Mexican actor Rafael Amaya plays the lead role in "El señor de los cielos," a new soap opera Telemundo will air in April.
The role of Aurelio Casillas, an ambitious and manipulative man who becomes one of Mexico's most powerful drug traffickers, is one of the strongest parts Amaya has been called upon to play. He says he couldn't be happier.
"This is the story of a man who came from nothing and became one of the richest and most powerful. How did he do it? Certainly, it's all fiction, but it's what we explore in this story," the 36-year-old actor born in Sonora state told Efe in an interview.
Casillas, a man blinded by ambition, got the nickname "El señor de los cielos" (The lord of the skies), because he used an impressive fleet of aircraft to make his drug shipments.
Amaya – who stars in the program along with Fernanda Castillo, Ximena Herrera, Angelica Celaya and Gabriel Porras – says that the role of Casillas allows him to explore the dark side of life, something that he enjoys as an actor.
"For me, the most important – the most fascinating – thing is human behavior. And my character is a very interesting individual because he's a very emotionally intelligent man. He's a man of the people, who is able to 'read' others and knows when someone is going to betray him and who is useful to him for what. He's an excellent strategist," Amaya said.
The story, although violent, carries a very important message, Amaya said: "It's deep, it's born from the deepest feelings. Aurelio was blinded by power and by ambition, but here we see that power isn't everything, that money isn't everything."
Amaya began his performing career with the youth musical group Garibaldi. His career as an actor in soap operas kicked off in 2001 with a role in "Sin pecado concebido," along with Angelica Rivera, the wife of Mexico's current president, Enrique Peña Nieto.
He has starred in a number of successful soaps since then, in particular "Alguien te mira" and "La reina del sur," the latter of which he considers to be a revolutionary production in the genre.
Amaya says that "El señor de los cielos" is another step in the evolution of the soap opera and advises his fans not to miss it because "We're doing things that have never been done. You're going to enjoy it."