IN CONVERSATION WITH EDGAR RAMÍREZ
Interview by Jana Letonja
Emmy nominated actor Edgar Ramírez most recently starred as the male lead in season 2 of Peacock’s ‘Dr. Death’. Additionally, he can currently be seen starring in season 2 of the hit Peacock series ‘Wolf Like Me’. Next up, Edgar will star in the film ‘Borderlands’ alongside Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Jamie Lee Curtis, which is set to be released this August.
Edgar, you just starred in the second season of ‘Dr. Death’, where you portrayed Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, a charming surgeon, who is dubbed the ‘Miracle Man’ for his innovative surgical techniques and convicted after experimenting on his patients. How challenging was taking on this role for you?
The story explores the rise and fall of a star doctor, dubbed, as you just said, The Miracle Man, so I think that the biggest challenge was precisely to keep myself shielded from so much information about his fall from grace. When I am portraying a character based on a real person, I try not to know more about my character than the character himself, if that makes sense. There has been so much reporting about Macchiarini’s wrongdoings that the possibility of judging him was always at stake and I needed to be very careful about that. It’s not fair, nor ethical and of course not fun to play a character you are judging in the slightest of ways. Our own prejudices and our own sense of ethics and morality need to be checked at the door. As actors, we are at the service of the characters and not the other way around. Without accountability, without an expiation of guilt, without an act of contrition inserted in the script, I had to play this character as a man that fully and unequivocally believed that every single thing he did was for the best of medicine, for the best of science, for the best of mankind. There’s no moment of introspection in the story. The character I played considered himself an innovator, a trailblazer, a hero.
How did you prepare for the portrayal of Dr. Macchiarini? Did you have any special preparations?
Everything I needed to know about my character was already on the paper. I just needed to open up to the experience and as I said before, not let myself be contaminated by all the abundant information available on his wrongdoings. I needed to look at him with fresh, unprejudiced eyes.
What kind of characters do usually challenge you creatively the most?
I guess I always look for contradiction. Contradiction is what defines us as human beings. No one exists without contradiction. The incompatibility of elements that lies in each one of us is fascinating to me. That’s what challenges me as an actor. Characters without inconsistencies, without paradoxes are flat, not real and therefore not interesting to me.
You were studying communications and considered becoming a diplomat before venturing into acting. What made you pursue acting?
I am a very curious person and I am fascinated by human nature in all its complexity, so I think that any of those 3 paths would have allowed me the possibility to explore the human condition in very diverse and interesting ways.
Which role you’ve done so far has been the most impactful for you and why?
To be honest, each of my characters, big or small, have allowed me to discover something about humanity and about myself that I didn’t know before.
You are fluent in five languages. How does speaking so many different languages help you in your
career and in life?
Languages are windows into different cultures, histories, ways of thinking and expressing ideas. There’s nothing more alive, more dynamic, responsive, evolving or more adaptable than language. Languages are vehicles that preserve cultural heritage and identity. They embody our narratives, our sense of belonging and continuity. They contain the very mosaic of human experience.
Next up, we’ll be seeing you in sci-fi action comedy ‘Borderlands’ alongside Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Jamie Lee Curtis. What can you tease about this upcoming film?
For now, I can only say it is one of the most whimsical, audacious and irreverent experiences I have ever had.
Filming of ‘Borderlands’ took place in Budapest. What do you love the most about filming in all these international locations?
Getting to know different cultures, different people, different ways to understand and define our world, which is what I truly dreamed of as a kid, to see and experience the world.
How would you describe your relationship with fashion?
I’m interested in fashion because just like theater, cinema, literature, architecture and design in general, it always speaks, describes, records a specific moment in history. They all offer records of an era, of a zeitgeist. If someone took a picture of us at any given moment and showed it to someone from the future in 50 or 100 years, they could infer so many things about us. Our dreams, aspirations, ambitions, shortcomings, just from what we wear. There’s nothing random about what we put on, whether we’re aware of it or not. We’re always sending messages through each garment we choose, whether we realize it or not. I think I’m interested in fashion because I’m fascinated by history.
talent EDGAR RAMÍREZ @edgarramirez25
creative director RYAN LUCCA @ryanlucca
photographer ROBIN HARPER @robins_robin
styling director EMILY DIDDLE @emilydiddle
groomer SUSSY CAMPOS @sussy_styles
dp & video DEREK MILTON @derekmilton
1st assistant EDDIE SAUCEDO @eddiesleven
props LITTLE APPLE PROJECTS @littleappleprojects
producer JENNIFER ROVERO @camraface
production EARLY MORNING RIOT @earlymorningriot
music STEN VALIN @stenvalin
editor TIMI LETONJA @timiletonja
editorial director & interview JANA LETONJA @janaletonja
cover design ARTHUR ROELOFFZEN @arthurroeloffzen