What’s your story Juan? Who is Juan as a person and as an actor?
I’m a gypsy at heart. I like to get out of my comfort zone, and adventure is very important to me. That’s probably why I chose acting as a career. As an actor…I place great value in having variety in the characters I play. I resist being type cast at all costs.
When and how did acting start for you?
I was introduced to acting after taking a random theater class as an elective in my third year of university. After that, I decided to take the plunge and pursue it as a full-time career. Hard to believe that was about fifteen years ago.
Do you remember your first audition?
Pretty sure it was for an STD commercial. No joke. Luckily I didn’t get the part. That one would’ve come back to haunt me one day.
Can you tell us about your most memorable audition experience?
I had a doozie of an audition this year. Right before walking in to meet the casting director, I was in the restroom and accidentally dropped my headshot and resume in the sink, which was covered in water. I did my best to dry them off with paper towel, but they got messed up pretty good. It wasn’t the most professional way to kick things off. This particular audition required a lot of movement. At the very end of the scene I lunged backwards too far and stepped right onto the curtain backdrop, which tore right off the wall with the entire curtain falling onto the floor behind me. I don’t think I will (or can) ever forget that audition.
Tell us more about your recurring role as Teo in Good Behavior.
Playing Teo was a great time. I was working out in Wilmington, North Carolina for four months, surrounded by an amazing cast and crew. It’s always strange to join a show that has already shot previous seasons. You inevitably feel like the new kid…but it was a warm reception and it didn’t take long to feel like part of the Good Behavior family.
What’s the most exciting project that you have done so far?
I’d say Narcos was a game changer for me. Obviously we didn’t know how much of a global hit the show would be while we were shooting it, but I knew we had some incredible people attached and were telling a powerful story. A good combination. And I got to spend two months working in Colombia which was pretty mind-blowing.
Out of all the characters that you have ever played, is there a specific favorite and why?
Playing Rufus on CBC’s The Romeo Section was definitely up there. It was such a fun role to sink my teeth into, and my first time being a regular on a TV series. I loved the material, and working so closely with the show’s creator Chris Haddock was a dream come true. The guy’s a legend and I learned a lot from him.
What’s the best decision that you made in the last 24 hours.
The third cup of coffee this morning was my best decision. I’m producing a film while being a father to twin boys who are almost two years old. Coffee is my lifeblood right now.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by nature, travel, art, and creative people. I try to surround myself with as many of those elements as possible. My wife’s talent and drive inspire me as well, as do my two sons, who I get to experience the world through in its purest form
What would you say is the proudest moment of your career so far?
I think I’ve managed to navigate the industry without burning any bridges, which can be challenging to do. I try to approach every project with integrity and professionalism, and have made some solid relationships along the way. I guess I’m proud of that more than any single moment I can think of.
What keeps you busy aside from acting?
My sons keep me on my toes. Busy is an understatement. A big passion of mine is also the game of poker. I don’t have as much time to get to the tables as I once did, but I still love the game. Playing in the main event of the World Series of Poker is a bucket list item for me.
Name any actor that you want to work with (dead or alive) and why.
Dead? I’ll go with Marlon Brando. He’s a legend plain and simple. If he was half as inspiring to work with as he is to watch, that’s reason enough. Alive…maybe Gary Oldman? It’s incredible to see how much of a chameleon he is in each role he plays. I’d love to have a body of work like his one day. Working on it!
Any advice you can give to young and aspiring actors out there?
Everyone’s path is different, but if I could offer any wisdom at all, I’d say to try to keep your ego in check. That applies to both when you’re struggling, and when you feel on top of the world. In both cases…your ego will get you into trouble. The more you can take yourself out of the equation and focus on the work, the better off you’ll be in the long run.
If you’re going to be a book, what book would you be and why?
I’ve read some great ones, but in terms of being a book…maybe Around the World in Eighty Days. It’s got a good blend of traveling, adventure, and gambling.
If you had the chance to help a specific cause/charity, what would it be?
After the experience we had when my wife gave birth to our boys, we like to give back to the Vancouver Children’s Hospital. It’s an amazing facility and they take such great care of their patients.