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Andrés Martínez Tutek / NYC
July 17, 2008 AT 02:00 PM EDT

With Open Your Eyes and The Devil’s Backbone behind him, Spanish actor Eduardo Noriega takes on the new role of Carlos, a man with a colorful personality that proves human beings are far more shady than we think. The actor talked to People En Españ about his new film Transiberian, directed by Brad Anderson (The Machinist), and what his plans are for the future.

How did you get on board with Brad Anderson’s Transsiberian
Well, when they contacted me, and they mentioned Brad Anderson, I immediately said yes. I knew the story, and I liked the fact that, with a little Russian Rullette involved, characters started to unravel, and their real personalities are exposed.

What are you referring to specifically?
In the movie, people are not who they pretend to be. The character that I play, Carlos, lives life to the fullest. He lives every moment without thinking about the future and he’s a childish prankster when it comes to his relationship with Jessie. He flirts with her and he goes too far, but he’s also charming. That’s the way the movie is the whole time. The characters aren’t black and white. They’re not good nor bad. There’s a lot of ambiguity.

But what’s the main theme encompassing this voyage to Transsiberian?
Guilt. The theme is about how we live with guilt and regret for the rest of our lives, and how lying becomes a tool for survival and trying to succeed, which is a delicate subject when it comes to the U.S.

Why do you think lying is a sensitive subject for Americans?
Because I felt it. During the Sundance Festival I was surprised to hear people yelling “Carlos we love you” and I understood that people felt good about accepting my character because he gets punished in the end, but that didn’t happen with Jesse Emily Mortimer, because she got away with a huge lie, and people don’t forgive her for that, they reject her.

So what you’re saying is that Latinos can live better with lies?
I think us Latinos understand that at some point we all have to lie. Lying is part of being a human being, since we were babies. A few days ago, I noticed that when I was in the park with my 2-year-old niece she started saying that she was sick, because she didn’t want to go to school. In that moment, I was surprised to see how such a young child was capable of lying, and I realized that it was just a human trait.

And does that make you a liar?
Look, whoever says they don’t lie is a liar, because we all do it. Sometimes we lie to avoid hurting others, other times we just omit the truth. Sometimes it makes more sense to not be completely sincere.

What are your plans for the future?I just finished shooting Petit Indi, directed by Marc Recha, and in October I’ll start working with Oscar Santos in El mal ajeno, that’s being produced by Alejandro Amenábar, and I’m really excited about that project. So that’s where I am.

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