Manuel Ojeda He was one of the few artists who could masterfully interpret two figures from Mexican history: Porfirio Díaz and Emiliano Zapata. The severity of his characters made him one of the most popular villains in telenovelas like “Laberinto de pasiones” or “Loving you is my sin”. His name has appeared on more than 300 credits between plays, soap operas, television series and films..
Manuel Ojeda excelled in cinema, theater and television. Pictured during “The Trial of Hidalgo” at the Hidalgo Theater in November 2010.
your talent transcended until he brought him to Hollywood alongside the likes of Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, in one of 1984’s box-office hits, “Romancing the Stone” (or “In Search of the Lost Emerald” or “The Lost Emerald,” depending on the Latin American region in which it was released), giving life to the villain Zolo. from this tape Ojeda revealed that he arrived without speaking a word of English.
“This (movie) changed my life in so many ways. I had played small roles in American films, I had never learned English, and suddenly it occurred to me, this was a star. I was going crazy but I was hiding in a way you have no idea and they were sending me telegrams and calling me, ‘Manuel, you have the opportunity of a lifetime, it is a star of North American cinema directed by a great director (Robert Zemeckis) and with a popular actor who is Michael Douglas”, “I’m fine, I can’t speak English, I won’t, I can’t”. Overall they convince me and I go‘ he said in an interview on the show Montse & Joe in November 2021.
The foray into a Hollywood production also broadened his perspective on his acting style.
As Ojeda recalled, Douglas invited him to view the footage before editing it, raising doubts about his work. “He invited me to watch as they were investigating what was being filmed and I didn’t know it because from the moment you start going, ‘Camera, action!’ and they film you, that’s in line, and I said, ‘What is that?, what a crap, what a horrible thing!’
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This was another Hollywood trick Ojeda learned: recreating locations thousands of miles away where the action supposedly took place. During the promotional tour, the actor said he clarified that filming would take place in Veracruz (Gulf of Mexico) as well as in Durango (North), and then traveled to New York and Los Angeles.
Romancing the Stone was a box office hit, grossing $115.1 million in a $10 million production. It also meant greater attention to the protagonist of “El Apando”.
In an interview with ‘BCSNoticias’, he recalled moving to Argentina for another film job after that film, “People didn’t know me because there’s no Mexican market there, but because of ‘romancing…’ yeah ; in Spain (also). It had a huge, huge spread, for me it was a huge opportunity.”
Ojeda, who died August 11, had his last acting jobs in the series Corazón Guerrero and the film La María?