The Puerto Rican singer heads back to television in September in Gabriel, a 10-episode miniseries

Por Lena Hansen
Updated Abril 23, 2008
Credit: SBS

If the camera loves anyone, it's Chayanne. Is it his charisma, his charming smile? Or could it be his Adonis-like features, piercing gaze and romantic voice? One thing's for sure: his fans were eager to see him back on the small screen, and after seven years, Chayanne is granting them their wish. The singer will make his long-awaited return to Hispanic television in the miniseries Gabriel, which kicks off in September on Mega TV.

Chayanne will star as Gabriel, a vampire with human characteristics. “It breaks the mold,” he says of the role, “it's a vampire who believes in God, walks in the light, and can enter a church. He hates being immortal because he wants to go to heaven to reunite with the love of his life.” According to Agustín, the director and writer of the series produced by MegaFilms, Chayanne is ideal for the role because “he brings so much intensity and depth as an actor.”

Even though the 39-year-old singer has made guest appearances on the English-language series Ally McBeal (FOX) and played a sexy dancer in the 1998 film Dance with Me (Columbia Pictures), he hadn't taken on a starring role since acting in the 2001 Argentinean telenovela Provócame.

Chayanne was offered a variety of roles by other networks and studios, but nothing grabbed his attention more than Gabriel. Scripts flooded in, but they weren't convincing enough, or they required that he move too far from his Miami-based family to work. After finishing up his international Mi Tiempo tour, which kicked off in October 2006 and ended in March 2007, Chayanne was hoping for a short-term part. “I was really happy with the tour, but exhausted,” he admits. So when he got the offer to do Gabriel – a project that only required four months of filming – he jumped at the chance.

While some scenes were shot in the old San Juan, Puerto Rico, and others in Venice, Italy, the majority of the film was shot in Miami, which allowed him to stay close to home. Chayanne explained to his children, 10-year-old Lorenzo Valentino and 7-year-old Isadora Sofía, that they'd see their daddy on TV soon, but looking remarkably transformed. “I'm psychologically preparing them to understand the character,” Chayanne explains, “and that their dad doesn't really kiss other women, and he doesn't like blood.”

His wife, 39-year-old Venezuelan Marilisa Maroneese, isn't jealous, Chayanne says, so she won't stress over seeing her husband's sexy scenes with Mexican actress Angélica Celaya, who plays Eva, Gabriel's eternal love. Despite efforts by evil vampire Pizarro (the show's villain, played by Jos'e Luis Rodríguez) to keep Gabriel away from Eva, she manages to appear throughout the series – which takes place over the course of a few centuries – in the form of various female characters.

Viewers will feel like they're traveling through time when they see the passionate story, which will carry them from the romantic streets of 17th-century Venice all the way to a scathing vampire duel in present day Miami. And of course, viewers will get to welcome Chayanne into their homes week after week. What more could they ask for?