A candid talk with S. Florida actor/producer Carlos Antonio Leon

How long have you been acting and producing and what influenced you to pursue the film industry?

I’ve been acting since I was a kid Just not Professionally. Eventually I joined an acting school in Venezuela and started doing theatre and shows. I’ve worked the nightlife of Venezuela for years as a performer. But it wasn’t until I moved to the US that I started doing movies. I think I have been in this biz my whole life. As a producer it’s only been 7 years. 

What roadblocks did you face when you were first starting out?

There is this idea people have of you and how you should look, sound, behave…it’s all an obstacle that you must overcome in order to find that place where you feel absolutely self assured to to do your job the best you can. Each artist would face different roadblocks in their career and not necessarily at the starting point. Many accomplished artists are having same problem late in their careers. Sometime the phone stops ringing and you must work twice harder in order to continue. But then again that’s life…

What would you say is the greatest moment in your film career?

Every time I book a project is a great moment in my career. 

Does it bother you that Some may perceive “Ann” has a rather dark film?

That’s cool. I love for everyone who watches ANN to give it his/her own spin. We don’t want to influence their perception. Let them feel it as they will.

Tell us about your other 2 projects “Steel Clad” and “Mikey”?

Two absolutely opposed projects. Carlos Malave’s Steel Clad ( Blindado) caters to a wider audience that seeks thrills and action… much more comercial and sure to keep the audience stuck in their seats. MIKI (written and directed by Carla Forte) follows a strong authorial path. It’s a very personal film that carries a denouncing message. Aesthetically both films couldn’t be any more different. I like that. I like to be a part of such diversity. 

Who is the one actor you would most like to work with?

Right now I’m dying for Joaquin Phoenix. His performance in Joker shocked me to the bones. I also admire Willen Dafoe and Michael Shannon. And I just worked with Cuban actress Lola Amores ( whom I admire since I saw her in Carlos Lechuga’s SANTA Y ANDRES) and that was amazing!!! 

You are a S. Florida actor/producer tell us the state of the film industry in S. Florida right now.

Well, there are few of us trying our best to make FL a must-to consider when shooting features. My last project, MIKY, was shot entirely in Miami ( with some shots from Costa Rica) and so was ANN…we are planning on doing more. Of course we want it to be more productive. But at this point GA and NM are way ahead of FL in regards of tv and film production. 

Which filmmaker would you say has inspired you the most?

Many. And the reasons being their bravery and guts to take on risky subjects in despite of endangering their distribution. Lars Von Trier, Yorgos Lanthimos, Lucrecia Martell, Pawel Pawlikowski, Bela Tarr, to name a few ….

Any advice for young filmmakers?

Oh lord! Stay sane….it gets better! 

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Photos credit: IvanWeiss.london/