WITH homes in New York and Marbella, American actor and film director Damien Chapa seems to have escaped the celebrity limelight despite long term success.
He agreed to give an exclusive interview to RTN and to explain some of his achievements which include four starring roles in films which between them have earned $250 million (€220 million).
In addition, one of those films, Blood In, Blood Out was for a while the highest grossing Latin film of all time.
Born in Ohio in 1963, he explained that his father was, in his words considered to be a “small time gangster” whilst his mother was a “very beautiful woman yet had a drinking issue who left when I was quite young”.
From the age of 15, Damien looked after himself and eventually joined the US Navy.
“The first time I visited Spain was when I was a petty officer in the 80s, I will never forget coming in on the ship USS Suribachi anchored about by Palma de Mallorca. I heard a song in French playing on the radio which I will never forget.
“Nor will I forget how the beautiful Spanish people made me feel. It was truly paradise on the islands. I always wanted to come back and promised I would. The feeling in Spain is like no other.”
As well as acting, Damien who writes and directs documentaries and features explained, “The last film I made was with Angus MacFadyen and the brilliant actress who has her roots in Spain Paz De La Huerta.
“It was called Vatos Locos 2 (Crazy Dudes), after a Los Angeles street gang. It’s a gangster picture and I am now writing a script called Luz which is about an American blue collar postman (Iraq war veteran who suffers PTSD) who by chance meets a beautiful Spanish aristocrat as he delivers mail to her home and they find themselves in a peculiar friendship.
“I will be filming Luz in Spain in October and I am looking for the lead, a beautiful charismatic Flamenco dancer with an aristocratic background.”
When asked about his current life, Damien was very open and responded “I travel from New York, to LA, to Spain and other parts of Europe now. I have a lot going on and if I don’t have things going on. I make things happen as I cannot stand idle time.
“I guess I am a workaholic. Someone asked me what I do for a living. I guess they asked me that because I do so many things, direct, act, produce, distribute and yes even cinematography.
“So when they asked me what do you really do I just said I make things happen. Which is really all a producer does.”
Damien, of mixed heritage including Italian, Mexican and Native American has so many stories that this interview will be run over two weeks in order to allow him to expand on his love for Spain and the Spanish people and to give more details of his fascinating life.