Santi Millán: “Anything that facilitates the arrival of new proposals is positive”
Actor Santi Millán (Barcelona, 1968) is a versatile actor. Started with a solid career in comedy, but has proven himself very capable to make us cry. He’s matured as an actor. Local audiences got familiar with his face when he was part of the comedy ensemble La Cubana, but it wasn’t until he landed a role in sitcom “Siete vidas” that he became a household name throughout Spain. He constantly juggles film, television and theater. But attends a concert whenever he can. “Because music”, he says, “is better to experience it live, like the theater.”
Do you enjoy being a tourist?
If it means being on vacation, yes. Now my holidays are a family matter. With the kids we can’t go too far. So, we usually go to the island of Menorca.
If you have friends who visit you, where do you take them?
It all depends on the visitor’s profile, but as we don’t go too far, as I said, I usually show them Barcelona. I take them to restaurants and to museums. This way it helps me get to know the city a bit more. We go to all kinds of museums, but there are two that we visit more regularly: the Fundació Miró and the Picasso Museum.
Is there any part of Catalonia that’s left for you to be familiar with?
I don’t think so. Fortunately, with La Cubana I was able to tour the country from top to bottom. If work allowed, we took time to get to know the towns we were acting.
A few months ago you opened a restaurant with some friends. Do you enjoy cooking?
I’m a big fan of pasta and rice, but I enjoy eating and cooking anything. Though at home we don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen.
What would you say are the strengths and weaknesses of Catalan cuisine?
The greatest thing about it is the variety. Haven’t found any flaws yet. Maybe those who are dieting, find too much bread and carbohydrates in it. But it just depends on how you look at things, because carbohydrates aren’t necessarily the bases for Catalan cuisine. Fish, meat, fruits, vegetables…we’ve got everything!
What led you to become an actor?
I started doing theater when I was 10. At first I wasn’t thinking about it as a career. But I received positive feedback from people. They told me I was good at it…and since I was having fun I decided to continue. Then, everything flowed and I was on my way.
You have also ventured into directing.
It was the natural thing to do, really. It begins when you try to explain things your way and then one thing leads to another and you end up on the director’s chair.
Do you have a special place you go to prepare the roles?
No. When I land a role, I become obsessive. It’s like an unstoppable simmer. I can’t let go until I find what makes the character click for me. I don’t dedicate a specific time of the day to that. It’s a non-stop thing.
“Año de gracia” is one of your last movies. It tells the story of some residents in the neighborhood of Gràcia, in Barcelona. How would you describe this area of the city?
It is one of the most attractive areas of the city, no doubt. Many years ago, when I was working on the television series “Les Teresines” I was fortunate enough to get to know the more familiar side of Gràcia, the old timers. Now, Gràcia breathes modernity and is full of young people…but still keeps that small town spirit. And that, is a good thing.
Where do you rather live, in a small town or a big city?
I feel fine living in a city like Barcelona, which is cosmopolitan enough but not too much so you can handle it.