Born and raised in Campinas, although his family is all foreign, the actor says he identifies with the joy of the Brazilian people. He left his sneakers to venture on the small screens and the big screens. In addition to being a model and an actor, he is also a director. He won many awards with his production Roses Are Blind. In an interview with Thunder Wave, Bill Agustini tells about his work, his career and much more.
TW: Before venturing into audiovisual productions, you played tennis. Why tennis? What or who influenced you to practice this sport?
GA: My father was the great instigator and who most influenced me to play tennis. That's because when he started playing and fell in love with this sport. Hence, both my mother and brother started to play too, in addition to the whole circle of close friends. Tennis quickly became the main sport in our family. Now, I remember it very clearly when I was about 10, I think, I was swimming, football and tennis and I wanted to stop everyone. I just wanted to stay at home watching soap and eating cookies. They forced me, intelligently, and I give them a lot of credit, that I choose a sport. And for some reason, I chose tennis. Right after Guga's boom, I started taking the sport more seriously and when I turned 13, I decided I wanted to train and compete professionally.
TW: What made you leave tennis and become an actor?
GA: The fact that I realized that I didn't have the level and skills necessary to become a professional. And it all happened during the two years I lived in Venezuela in Caracas. My coach, Harold Castillo, who became a second father to me, opened my mind to this reality, however painful it was to put it in a certain way, an end to a dream of almost 10 years. And as an irony of fate, in my last months living in Caracas, already with everything right to go to the USA with a scholarship to play for the University and study business, that's when the performance came into my life to stay. So when I arrived in South Carolina I decided to study theater as well. But it was only a year later, when I went to spend four summer months in Miami to study at professional schools, that I really decided to quit tennis and dedicate 100% to being an actor.
TW: Did the factor of playing tennis help you in your acting career? Features like competition and discipline are very present in your routine? How is the charge? Is the pressure greater?
GA: Yes, absolutely. I very much attribute the habits of dedication, perseverance and the study of psychology that I created due to tennis as essential factors in my development and successes in this artistic career. Look, as with tennis, the pressure has always been much more internal. Of my own. My parents and family have always supported me unconditionally and as difficult as it has been many times, they have never asked me for results. It is something that I am very grateful and admire a lot.
TW: Did you feel any kind of fear on the part of people when they knew you were a tennis player, but wanted to venture into acting?
GA: I don't remember being very afraid. As it all started in Venezuela, the most important person for me was my coach, who supported me from the start. I was very surprised by this because I never expected a high level coach like him to accept this new desire and passion. I am much more, very grateful to him for that too. Perhaps, a little fear of the family with whom I lived there, and some acquaintances and family in Brazil. But never anything direct that really affected me.
TW: And did your family take your decision well? Did they encourage you?
GA: As far as I can remember, yes (laughter). I think that when I went to Miami and decided that I was going to leave tennis and dedicate myself to being an actor totally, there were several conversations to explain my position and my new desire. But once they understood, the support and encouragement were once again unconditional.
TW: How is it to return to Brazil, acting in your first feature after many works abroad?
GA: An incredible emotion. A very great joy. Mainly because the film is playing in my hometown, Campinas. I now have the habit of saying that it is a dream I never dreamed of. I never thought that my first big job and character would be for my country of origin, let alone the magnitude of what it is being. Almost 300 rooms across the country. I am very blessed and grateful for the opportunity.
TW: How was the construction of your character for the feature film “Solteira Menos Surtando”?
GA: Fun, but also a big challenge for me. Although I speak and speak Spanish fluently because of my parents, having lived in Venezuela and worked in Spanish in Miami, my accent is more Central American. I had never done a Spanish accent. So I did my research and practice work which is one of the coolest processes as an actor. But the point is that he only had a small part where he really spoke Spanish, the rest was all Portuguese. This creates anxiety and nervousness and finding balance was not easy, but I was very confident in my choices and preparation. My goal was to find his authenticity in a way that the public could clearly understand his lines. I hope you succeeded in that. And my other concern was that Miguel was 40 or older. The costume and hair and makeup department did a great job that helped a lot. I didn't have to worry about the outside, which often helps the actor to find the inside of the character. However, I had to work on the physical and rhythm aspects of the character. Because a 26-year-old Miguel does not walk, express himself or act as a 45-year-old Miguel. And I am very grateful for the help I received from the casting coach, Thiago Grecco.
TW: Which genres catch your attention the most?
GA: As a story in general, I am interested in participating in them in a more dramatic genre. But I also love the situational comedies that have a more real basis.
TW: How was your insertion in acting? What were the challenges you had to face to become the professional you are today?
GA: Like everything in life, it's a struggle that takes time. My first three years were immersed in constant study and practice. Even when small professional opportunities started to appear. But the dedication to learning and study has always remained and it continues today and will continue forever. The biggest challenges were: learning an art that I never had any interest or influence in my first 19 years of life, working in the Spanish and English accent to be able to work in the market and deal positively with the constant number one in this industry - the no and uncertainty.
TW: How do you usually prepare for each project?
GA: I don't have an exact and equal formula for all projects. This is the beauty of this art as well. There is no formula. Each project and character is radically different. Of course, reading the script and analyzing the script and the character are the first steps. But the process varies a lot depending on the amount of time I have, the type of story, whether it is theater or television or cinema, the size of the character, the type of character and his qualities, among others. Also, from the moment of my life. I am constantly evolving as a human being and as an actor. Always learning new techniques, experimenting with new ideas.
TW: Did you ever wonder if it was what you wanted?
GA: Yes, countless times. Especially in the beginning. Before going to the USA, I didn't know what to do. But I knew I had to go and enjoy my bag. Soon I was making decisions little by little. Once I got in, I decided not to question anymore. Life can take me in other directions, which has already happened with the fact that I now like driving a lot too.
TW: Which character did you enjoy playing the most?
GA: I think the character I liked most for the transformation I had was called David Campos in a short called One Life recorded in Miami. He spoke Portuguese, Spanish and English and his appearance was very different. But very similar was the transformation and fun in playing Miguel in the feature film “Solteira Muito Surtando”. And then Carmelo, on Nickelodeon's 11-11 series, where I basically played 2 characters because Carmelo was a street bum who turned into a rich young man through the magic bed. I think it is clear that the ones I liked the most were the ones I became the most. It is the most fun of this vocation, I think.
TW: Which project did you participate in that most affected you?
GA: My participation in Nickelodeon's 11-11, I think. For being my first great character who had an important weight in history, and also for the experience I gained working with actors of high caliber.
TW: How does it feel to be behind the camera? What motivated you to want to drive?
GA: The feeling at the beginning is one of total despair, anxiety and terror (laughter), but once I get into focus and the goal becomes to record this moment, this scene, I relax and the creativity flows. The first main motivation was my frustration with student and amateur projects in Miami. I was tired of participating in shorts where the quality was very poor, or I never received the final product. So before I moved to New York, I decided with my wife Christina Breza, to create a short where I would direct. Because I knew that it would be finished and the quality would be much better than all the other projects that I had already participated in. And if it was bad in the end, it would be my fault and not someone else's. Then this new interest was born, because as a director you have control and an openness to creativity that as an actor does not exist, in most cases.
TW: What is the inspiring idea behind “Roses Are Blind”? Were you surprised when you received the awards? How does it feel, the emotion when you know that in addition to being nominated you were awarded?
GA: The short 'Roses are Blind' is based on the true story of artist Wendy J White. A sad and dramatic story, but fascinating. I had high expectations with this project for the quality of the actors that were involved, the recognized names, the cinematic quality and the history. But I was surprised when we received our first prize and how each of the following seven awards. It has been a great emotion and satisfaction. This is helping us to open doors for the feature that is under development.
TW: Regarding art and culture in Brazil, do you expect to contribute with your own productions or do you prefer to continue acting?
GA: My priority now with Brazil is to be able to work on other projects. But I'm starting to develop a new feature with my dad based, in part, on the story of my brother who died of cancer 10 years ago. But the main objective is to adapt it to English and run it in New York, but first we are writing in Portuguese. So who knows. That possibility exists. And if not, maybe in the future, another project of its own.
TW: From the outside, what is your perception about the moment in which Brazil is?
GA: As complicated and turbulent as it is, and as much as it has affected Culture and Cinema in Brazil, I have a lot of confidence and faith that we will come out on top, and we will improve.
TW: Is there a director or director that you look up to?
GA: The director who has fascinated me a lot since last year is Todd Phillips, director of the Joker. For its incredible sensitivity and versatility. But there are several such as Spielberg, Greta Gerwing and, of course, the Brazilian master, Jose Padilha.
TW: What do you expect for the future? What projects do you want to produce or participate in?
GA: I live in optimism and positivity, so I will always hope for the best. Now what the best means, I don't know, nobody knows. I have desires, desires and dreams to continue creating films based on true stories and acting in high quality series and films.
TW: What advice would you give to people who, like you, have discovered themselves in another area and want to pursue a career?
GA: My advice is simple, if you feel or know you want to pursue another career, drop in and give more than your 100%. Not only because you are starting at a certain disadvantage in a certain way, but most of all because if you are what you really love, there is nothing better.
Bill Agustini is in the feature Single almost freaking out which opens on March 12, which addresses an assumed maiden and who has her life around work and that makes her happy. Dreams like 'getting married', common to most women, are far from their life repertoire. But, suddenly, a turnaround: her convictions collapse when she finds out she is entering an early menopause, and having only six months to find a father for her future child. From then on she goes on an almost impossible and urgent mission: to find a husband who gets her pregnant before her uterus ends her dream of becoming a mother.