Miami Living Magazine

Catherine Zeta-Jones

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Mexican actor, Michel Duval, is quickly making a name for himself. Michel, who is only 24 years old, started his acting career in Mexico, and has become known for his role on Telemundo's La Señora de Acero. But after four successful seasons, Michel decided to pursue a new opportunity. SyFy's Deadly Class premiered last month, and Michel couldn't be happier to be a part of the cast. On the show, he portrays Chico, the #1 of the academy —no one messes with Chico. Chico is a different character for Michel. "Maybe the best character I've played," he says. "He's such a complete and human character. I really didn't want to do a one-dimensional villain; I was trying to go for a more human villain, a villain who the audience can relate to sometimes. Those are the best villains. I worked and developed that character for over nine months. I really went deep into shaping the physicality of the character— the posture, the way he speaks, to the way he moves," he explains. Though Michel has achieved one of his dreams (to be a part of the cast in an U.S. television show), his journey has not been an easy one. Michel always knew he wanted to be a Hollywood actor, so he moved to Los Angeles and visited many talent agencies. "I had that Hollywood dream. I would go to production agencies and just stand there drinking a coffee, thinking that someone would get out of the office and they would discover me," he chuckles. "I did that for a while, and it didn't happen, so I had to reassemble myself." So, Michel came up with a new plan: to return to his roots and establish a fan base in Mexico. That's when he joined the cast of La Señora de Acero —it's what he calls a stepping stone in his life. "I was coming back from Los Angeles. I was so hungry to put everything that I learned into action. I came back to Mexico, I was auditioning for a lot of TV shows, and when I got the role for La Señora de Acero, my character was the son of the Señora. He was going to be a teenager who doesn't want his mother to be in the drug business, so he's just a pain in the butt," he explains. "But something happens on the second season and the Señora de Acero dies. He loses everything that he has. And for the third season, he comes back as a man, and he is so young, but he is the heir to the throne." Starring on a Telemundo series was huge for Michel's career and garnered him international popularity. Not only was he able to build his fan base in Mexico, he built a new fan base in the United States. His move back to Mexico changed his life. It also didn't hurt that his mother, Consuelo Duval, is a recognized Mexican comedian and actress. Michel credits her for inspiring him to pursue acting and to never give up. "My mom, she is a big actress in Mexico. I got to witness one of the biggest inspirational stories in my life. My mom raised me and my sister by herself. Watching her get a job, and keep climbing in that business, and becoming one of the biggest comedians in Mexico's history, it sparked something inside of me," he says. Though Michel was eager to start his acting career early on, thanks to his mother, he had a normal childhood with school, friends, and heartbreaks. When he was 16 years old, Michel landed his first role in Atrévete a Soñar. Then, in 2012, at 18 years old, he landed his first recurring role on MT V Latin America's Último año —by this time, Michel was very comfortable in front of the camera. Michel has worked in both Mexico and the U.S. and tells me he doesn't have a preference. "What drives me is a good story, a good script." He has observed some differences between filming Mexican television and U.S. television. "The only difference is maybe time management." While filming Deadly Class, a weekly show, Michel spent three months filming ten episodes. In Mexico, he tells me he spent five months filming 75 episodes for Telemundo, which aired every weekday. "In the U.S., we film maybe 2-3 scenes in a day; in Mexico we film 25 scenes in a day —so it's crazy. In Mexico, we are hard workers, it's in our blood. I really like that in the U.S. they really take their time, every scene has a motive and set up for the future," he explains. Deadly Class has been a whole new experience for Michel —from the script to the pace. "It's a blessing. The show is great, when I read the comics, I knew this was going to be a unique, original, and human story. I think people are going to relate to that. I just want to see if people relate to it, and love the shit out of it." ML Watch Deadly Class every Wednesday at 10/9c on SyFy and follow Michel on Twitter: @Michel_Duval, Instagram: @Mich_Duval and Facebook: @MichelDuvalof

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