Sebastián Aguirre has accomplished a lot for 17-year-old. Following on from his early acting debut in ¡Volar! (2008) he went on star in Perfect Obedience and most recently Güeros (2014), the feature debut from Alonso Ruizpalacios that swiped five Mexican Ariels at this year’s awards. Aguirre himself was nominated in the Breakthrough Male category for his portrayal of Tomás, young student grappling with youth, revolution and the realities of growing up.
We sat down with the young actor in his native Mexico City to find out what he’s learned so far from making movies, and what comes next.
Evan Goodfellow: So you just got back from the Guanajuato Film Festival?
Sebastián Aguirre: Yes, I was doing a rally, it’s a competition where your team has to make a short film in 48 hours including the editing. Directors have to submit their script for a short film, and if the festival accepts it then they bring a team, we had like 15 people. It’s really quick and difficult to do in such a short time.
EG: Wow, crazy! Did you get to sleep?
Me, yes. But the videographer and director slept only like two hours a night.
EG: So now you are done with Güeros?
SA: Yeah, now I am just waiting on another project to come.
EG: What type of project or movie are you looking to do next?
SA: I think a drama but if I have the opportunity, maybe theatre.
EG: What do you like to do besides acting?
SA: Well, I like to read. I also like basketball, but it’s been awhile since I played. I also want to learn to play the drums next.
EG: Was it weird at school when you did Güeros?
SA: I didn’t know anyone else who did a movie, so I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know it was going to be strange. I didn’t go to school for eight weeks and it was weird to come back. The teachers were really mad at me. I asked permission but some were mad because I didn’t do some exams and I missed classes so I didn’t learn much. Then when I did the exams I did horrible!
EG: What about your friends, are most of them into acting?
SA: I have one friend who really likes cinema and he wrote a script and wants to be cinema director. My other friend wants to be an actor and my girlfriend wants to be an actress.
EG: What is the biggest thing you learned working on movies?
SA: When I was fourteen I started my first movie and the first impression I got was that a movie is something you do in a community. It is something that has to be really organised, and I mean really organised with a really good structure. There has to be really good communication between everyone, because it is not something you can do by yourself.
EG: What happens if you are working with someone who you don’t like?
SA: You have to know that it’s more important to be respectful to the person you don’t like. You need to keep your feelings and then after the movie you just never see that person ever again!
EG: Haha okay! What are you hoping for in your next role?
SA: I want a different character. Something I have never done before. Something that has danger or risk. I also am looking for a script I like, and to be comfortable with the director and the other actors.
EG: What do you do to get into your character?
SA: I prefer to work on the reality of the character and to not judge the character. If you say the character is bad then you are judging and can’t enter properly into the character. You have to be capable of accepting the character you are playing, to research the past and the objective of that character.
EG: How did you learn that?
SA: I learned that in acting class. One day I did an exercise and when they told me to do a description of the character I was playing, I said that the character was bad. They said no, the character is not bad or good it’s just a character that has his life with a past, present, and future. Because nobody is bad, bad, bad, or good, good, good.