Taking the Waters
Demian Bechir talks about his roles in Robert Shenkkan's By the Waters of Babylon at the Geffen, Stephen Soderbergh's film Che, and Showtime's Weeds.
"I love the Cuban people and their culture, which may be part of what attracted me to these works," he says. "The play talks about so many things I'm interested in -- especially the idea of love as being healing -- and the Geffen has such a great reputation. And yes, I know that a two-character play can be very demanding and require a lot of concentration. Two years ago, in Mexico, my brother and I did an adaptation of Stones in My Pocket, where we each played seven characters. But it's a privilege to do this play."
As for the challenge of tackling a young Castro, Bechir was eager to jump at the opportunity. "It wasn't quite the project one jumps into lightly or superficially, and I'm the type of actor, that I once I say yes, I go overboard," he says. "I did a lot of research to play Castro; I read and watched and listened to whatever I could; I worked with a vocal coach; it was basically breakfast, lunch, and dinner for me. But I'm pleased. When I saw the film, I told my girlfriend that I didn't recognize me at all."