KB ENTREVISTAS / INTERVIEWS

Apr 15, 2007 at 10:01 o\clock

kuno becker: ¡tiro penal!

 
Kuno Becker a pasado por momentos dificiles en su carrera, pero sabe que al final un gol a su favor es lo que da la victoria.
 
A través de la trilogía Gol, de la que el próximo jueves se estrena la segunda parte en 270 salas de México, Kuno Becker ha aprendido que en el juego de la vida lo más importante no es caer, sino saber levantarse.
 
¿Cuál fue el primer gol que anotaste en tu carrera?

“Yo creo que la primera vez que empecé a trabajar en televisión. Honestamente fue lo que me permitió hacer todo tipo de personajes, y ya después a empezar de cero otra vez, no tanto de tocar puertas, pero sí de luchar por buscar mejores papeles y demostrar que puedes hacerlos”.
 
¿Hubo zancadillas y juegos sucios en este proceso?

“Sí, claro. Hubo mucha competencia, mucha mala onda, también buena onda y envidias, pero es parte del juego, lo tomo así y le entro”.
 
¿Cuál ha sido tu mejor entrenamiento para no perderte en el triunfo?

“El que me ha dado la propia carrera. Yo tengo la virtud de ser perseverante y necio, en el buen sentido de la palabra, pero esta carrera me ha enseñado que la vida da muchas vueltas, que no es una carrera de velocidad, sino de pasos firmes.

“He hecho malas jugadas, cosas que no funcionaron durante años y otras que más o menos funcionaban, pero yo creo que es sano empezar así, al menos sé que si sigo aquí es por el amor al oficio”.
 
¿Cuál fue la primera tarjeta roja que te sacaron?

“Yo creo que han sido los proyectos en los que he querido participar y no he podido hacerlo, sobre todo en películas que tienen grandes personajes que me hubieran llenado mucho como actor. Me ha pasado tres veces y esos los considero como golpes al ego y bajadas al piso, que por un lado son muy buenas, pero por otro son muy duras.

“Aun así, son lecciones de vida que te enseñan más que el éxito. Ésas han sido para mí las tarjetas rojas”.
 
¿Te sientes ya en las grandes ligas?

“Me siento en la posición que he querido jugar. Estoy en una carrera que para mí no es llamarada de petate, sino una carrera de trabajo, en la que he tenido que luchar para logar lo que quiero y eso hace que valores las cosas.

“Toda la gente que ha luchado por años para alcanzar algo, estoy seguro que lo valora más y lo respeta, aunque a mí me ha ayudado mucho también los valores que tengo desde niño y mi vocación de actor”.
 
¿Te gustaría llegar a un nivel de Del Toro o Cuaron y aspirar al gran trofeo del cine, que es el Oscar?

“Yo estoy en el cine por crecer. Yo empecé a hacer televisión y me iba muy bien, pero la verdad no tenía ya la oportunidad de crecer. Los resultados de una película o ganar algo no es por lo que trabajo ni me importa. Es padre que las películas tengan éxito, es padre que la gente reconozca la historia de uno, pero no es mi objetivo.

“Si se da, qué padre, pero lo que me interesa es hacer buenos personajes, hacer que la audiencia sienta algo con mis escenas y ser parte de una historia. Además, ese tipo de premios dependen de muchas cosas: de las empresas, muchas veces del marketing o de las historias, pero son cosas que están fuera de mis manos.

“Yo lo que busco son buenos personajes y creo que es momento de empezar a escoger mejor, en el buen sentido”
.
 
¿Te gustaría trabajar bajo sus órdenes?

“Me gustaría trabajar con la gente que tiene el oficio, que esté aquí por mis mismas razones. No me interesaría trabajar con alguien que estuviera muy colocado, pero que también estuviera desubicado y se mantenga en el medio por otras razones que no sea el amor al oficio’’.
 
MARCAN PENALTI EN PREMIERE

Una segunda parte de la historia propositiva, que tiene mucho que ver con la amistad y el trabajar en equipo, es lo que ahora se verá en Gol 2, a partir de este jueves en los cines mexicanos después de sus premiere en Londres, Japón y Estados Unidos.

Estelarizada por Kuno Becker y estrellas internacionales de futbol como el inglés David Beckham o el brasileño Roberto Carlos, entre otros, la cinta que será estrenada con 270 copias tuvo su alfombra verde con la presencia del protagonista y los productores Mike Jefferies y Danny Steper.

La alfombra verde se realizó en una noche de artistas e invitados especiales.

“No ha sido fácil hacer una película con figuras del futbol porque tienen mucho trabajo y compromisos con marcas que los contratan en exclusividad y todo el tiempo están ocupados".

¿Qué tal es Kuno Becker como futbolista?

“Chido, antes de cuatro años no sabía nada de futbol ni lo practicaba, pero ahora es un experto y muy bueno, porque no solamente juega al lado de figuras internacionales, sino que hasta perteneció al Galaxie, donde solamente están los mejores”.

El que en la película Gol 2 sigan teniendo a las estrellas del futbol internacional, ¿sigue siendo lo más importante del filme?

“No, lo más importante de la película es su historia, que estamos contando a través de las figuras y el personaje futbolista que hace Kuno, quien es un buen actor que se convierte en futbolista para contarla.

Apr 10, 2007 at 04:44 o\clock

kuno becker de productor

Para Kuno Becker fue un orgullo portar la camiseta del Real Madrid y alternar con figuras del futbol como Beckham y Zidane en la cinta Goal 2

A 25 años de que Hugo Sánchez abandonó las filas del Real Madrid, otro mexicano se pone la camiseta merengue y salta a la cancha para jugar con el equipo galáctico. La secuencia es parte de la película Gol 2, pero Kuno Becker vivió la experiencia como algo genuino al jugar al lado de estrellas como Beckham, Ronaldo, Zidane y Raúl.

"Me siento muy orgulloso porque desde que se fue Hugo Sánchez del Real Madrid no había un mexicano en los vestidores del Bernabeu... aunque sea una película", comentó divertido el actor desde Los Ángeles.

En entrevista narró sus experiencias en Hollywood y adelantó que su inquietud artística lo ha llevado a desarrollar proyectos cinematográficos en los que próximamente debutará como productor.

¿CuÁl fue la experiencia al protagonizar una super producción como Gol 2?

Ser protagonista de una película en las grandes ligas es un honor. Los estadunidenses no están acostumbrados a ver a los mexicanos estelarizando este tipo de proyectos. Nos ven haciendo películas increíbles, independientes, de arte y mucho más chicas, por eso es mayor gusto, para que vean que también podemos hacer estas cosas.

Hace 25 años que un mexicano no se ponía esa playera para jugar...

Sí, desde Hugo Sánchez que no había un mexicano en los vestidores del Bernabeu. Aunque sea una película (risas).

Me siento muy orgulloso porque Hugo es alguien muy importante en nuestra cultura, es una de las personas que admiro por haber logrado muchas cosas con las que me identifico, como estar en países donde no se sabe mucho de nuestro país y representarlo con mucha dignidad.

¿Cómo fueron las escenas con los astros del Real Madrid?

Tuvimos mucha fortuna al tener acceso con la gente del equipo. Todos se portaron muy bien, David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Raúl, todos fueron muy accesibles. Con el que mejor me llevé fue con David, la verdad es que es un tipo muy buena onda, muy accesible a pesar de que no era latino. Otro que es muy sencillo es Raúl. Ronaldo fue medio payasón, pero no en el mal sentido, sino bromista.

¿Te enseñaron algunas jugadas o tu les enseñaste a actuar?

A la hora del futbol me decían que tratara de no volar la bola y no regarla demasiado. Fue una mezcla de actores tratando de jugar futbol y futbolistas tratando de actuar. Mi consejo era que se relajaran y que simplemente hicieran lo que normalmente hacen.

¿Cuál fue el reto en esta secuela?

Lograr un cambio de adentro hacia afuera en el personaje de Santiago. Quería que la gente viera lo que pasa a una persona que viene de un nivel económico social muy sencillo, y que llega a un nivel de fama y dinero muy fuerte, al convertirse en una estrella.

¿Has pasado por una situacion similar?

Mi carrera me ha costado muchísimo desde el incio. He hecho papeles muy chicos en la tele, y he ido subiendo poco a poco. Cuando hice mi primer protagónico en Televisa no había para dónde crecer y empecé a hacer cine en México, y de repente ya ni vi para donde crecer y busqué otra industria. La razón por la que estoy en Hollywood es porque quiero seguir creciendo y eso se consigue con mejores personajes e historias.

¿Ahora hacia dónde piensas crecer?

Hacia el lado de la producción. Ya desarrollando proyectos que espero sean importantes en un futuro. Es importante darle la oportunidad a gente que escribe, dirige y actúa de manera increíble. Ya sean mexicanos o incluso norteamericanos que no han sido descubiertos.

Mar 3, 2007 at 23:52 o\clock

kuno becker: A beautiful game, a wonderful film

 

In an exclusive interview with FIFA, Kuno Becker gives us his unique insight on Goal 2 – and why he feels that David Beckham would be his ideal team-mate.

Sitting in the luxurious surroundings of a first-floor suite at the Dorchester Hotel in London, Kuno Becker looks relaxed and happy. The success of the first part of Goal! has made him globally recognised and his excitement at the release of this new film is plain for all to see.

In an exclusive interview with FIFA, the Mexico City born actor and star of the film gives us his unique insight on the second part of the trilogy – and why he feels that David Beckham would be his ideal team-mate.

FIFA: Kuno, you looked as though you had a lot of fun in making the film…
Kuno Becker:
That’s because I did! Thanks to FIFA we got amazing access to Real Madrid – and people will see that when they come to watch the film. I really believe that we’re making history with this film, because it’s the first time somebody has done something like this – especially as it includes so many well-known football stars who are playing today including David Beckham, Raul and Ronaldo.

In our interview just before the first part was released – you said that you thought the second part was going to be better than the first – do you stand by that?
I’m gonna tell you why the second film is better than the first – there’s more conflict in this film – and so it’s more realistic. The football sequences are beautiful, the soundtrack is amazing and the whole thing has come together to create a very special film. I think the audience is really going to get into this – the relationships between Santiago and Roz and Santiago and his mother are really quite intense – and Jaime, the director, has brought that out really well.

The film brings out the whole spectrum of emotions for Santiago – how difficult was that to do?
Playing Santiago is a real challenge, but also what I liked about this film is that Santiago loses his innocence. He loses his grounding, he loses his sense of perspective and he’s quite clearly not able to cope with the money and fame which comes from being a football star. He’s also not able to deal with conflict – so, when relationships change – he struggles to adapt. It makes it very interesting for the audience.

Before the first film you broke both of your ankles, suffered countless bruises and muscle tears. Was the second part as tough on your body?
Thankfully not! I trained for about two and a half months for the first film and I spent about the same amount of time getting in shape for this one. It was tough. For me, the training has been the most difficult thing about appearing in the two films. When I was young, I didn’t play too much football and now I have to play as though I’m as good as Real Madrid’s star striker! I’m nowhere near as good of course, but it’s been fun trying.

What's easier - learning to speak English - or learning to play professional football?
Trying to learn soccer skills is way, way more difficult than learning English. I grew up studying music and learning to play the violin. Learning English was something fun for me – I’d already learnt how to speak German, so that helped incredibly. Football was tough, but I do love the game now. I’d always liked it, but now I like it because I understand it more, much more because of these films

You can say a line and the director may ask you to repeat it - but how difficult is it to repeat a good piece of play?
It was extremely difficult for me to do things on demand, but in the second film I did a lot more things than in the first one...and so I kept training, kept training and kept training.

What was it like training alongside the Real Madrid players?
It was great – incredibly fun. They were open, relaxed and they were really humble and nice people. To have them in the film gives it an amazing sense of realism, that has never been seen before in a football film, because this is a fusion of fiction and reality – which is something that has never been seen before.

If you could pick one to be in a team with you, who would it be?
It would be David Beckham, because I think he’d be a really good team-mate. I know he’s one of the world’s most famous footballers, but he is incredibly down to earth. He’s easy to talk to – and he was extremely helpful to the team when we made this film. But I have to stress that he’s not just a good guy, he’s also an amazing footballer. Every time we were there, he would do something amazing for Real Madrid – he’d provide an excellent cross for the strikers or score a great goal. I hope people appreciate his talent.

There's a lot of talk in England about David Beckham moving to Hollywood - as well as being a fantastic footballer, do you think he has what it takes to be a movie star?
Why not? I wanted to be an actor when I was a musician. I started playing the violin when I was six years old and I did it for ten years. When I said that I wanted to be an actor, people thought I was crazy, but look at me now – I’ve been lucky, I’m here now – so why not? He’s done a good job in Goal. He’s used to the cameras and you’ll never know. He’s got more chance of making it as an actor than I have of being a footballer.

Can you see similarities between famous footballers and film stars?
Fame, popularity, money – and how they deal with it, especially for a guy who comes from a simple background, like Santiago. It’s difficult. It would really change them – and distract them from what’s really important in life.

I have a lot more respect for footballers now. They work so hard in perfecting their talent – and it is a beautiful game. It’s a bit like chess – you have to put a lot of thought into the tactics and you need to make the right moves. It’s not just about running with a ball. It’s about technique, different skills and a lot of heart.

Mar 3, 2007 at 23:35 o\clock

kuno becker chats about goal! 2

 

Goal!2 – Living The Dream follows the adventures of footballing prodigy Santiago Munez (Kuno Becker) as he secures a dream move from Newcastle United to Real Madrid. Reunited with former teammate Gavin Harris (Alessandro Nivola) this change puts a strain on his relationship with girlfriend Ros (Anna Friel), just one of the pressures he has to contend with as he achieves superstar status.

Goal! 2 is the second film in a trilogy of footballing dramas, and is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, whose previous feature credit is House of Wax.  

So what changes do we see in Santiago as he's transferred from Newcastle United to Real Madrid in Goal! 2: Live The Dream?

Well this is when he becomes a major soccer star, this is edgier and a little bit more of a realistic film. I think it's a lot better. [Director] Jaume [Collet-Serra] is doing an amazing job, he's a lot more visual. In the story there's always something happening, there's a lot of conflict. It's a little bit of the dark side of what happens in football. It's obviously not so extreme, but that's the kind of thing we want to show.

Does that means your character loses his innocence a little?

“Yeah, well we have to show something of what really happens, which is going a little bit crazy with all these things that come with being a famous footballer. Like getting all the money, and dealing with it. The girls and the cars and everything, the mansion. It’s not always so easy, people think it’s great and it’s fun but it’s a lot more complicated than that. We wanted to show that a little bit more.”

Is this then, with all that conflict and drama, more of an adventure for you second time around?

The first one is very nice because it's like a fairytale, and it's very positive, just a nice film. And it's a lot of fun, which I think is great. The second one is also that but it's a little bit more the other side, which is the dark side. Going a little bit crazy with the fame and popularity and all that.

Do we get to see you in action on the pitch?

Yeah, a lot more than I wanted to! We're going to see my character on the field, and Alessandro [Nivola – cast as Gavin Harris] a lot more. We have a couple of new characters too, so it's going to be a lot more fun for the audience.

Did you ask some of the footballers you worked with for their stories, as any kind of research?

I didn't have to, just by watching them and just by being around them a little bit before we starting shooting the first one, you saw it. And when we shot this second one in Madrid you can see a lot of things happening, you see attitudes and you can see people changing a little bit. I thought it was more interesting to see my character change than to see him become successful and everything be alright. So I think this is something good.

Has your involvement in these films improved your footballing skills?

I did improve. I really sucked when I started and now I'm just bad. That's something, I suppose, I'm not at the same super bad level.

Had the Real Madrid players seen the first film?

Yeah, and they loved it actually. It's funny, once people see it they like it, so that's a good thing. The problem is taking them to see it. Everybody thinks that it's just about football but it's not, it's a story about relationships, it's about what happens inside the world of football but we have great football action also. It's just not all about that.

Does Santiago's relationship with Ros – played by Anna Friel – change too then?

She has a much bigger role now, she's great, and yes there is a little bit more conflict. The first one was more about falling in love, and everything is cool and achieving that goal. Now in the second one it's about what happens with one of these guys when he becomes a huge star. Most of the time they come from very simple backgrounds, which makes it a lot more interesting I think. They're thrown into a totally different environment. This guy I play was a gardener from East Los Angeles a little more than a year ago, and then he becomes a super successful millionaire with cars and everything. All the women want to be with him, and that brings a lot more trouble to his life than in the first one.

There was a story, of course, when David Beckham was signed by Real Madrid that Victoria wasn't keen on moving...

It's exactly the same in our story. We were supposed to be living in Newcastle and then we have to move to Madrid and that brings more conflict to the relationship, it changes everything. And if you really think about it that's the way it is. It's not just becoming successful and everything being cool, there's a lot more to it than that. I think that's the great thing about the second film, we have that conflict, the other women, the money, we have him changing in his personality and that's also a conflict. I think that's more interesting for people to watch.

Is Beckham in this film?

Yeah he's going to be in it, as – briefly – are Ronaldo, Zidane, Raul and others.

Jonathan Woodgate, famously, was signed by Real Madrid from Newcastle United – did you speak with him at all?

We spoke, it's fun because it's a little bit like his story. And Michael Owen moved from Madrid to Newcastle, which is sort of vice versa. It's what happens.

Which footballers do you admire?

That's a good question. I've never been a football fan. I can say it now, but to get the part I had to lie to the director and the producers and say I was a fan. But what I love about this project is when I read the script I liked the story, that's what was wonderful about it. You don't have to like football to like the story, which is great. Otherwise why make a football film? You can watch it on tv. I read the script and I thought it was great and that's why I wanted to do it. I also wanted to do it because the character is very different from me.

You obviously had to work hard at your football to convince the producers on the first film then, did you?

I really had to train – I broke my ankle, nose, pulled every muscle you can imagine, and I still can't play, but I'm improving. Physically it was the hardest thing I've ever done, that's why I had to lie to everybody. When I first met them I was like ‘yeah I love football'. They said ‘what do you play?' I said ‘err, football'. I didn't know what positions there were or anything. I had to go and see a friend and get him to tell me everything about it because I didn't know. I had to really lie.

But you were not completely ignorant, were you?

I saw football when I was a kid. I'm from Mexico and everybody loves football there, but I couldn't really play. They asked me a question, and I said yes. But they didn't say ‘are you a professional footballer?'. That's a whole different question, right? So actually I didn't lie at all.

Feb 18, 2007 at 23:01 o\clock

goal 2 interview

Interview with Goal 2’s writer Mike Jefferies and cast members includes Kuno Becker and Steve Mcmanaman

What does being an associate producer entail?
Steve McManaman: “I tried to help out really, in the broadest possible sense. My relationship was to help out with the film crew if they needed any help from Real Madrid. But saying that, Real Madrid were very accessible to be very honest. Then down to the dressing room, advice on what people wore, if anybody needed any help.

“Really because I’ve been in that situation before, walking out onto the pitch, what the interaction is like in the dressing room before games, what kind of things people will be shouting, what the manager would be wearing, what clothes. Would the manager have a tracksuit on in Spain, or would he be dressed in a suit? So I just tried to help out as much as possible in that respect really.

Were there no problems you had to quickly resolve?
Steve McManaman: “No, Real Madrid were very good. I wasn’t involved in the first Goal but the football scenes at Newcastle were very limited. But in Goal 2, as you’ll see, we were in the dressing room, we were on the pitch, we were at the training ground. Some teams, especially in England, are very precious about their football pitches and rightly so. But most nights we’d be out there [at the Bernabeu] at 3 or 4 in the morning for hours on the pitch. So as I’ve said, a lot of credit goes to Real Madrid in that respect.

“Liverpool didn’t want to do Goal 1, whereas Newcastle jumped in and seized the opportunity very passionately. At the premiere last night, I just explained to the audience that I was driving down Sunset Boulevard last week and there were two landscape gardeners pushing lawnmowers and wearing Newcastle United shirts. I pulled over and asked them why on earth they were wearing them – and no disrespect to Newcastle – and it was because of the movie. They’d loved Kuno Becker and Santiago’s character.

“So, in that respect I think Newcastle had a vision that this would do a huge amount of incremental marketing support for their brand in emerging markets such as America and Asia, and that was FIFA’s vision as well. Real Madrid are as savvy as they get in marketing terms.

“I went across to meet them, there were three clubs that we were planning to talk to for Goal 2, but literally within half an hour of them hearing what we were doing we shook hands on it, that we could have Real Madrid and all the access that you could possibly want. Aladdin’s Cave opened up in that regard, and we made the deal.

In Goal 3 will David Beckham get to speak?

Mike Jefferies: “David was amazing. He had a small cameo in Goal 1 and in Goal 2 – without giving too much away – he’s featured very extensively. I think the entire crew and cast owe him an enormous debt for bringing such a degree of authenticity. And as Steve says coming back to the stadium in the wee hours in the freezing cold and enthusiastically doing take after take. And allowing us to represent football in such an authentic way because he was so involved. We’re very grateful to him.

Harder this time for Kuno, getting the football right?
Kuno Becker: “It was even more difficult. For me, it’s been very, very difficult because I really didn’t play much football at the beginning, and I don’t play much now either. I did improve but it’s a little bit crazy to actually get to a professional level in months. I did play in school when I was a kid.

“And I did train a great deal for the film, for a couple of months before I started the first one. I had many injuries, which was pretty tough. And for the second one I trained again with Andy Ansah and we were lucky to have him because without him, I honestly wouldn’t have made it. It was as tough as the first one, that was the toughest part for me, the physical part.

How many takes did it take to do the overhead kick?
Kuno Becker: “Oh, that was just one take. I think that was the rehearsal. I did a little bit more of the football in the second one than in the first one but, man, it was hard for me. Really hard. I tried to do as much as I could but it was tough. The physical part was tough for me, about this project, just becoming this character physically has been the challenge for me.

Being nude in the hotel lobby – challenging?
Kuno Becker: “No, that was just funny, a funny moment that we had with Rutger who did a fantastic job in the film. He has this amazing presence. It’s one of the funny moments that we have in this second film.

Steve, will your acting career continue?
Steve McManaman: “No, definitely not. I enjoyed it but that’s as far as it goes. I’ll leave it to the experts. For me, in between takes and lighting changes, there was a lot of hanging around for me to be honest. Footballers lives are very dynamic, you’re out there for 90 minutes and it’s concentration for about two hours, you do your job and then leave. Whereas the actors, you know, certain nights we were there for 12 hours... I’ve never worked for 12 hours on the run in my life. I certainly don’t want to start doing it now.

Mike Jefferies: “I think he’s being a bit modest. Jaume would tell you if he was here today that he’s never shot anybody that sits down as well as Steve. Standing up is pretty good, but sitting down is fantastic.

How difficult is it making a film with a lot of non-actors?
Mike Jefferies: “We played to their strengths where we could. Most of the representation of the footballers is on the training pitch or on the football pitch playing football. Quite often in that situation, particularly on the training ground scenes, we just let the cameras roll. We gave nobody gave anyone any brief.

“We just asked Kuno and Alessandro to get in there and just become part of the team. And because the players loved Kuno and Alessandro so much they were just very happy to embrace them very warmly and include them. Some of the footage we have of Kuno in the locker room kicking the ball around with Zidane and Roberto Carlos and David is just mind blowingly incredible to me on a production value level, inasmuch as we managed to pull it off.

“But there’s a few scenes where Salgado’s on the phone and Guti and Helguera are in the bath with Casillas. Then we have Gravesen in the lift, but again I guess the main trick when they’re doing lines is to do them in a responsive, driven fashion so they’re waiting for a cue which is basically a question. They were all tremendous.

Your friendship with a lot of Real Madrid players presumably helped facilitate things?
Steve McManaman: “Working with the players was great. I went back to Madrid, saw them for a couple of months. When David came down, or Casillas came down, I was always looking to see them. We all went to see numerous games while we were over there so I caught up with them after the games and went out with them later on for meals and drinks and stuff. So that was fantastic to do.

Got the taste to produce movies?
Steve McManaman: “I don’t think so. I’m still only a baby in this game and if I wanted to get involved I’d certainly bend Mike’s ear for advice. But at the moment this was just a one off.

Not going to become a movie mogul?
Steve McManaman: “The new Harvey Weinstein? I don’t think so.

Do you ever think you stopped playing too early?
Steve McManaman: “No, because to be honest I stopped of my own accord. I could have carried on and had plenty of offers to carry on but I wanted to stop. I had a recurring injury which was a problem. But I only wanted to play at the highest level really. I got offers from here, there and everywhere and I decided to stop of my own accord.

“I think it’s easier to come to terms with when you stop like that rather than when you’re told to stop. I was never the typical footballer where football was the be all and end all. It wasn’t for me. I’ve got lots of other interests and lots of other business interests I can now get fully involved with.

It seemed like the ink was barely dry on David Beckham’s new contract when a press release came round informing us that Santiago was going to be following in his footsteps... How fluid was that of the situation? And how easy was it to secure that deal?

Mike Jefferies: “We were very lucky. The plan was to have Goal 3 begin – certainly the first act – in the US, set against the backdrop of the MLS, and LA Galaxy was the team that we decided to go with because the landscape upon which the drama of Goal 3 flows is basically moving from Los Angeles to the World Cup in Germany.

“So it was like manna from heaven when we found out that David was going to be joining the LA Galaxy and he was going to be there playing for the LA Galaxy when we’d be filming. I’m trying to not give too much away of the plotline for Goal 3, it was just very fortuitous, great timing and a lots of luck.

Didn’t influence his decision at all?
Mike Jefferies: “No, not at all. I think his reasons for going there are on record, and the main thing is to make a difference in Los Angeles and in America. To really help promote the game and to inspire kids continue playing soccer – as they call it – as they get into college, and not migrate to the other sports that are more traditionally popular.

You presumably got a lot of tips from the players while you were filming. Did any of them ask you for any tips on acting?
Kuno Becker: “Well, first of all I’m not an acting coach and I wouldn’t be the right person to say anything about that. I would just say enjoy the ride and be relaxed. But they seemed to be pretty used to the cameras, which was great. I think what’s wonderful about having them in the film, the first, the second and hopefully the third, is that it gives the audience this sense of realism that has never been done before.

You were a musician before becoming an actor and that you don’t have a sporting background but aren’t you playing a boxer next?
Kuno Becker: Yeah. Why can’t I play an attorney or an accountant or a producer. Or a rock star? I just finished a movie in Texas about a Latino boxer. It’s a lot of sport.

Was boxing any easier than playing football?
Kuno Becker: “You know what, it was a little bit because I did a little bit of kick boxing too. Soccer was just hard for me because of the injuries that I had in the beginning, when I broke my ankles. I couldn’t walk for about a month and a half, so that was the toughest part. But at the end of the day, the challenge of becoming something else is what interests me. It’s what I want to do.

Was there anything you saw being filmed that took you right back to your debut, or first steps in the Bernabeu?
Steve McManaman: “I think so. When you join a club like Real Madrid, and you’re stuck in a hotel room at first, so of course. The whole plot of the highs and the lows of football and the path you can go, the path you can’t go and the temptations you have... as much as it’s condensed in a feature film, that certainly goes round for a football player.

“There’s times when you’re injured and it’s depressing; there’s times when you’re coming back and you’re on the bench and you have stiff competition with teammates, but you also have to be friends with these people even though you’re rivals at certain times. It brings it all right back, without a doubt.

But you learned Spanish very quickly unlike Gavin [Alessandro Nivola] in the film?
Steve McManaman: “I think it’s well documented that sometimes the language is an excuse for an English player not to succeed. But I think it’s important, like foreign players do when they come and play in England, they get right into it. You see foreign players interviewed on the television and their English is nigh on perfect.

“So I think it’s up to the English players when they do go abroad to really buckle down, learn the language and try and integrate themselves as do, it’s important then to try and speak to the local press. It’s alright after six months to say that you can’t learn the language but after six years you can’t have that excuse.

When is the third film going into production? And will there be some more new faces?
Mike Jefferies: “There’s definitely some new faces. One or two that are pretty integral to driving the plot, so I’d best not say too much. We’re just in the process of finishing off the script for Goal 3. In terms of production we’ll be hoping to get shooting around July, August and September, and it’ll be split between Los Angeles and the UK, rather like we shot Goal 1.

“We’ve obviously shot a huge amount of footage already. We were very privileged to get unprecedented access to the World Cup Finals. I think we had nine cameras at 24 games, so we’ve got a huge amount of footage that Michael managed to get for us, thanks again to the FIFA president Joseph Blatter. But there’s a couple of really exciting new characters that emerge in Goal 3 to keep the story fresh and driving forward. But that’s all I’m going to say about it.

What makes you think the scenes in this film are as good, or better, than any other football film?
Steve McManaman: “They are because of the accessibility to Real Madrid and the fact that we’re in the dressing room. I think if you go on the club tour you’re not allowed in the dressing room, but we could do whatever we wanted in there for most nights. On the pitch, the interaction between the players on the pitch is, think, unprecedented.

“And Kuno running out with the team and the fact that him and Alessandro trained with the team, there’s lots of interaction between the players, wishing each other good luck before games and things like that. And the football scenes as well, because a lot of the time with those specific cameos, I think they’ve never had this access before.

“There was some limited access at Newcastle for the first film. And of course, hark back to the great film Escape To Victory and it’s much better than that!

Mike Jefferies: “The thing about this film though, it really is a film worthy of watching on the big screen. The DVD for Goal did terrifically well. But Kuno’s character only really plays for Newcastle United in the last 10 minutes of that film, so the action was fairly limited. And the access was limited too.

“But in Goal 2 he’s involved in the Real Madrid first team from the beginning and consequently because of the access that we got and because of the participation of the Real players, Jaume [Collet-Serra, director] and the DP did the most incredible job in terms of the football action. I think as a sports movie it’ll stand up to any sports film made, from Raging Bull to Ali.

“So rather than waiting to see it on the small screen, on television, actually going along to the movie theatre – I saw it for the 300 th time last night with an audience in Newcastle of about 400 people and they were just mesmerised by feeling that they were part of an experience that takes place on the pitch and in the stands of the Bernabeu.

How do you think Arsenal fans will react to the final scenes?
Mike Jefferies: “Well I think Arsenal were fantastic. Even though what happens happens in the film, they’re represented in a very, very positive way. Very honest, exciting with a commitment to attacking football which is what Arsenal are known for. So we were really delighted and privileged to have them participate in the way they did.

People remember Escape To Victory for all the wrong reasons. Have things like that made it difficult for people to get into the idea of a football movie?
Mike Jefferies: “I think maybe we suffered theatrically on Goal 1 because there was an inherent suspicion that football doesn’t translate to the big screen. So, the theatrical performance of Goal 1 was okay. But we’ve been absolutely blown away by what’s happened in terms of DVDs because it’s sold coming up towards two million.

“Goal is one of only 20 films a year that was released in China and it’s done tremendously well on many, many levels. I think what it’s done through the DVD and television screenings and even airline screenings, it’s built an audience for Goal 2 theatrically that we expect to capitalise on.

You have a good friend that’s a Real Madrid fan, is he fully supportive or deeply envious?
Kuno Becker: “Deeply envious. I have a couple of friends who are really, really passionate football fans and it’s really amazing to know that we’re so privileged to be doing this. That we’re making history doing this movie, somehow, doing something that nobody’s done before.

“Having all these amazing players in the film, shooting the film in real stadiums with real players and having this mix of players and characters for the first time in a film, I really think we’re making history here. Just to feel that energy, walking onto that pitch, with 80,000 people cheering you, makes you understand why they change and makes you understand them.”

Dec 1, 2006 at 04:02 o\clock

kuno becker enciende la fiebre del mundial

Nueva York -- El actor mexicano se había adelantado a la fiebre del Mundial con la primera película de la trilogía "Goal", la cual fue filmada en Inglaterra y Los Ángeles. Y aunque primera de ellas se estrenó en mayo del 2006, Kuno asegura que "lo mejor está por venir"

En la primera parte de la historia se muestra a Kuno interpretando a un inmigrante mexicano que ayuda a su padre en el negocio de la jardinería, mientras que en sus ratos libres practica el fútbol en las calles de Los Ángeles. Todo cambia cuando un ex jugador del club inglés Newcastle descubre su talento con el balón y le ofrece la posibilidad de probar suerte en un equipo profesional. Ante la oportunidad, Santiago Munez (Kuno Becker) decide costear su viaje a Inglaterra con los ahorros de su abuela (Miriam Colón) y lucha hasta llegar a formar parte de las filas del prestigioso club inglés. Así comienza la primera parte de esta serie que ha resultado ser el abrebocas perfecto para la pasión que desde hoy cubre al planeta entero: el fútbol. 

¿Cómo lograste quedarte con este papel futbolista que se extiende a tres películas?

Tuve que demostrarle al director que podía hacer un buen personaje y tuve que hacer que creyera en mí.

¿Cómo fue el entrenamiento al cual te sometiste?

Me entrené en el club con los jugadores y las reservas del New Castle, en un estadio de verdad. Fue un entrenamiento bien duro lo hice por cuatro meses, en el gimnasio, en la cancha, con un maestro de fútbol, Andy Asnah, ex jugador del Cristal Palace. Que se portaron muy bien conmigo y fueron muy abiertos.

¿Hubo consecuencias luego de la filmación?

El trabajo actoral es algo que disfruto, no es una cosa difícil, lo difícil es lo físico porque demanda mucho entrenamiento y es muy duro, además mi cuerpo no estaba acostumbrado. Este papel fue difícil porque no soy futbolista y sufrí muchísimo. Me rompí los talones y la nariz. En los talones tuve una factura de estrés porque entrené con los tacos equivocados y la nariz me la rompieron en una de las escenas.

¿Cómo fue tu recuperación?

En el hospital, me recuperé como en mes y medio, me dieron pastillas para el dolor y mucho hielo, porque no podía caminar. La lesión me ocurrió en ambos pies.

¿Todavía sientes molestias físicas?

Sí cuando me pongo unos tacos siento un poco de molestia. Ahora estoy bien, la verdad es un precio que tuve que pagar por hacer ese papel y valió la pena cuando veo que a la gente le gusta tanto.

¿Cómo te cuidas ahora?

No practico deportes, hago cosas que demanden menos esfuerzo físico. Me encantaría empezar a hacer meditación, es algo que he querido hacer desde hace un par de años. Por ahora mucha de mi meditación es mi trabajo es lo que más me ayuda.

¿Qué sentiste estar al lado las grandes glorias de ese deporte?

Fue un honor tenerlos en la película. No te imaginas lo fantástico que fue ver a David Beckham, Raúl González, Alan Shearer, Göran... que son iconos del fútbol. Pero lo mejor está por venir en las próximas dos cintas con la participación de ellos y otros tan famosos como ellos.

¿Compartiste con ellos fuera del set?

Estuve en el 98 por ciento de las escenas y no tuve tiempo de compartir con ellos por fuera. Los conocí, son muy buena onda y a poco no sabía que pensar porque no sabía que esperar de gente que llega a ser tan famosa, pero me gustó ver que era gente sencilla y abierta. El rodaje era muy pesado para mí, era diario. Además entrenábamos mucho de noche porque los partidos eran a esa hora y no había mucho tiempo para convivir demasiado. Tuve a lo mejor un par de días libres pero los aproveché para dormir.

¿Ahora que comenzó el mundial, cuáles son tus equipos favoritos?

Siempre he sido súper fan del fútbol aunque no lo juegue. Mis dos equipos favoritos son Estados Unidos porque aquí vivo y México porque de ahí soy yo.

¿Qué planes siguen después de jugar tanto al fútbol?

Me encantaría dirigir pero cuando tenga más experiencia, primero quiero seguir actuando y disfrutar de mi trabajo. Me ha tocado conocer gente muy talentosa y me gustaría juntar esos talentos y hacer un proyecto interesante.

¿Qué te gritan los fans por la calle?

Me comentan que les da orgullo que esté haciendo estas películas y me da mucho gusto, me siento orgulloso, porque además los admiro mucho y los entiendo.

¿Te pondrías un uniforme de fútbol para andar por la calle?

No juego fútbol. Por fuera del set me verás andando en jeans. Y si tengo que ponerme una playera, me pondría la de México.

Dec 1, 2006 at 03:54 o\clock

interview: kuno becker

At 27, Mexican actor Kuno Becker is about to become a household name with his starring role in "Goal!" We sat down with Kuno to discuss the soccer flick that has already inspired two sequels.

Q: You studied the violin until you were 16. What inspired you to become an actor?

A: I played violin for too many years when I was a kid and when I was 16 I wanted to get into acting. I went into drama school and started working in TV, then I started working in films. It's more interesting for me as an actor because I get the chance to play different roles in different stories.

Q: What actors do you look up to?

A: First of all I look up to my family, like my grandfather for example. I really admire him and everything he did. As far as actors, I like Jack Nicholson and a couple of Mexican actors. But I would love to be the best I can be instead of trying to be like someone else.

Q: What were the challenges of playing a character like Santiago?

A: It was very hard because I don't play soccer at all, and I really had to train many hours a day for many months. It was pretty tough because I had to do these football auditions over and over, and when I got the part it was physically exhausting. In order to play football you have to be in great shape.

Q: How are you coping with fame?

A: I don't like that part of the job. I was working quite a lot in Mexico City and there's a huge TV industry there, and I had a little bit of a taste of fame there and it's not good. I love to work and be on the set playing a nice character in a good story.

Q: What happens to Santiago in "Goal 2"?

A: He gets a little bit crazy. He gets all the money and fame and everything that comes with being a soccer star, so it's interesting to see what happens with him. Like many soccer players he comes from a simple background and achieves great fame and most of the time they don't know how to deal with it.

Q: Is it true that "Goal 3" will be set at the World Cup?

A: Yes. We're supposed to shoot it in Germany. We're going from promoting "Goal!", finishing "Goal 2" to starting "Goal 3".

Q: This is a question for all the women out there who will be reading this interview: Are you single?

A: I did work for seven years in Mexico on TV and the press is pretty tough there, so I did learn that I don't want to talk too much about that. But thank you so much for asking.

May 30, 2006 at 03:08 o\clock

Q&A with ‘goal! the dream begins’ star kuno becker

It’s easy to see why Kuno Becker is an international star in the Hispanic television market. His smoldering good looks and smooth style give him that certain star quality. Now, he’s breaking into the U.S. market with his new film, Goal! The Dream Begins, the first of a trilogy of films about soccer. Becker plays Santiago, a Mexican-American soccer player who gets his big break playing for England’s Newcastle United team. Becker chats with us about making the film and the rigorous training he had to endure in order to perfect all those cool soccer moves.

Hollywood.com: How did they find you for this movie? Was it a competitive audition process?
Kuno Becker: Man, it was the most difficult thing in the world. Not only competitive, but also soccer-wise was really, really hard. I didn’t play a lot of soccer when I was a kid. I did play when I was in school but nothing professional. So I had to do a couple of auditions, like normal auditions, and then when I got the role, or at least half of the role, they said, “Okay, now can you play soccer?” And I was like, “Yeah, yeah, whatever. I can play soccer.” Then I had to do this audition for two weeks in England with the real time, with the Newcastle United, the team of the film. I had to train with them for a couple weeks to do another audition, a soccer audition. I broke my ankles because I was training so hard, so many hours a day that I had stress fracture, so I couldn’t even walk, forget about playing soccer. So it was really, really, really hard.

HW: You broke them before the movie started?
KB: Before the movie, just for the audition. And I almost didn’t get the role because of that because the day of the audition, I couldn’t even walk, forget about playing soccer or anything else. I did learn a couple of things, like a couple tricks and stuff to keep the ball with me, and that’s where the director said, “Okay, you know what? You did improve” so I got the role, but it was really, really hard.

HW: Did you have time to heal before the movie started?
KB: I did have time to heal because that was like a month and a half before we started shooting, so the time we started shooting, I had started training but I was recovering myself. It was very, very hard. Then the actual training for the film, I did it, again, with a team and on the field and I had a football coach and I had a football teacher. And I had to learn everything from, “This is how you go to try to score a goal.” It was really, really bad. Physically, it was the toughest thing I’ve ever done.

HW: Did you have to repeat the same action in take after take? Did you become an expert at hitting the mark?
KB: It was very difficult, as you said, because it’s a whole different thing to actually play a match than to shoot a match for film. All the scenes, for example that trial you see in the first film under the rain and with mud and everything, we shot that sequence for about a week. And it was really, really hard. It was super cold. It was minus I don't know what and I couldn’t feel my legs anymore. Somebody broke my nose and it was cuts and cuts and it was constantly playing football, playing soccer for 10-12 hours. Stopping and not stopping, but it was really hard. So it’s actually harder than just playing a match.

HW: Can you tell when it’s your double in the film?
KB: [Laughs] Yeah, a couple times just because I did train. I did everything in my power to be able to do as much as I could but there were certain things that even if you want to do it, you can’t do it. There are certain things that just these guys have been training for 25 years and they are 27, so it’s really, really hard to train for a couple months, four months and achieve that level. It’s just impossible. So there were certain things that I really couldn’t do because even a lot of soccer players they can’t do those things. Like the tricks for example. But I did train a lot so I did as much as I could. I do things that I didn’t really know that I was going to be able to do, so that was a good thing. And the most important thing is that the audience really believes it and that the audience is not taken away by those scenes. It doesn’t take you away from the story when you see those scenes. That was my main concern. I really wanted to achieve a good level so the audience could really follow the story and just really believe that Santiago was a talented player.

HW: Was it a culture shock going to England?
KB: I was kind of not used to it but it was the situation that I did experience when I was a kid. I started to play the violin when I was six years old. And I did study classical music for about 10 years. And I was living in Austria in Salsburg when I was nine years old the first time. And I was a couple months a year in Austria studying the violin. So being a Mexican kid at that time in Europe just by myself, it was kind of like that. So I knew the feeling a little bit. So that wasn’t really, really a problem. But the training, that was the toughest part.

HW: Did you encounter any soccer hooligans?
KB: [Laughs] No, actually the Geordies were great with us. At the beginning, they were like, “Oh, man, this is not gonna happen. I mean, a guy that comes here and trains for four months is never going to be able to play football” as they call it instead of soccer. And I just trained hard and by the time we finished the film, the English fans were actually making up songs for my character, for Santiago. They were yelling, “Santiago is a Geordy” So it was really, really great. The people of the team, they were open to us. They were very warm with us. They were very helpful and supportive.

HW: Did you know Goal! was the first of a trilogy?
KB: Yeah, they told me from the beginning it was going to be a trilogy and I knew that so the challenge was to make my character evolve and change throughout the story instead of just playing the same guy three times. I think that’s very dangerous. It wouldn’t be interesting for the audience too. The most important thing also is that this is a story and you have to remember that it’s about emotions, feelings, relationships and people have to relate to it. If it was just a bunch of guys playing soccer, it wasn’t going to be interesting. What I think is interesting about this one is that this is a story of what happens inside of the soccer world instead of just a bunch of guys playing soccer. And in the second one, I wanted to see him change. I wanted to see him evolve. I wanted to see him become a little bit crazy because that’s what happens with rock stars, soccer players, American football players. In any sport, it doesn’t matter. When a guy that comes from a very simple background gets all this money and fame and everything, so I wanted to really see him change. So the challenge is still there for the third one and I want to try to think about a couple more things to do with that.

HW: How big a commitment is that? Are you tied up for the next two years?
KB: It’s very big and it’s very challenging as you said. I don't know about the third one. I know that it’s going to happen. The plan is to shoot the film during the World Cup in Germany and then the rest of the film, not all the film, but maybe 30 percent of the film during the World Cup. Then when the World Cup finishes in Germany, we’re supposed to be shooting the rest of the film there in the stadiums, with the real players, not with a real audience anymore but with a real everything. That’s the way we shot the first one and the second one. We shot it at the stadiums with the real players. It was just awesome and that’s going to give the sense of realism that we want to achieve.

HW: Will the soccer be easier for you?
KB: In the second one it was actually not easier but it was great that I did improve a lot because I kept training and I had a wonderful coach. Andy Ansah, he’s an English player and in the second one, I did a lot of things that I never in my life thought I was going to be able to do but it was just because of him. I had a great, great, great, great soccer coach. And in the third one, hopefully I’m gonna be able to do a couple more things.

HW: Can you ever go back to Spanish television?
KB: No, [laughs]. I don't know. That’s a good question but it was so hard to get here. I’ve been working so hard. Centimeter by centimeter. I did work a lot in TV in Mexico and when I decided that I wanted to play better characters and be part of better stories, I realized that the only way to do that was in films in hollywood. And it was hard to start in films in Mexico City because films were very different from TV and people go kind of like here, people go, “Oh, no, you’re like a TV actor.” So you have to prove yourself again and prove them wrong. So I did that and it was hard, and then I did a couple independent films here in the states. This is the first film that I do that a lot of people are going to watch and has great support from a big studio like Disney and FIFA. People are actually liking it so right now it’s been so hard to get here that I don't know if I want to do that again because that would be kind of like not going back, but in a way yes because the characters are kind of the same. You play the same over and over and I really want the challenge to do something a little bit more complex.

HW: When was the first time you went far away from home for work?
KB: Man, the first time was when I was nine years old. I started studying violin when I was six years old and by the time I was nine, I had to go for the first time to Salsburg in Austria, this drama music school. And I stayed there for about three months and I used to go there once a year, take courses and study the violin. And it was so hard because I was a kid in Europe and I was alone and it was really, really hard but that was the only way to make it. If you want to be a professional violinist, it’s the only way to make it. It’s like ballet or any other super hard thing to do. If you don’t start when you’re a kid, you just don’t make it.

HW: Ever have any bad jobs, like a busboy?
KB: I didn’t do that but when I was a kid, I did play on the streets in Salsburg. I didn’t need the money so much but I had a couple of friends that were a lot older than me, 20-something years old, and they were also studying there in Salsburg, the course, the violin/classical music course. And they didn’t have a lot of money for a couple of things, so they convinced me to go and play in the streets a couple of times. Money, you wouldn’t believe it. It was funny. I had a French friend and a Korean friend and me, a little Mexican kid. So we were kind of playing Bach, a concert for two violins and piano, we made it for three. And we were playing on the streets a couple of times and we made so much money. It was so much fun. That’s the closest I can get.

May 30, 2006 at 02:19 o\clock

"goal!", el sueño de santi "kuno becker"

Un mexicano en Inglaterra

Goal! The Dream Begins (¡Gol! El sueño comienza) es el título completo de esta película, la primera de una trilogía en torno a un futbolista mexicano de Los Angeles que triunfa en Europa. Kuno Becker es Santiago Munez, un joven que tiene que vencer la negativa de su padre, un tremendo cambio cultural y la envidia de otros para hacerse de un nombre en el fútbol inglés. Se estrena el 12 de mayo.

Todo sueño tiene un inicio

Goal! The Dream Begins es uno de esos casos en que una película se estrenó en todas partes primero, desde septiembre del 2005, con mucho éxito. Kuno Becker conversó con Univision.com semanas antes del estreno de en Estados Unidos, sobre la película, sus secuelas, la inmigración y las telenovelas.

¿Esta podría ser tu gran entrada a Hollywood? "No sé, espero. Tampoco creas que es lo único que tengo en mente. Yo quiero encontrar buenos personajes, buenas historias. Lo que me gusta de ésta es que conmueve a la gente. Honestamente, cuando la terminamos pensé que iba a ser una película original, porque es de fútbol, entretenida, pero cuando vi a la gente emocionarse tanto, me encantó".

Un mexicano en Inglaterra, suena raro, ¿no? "Sí, un latino en Newcastle".

Claro, vas a jugar a un equipo local. "Exacto. Es un latino del este de Los Angeles, cruza la frontera cuando es muy joven, 8 ó 9 años de edad. Crece en L.A., hace su vida ahí y tiene como sueño jugar fútbol, ir un día a la Copa Mundial y hace todo para tratar de lograrlo. Pelea contra todas las circunstancias, hasta su mismo padre. A veces hasta uno mismo es el obstáculo entre tus sueños y tú".

En la película, Santiago logra su sueño. ¿Cuál es el sueño de Kuno? "Mi sueño creo que es llegar a ser el mejor actor que pueda, llegar a poder contar mejores historias, como ésta, por ejemplo. Y cien por ciento hacer que la gente sienta cosas, porque yo veo muchas películas que de repente son entretenidas o nada más acción o comedia romántica chistosa. A mí me encanta ver cuando se conmueven, lloran, se emocionan".

Se vienen otras dos películas con el mismo personaje. "Sí, es un reto, porque uno trata de cambiar, porque para mí la idea de hacer un personaje en una película diferente es dar al público otra cosa. Para mí el reto era que el personaje cambiara en las tres. La segunda es cuando él se vuelve famoso, rico, empieza a lidiar con la fama, con los coches, con las mansiones, un poquito a volar... La primera es tratar de alcanzar el sueño, luchar contra todo. Es una película muy inspiracional, muy sentimental, no es nada pretenciosa, no es una película de denuncia política ni social"

Sin embargo, se toca la parte del inmigrante ilegal en Estados Unidos y en esta época de protestas. ¿Cómo estás tomando ese aspecto? "Te puedo decir que vengo de una familia de inmigrantes, primero que nada. Mi abuelo Kuno era inmigrante, él fue de Alemania -cuando no se podía vivir ahí- a México. Mi abuelo español también, después de la Guerra Civil terminó en México. Viviendo de una familia de inmigrantes, los entiendo más que nadie..."

¿Por qué te fuiste de tu país? "Porque quería mejores personajes. No puedo ser siempre el mismo, porque me aburro, la actuación se vuelve poco divertida".

¿Has descartado completamente las telenovelas? "No, no sé qué va a pasar en el futuro. Ahorita me topo con mejores personajes en el cine".

¿Tienes propuestas? "Sí, gracias a Dios... pero ni siquiera he tenido el tiempo para hacerlo. Me encanta la tele, la respeto mucho, pero estoy muy contento haciendo cine, porque en televisión era difícil que me tocara hacer un personaje así, o como el que hice en una película que termine en Asia, que espero que un día se vea".

¿Cómo sentiste el cambio de estrella de televisión a empezar desde cero en cine? "Es un golpe durísimo a todo, a tu ego, es un bajón a la realidad... De llevar una carrera encarrilada y cómoda, de seguir trabajando, de escoger cosas, a empezar de cero, otra vez a tocar puertas, a que nadie te conozca, a hacer una audición, que te digan 'gánate el papel', como en ésta. Tuve que hacer una audición y una audición de fútbol. No jugaba fútbol, me rompí los talones tratando, entrené como loco para hacer la película, me ha costado centímetro por centímetro y vale la pena cuando a la gente le gusta".

Hablando de fútbol, ¿vas a ir al Mundial? "Pues claro, porque en la segunda película juego para el Real Madrid. Para la tercera juego en el Mundial".

¿O sea que van a filmar ahí también? "Vamos a filmar durante el Mundial y la primera también está rodada en los estadios de verdad, con los futbolistas de verdad. Es impresionante lo que lograron los productores con el apoyo de la FIFA. Tenemos un acceso que nunca se había visto en la historia, también por eso creo que vale mucho la pena ver esta película, porque aparte de ser una historia muy bonita, tiene cosas que nunca se han visto, muy realistas".

Si eliminan a México durante el curso del mundial, ¿por quién vas? "Ojalá hubieran hablado a mi personaje, Santi Munez, para jugar por México o un país latino. Si lo eliminan... es que Brasil me encanta, tiene un equipazo, pero es también muy fácil decir eso. Me gusta mucho también como juega Inglaterra, pero obviamente me gustaría que ganara un equipo latino. Me cae muy bien el equipo de Estados Unidos, por cómo ha mejorado".

Entre estos jugadores famosos que aparecen -muy poquito- en la película, por lo menos en esta primera, ¿has hecho buenos amigos? "En la segunda están en toda la película. Fíjate que tuve la oportunidad de conocer a David Beckham, a Ronaldo, a Raul, a Zidane, y son gente bien sencilla, a pesar de lo que se pueda pensar. Es un honor tenerlos en la película, porque hacen la historia mucho más fuerte y además a la audiencia le va a encantar verlos. Pero también estuve trabajando en el 98 por ciento de las escenas y no tuve tanto tiempo para irme de fiesta por ahí".

Esta vida agitada de la estrella de cine ¿te deja lugar a una vida personal, a tener una compañera? "Es muy difícil, porque me la paso viajando, ni siquiera tengo un lugar fijo en donde vivir. Acabo de regresar de Madrid, de estar cuatro meses allá rodando la secuela de esta película. Esta la rodamos en Londres, en Newcastle y en Los Angeles. Es muy difícil y odio los aviones además. Estar volando tanto es muy incómodo, pero son todas las cosas que hago y las trato de hacer lo mejor posible, porque como decimos en México, me raya, me encanta estar en un set y es lo que me gusta".

May 30, 2006 at 00:06 o\clock

me ha costado sangre llegar a este lugar

Danny Cannon aprovechó el vacío que dejó Diego Luna cuando decidió invitarlo abandonar el proyecto y mostrarle la tarjeta roja, tras la partida de Michael Winterbottom. Cientos de actores audicionaron para Gol!, Luna no siendo el unico que anhelaba ser Santi Munez (aunque se quedo vestido y alborotado), el protagonico llego a manos de Kuno Becker, quien se convirtió en el nuevo protagonista de Goal!, una ambiciosa trilogía que narra las andanzas de un chico mexicano que se convierte en estrella del futbol inglés.

Dirigida por otro británico, Danny Cannon (Judge Dredd), en estos días llega a las pantallas la primera parte, Goal: The Dream Begins, donde Santiago Munez (Becker), residente ilegal de Los Ángeles, es convencido por un representante del Newcastle United para que pruebe su suerte con uno de los equipos más importantes de la liga británica.

¿Eres un fanático del futbol?

No. Una de las razones por las que quise hacer este proyecto es precisamente porque no soy fanático del futbol. Entonces se me hizo más interesante el reto de tener que entrenar y en la pelicula convertirme en algo que no soy. Obviamente, como actor, lo que quieres es mejorar, tratar de cambiar y en el filme hacerle creer a la gente algo que no eres.

¿Cómo fue la preparación para la película?

Físicamente fue durísima, me rompí dos tendones, la nariz, tuve toda clase de lesiones musculares. Entrené muchísimo para probarle a los productores que podía jugar futbol. Fue muy duro. Estuve entrenando con el Newcastle United en Inglaterra durante meses, con ellos en el gimnasio, en la cancha, con las reservas, comiendo lo que ellos comen, etcétera. Es un trabajo bien duro, complicado y minucioso. Pero realmente quería que las escenas de futbol tuvieran un muy buen nivel.

¿Juegas tan bien como se ve en la cinta?

Los trucos, honestamente no me salen. Lo que sí me salen son los tiros libres. Sí se patear la bola muchísimo mejor que antes, sé correr con la pelota y jugar un poco mejor. Obviamente mi nivel subió muchísimo porque estuve entrenando fuerte, fue muy duro.

¿Tuviste alguna duda antes de firmar por tres películas?

No estoy firmado por tres películas. Hice la primera, la segunda la acabo de terminar y de la tercera ni siquiera he leído el guión. Me encantaría hacerla pero no hemos llegado a ese punto. La idea sí es hacer las tres ahorita.

Filmaste la segunda parte en Madrid, jugando con el Real Madrid.

Sí. Fue muy grato ver que David Beckham es un chavo supersencillo y buena onda. Zidane también, aunque un poquito más serio pero muy buena onda, Raúl también, superhumilde, y Ronaldo muy juguetón.

¿Te hacían bromas?

Sí, estábamos haciendo escenas donde me pasaban la bola y tenía que cabecearla, pegarle, y obviamente yo no soy tan bueno como ellos, más bien, ni cerca, y me decían 'no le pegues tan duro', 'ésa es una portería' (risas). De todos modos me tenía que andar con cuidado, estás hablando de que son jugadores de tantos millones de euros que no se pueden dar el lujo de decir es que estaban haciendo una película y este buey se tropezó y se rompió un talón o un tobillo, es muy delicado.

¿Cuánto hace que te mudaste a Los Ángeles?

Llevo poquito más de tres años que en teoría debería vivir aquí, pero no vivo aquí porque he estado trabajando, me la he pasado en España con la secuela, antes en Londres, en Kazajistán durante cinco meses. En realidad no he estado aquí. Yo creo que debo haber estado en total unos seis, ocho meses, máximo.

¿Por qué te fuiste de México?

Estaba haciendo televisión y fue cuando dije 'ok, ya hice un protagónico en una telenovela' y dices qué padre, te va muy bien y todo está increíble.

Pero estás un poco aburrido, como actor quieres hacer mejores personajes, buscas mejores historias, y ¿dónde están? Están en el teatro o en el cine.

Fue durísimo, porque llevas una carrerita encarrilada, de siete, ocho años, y dices porqué voy a empezar desde cero. Porque quiero ser mejor, hacer cine y buenos personajes. Es durísimo empezar desde cero, tener que luchar con gente que no cree en ti, como los productores de Goal, que creyeron en mí hasta el final. Pero tuve que probárselos porque decían "bueno, ya sabemos que puedes actuar, pero ¿juegas futbol?". Y te dicen: "entrenas dos semanas y si después de esas dos semanas logras mejorar te damos el papel".

Me entreno dos semanas, me rompo los talones, y el día de la audición, de tanto entrenamiento no puedo ni caminar, no logro hacerlo. El director, Danny Cannon, muy desilusionado, me da las gracias y me dice agarra el avión de regreso a tu casa. Saliendo de la cancha dijo "espérame, me rompí la madre, como decimos en México, pero aprendí cosas". Entonces regresé y le dije al productor, que por favor hablara con el director y le dijera que venga y me trate de quitar a mí el balón, por lo menos para que vea lo que aprendí. Vino, lo trató de hacer, y no pudo. Entonces quedó muy contento y me quedé con el papel. Me ha costado sangre llegar a este lugar, ha sido muy duro.