Cristián de la Fuente Guest Stars in Dual Roles on "Haven" Tonight

By Jamie Ruby

Cristián de la FuenteLatin star Cristián de la Fuente, known for his role of Raphael Ramirez on USA Network's In Plain Sight, and who more recently appeared in a reoccurring role on ABC Family's The Nine Lives of Chloe King, will be guest starring tonight on the Syfy series Haven. In tonight's episode, de la Fuente will be playing the part of Cornell, a straight-laced banker who is also a serial killer with a twist.

De la Fuente recently sat down with the media to discuss his dual role in the upcoming episode.

Syfy Conference Call
Cristián de la Fuente

August 29, 2011
1:00 pm CT

Cristián de la FuenteSCIFI VISION: Can you talk about your character on Haven? It definitely seems like a strange one to play.

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Yeah, it was a great challenge and I don't want to give too much about the character because there's going to be a lot of surprises that you're going to find out during the episode. But, it's not your evil twin, but it's that incarnation of all your bad thoughts that one day you wake up and you're facing them. All your thoughts are materialized in a person that looks exactly like you and you're confronted to them.

SCIFI VISION: How did you start working on Haven? How did that all happen?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Well, I met the producers of the show a while ago and we were working on other stuff with them, and then one day we were talking and they say, "Oh, we have this idea of this character that would be great for you to play." And when they described the character to me it was a great challenge and I was like, "Oh, let's do it right now."

I've never played myself twice and it's a great challenge.

SCIFI VISION: How would you compare this to your role in In Plain Sight? What's different, challenge-wise and everything?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Well, the biggest challenge is, in In Plain Sight I had to act with Mary McCormack and here I was acting with myself, so talking to yourself is kind of a challenge. And doing all the scenes more than twice, because you do it all from one character and then you do it from the other character.

And then, always have in mind and being very careful that you're not confusing them, especially in Haven as they both were raised the same way and they were almost twins. To be able to understand, "Okay, now I'm playing one Cornell, and now I'm playing the other version of Cornell," so being very focused in trying to not confuse the characters.

QUESTION: At the end of the last episode of Haven, they gave us a sneak peek into your episode tonight, and we saw that Cornell was actually, it looked like, he's about to kill himself. So what bad Cornell is doing to good Cornell, is that really happening?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Well, yeah. As you know, we call them in order to make a difference that it's easier, like the good Cornell or the bad Cornell. But at the end we realize that the good Cornell is not that good, but let's try to keep it simple so the good Cornell and the bad Cornell.

When the good Cornell wakes up and realizes that the bad Cornell is trying to do something that he doesn't want to happen because it's something that he's been keeping as a secret, and he doesn't want that secret to go out or to really deal with it.

Many, many times in life we have things that we don't deal with, but all of a sudden this good Cornell one day wakes and he has this version of him that wants to do all the things that he hasn't done and wants to really face all the problems that he hasn't been able to face. So, that's when he gets scared and he starts to kill his versions.

QUESTION: What inspired you to take on such a controversial role on Haven?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Well, as an actor you always want challenges. My first challenge was to come all the way from Chile and start acting in a different language. That was my first challenge. When I did that then I started doing drama. When I did drama then I wanted to do sitcoms. And then, do different roles and then go back to Spanish, go back to English.

And then, when this character was presented to me and they told me about it, it was a great challenge. It was something that I've never done. I've never been able to play two characters at the same time and acting with myself, which is something that is, thanks to technology now, it's very easy to do. But, it's something that you don't get to do very often unless you're living with a mirror.

So, it was a great idea and a great experience, and I'm very happy I was able to do it.

QUESTION: You're joining a cast that's pretty well established already; did you find there was chemistry right away though with the cast members?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Yeah, I met Eric (Balfour) a while ago, a couple of years. I met him in another set that he was visiting, so when I arrived to the set he wasn't a complete stranger. But as you said, it's a cast that has a chemistry between them; they're all friends.

The fact that they're all living far away from Los Angeles in Nova Scotia, it's something that, you know, you all create like kind of a new family out there, and everybody was really nice. I was very happy, not only with the cast, but the crew and everybody. The first day, of course, you feel like the new guy, but then after a week I was like part of them and I didn't want to leave.

QUESTION: You're a part of the social networking site, Twitter, why is that such an important place for you to talk about new roles like yours on Haven?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Well, I realized that as an actor, unless you do theater you don't have feedback or you don't have a relationship with the audience, because you know everything you do is on the screen and people see it and you don't get feedback.

With Twitter and with all the social tools that now are on the Internet, it's a great way to keep in touch with people that see your work, and get their feedback, and have this kind of virtual friends that they follow you through your life and you follow them. And it's kind of cool because in the journey in life you're doing it with a group of people that are going with you, so it's a lot of fun.

QUESTION: What do you think it is about Haven that keeps people tuning in?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Well, when I saw the sneak peek of this weeks' episode and the promos that they have, you realize that Haven taps into that magic and unknown world that we never see, but it may exist or it may not, but it's always a surprising world. Everything has a surprising twist and everything is unpredictable. In life, many times things are very predictable, but in Haven nothing is predictable.

QUESTION: How was the experience of Haven different than what you envisioned before you got on set?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Well, I've never been in a set like that. When you are working with green screens and you are working with somebody that is supposed to be you, and then you're going to replace that somebody. The whole mechanics of how the show had to happen in order for us to see what ended up in the screen, that I'm doing both characters and they're both interacting, that was completely different from anything that I've done in my life.

QUESTION: What ways did you relate to Cornell in order to play him effectively?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: I've always said that we as human beings, we are a mix of many characteristics. We all have our crazy side, which in a way for us, let's say, so 10%, for other people it is 90%. You all have that mix of personalities and that mix of characteristics that make your personality unique and different from somebody else.

So, when I played one Cornell my - the mix of characteristics was in one way, and then when I played the other Cornell it was the complete opposite. So, all the craziness that I have, all the things that, sometimes you think about doing and you never do, all the personalities that you are not you play them.

QUESTION: Sounds like fun.


QUESTION: Can you talk about what it was like to travel to Nova Scotia to be in Haven?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Well, Nova Scotia I've never been there and it was great. I never ate so much lobster, because they eat lobsters morning, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the place reminded me of the South of Chile, where I'm from. It's a very beautiful place and people are very friendly, and it's a very beautiful place to travel to.

QUESTION: How do you feel to be one of the Latino actors in this popular series?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Every time that they put a, especially in this show with Cornell, it's not Gonzales and it could have been played by anybody. I'm very happy because that means that TV and film is opening to really embrace Latinos, not as the Latino character. "Okay, I'm going to play the Latino drug dealer. I'm going to play the bass boy. I'm going to play the gardener. I'm going to," no. All the characters that people always think, "Oh, that's the Latino," or to play the Latino because he speaks Spanish.

No, I'm happy when on TV you see a cop, you see a business man, a killer, a serial killer or any character that could have been played by a Latino, by an American, by European, or by an Asian. That means that TV is opening to embrace Latinos as we really are, because here Latinos come in different shapes, forms, and careers.

QUESTION: In your personal life, do you believe in supernatural phenomena? [Have you had] an experience or something like that?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: You know, I've never had a supernatural experience. My wife had had a couple and instead of believing that my wife is crazy, I'd rather believe that they exist.

...Oh, no. In Chile there's many histories and there's many things that happen and I've never had one but if many people had experienced them I tend to believe that they exist.

SCIFI VISION: How did you get started in acting?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Well, I started acting when I was 18. Wow, so that's 19 years ago, in Chile. Since I was a kid I always wanted to be an actor and growing up in a very traditional family my dad wanted me to be an engineer, because they always say that if you have a degree you can be somebody in your life. If you don't have a degree you're nobody, that's how my father's mentality was.

So, I went to college to be an engineer, and then one day I woke up and I say, "Why do I want to spend five years of my life to earn a degree that I'm never going to work. That I'm never going to us it," you know? It's going to be hanging on the wall and - so then I had a conversation with my dad. He wasn't very happy about me being an actor, but he, and especially my mom, supported me.

And then, that's when I started following my dream when I was 18, and thank God now 19 years later I'm still working as an actor. So, I haven't had to go back to study to be an engineer and work as an engineer.

SCIFI VISION: What's something that your fans would be surprised to know about you?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: That's an interesting question. I think probably what people don't know is I'm addicted to adrenaline. When I was living in Chile I was a firefighter. Now, I'm a Lieutenant to the Chilean Air Force and I fly with a (robotic) team. I do water ski and I do a lot of sports that require a lot of adrenaline, so that's kind of something that moves me. And probably the adrenaline comes from also every day trying to face a challenge and always trying to challenge myself, and not being comfortable in a way that life gets boring because it gets in the routine of daily routine.

SCIFI VISION: Do you have any other projects coming out besides Haven?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Well, there's a series for HBO Latin America that premieres September 4 that we produced in Chile with my production company. It's a series done in Spanish, but for all Latin America and for the U.S., and I'm very proud because there also I have a role that I play. I play a politician, but what's really made us proud is it was the first action series produced in Chile for HBO Latin America. So, we're happy that they're producing stuff in my country also.

SCIFI VISION: And what's the name of it?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: It's called Profugos.

QUESTION: How would you feel if you're offered a reoccurring role on Haven? Would that be something you're interested in or are you committed to other projects?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: No, right now I'm not committed to anything and the only one that I'm committed to is my wife because if not she will kill me. And work-related I'm always open to new challenges and new things, and Haven would be great because it's a great set and a great crew and I really liked everybody working there.

QUESTION: What will you remember most from working in Nova Scotia on the show?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Well, I remember how we celebrated the day. I was there ten days and it was one day that it was sunny, but we were all celebrating. And I think it was a day and a half so that was in the winter, and in the winter most of the time it's raining or cloudy, but we had that day of sun and we were all dancing and happy.

QUESTION: Do you prefer that weather or would you like to stick with the Chilean warm weather?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Well, I like warm, I like sun, and California is nice.

SCIFI VISION: What was your favorite scene that you filmed?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Favorite scene is probably the last scene that I had that, I'm not going to spoil what happened at the end, but it's a great scene where between me and myself, which just sounds crazy to say, but it was a scene with me and how the twist of what the decision that both Cornells have to make and what's the result of that decision.

Cristián de la FuenteSCIFI VISION: What do you think you've learned about yourself since you worked on Haven?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: That probably there's a bipolar part of me that I didn't know, because it was easy to talk to me.

QUESTION: What other character did you interact with the most on Haven, besides just your two characters of yourself?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Well, everybody of the show with Emily, with Lucas, with Eric, but Emily probably there - I had a little more scenes than with the rest.

QUESTION: Can you tell us a bit about which part you enjoyed playing more? Did you - I mean, you mentioned the bit about...

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Of course, the bad Cornell...

QUESTION: You enjoyed playing the bad character.

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Of course. We always have to be good in life. You can't run a stop light. You can't speed. You can't eat too much of anything. You always need to measure, and because you have to interact with society with yourself there're a lot of rules that we have.

But Cornell, the bad version of Cornell, doesn't have any rules, so it's great to play that little craziness that we have and do things that you would never do.

QUESTION: Beyond the police force of Haven, were you interacting with any of the other characters on the show, the Reverend, or any of those characters?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: No. Just with myself, that was a lot.

QUESTION: Was the storyline mainly based on your character? There weren't any other storyline plots going through this episode?

CRISTIÁN DE LA FUENTE: Well, there's also something that happens with a kid, but that kid is kind of related with me.

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