Daddy Yankee: An actor is born
The Puerto Rican reggaeton proves to be as good on film as he is on stage.
Daddy Yankee is a winner. His songs are hymns to the reggaeton generation, his videos are innovating, and it shouldn't come as a surprise when he's recognized with important Latin music awards. He's even become a producer of Miguelito and just a couple of days ago, he made a remix for none other than Thalía.
Today the Puerto Rican singer is the ultimate world exponent of the reggaeton genre. But when El Cangri announced that he would make a film entitled Talento de barrio, many raised their eyebrows and asked, “A movie?”… Daddy Yankee is no actor! But there's nothing further from the truth.
On July 23, the 31-year-old singer presented his film at the New York International Latino Film Festival, showing the world new facets in his career–his debut as an executive producer and an actor. Those of us who've watched the film are convinced. Lay your doubts to rest: The Boss can act.
The performer of “Pose” spoke exclusively to People En Espanol.com about what he calls his “new gem” and he tells us what gave him the inspiration for the movie. You will also learn, among other things, why his wife, Mireddys González, got jealous, and whether the reconciliation with Don Omar was genuine.
Talk to us about “Talento de barrio”
Talento de barrio, the movie, is my new gem. I feel anxious, to be truly honest, because when I saw myself on the big screen, I was overtaken by the same sensation I felt when I heard myself on radio for the first time–the same emotion, like a dream come true. I always had the vision of making a movie since I was a kid, and the motivation to be an executive producer was also a childhood dream.
What is it about?
It's about a young man, Edgar (which is the role I play), who is the boss of an illicit world, a world he wants to flee because he has a good heart. They love him in the barrio because they know he's a good kid. In spite of what he's doing, he manages to get everyone to love him. And he wants to change, but doesn't know how, and he has no idea that he has a God-given talent that he can use in life to become a winner. In the movie, he gradually discovers this talent. And once he abandons that world, his past follows him because he did things that have their consequences. It's not easy for him to flee from that world. And that's where the dilemma begins to play out between making wise decisions and poor decisions.
Did acting come easy to you or did you have to take classes? Tell us about this experience.
Look, acting wasn't easy, but I didn't want to take classes to avoid moving away from the character. I felt that playing him naturally would work out better. I grew up seeing a lot of Edgars in my life, and I know their body language, the way they behave, how they give orders without even speaking, who tries to mess with them, who their Judas' are, and how they behave. There are so many stories and things I have seen that I thought: “OK, I know that I can play this role safely.” It was going to be hard because it was my first time acting, but I knew that once I learned the tricks, I could do it. I even wanted the rest of the cast to be just barrio kids, and they played their roles fully because they all know how things move in the barrio.
What were the most difficult parts for you?
The hardest parts were the love scenes cyring on camera. (Laughs) Imagine me kissing another girl in public, in front of the cameras, with hardly any clothes, ya know?
Did your wife get jealous?
Yesss! (Laughs) Oh, boy! I almost ended up sleeping in the doghouse. She obviously knew me as a musician, not as an actor. And it was a moment of transition, not only for me, but it was also hard for her to take that in. I had to work on preparing her and did a lot of explaining. In the end, she understood everything.
You recently patched up publicly with Don Omar, though it has been said that it was nothing more than a publicity stunt …
No. If you look at the situation closely, Don Omar and I didn't need to do that. Why would we, if he has his thing and I have mine? There was no reason to do that. We did it because we're grown up enough to be able to smooth the rough spots and move on.
And why didn't you go to his wedding?
I was in Bolivia. If I had gone, I would have been facing a couple-million-dollar lawsuit.
So, are you friends, talk on the phone, hang out together?
Yeah, yeah. We don't hang out, but we are friends. During his trial, we talked. I talked to him a couple of times as a man and as a gentleman. Always encouraging him on. And I'm happy he was acquitted because he deserved to be.