Cuban-American actor Nestor Carbonell told Efe that his new experience of playing the mayor of Gotham City in the latest big-screen installment of the "Batman" saga was like "living a dream.
"Straightforward, friendly and with a permanent smile on his face, and known for his role on the ABC television series "Lost," Carbonell said that he was finding it hard to hide his happiness at being at one of the best moments in his career to date and now he is enjoying the anticipation being generated by "The Dark Knight," which premieres July 18.
"I received a (text message) from my manager during a break in the filming of 'Lost' in Hawaii," Carbonell recalled. "The director (Christopher Nolan) wanted some of my material, and we sent him takes of 'Smoking Aces' and two days later the part was mine. It was like a dream.
"In the film, the 40-year-old native New Yorker portrays the mayor of a marred city that witnesses the birth of a terrible villain, the Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger.
"He's an idealistic guy ... (but) corruption ... forced him to compromise his principles to a certain extent. He's rigid, conceited, he thinks he has the power and is not content with what Batman's doing although they have the same enemy," Carbonell explained regarding his role. "He's a character with a spark.
"A mayor of Hispanic origin in a megalopolis? That might bring the figure of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to many people's minds.
"No, there's no resemblance to him," Carbonell said laughing. "I didn't think of him at the time I played (the character) but sure there are connections, although for Nolan it was just by chance, because (my) character doesn't speak Spanish and I don't have an accent when I speak English.
"Carbonell is very popular on "Lost" for his character of Richard Alpert, a mysterious man who never ages and whom the actor has signed a contract to play in nine episodes during the show's fifth season."I love the series. I have so interesting and so complete a character ... The secrets the creators are keeping are held back even from the cast," the actor admitted.
During the interview with Efe, Carbonell spoke about his work with the same passion with which he discusses his Spanish roots - from his grandparents - and he commented on the improvement in the Los Angeles Lakers since the arrival of Spaniard Pau Gasol.
Currently, Carbonell is focused on raising money to make a film from the screenplay he wrote based on the book "Contra toda esperanza," by Cuban political prisoner Armando Valladares.
Having fulfilled one of the dreams of his youth, screenwriting, Carbonell said to Efe, "In reality, I want to do what you do. Shall we change places?"