Life Itself explores all the joys and despair of life. The second feature from This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman weaves together four separate stories that explore love, family bonds, and death.
Spanish actor Sergio Peris-Mencheta is the star of one story. He plays Javier, an olive picker. After being promoted by a generous-seeming boss (Antonio Banderas), Javier is able to marry his girlfriend Isabel (Laia Costa). The couple’s happiness is tainted, however. Javier becomes wary of his employer after he notices the older man getting closer to Isabel, and a schism grows between all involved.
Peris-Mencheta has emerged as one of the standouts in Life Itself. Despite being a relative newcomer to Hollywood, he has built an impressive career as an actor and director outside the US. Here’s everything you need to know about the talented Sergio Peris-Mencheta.
Peris-Mencheta was born in Madrid, and he wasn’t initially interested in becoming an actor. He played rugby and planned to study law. Things changed when he joined his school’s theatre program, which inspired him to pursue a career in entertainment. His first big break came in 1998. Peris-Mencheta was cast in the Spanish soap opera Al Salir De Clase. He appeared in more than 200 episodes over the course of a year.
Following that series, Peris-Mencheta appeared in Spanish movies including Dama de Porto Pim, El Arte De Morir, and Agentes Secretos. In 2006, he starred as Cesare Borgia in Los Borgia, a film based on the infamous Borgia family. In 2011, he landed the lead role in El Capitán Trueno Y El Santo Grial, a big screen adaptation of a popular Spanish comic book series.
On television, Peris-Mencheta played Spanish general Gonzalo de Córdoba in Isabel, a historical drama recounting the life of Isabella I of Castille. He most recently appeared in Netflix’s Cathedral Of The Sea, an adaptation of Ildefonso Falcones’ novel of the same name.
Moving To Hollywood
Peris-Mencheta broke into Hollywood with a role in Taylor Hackford’s Love Ranch, about the owners of the first legal brothel in the US. The movie focuses on Grace and Charlie Bontempo, played by Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci, as they build their brothel. Peris-Mencheta plays Armando Bruza, a former boxer who Charlie hopes to bring back into the spotlight.
In Resident Evil: Afterlife, he played Angel Ortiz, a brilliant mechanic who encounters Alice early on in the movie. More recently, he’s had a great role in FX’s Snowfall. The series focuses on the crack epidemic that took over Los Angeles in the ’80s. Peris-Mencheta plays Gustavo Zapata, a wrestler-turned-criminal at odds with his illegal lifestyle.
Success On Stage
Peris-Mencheta does similarly strong work in the theatre, especially as a director. He directed stage plays such as Incrementum, La Puerta De Al Lado, and Un Trozo Invisible De Este Mundo. The latter earned three Max Awards, which are the Spanish equivalent of the Tony Awards, including one for a best theatre show.
While Peris-Mencheta is still building a reputation in Hollywood, his strength as an actor and directorial skills make him a potent creative force. Life Itself is a good showcase for his skills; he’s the best surprise in the movie. We’re eager to see what he does next.
Life Itself opens on September 21, 2018.