Cuban actor Jorge Perugorría is currently in Costa Rica along with writer and countryman Leonardo Padura filming which is based on the latter’s work. Perugorría is filming new episodes of the series Las cuatro estaciones [The Four Seasons], based on Padura’s work, as the main character, detective Mario Conde. Costa Rican newspaper La Nación recently published an interview with the actor. In the interview, Perugorría comments on many topics, including Cuba and homophobia, Hollywood projects in Cuba, and his role as Mario Conde. Here are translated excerpts from the original article in Spanish.
On his role as a renowned Cuban actor, Perugorría comments: All the recognition that I can obtain as an actor, on the basis of my work, is something that I take into account in the sense of commitment, but not in the personal sense. I am more interested in what I have yet to do than what I have done. I am more interested in trying to reinvent myself as an actor, as an artist in general, than dwelling on the work that one has already done. You accept that recognition, but you do not live on that. What feeds me is what I am doing now: the latest project, the latest dream, the latest illusion.
In in reference to his role as a homosexual gallerist in a well-known film from the 1990s, Strawberry and Chocolate, he explains: “Cuba today is a bit more tolerant on the subject of sexual diversity thanks to Fresa y chocolate [Strawberry and Chocolate]. Although there is still much to work to do, it is a privilege to have participated in giving that small contribution to the country, to society. The film had an impressive social reach and it marked Cuban society.”
About his role in the Padura series, Las cuatro estaciones, he says: “It was a challenge because Mario Conde is arguably the best-known character in contemporary Cuban literature, so everyone has a Mario Conde in their head. I remember that with the mere fact that they announced that I was going to be Mario Conde, Cubans approached me and told me that they never imagined Mario Conde like me. They had another idea. So I was going against that perception, but I was so excited.”