Our guest this week is Patrícia Vasconcelos, casting director who created and organizes the program Passaporte – dedicated to the promotion of Portuguese actors in the major international film industries – which tells us about the profession, how Portugal was off the radar, and how it came to be popular.

Not everyone that is a standard good Portuguese actor is Joaquim de Almeida. Yes, Joaquim de Almeida, our favorite villain in Hollywood, who starred with Antonio Banderas in Desperado and even reached other commercial blockbusters, as was the case of Fast and Furious 5. But there are many more Portuguese actors trying for a career abroad.

In part, the one responsible for this is Patrícia Vasconcelos. The casting director of reference who decided to create a program in which she brings to Portugal great casting directors of the largest film industries in the world and introduces them to Portuguese actors. The Passaporte, which she also organizes, arose from a feeling that Portugal, in this world, did not exist.

“I had a strange feeling that everything stopped in Spain. There was no idea that Portugal even existed.” – Patrícia Vasconcelos.

This, for Patrícia Vasconcelos, made no sense. With so much quality in Portugal, coupled with the fact that in our country – unlike what happens in Spain – the films are not voiced-over, allowing the Portuguese to have greater familiarity with main languages, the casting director decided to do it the other way around. Instead of the actors going after the directors, the directors came to the actors.

The result is evident. More than 60 casting directors passed through Portugal and had contact with Portuguese actors under this program.

“Portugal is finally on the map, and it is desirable, and who doesn’t want to spend a week here in Lisbon, be well treated and take in their pockets half a dozen names of actors?” – Patrícia Vasconcelos.

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