Babylon star Diego Calva is reflecting on his role choices, particularly his role in Netflix’s crime drama Narcos: Mexico, and the impact of representation.
In an interview published Tuesday with GQ magazine for its Man of the Year issue, the Mexican actor discussed the difficulty actors face early in their careers in being able to choose roles that align with both their professional and personal stances.
That was certainly the case with Netflix Narcos spin-off, which the actor called “great” before noting that its representation was in certain ways less so.
“There’s a moment in your career as an actor that you really can’t choose your roles. You are just grateful that you’re having a job, and Narcos is a great show,” he says. “But in my case, it’s a little hard because the way they put the story of my country, I don’t agree at all.”
Calva explained that while the show featured “truth” it also included “a lot of lies” and heroized drug lords. “There’s a lot of truth, and that’s amazing, but there’s a lot of lies, too,” he says. “I think my country doesn’t need more narco culture and making these guys heroes.”
After seeing the show when it aired, the actor said his involvement made him think more about what kinds of roles he did want to take. “This is too raw,” he recalled thinking. “I don’t know if I really want to keep shooting people.”
While the actor says he likely won’t take on those kinds of roles again, there is something he is interested in returning to: Latin directors.
“My dream is to be part of Latin American cinema always,” he said. “My only fear right now is that maybe Latin directors are going to think, ‘That guy will never come back,’ and they are not going to call me.”
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