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Carlos Leal • Actor

Shooting Star 2006 - Switzerland


Carlos Leal • Actor

After having accumulated several Golden discs, Carlos Leal starts to make a name for himself in cinema. He has just snapped up the Swiss Cinema Award for his role in Snow White [+see also:
film review
interview: Carlos Leal
interview: Samir
film profile
by Samir and will represent Switzerland at the Berlin Shooting Stars. We meet Carlos Leal.

Cineuropa: Can your move from the hip-hop scene to that of cinema and theatre around the age of 30 be interpreted as a choice of "adult" life?
Carlos Leal: I think so. Having reached a certain maturity, I felt like changing my life a little. The popularity of Sens Unik gave me the chance to perform in the theatre and discover a world that I liked a lot. Then I played in my first short film, then a second, and I decided to go and live in Paris. But it was my passion for comedy that made me make the sacrifice of leaving Switzerland and my mates to start again from scratch in another country… I immediately knew it was the right thing to do to the point of wanting to give up music and devote myself entirely to this new career.

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Why did you decide to go and live in France?
My parents are Spanish, I speak Spanish and I consider myself European, but when you grow up in Lausanne – in the French speaking part of Switzerland – the city that every actor dreams about is Paris of course. Perhaps I won't stay there for my whole life, as the world is a big place! There's also New York, Los Angeles or Madrid… French, South American and Mexican cinema interest me a lot.

You attended courses at the Actor's Studio in Paris. Did this training have a deciding influence on your future?
Less so than everything I learned by playing in shorts! At the Actor's Studio, we quickly learn how to play one's character and scene, but to make this character evolve in the shooting environment where you have to know your position, that of the camera, its movement… Cinema is really the work of a team!

You will be representing Switzerland at the Shooting Stars ceremony in Berlin. What do you expect of the ceremony?
I am very proud to be going to the Shooting Stars in Berlin, as it's an international festival with a very European dimension. While I am there, I will try to find a Spanish agent, an Italian agent and an English agent.

In Samir's "Snow White" you play the main role of Paco. Is this your first big role?
No, I already had a first role in a French film, Trinivel from Hubert Woroniecky which hasn't yet been released. I also had a second important role in Love Express, a feature from Elena Hazanov. But Snow White is the greatest cinematic adventure that I have known so far.

When did you first meet the Swiss-Iraqi director Samir?
About ten years ago when I was working on the docufiction Babylon 2. He is an extremely intelligent person… He has been known for a long time in Swiss cinema, but with Snow White he had the courage to do something different that nobody expected: he brings the viewer from a fairytale to hell…

You were born in 1969, exactly at the time when films from Alan Tanner and Claude Goretta gave Swiss cinema international renown. Have you seen these films?
I don't yet know the great Swiss films from this era, as for a long time I was immersed in another culture, that of music...

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