International Star You Should Know: Colombian Actor-Director Victor Mallarino

Colombia’s Victor Mallarino has been acting since he was 5, and by 6, he was studying theater. At 13, he starred in sitcom “En Casa de Mama Leonor.” But performing was in his blood: Mallarino’s father, also called Victor, was an early director of the National School of Dramatic Arts, and at Colombia’s prestigious Teatro Colon.

IDOL CHATTER: Mallarino’s role models when he was growing up were Sanford Meisner for his interpretation of Method acting, Brit theater director Peter Brook and writer-director Clive Barker. His film directing idols include Leigh, Altman, Hitchcock and Fellini. He was able to meld both acting and directing himself in 2007 TV series “Amas de Casa Desesperadas” — in which he performed in and helmed nearly every episode.

DIRECT LINE: Despite his earliest roots in acting, Mallarino, 58, prefers to direct. He recently co-helmed 80 episodes of biomusical “Celia,” about Cuban salsa diva Celia Cruz, for Fox TeleColombia. The show bowed last month on Colombia’s RCN network and NBCU’s Telemundo, where it was a ratings hit, averaging 1.8 million viewers in its debut, and spiking 30% the next day. “As an actor, I can put myself in actors’ shoes,” Mallarino says. “I know what guidance they need from me.”

NOBLE REMAKE: Mallarino is also starring in Dynamo/Patagonik co-production “Malcriados,” the Colombian remake of Mexican blockbuster comedy “We Are the Nobles.” “Malcriados” started principal photography last month. And he directs the play “El Credito,” by Jordi Galceran, which opened Oct. 21 in Bogota.

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