He’s only 25, but Spanish actor Javier Beltran is already being compared to the likes of Antonio Banderas—and making out with Twilight heartthrob Rob Pattinson. Now in his first major feature film, Little Ashes, which opened on May 8, Beltran stars as legendary Spanish writer Federico Garcia Lorca. The actor talked to us about playing a Spanish legend, why he thinks people compare him to Banderas and what it was like sharing hot make-out sessions with Edward Cullen himself.
What is your film, Little Ashes, about?
It is the story of two geniuses, Federico Garcia Lorca and Salvador Dalí, who share their lives, their art and their way of seeing the world.
Why should people go see this movie?
Lorca and Dalí were two historical geniuses, and to be able to know their relationship would be interesting for anyone. The important thing is that they make a connection because they were very different and they had different ways of thinking, and this is the main issue of the film.
What was most unique about Dalí’s relationship with Lorca?
What I find very interesting is that at a predetermined period in history, in Spain, two geniuses— Lorca and Dalí—became friends and shared their lives. They influenced each other greatly. Lorca would write a play and Dalí would produce the designs.
People can’t stop talking about the sex scenes you share with your costar, Twilight heartthrob Rob Pattinson. Were they difficult to do?
No. It was not uncomfortable. The hard part was to transmit the emotions of my character. That was the challenge. But the scenes came out really well. I am very proud of this film. I would love for people to see this movie, because it’s a very good movie.
Millions of girls want to know what it feels like to make out with Rob Pattinson—tell us, is he a good kisser?
(Laughs). He’s okay. He’s good.
A lot of people are calling this a “gay” film. Do you agree that it is?
It’s not just that. But I like that people are talking about the movie. I also think that Rob’s success with Twilight will make people see this movie, and if they want to see Rob, that’s great, because they’ll see the film too. He does a splendid and wonderful job as Dalí.
This film is entirely in English, but your first language is
Spanish. Was it difficult to learn the English necessary to play the
I studied for two months with a coach. Each day, I spent
many hours studying. I spoke English before the film, but I still had
to study to make this movie.
Did you feel a lot of pressure—since you’re a Spaniard—to portray Lorca accurately and make your fellow Spaniards proud?
Yes. It’s a responsibility. He’s not just any character; he’s one of the best Spain has ever had, and he was an incredible man. But the same time, it was a pleasure. I'm very excited for the Spanish premiere of the film. I'm interested in the response of the Spanish audience, and I hope they’ll enjoy it.
Why do you think some people are comparing you to Antonio Banderas?
Because I'm Spanish! It's very pleasant to me to be compared with him. He is a great actor with an astonishing career and he has done a lot for Spanish actors around the world. In Spain, he made very good films!