre Dead Poets Society

Open Mexico magazine’s April Cover

We can find Alfonso Herrera on the cover of the Open Mexico magazine of the month of April with an exclusive interview that the magazine made him to promote his latest project, his return to the theater with the play Dead Poets Society. You can read the full interview below, as well as see the full photo session.

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All-proof actor

On the eve of saying goodbye to his character in Sense8, the actor also puts aside his exorcist cassock to get into the skin of John Keating, a literature teacher who shakes the lives of his students in the play Dead Poets Society…

To many it would be difficult to reconcile the idea of a pop star and protagonist of a series in an important American channel with the punctuality and disposition in which “Poncho” was handled in this photographic session. During the conversation, we verified that not only is he a professional but also an artist who does not deny the past and who continues to be excited by the projects in which he is involved.

You started in theater 17 years ago and you return to the stage with Dead Poets Society. Why this play?
I really wanted to work with Francisco Franco. He is a very complete director who has done television projects of very good quality, perfectly understanding the format and times. His first film –Quemar los naves– won two Ariel awards and the theatrical plays he has done have been very popular. The adaptation that he made of Everything about my mother to the theater seemed incredible to me.
On the other hand, going back to work with Claudio Carrera and Tina Galindo gives me great pleasure and enthusiasm. They are very serious people, who understand this art perfectly and this is a staging that helps us remember what really motivates, moves and inspires us. The work speaks of poetry and I had to delve a little deeper into the romantics -Walt Whitman and Percy Bysshe Shelley- and learn more about their work because John Keating -the main character- relies on those poets to inspire their students. I think the situation that we are going to spend this year is quite peculiar and a story of this nature can help us remember what it is that moves us and ask ourselves, what would we sacrifice to carry out what we like?

From Amar te Duele’s bully hurting to Father Tomás from The Exorcist, what moments do you keep from your career?
I believe with everyone. From that first film to Rebelde, which gave me the possibility to travel throughout Latin America and have a massive exhibition. That is something that I appreciate very much. Your past is part of who you are and while you are walking, you are projecting where you want to go. For example, The Perfect Dictatorship was very important in my career and I deeply thank Luis Estrada because it was very risky because of the current situation, and I think there was a very strong background and I assumed that responsibility that I had to tell, with a message that had to be transmitted.

Your first intention was to become a pilot and from that truncated dream we jumped to the failed project of Urban Cowboy. How was that experience?
It was an interesting experience because after making Sense8 they began to open doors. The North American market is difficult and although you have done important things in your country, really that market does not care so much. I received an invitation from Fox to meet with the casting team and producers of the channel where they offered me Urban Cowboy and I found it interesting because of the opportunity to work with Jim Belushi. I saw him perform a monologue to five cameras that ultimately never appeared, but it was incredible. I was also excited to work with Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow), but it was something that was there and I was satisfied to see the result. Later, because of decisions that were not mine, it did not materialize, but a very good relationship with Fox was generated and I was invited to work in The Exorcist. The same casting team took me with the showrunner Rolin Jones (Weeds, Amy Given Sunday), with Jeremy Slater and Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes). The fact of working and sharing scenes with Ben Daniels and Geena Davis has been great.

Were not you afraid to play a classic like The Exorcist?
I commented it with Rolin and he told me: “If we make the second best exorcist we’re going to win”, because getting to the movie is really complicated. It is the holy grail of horror films and one of the greatest films in history. When the pilot introduced me, I told my agents and my manager: “This is a terrible idea”. How can you introduce yourself to a project inspired by The Exorcist? It’s very dangerous. But I started to read and understand the characters and see that connection with the film and the hypothesis of what happened 30 years later, following the path of a young priest going through a crisis of faith and that duo he does with another experienced priest. I did the pilot knowing that I had to go through many filters and after we passed them we said: -This is great! We received very good reviews and the same study motivated us to continue.

Did it take long time to get an audience?
Yes. It took time to get noticed because we were going through a complicated schedule (Friday night), but it was progressing despite that and we are already in the second season.

Will there be a third season?
We do not know. We are depending on the Fox/Disney merger. We do not know if new people will come to value the contents. Who knows if Mickey Mouse is going to like The Exorcist.

Was it hard for you to work in English?
At first, the studio was a bit worried about my accent. I told them that if they wanted a Mexican father, why would they change the accent so much (because they wanted him more American). Both the producers and the director decided that it had a Mexican accent and that it was an asset for the story, putting it in a fairly solid and real context.

What was it like working with the Wachowski sisters?
Amazing. I am very grateful to Lana, Lilly and James (McTeigue) because they had a lot of patience. Especially in this second season, Lana was very generous because I was filming the second season of The Exorcist while they were doing the two-hour special with which Sense8 closes.
Seeing how both Lana and Lilly Wachowski work and working with John Troll -one of the world’s leading photographers- was spectacular.

How do you see these new platforms and the opportunity they give to produce material without the restrictions of public TV?
I think it’s a good opportunity to democratize the media: you can see the contents at the moment and on the platforms you want. You do not need to be sitting at a specific time or waiting for someone else to dictate when and how many ads you have to see. Your eyes already have some freedom -so to speak- and that is something that I applaud enormously because everyone has wanted to get on that wave.

Before emerging #MeToo, which shook the entertainment industry, you were already involved in causes of feminist vindication like #HeForShe. At what time did that become important to you?
Feminism is a struggle for human rights and I believe that we are all equal. We all deserve to have the same rights and no differences should be made. If I have the opportunity to have a microphone in front of me to say something about it and support these and other causes, then go ahead.

What about the future? Are there plans for another season of La Ciencia de lo Absurdo or to make movies?
I think so. It would be a sixth season of the series and if that happens we will share it at the time. Apart from the play, I’m planning to make a TV series in Mexico and -at the end- a film project.

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Interview in Maxwell magazine
Filed in News Photos Photoshoot Scans TV Series Sense8 La Ciencia de lo Absurdo The Exorcist Theatre

Interview in Maxwell magazine

In the magazine Maxwell Mexico of November 2017 we can find an interview that was recently made to the Mexican actor for the premiere of the second season of The Exorcist. You can read it below.

In the Maxwell Magazine of November 2017 we can find an interview that was recently made to the Mexican actor for the premiere of the second season of The Exorcist. You can read it below.


Art and craft of an actor outside series

Alfonso Herrera is living one of the best moments of his career. Unstoppable, motivated and committed, he has become one of the most recognized actors in this new era of golden television and, as if that weren’t enough, not long ago he became first-time father to son Dani, which he describes as the best experience of his life.

When Alfonso was 17 years old, he dreamed of a future in aviation, leading him to want to study flight in San Antonio, Texas. However, by circumstance, acting would appear now and again in his life, not as a conflict of interest, but quite the opposite. From his first soap opera to today (getting involved in really successful projects), Alfonso has shown that he was born to be in front of the camera.

Co-staring in the Netflix series Sense8 and acting as lead on FOX channel’s The Exorcist, Alfonso has tested his talents, therefore broadening his international appeal. Currently, much of his focus at the moment is with The Exorcist. At the time of our interview, Alfonso was in Canada filming the show’s second season.

The series has received excellent reviews, inspired by the 1971 William Peter Blatty novel and 1973 film of the same name- it is considered to be the Holy Grail of drama and terror. Alfonso plays makes Father Tomás, who is charged with having to fight against various forces of evil. While the project has shown that television done well can captivate an entire market related to a specific genre; Alfonso has proven that Latinos are capable of portraying different types of roles, not just those that have to do with worn out stereotypes. “In the first season there was a very strong link with the original movie of 1973; however, in this second season we are demarcating a bit more from the original. We are navigating with much more freedom, exploring new geographic areas in the United States; the first season was in Chicago with the second season taking place in the northwest, specifically Seattle and Montana. They are two completely different atmospheres, which makes it much more interesting and rich (with) that contrast“, says Herrera.

Portions of the first season of The Exorcist were filmed in Mexico City, where his character Tomás is originally from, sparking rumors that a third season could possibly take place there. “Talking a bit with both the show’s creator and executive producer, they mentioned they’d probably love to explore the North American aspect of the Catholic culture and that they have a very interesting element to incorporate into the show. That will happen if we have the opportunity of a third season. There is still a long way to go“, says Herrera.

How do you manage to have such a wide range of possibilities when interpreting characters so different from each other?
I believe that, first of all, enjoying it. I really enjoy what I do and I really enjoy the development of my characters. It’s really fun, I have a lot of fun in the process as well as in the development, in the interpretation; creating different stories, basically just looking for interesting stories to tell and characters (…).

Do you think about having to represent a profile of a different type of Latino actor, current and modern?
I think that on many occasions we have a very limited vision of what we as Mexicans represent for the industry and for all these television networks (…). You just have to watch some TV shows and some movies to realize what this cliché vision is of what they think we are. Something I like a lot, especially with both Father Tomás and the character I played on Sense8, is that they are Latin Americans; they are Mexicans who do not represent that cliché and that erroneous image in which we are often shown as. We, as Mexicans, have a really rich culture, we have value to offer and I think that in those projects, both creators and writers have given us Latinos the opportunity of sharing something much more grounded, showing something three-dimensional —not some caricature, so to say. This is something that I celebrate.

As an actor, what kind of projects do you dream of?
More than a specific project, I try to be clear with what I want to share and what I want to express. I think it’s important to choose the right projects; and I do not say this as a Latin American, because I have had the fortune and the opportunity of working on several types of parts. We are responsible for the roles we choose to make known what we are (…). My only goal is to keep moving forward, keep working no matter what the direction is: towards the north, the south, the east or the west. What matters to me is to look for interesting stories and transformative characters with meaning.

At some point would you like to venture into production or write a movie or TV series?
I do not know, probably. I think that to be able to fully get into a production and be able to be on the other side of the camera, you must find a project that keeps you awake at night and something that really fills you up and makes you say ‘Go! I’m going at it 100%’, and I don’t think that moment has arrived yet. The dream that I value very much right now is of a tiny one of a few centimeters.

What has been the experience of being a father?
It has been the most amazing and most interesting roller coaster. It’s the most incredible thing that has happened to me. The process of being a parent is what you learn from the most; it is the greatest lesson that life has given me.

Did you have to change diapers?
All. Absolutely, everything.

In what environment would you like your children to grow up in?
I would love for him to live in a society that can respect differences, that values differences. I think that at this moment we are living in a very dark moment (…). It’s something else to open a newspaper or a magazine and realize the chaos in which we are experiencing. I am sure that, at some point, when we’ve gone through all this, we will return to a better time, and I hope that my son can witness a more respectful world.

Do you think we can consciously change, return to better times?
Yes, I think so. I believe that the generations to come will learn from the mistakes that we have made. And I think that absolutely, all generations do it (…). I hope we do not go back to the point where we are now. It is such a peculiar world in which we find ourselves at the moment (…). It has been a year full of changes to which we must adapt, and in those changes there are many lessons. I think it has been a very complicated year (…) with so many situations that have happened, since the earthquake, the hurricanes, Trump, all these movements that have happened in Europe —almost, almost scratching the surface of fascism. It has been an extremely hard year. Again, I hope we never return to times like these.

 

After the unexpected cancellation of the Sense8, Netflix decided to film a special last episode that will last two hours; with filming to be done in Europe, Alfonso will work there the last months of 2017, with complications, because at the same time, he must be available for the filming of The Exorcist in Vancouver. Soon, he will be back in Mexico for the recordings of the fifth season of National Geographic’s the comedy program, La Ciencia de lo Absurdo, as well as to begin rehearsals for a play.

Maxwell Magazine

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Photos: FOX Summer TCA 2017 Portraits
Filed in Photos Photoshoot TV Series The Exorcist

Photos: FOX Summer TCA 2017 Portraits

We’ve updated our gallery with this amazing photoshoot of Alfonso Herrera (thanks to Ana) during the FOX Summer TCA 2017, where he was invited along with his co-star in The Exorcist, Ben Daniels.

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