UK-trained Spanish actor thrilled to portray St. Ignatius in Pinoy production | Inquirer Entertainment

UK-trained Spanish actor thrilled to portray St. Ignatius in Pinoy production

By: - Entertainment Editor
/ 02:37 AM January 30, 2016

MUÑOZ. Was only 9 years old when he acted in his flashy first film—for Guillermo del Toro.

MUÑOZ. Was only 9 years old when he acted in his flashy first film—for Guillermo del Toro.

LATE LAST year, we were thrilled to meet Spanish actor Andreas Muñoz, the lead star of Jescom Films’ upcoming historical screen drama, “Ignacio de Loyola,” before he, acting coach Cathy Azanza and writer-director Paolo Dy were scheduled to improvise scenes for the anticipated biopic about St. Ignatius—the Spanish soldier-turned-priest who founded the religious congregation of the Jesuits. (The movie opens in the Philippines in July.)

No, we didn’t go to Spain. Cathy—who portrayed Cinderella in the 2007 Manila staging of “Into the Woods,” which we directed for New Voice—invited us to meet Andreas, whom we first noticed as the missing orphan in Guillermo del Toro’s 2001 gothic horror thriller, “The Devil’s Backbone.”


A lot has happened to Andreas and his acting career since: He trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Real Escoela Superior de Arte Dramatico (in Madrid), appeared in more films (Emilio Estevez’s “The Way”), topbilled TV dramas (“Casi Angeles,” “Dos de Mayo,” “Life Bites”), acted in stage productions in the United Kingdom and Spain (Royal Shakespeare Company’s “Dusinane,” Royal Conservatoire’s “Macbeth” and Nuria Espert’s “Medea”) and even won a best actor award at the Note Cortes film fest for his exceptional portrayal in Jorge Galeron’s dramatic short, “Paredes.”


Now 25 years old, the good-looking and refreshingly soft-spoken actor is excited to make his screen debut in a Filipino film. Excerpts from our interview with Andreas, Paolo and Cathy:

How did Andreas end up getting cast in the role?

Andreas Muñoz (A): They had an audition for actors in Madrid around April and May last year. I heard about the project, but I couldn’t go, because I was touring “Hamlet” in London and Glasgow. So, I asked my brother, Omar, to go to the audition for me and give them my resumé—because I really wanted to be in the movie! I don’t know what he said in the room, but I got the role (laughs).

Cathy Azanza (C): The film covers a certain section of Ignacio’s life. We needed to get someone who could credibly bring out his cerebral nature. He was quiet—he had a poet’s mind and a great imagination. —Which is also why imagination plays an important role in St. Ignatius’ spirituality.

Paolo Dy (P): Ignacio was intellectual but fiery! He was a soldier from a noble Basque family—and this was in the time of Queen Isabella. He was the youngest sibling, so he felt he had a lot to prove.

He was a kindred spirit, probably like St. Augustine, who was a “bad boy” before he converted. Ignacio was a soldier, was great at dancing and was into swordfights. He’s the only saint with a criminal record, notarized!


Andreas had the intensity, passion and the look that we were looking for. The film is an examination of someone who used to be enmeshed in the distorted values of the world.

He was injured in battle after trying to defend a fortress that had 300 soldiers, while the enemy had 13,000! Because of that crucial incident, he felt he had to reexamine what he was fighting for.

A: He became a soldier of god, instead. What fascinated me most about Ignacio’s story was his conversion. How do you transform from someone who is viewed as a destructive force to someone who’s saintly?

How did Andreas “find” the character?

A: It wasn’t easy. But, like Ignacio, I listen as much as I talk. There are a lot of people who refuse to listen to others—they don’t look you in the eye. Ignacio had the kindness and patience that made him spend a lot of time with people who needed his help.

What sets the movie apart from other stories about saints? St. Ignatius’ conversion didn’t happen until he was 29 or 30. What took him so long?

P: We have a very human San Ignacio. Initially, he was obsessed with self-image and how other people perceived him. That’s interesting to examine.

A: He was a guy who thought he had everything. But, when he went through a very low point in his life, he realized that he was only doing things for himself, not for others. It’s more fulfilling when you can share your life with other people.

St. Ignatius’ devotion to the Catholic Church was characterized by absolute obedience to the Pope. Do you still think priests should be bound by vows of poverty, chastity and obedience—because there are people now who want to implement reforms for the church?

A: To be honest, I think Pope Francis is doing a great job. He’s “saving” the Catholic Church from its perceived ills. He has made himself accessible to every sector of society, even to the youth.

P: We do take some inspiration from how he’s conducting himself as an ambassador of the faith—because that’s one of the film’s major themes.

We can relate to his occasionally worldly ways, and to being caught up in the illusion of wealth. There’s so much noise around us. Pope Francis is reminding us to come through all that noise.

C: People are going to relate to the fact that St. Ignatius spent his whole life listening to other people’s voices—until he found a way to finally listen to himself!

Let’s talk about Guillermo del Toro.

A: I consider him my father. I was 9 years old when I acted in “The Devil’s Backbone.” You watch his films, and they’ll transport you to different worlds.

Guillermo is a big Mexican guy, but I wasn’t scared of him because shooting that film felt like just another game to me. I was the missing boy and the ghost, as well.

He also acted in “The Way,” directed by Emilio Estevez. What was that experience like?

A: Did you see the one who stole the bag (of ashes) from Martin Sheen (laughs)?

Andreas won an acting award for his portrayal in “Paredes.” What was fulfilling about the film?

It was a daunting task: I had to “talk” with my eyes—because I didn’t have any lines! It’s about a fatherless high school student who forges a unique relationship with a battered woman he never meets.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

She lives next door—but, they communicate only through sound and music. Then, he falls for her!

TAGS: Andreas Muñoz, Film, historical drama, Ignacio de Loyola

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.