Rafael Cebrián

It’s important to keep your eyes and heart open to the world as it is filled with so many beautiful cultures, individuals, languages, and much more. We often hear bilingual songs but imagine when a TV series does so? Well, no need to wonder anymore as ACAPULCO, on Apple TV+, provides just that! Starring in the series is the handsome Rafael Cebrián who is excited to be part of such a fun project, releasing just in time for Hispanic Heritage Month! The show is more than a project for Rafael…it is an opportunity to promote change both in the industry and in the world. There is a lack of humanity at times and it is important to remember to not let that continue! Rafael Cebrián brings talent, beauty, and kindness to the table and we can’t wait to see what comes next!

Love that the series is bilingual! What about this drew you to audition? 

There’s something very attractive about working in a bilingual environment. You’re constantly exposed to multiple cultures- in our case, the Mexican and American culture- making up for a very enriching and unique creative space. I will say, this wasn’t my first bilingual project. Even though I’ve been living here in the U.S for the past fourteen years, I was born and raised in Madrid, so I am fluent in both English and Spanish. I am used to juggling from one language to another at work, and really at the end of the day, we all speak the same language on set. That language is storytelling.

But to be honest, the fact that it’s a comedy series had a bigger weight on me when deciding to audition for ACAPULCO.

When you booked the role, what were you most looking forward to?

People look at my track record and tend to automatically box me in as a “dramatic actor”- but comedy is my jam! I started out doing comedy in college and I’ve been dying to do be part of a project like ACAPULCO since I can remember. Getting to play a bigger than life character in a fast pace, high concept, yet grounded comedy series was on my bucket list for a long time. Guess I can cross that one out now.

On set, what was one of your favorite scenes to shoot and why?

Oooh- It’s hard for me to pick a specific scene. They’re all so different, so specific and so fun. I really enjoyed working with Enrique, Jessica, Camila, and Chord. I’m very excited to see how the audience reacts to the big pool scenes. There’s a lot going on at once. Visually, musically, and emotionally… such a sensory overload.

What did this project mean to you, personally? 

In a way, it meant validation and vindication as a comedic actor. I was able to prove to myself (and everybody else) that comedy is in my wheelhouse. I left Mexico feeling like a better actor and a an even better person after the three months of filming the show. 

Growing up, in what ways were you exposed to diversity in the world? 

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to travel everywhere and was constantly exposed to different cultures. I was also lucky to get an education where I learned to speak 4 languages. So not only was I exposed to different cultures, but I was able to fully immerse myself in them as well. I understand now that I was privileged to be raised and brought up that way. I never gave diversity a second thought. It was always a given in my life.

How has it helped you be more open and understanding of others?

It has made me want to be of service to others. For instance, I work in an industry that is a mirror of our society. What it projects can help people see themselves, and it has a profound level of influence. I can’t just sit and watch predominantly white-straight-male characters represented on screen and not say anything about it. It’s an inaccurate representation of people, stories, and who has value in the world. Thankfully in the past few years people have been speaking up about it, and for the first time it feels like the industry wants to do the right thing. The issue has now become: How? There are good intentioned people making poor choices because they lack the language, cultural context, or education. There are other people, however, that are much better versed in the subject matter and have the language to be brought into the conversation. I’d like to think that I can be one of those people (and there are so many deserving and qualified people out there). My upbringing, education, and cultural background could come into play, as well as my job as an actor/writer. I have the luxury of language around something everyone wants to talk about. I’d love to lend my language, and maybe it can help people see eye to eye a bit more.

What do you believe our world is currently lacking?

Humanity… and sometimes common sense.

Why did you decide to become an actor? Do you believe you found your purpose yet?

I love telling stories, voicing the unvoiced… that’s all I ever wanted to do. And that’s why l like to think of myself as a storyteller more than an actor. To be honest, I don’t know if I know what my purpose is yet. I’m very content living in the unknown as I figure it out. This, right here and now, is the fun part.

Talent Rafael Cebrián @cebrianrafael
Photography Storm Santos @stormshoots
Interview Alexandra Bonnet @alexbonnetwrites

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