While Spain is known for its machismo, Txema Perez is at ease being next to the talented women he has shared the screen with throughout his career. Perhaps it’s this Spanish actor’s self-confidence and admiration for the talent of his costars that typifies the “new order” of male actors who appear even more desirable to his collaborators and the public alike. While he’s been established through TV and film work in his homeland, a new series titled Glow and Darkness starring the inimitable Joan Collins, Oscar Award Winner Mira Sorvino, Golden Globe Winner Jane Seymour, and others places Perez in the midst of a powerful female cast; a scenario he couldn’t be happier about. Confirming that the opportunity to work with these accomplished actors is easily a part of the draw for him, Txema relates how the challenges of being a bilingual thespian with a knack for horse riding has simultaneously been a positive attribute and a challenge. The combination of these factors mixed with his extraordinary talent has increasingly brought international attention to Perez and his rapidly expanding set of admirers.
Like so many actors, Txema’s first national exposure was via the soap opera genre on Spain’s EITB network. Goenkale (translated in English as High Street) takes place in an imaginary Basque seaside town. Appearing as two different characters throughout his tenure on Goenkale, Perez confirms that the experience was a proving ground.” He remarks, “Soap operas are known to work at a feverish pace. It’s not unusual to get between five and twenty pages per day to learn. I also had to to speak in different forms of the Basque language for my different characters, adding to the learning curve but also setting a high standard for myself that proved useful in many professional settings.” The actor also notes another pivotal experience for him on this productions relating, “One of my firsts intimate scenes was with this actress named Ylenia on Gloenkale. Believe it or not, tensions can be higher in a bed than in an action scene. Thanks god Ylenia was a very easy going partner and everything went really smooth. Being partially nude on top of a person you don’t really know while crew members work around you doing their light, sound, and make up work, can make it very challenging to focus only on your character and commit to the story fully. You have to listen really well to you partner to see what’s comfortable for both of you, finding the chemistry and the game for that situation.”
Nearly a decade before Executive Producers J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele brought HBO’s hit series Lovecraft Country to American audiences, producer & director Jose Luis Aleman created The Valdemar inheritance which was also based on/inspired by the writings of HP Lovecraft. These fantastic and frightening worlds are the convergence of social struggles and otherworldly interloping, making them a unique genre. While The Valdemar inheritance won the International Fantasy Film Award for Best Special Effects, it wasn’t working with green screens or stop motion that Txema points out as challenging for this production. In a scene at the dramatic peak of the film in which he stars next to actress Laia Marull (Goya Award Winner-Spain’s version of the Oscar) Perez relates, “My character had ridden his horse to the train station and given it to Laia’s character. The horse kept getting spooked by the train whistle. We were juggling safety and the perfect delivery of the dialogue in the midst of this, which was no easy feat. Sometimes it’s the most mundane elements that challenge your work on camera.” It’s notable that The Valdemar inheritance was created with a 13 million euros budget and without any subsidy, a rare case in Spain and an indication of the excitement about the potential for this film and it’s remarkable cast.
Currently filming, Txema is a cast member of Producer Jose Luis Moreno and Writer Alejandro Gillermo Roemmers’s period piece series Glow and Darkness. The international cast boasts a number of acclaimed female cast members including two-time Golden Globe-winner Jane Seymour and Denise Richards (both former Bond girls), as well as the legendary Joan Collins. Also starring Oscar-nominated actor Bruce Davison (“Longtime Companion,” “X-Men”), the story involves the aristocracy of different countries and proves to be an epic tale thematically and visually. Perez portrays Phillip, the cousin of the Prince of France and his protector. As the Prince’s companion, confidant, and protector, the evolution of this heir to the throne’s journey in the series is closely tied to Phillip’s. The role required Txema to utilize and Old-English language delivery for his dialogues as well as an acting approach he likens to a classic Hollywood style. When questioned about his career working alongside so many notable actresses, Txema Perez again points to the value of learning from these costars and the respect he has for them. As is often said, “a person is known by the company they keep”, meaning that the extraordinary actresses Perez is continually paired with accentuates his own talent and charisma on camera. Viewers of Glow and Darkness are soon to witness this for themselves.
Writer: Coleman Haan