The Principal Theater filled up to the very last seat to receive this year’s beloved National Tributee, Demián Bichir. Beginning with a video profile that showed a glimpse of the life of the career of the soccer-loving vagabond (whom his mother says he could never sit still) and a few words from Sarah Hoch, Director of the Guanajuato International Film Festival, the wait wasn’t long before the actor took the stage and waved to the audience, along with moderator Eduardo Limón. Thus Demián Bichir began his Master Class, telling about when he first stepped onto the Juárez Theater when he was 14 years old, to his current projects.
While he shared anecdotes about his career, which began when he was three years old in a show at Bellas Artes where he was asked to be a small parrot, Demián emphasized dedication and all the work that one must do as an actor. Bichir enjoys those moments alone in his room when he’s studying and creating every character. He also spoke about how an actor must adapt to the director’s working style. Steven Soderbergh for example (with whom he worked on Che where he played Fidel Castro) doesn’t like to rehearse or talk about the movies outside the set, which is why most of his work was at home. Quentin Tarantino (here he remembers his experience on The Hateful Eight and his friendship with Samuel L. Jackson) workshops through readings and rehearsals for character creation.
Precisely, the cast of The Hateful Eight are now part of what Demián calls his “extended family”, which consists of all the actors, directors, makeup artists, art directors and any person with whom he has worked in cinema and theater throughout the years, including his two brothers, Odiseo and Bruno. Demián recalls that around 2011-2012, Bruno directed him in a play and every time he went to rehearse, he repeated to himself over and over again that his little brother was the director.
Even though he’s been a professional sctor since his childhood, Demián has a dream that did not come true: he wanted to play professional soccer and eventually move to Guadalajara to play for his favorite team: las Chivas. Demián remembers he got into Club América, but he had to pay the full tution (which means he only got in because they needed the business) and when he was 14, he invited his soccer coach to see him in a play and after having seen it, the coach told him that many people who play soccer professionally do it because they have nothing else in life, but “you have acting”. Fate kept directing him to the stage and gently away from soccerl.
As for politics, Demián Bichir describes himself as a Mexican who is too concerned to stay quiet. Many of his films take on topics of historical confrontation in Mexico (including Tlatelolco and the 1985 earthquake) and in the USA he’s been invited by the ACLU to talk about immigration reforms in that nation.
Demián Bichir receives this GIFF National Tribute with a deep humility and with a lot of respect for all the people who have influenced him and paved the way for him to be where he is now. It’s a real honor and a privilige to celebrate the work of Demián Bichir, an actor worthy of leaving a legacy and to turn a character into an absolute declaration of love for his profession.