When Tenoch Huerta Mejia He was a teenager at the end of the nineties and did not have in mind to be an actor, so he decided to study a degree in Communication and Journalism at the Faculty of Higher Studies Aragon. However, fate had other plans for him, far from a newsroom and near the lights of a set.
Currently, the actor born in Ecatepec de Morelos (State of Mexico) is the antagonist of Black Panther: Wakanda Foreverthe most recent blockbuster from Marvel Studios and Disney, a film that grossed more than 330 million dollars around the world in its first weekend of release, and has made him a world figure for his performance as Namor, a version of the character strongly influenced by the Mayan culture.
During the recent eleventh edition of the Los Cabos International Film Festivalthe actor was honored and at the closing of the film meeting he received the Without Borders Award“for his outstanding career and his tireless work in favor of the inclusion, diversity and visibility of Latin American talent in the world film industry,” as the organization explained in a statement.
Before the ceremony, Huerta Mejía held an exclusive interview with UNAM Gazettein which he recalled his days as a student, the way in which his studies have enriched his acting career and what he expects from today’s young university students.
What memories do you have of your time at FES Aragón?
Tenoch Huerta: Boy, a lot. The truth is that I think my adult life began at UNAM. I joined 99 in the middle of the strike, and although I was never part of the General Strike Council (CGH), I was sympathetic to its causes, I supported as God made me understand at that time. I think this rebellious spirit of the University always stayed with me.
when we did Blonds (2014) there was a banner that said “being young and not being rebellious is a contradiction”. In the auditorium, that is the definition of Latin American youth. As each culture has its own, for some it was “sex, drugs and rock and roll”, for others “live the crazy life, travel and get to know yourself”; each culture has its own definitions, and in Latin America there is always talk of a rebellious youth.
A university that celebrates dissent and promotes it is one that will always grow; because knowledge without dissidence does not move, it does not prosper, it does not flourish, and UNAM has it.
You studied communication and journalism, what of what you learned has served you in your career?
For starters, the race itself. The analysis of the discourse, of the image and others have helped me a lot. From there I always read my scripts, because I didn’t have tools in dramatic terms, but I had the other thing: discourse analysis. From there I have always read them, I have built them, it is my first approximation and now I apply all the knowledge that I have been acquiring in my career; but first it goes there.
That, for example, in the method of creating, but also with a critical eye, life experience, awareness of who I am, where I stand. From class consciousness to that of the human condition. If I hadn’t been at UNAM, if I hadn’t had the professors I had, the classmates and the historic moment in which I entered, it wouldn’t be me, I wouldn’t be here with you.
After your participation in the sequel to Black Panther Comments have been heard that you “arrived”, that you got the representation and equality you were looking for. Is it important to continue fighting for it from an industry like Hollywood?
I don’t think you get anywhere, they are simply transits, it is a space and you would follow another and another and another. The phrase “you have arrived” always sounds like a term like a final goal and there is no more movement. No, one is always in transit. That, on the one hand, on the other: precisely, you are already in that privileged place, use it! If you climbed one of the highest peaks, from up there it is easier to be heard, because you have more space and visibility, you put your privilege at the service of causes. I have always said that we have to look for privileges to become rights. If you are there, from there you give it.
It is not the same for me, without being an actor, to be shouting things in the street – which is valid and I also participate in these forms of struggle – than for you to be with all the reflectors, microphones and cameras on top; You only power a message that is not even mine, they are those of thousands of people. We are not a panacea for anything, we are simply one more link in a 500-year chain. It is our moment and we have to use the tools that we have at our disposal, and if we do not conquer the spaces of power and influence, it will be difficult for us to influence the change in the narratives.
What would you say to the current young university students?
Fuck him, fuck him and fuck him triple and quadruple; It’s going to cost them much more, especially the girls. It’s always going to cost them more, they’re going to have one foot tied up by a system, the more they screw it up and when they no longer know why, they screw it up again. And when they no longer find rest, they screw him again. And when they no longer have reasons, they screw him again. And when they don’t know why to get up in the morning, they screw him again. And even if they have lost their way, they will screw him again.
Maybe they won’t get anywhere, because the system is made so that we don’t get there, but all the traffic, the path and the effort will remain and, eventually, spaces may open up; and if they open, please, turn to see everyone who was with you, look at those behind you and try to keep the door open. Use all your strength to keep the door open and let in as many compadres as possible.
Let’s be aware of class, of origin and, from there, let’s begin to open the spaces, the doors for more and more to enter, and for well-being to be a general and collective condition, and not an exclusive privilege of a few.
It’s not your first American film, but it is sure to be involved in a production of this size. What surprised you about your experience?
That in the end we are the same, we do the same. It’s just that they have more toys there, they’re cooler and they have more baro. not necessarily have more baro it makes it easier, but it does give you much more possibilities to do other things, at least more chances of failure and error, of moving here or there. It gives you more space to experiment, although at the end of the day we are doing the same thing: telling stories, and they are told the same everywhere. In other words, you go and act. Acting is the same, it has its differences and its dynamics, because it is another language, it works differently; but acting is acting, directing is directing, movies are movies no matter what they’re about. It will always be the same. More than the difference, what struck me was the similarity, because the differences were already obvious.
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