Luis Rielo: the villain of Cuban TV

 Diana Rosa Riesco
Photos: Angelo Salas y cortesía del entrevistado
On the occasion of the celebration of a new edition of the Acts in June, Arte por Excelencias is pleased to interview one of the famous figures of the agency Actuar: Luis Rielo Morejón, Prize for the work of life 2010, popular actor of Cuban radio, television and cinema, who has interpreted the greatest villains of all times with singular skill and mastery.

"I never thought to reach 85, much less fulfill 65 years of artistic life. At 20 I went up for the first time to the stage of the Teatro Nuestro Tiempo to interpret the work The postman of the king, which meant the realization of a great dream. The next year I went up the stairs of CMQ TV for the first time and I have not downloaded them yet, because I'm still acting ».

From -account- of a humble family from a small town lost in the Ciénaga de Zapata, where there were only mosquitoes and crabs, being an actor was his dream, when from the age of eight he falls in love at first sight with that thing that everyone called cinema and that he did not understand, but he needed to imitate with all his strength until becoming an obsession and a reason for life when moving to the capital in search of a better future.

«It took me a lot of work to make my way in the performance. I started making extras on television, but since I've always been very disciplined and respectful, I took the best of the great actors and followed their example. I remember that the great Enrique Santisteban, my sponsor in the performance, gave me several body posture advice that gave me security and firmness when acting; this was fundamental in the interpretation of the negative characters.

»My first negative character was called Marcus, I played him in the Carlos Valiente program, a series that was broadcast by CMQ TV in 1956. It seems that the public liked it, because it became very popular. Then I began to fall proposals that pigeonholed me in this type of character for more than thirty years, as the forewoman of Doña Bárbara, the Venezuelan writer Rómulo Gallegos, or the abusive mayoral Matías, in the novel Sol de batey, by Dora Alonso, among many others. I think the success was that I never used clichés to interpret them, they always came out naturally, and even later it was difficult for me to break this stigma and re-enact the nobility of the good guys. "

Actually he liked to play bad, because, he confesses, the negative characters have more nuances, and as most interpreted them in the Aventuras space, he could ride horses and perform physical activities such as swimming, fishing ..., which he enjoyed. He came to work in more than thirty of them, including The Vikings, The Mambises, The Black Hawk, Against the Invader, The Commands of Silence, The Secret of the Sun King, The Elder, The Jaguar, In the Rear of the enemy, The little fugitives, Memories of a grandfather ...

In the celluloid he starred in films that are classics of Cuban cinema, such as El brigadista and Guardafronteras. In radio, he directed the series Nguyen Soung, dedicated to the struggle of the Vietnamese people against the Yankee aggression, which was passed for almost two years by Radio Liberación. In 1963 he starred in the Aventuras space the second series of El Zorro, where he played one of the Malpica brothers.

"It's funny, El Zorro marks two moments in my life: first when I wake up the interest to be an actor, and years later it gives me popularity.

To be an actor, I not only underwent an operation of the frenulum, but I became a great reader, I read day and night, and although I did not graduate in an academy or have a preference with a specific acting technique, I did not I need neither time nor concentration to act: I simply study the character, visualize it, and when I start to speak I transform myself with great naturalness. How do I do it ?, I do not know how to explain it, it is simply an aptitude, a gift, a miracle that I can not transmit.

»Although I have received a lot of applause during my artistic career, the emotion of the first time is always sublime. I fought against wind and tide to be an actor; Being a child, I worked as a salesman in several places until I was able to pay for my studies with a French teacher, who at first discouraged me, but then, seeing my will, he assured me that he would be an actor. That was the happiest day of my life ».

Meritorious artist of the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television, Caricatos Award for Acting 2012, Luis Rielo Morejón has received the Raúl Gómez García Medal and many other decorations in the army for his participation in the fight against bandits during the first years of the Revolution.

«I feel extremely happy for what I have achieved as an actor, as a father, grandfather and as a human being, I continue to look for the best character to interpret today, the one that never comes, and I always want to give more and better, that's why I will continue dreaming until the end".