Paul Guerra is an actor and television host based out of Los Angeles, California.
He gained national acclaim in his home country of Ecuador as the host of the morning show El Club de la Mañana which prepared him for his new role as the host of Univision, one of the largest Spanish-language content providers in North America.
When he’s not hosting on television, he’s the host of his own successful YouTube and podcast series CineDharma, where he talks about film, acting life, and interviews fellow performers like Ernesto Reyes and Francis Cronin.
Guerra started his career as an attorney, graduating from the Law School at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, before moving to Los Angeles to become an actor. He graduated from Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre, where actors like Mark Ruffalo and Benicio del Toro also attended.
Over the years, Guerra has added to his resume with roles on the Telemundo series Milagros de Navidad and the animated film Caracol Cruzando which was an official selection of the PBS Online Film Festival. Most recently he appeared in the Ghostbusters World video game campaign, where he had his very own run-in with Slimer.
Paul Guerra recently discussed his career with Your Money Geek’s own Maggie Lovitt.
Maggie Lovitt (ML): What got you into acting? Was there a performer you watched and just thought, ‘I want to do that'?
Paul Guerra (PG): The need to touch people through storytelling. I'll never forget when I saw Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight” for the first time. It blew my mind and after seeing it I remember thinking “An actor can do that? I'm in!”
ML: You have been making quite a name for yourself with your podcast and show CineDharma. What inspired you to start producing your own content? Do you see that becoming something even larger?
PG: The realization that times are changing and that now more than ever, we have the platforms to express our creativity and give value to the audience through film and acting topics and conversations. Ultimately, my idea is to build a community of creative people who support each other on their journeys.
ML: Going off that, outside of acting, do you have any aspirations to write or direct?
PG: Never say never.
ML: Do you enjoy having more creative control over your content where your YouTube show and podcast are concerned?
PG: Totally! Every piece of content I make has a specific added value to my audience that I'm happy to share.
ML: Do you have any tips and tricks for growing a successful YouTube series?
PG: First of all, just start, do it! Post content at least once a week, don't worry about metrics and always think about adding value to your audience through education or entertainment.
ML: You're a host with Univision, which is one of the largest Spanish-language content providers in North America. What has that been like? Are there any challenges to hosting that you hadn't anticipated?
PG: It has been one of the nicest moments of my life, especially after working hard for 11 years to get a shot at a huge platform finally. Of course, I'm a fast talker in Spanish, so I had to readjust my voice and tempo as well as be extremely precise during live broadcasts. It's like the theater; you have to be present 100% and be ready for anything.
ML: You also hosted the morning show El Club de la Mañana in Ecuador, do you feel like that helped prepare you for your work with Univision?
PG: 100%. Everything I went through hosting that show in Ecuador has been like a school for what I am doing at this point in my professional career.
ML: Where do you see your career going? Are there any directors or franchises that you're bound and determined to work with?
PG: I want to enjoy the process and embrace whatever comes from it. Oh yeah, my list includes directors I admire like Dennis Villeneuve, Paul Thomas Anderson, Bong Joon-ho, Barry Jenkins, Alfonso Cuaron, to name a few. In terms of actors, I'd like to shoot a scene with Joaquin Phoenix. Franchise wise, I'd like to be part of a Batman project where The Joker is included.
ML: Hollywood has been making strides to improve representation. In your career, are you cautious to avoid being typecast in Latinx stereotypes?
PG: I think the situation overall is improving, and now more than ever is a great time to be a Latinx actor in the industry.
ML: What is the best piece of acting advice you've ever been given?
PG: Less is more. I am enough. And the best one… Just listen!
ML: With COVID-19 essentially shuttering Hollywood and the film industry for the remainder of 2020, how are you doing? Do you have a survival job keeping you afloat during this uncertain time?
PG: Thank God I've been healthy through this situation. Yes, I'm still shooting segments for Univision from home.
ML: You used to work as an attorney before pursuing a career as a performer. What convinced you to jump into acting?
PG: The feeling that the 9 to 5 life was not for me. Don't get me wrong though, Law is a beautiful career, but it just was not the right fit for me.
ML: Follow up to that, do you find yourself using any of the skills you learned in law school in your acting career?
PG: Totally! So many things from Law have been useful for my acting career, such as doing extensively meticulous research for characters I'm working on.
ML: What was it like to move to Los Angeles? Any advice for fellow actors looking to make the big move?
PG: It was a leap of faith because I never visited Los Angeles before. I had no friends, family, or connections in this city. But after years of a strong work ethic, I can say that hard work pays off. My advice would be to save some money, work on your craft and do some work in your hometown first, so when you come to LA or wherever your big move is, you'll be more confident in yourself and ready for when that big opportunity presents to you.
ML: I've always joked that I personally got into acting because of the catering on set. What has been one of your favorite meals on set?
PG: Haha, that's a good one! I've enjoyed a lot the salmon, baked potatoes, and all breakfast options (burrito, omelets, scrambles, etc.).
ML: What is one thing you have to have at crafty?
PG: Crafty is dangerous!!! There are so many sugar options that I need to have a strong will to avoid them. I usually go for the boiled eggs and every single type of nuts that they may have.
ML: I saw you had been talking about La Casa De Papel on CineDharma, what have you been bingeing during quarantine?
PG: Yes, I was curious about how the story will unfold, especially after the two first parts, which were spectacular. I've been bingeing The Office (again!), which is very therapeutic to me.
ML: You were recently in the Ghostbusters World game commercial, are you a gamer? What have you been playing, if so?
PG: Yes. In fact, as a young kid, I was really hooked with my PS1 and playing Nintendo 64 with my friends. Now I play GTA V, Red Dead Redemption, the last Spiderman game is so much fun, and I always loved the Metal Gear Solid games.
ML: What can we see you in next?
PG: You can find me on television every week on Univision, online on my show CineDharma and in the feature film “El Pueblo Que Espero Milagros” and TV show “Luna” that will be starting production this year when this situation gets better.
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