A Catalan Kiwi on screen

Peter Vives Each Wednesday evening, El Punt Avui TV airs the series of interviews, Catalan Connections. Marcela Topor talked to the actor, singer and classical pianist Peter Vives.
You are one of the few Catalan actors with English as a mother tongue.
Indeed, my mother is from New Zealand and she has talked to me in English since I was a kid, actually the first words I ever spoke were in English. I would like to practise more though, but here there's not too many people I can talk to in English. But I'm really grateful to my mum for talking to me in English. My accent is more British though, thanks to the many series I've watched, and my mother herself has gradually lost her Kiwi accent.
You've just finished your latest film, Mil cosas que haria por ti.
A Thousand Things I Would Do For You, directed by Dídac Cervera, a young director, about the same age as me. We shot for four weeks entirely in Valencia, except for two days in Barcelona. I started shooting just a week after I started shooting Velvet, so I didn't have so much time to get into the character, but Dídac was a great help in that sense. It was pretty much the first thing I did as a lead role. It was a lot of responsibility but Dídac helped a lot, he was easy to talk to. I found myself very open creatively, free to propose ideas and he listened to me, and this made me feel very confident.
What about the plot?
It's about a guy whose girlfriend leaves him and he thinks it's because he lost a Rolex watch she gave him as a present, so he thinks that by recovering this watch he will get his girl back. And to do so, he finds himself in situations such as escaping from the mafia and the police, he goes through all sorts of things, just to try and get his girl back. It's funny and it's got this Woody Allen touch, it's quite full of surrealistic, absurd situations, quite unlikely in real life.
What was it like working with the cast?
I had a great support from the members of the cast: Iris Lezcano, who was my girlfriend, Boris Ruiz, quite a character, and Peyu –known as mainly a comedian here in Catalonia– who was a great supporting character for my part. I'm very happy to have done this project; it's been great fun.
When is the film going to be released?
In 2017, and we hope to show it at the Malaga festival.
What was the main challenge of playing Dani?
The main one is that it's a comedy, as I'm not used to doing comedies. I was very happy that he is not a winner, he is more like of a loser, and I've been more used to playing parts of “gentlemen”, galants. But I' don't feel like a gentleman, and just because I'm taller than most people here, and blond, and as people think I'm British, which I'm not, they tend to put me in a certain group.
In most roles you play the guiri...
It's inevitable with my looks, I know I'm not going to play the Spaniard.
Any anecdotes from the shooting?
Once we had to enter a jewellery shop being chased by policemen, so I went in really fast and bumped this glass, broke the whole piece, and filled the whole place with broken glass, and it delayed us maybe two hours. But nobody got hurt. What wasn't funny was the heat in August in Valencia. When you shoot, you can't have air conditioning on, because you need absolute silence, and it was so hot and with 50 people in that room, and when you're sweating in a scene, sometimes it's okay, but in others it's just hard to shoot. That scene, shooting in Valencia in August without air conditioning.
Do you have a lot of time to prepare for your characters?
In all the projects I've been in, films and TV series, we didn't really have a lot of time to shoot, as budgets are tight and each take costs a lot of money, so that's why I would love to experience shooting in a Hollywood movie, where you can really take your time and try different things as a an actor.
Tell me the character you've enjoyed playing most.
I've never done a character as rich as Nil from La Riera, in terms of everything that's going on inside him and the depth of how you get to know him. He's been around for four or five years and the amount of things that happened to him is amazing. But I've enjoyed Dani the most, because he's funny, he's a lot like me, and I had more time to get into the psychological depth of the character before shooting.
You will appear in the new season of Velvet. But which directors and actors would you like to work with?
Scorsese, Tarantino, Woody Allen, Daniel Day Lewis, Leonardo di Caprio and Meryl Streep. You have to aim high!
What was it like to act with Julianne Moore?
When I was 18, I got a call from Pep Armengol, who I had worked with before. It was just a scene, but I was quite nervous, especially as by then I hadn't studied acting yet. I studied physics, psychology, piano, and finally chose acting.
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