Multitalented and a born artist, Otaviano Costa started his career as an artist at a very young age, more precisely in the 1990s on Brazilian radio station Jovem Pam, where he was part of the cast of “Pandemônio”. With great irreverence, he gradually moved towards other media, moving from audience entertainer, reality shows, dubbing, presenter and protagonist of classic stories in Brazilian television drama.
Considered a born communicator, mainly due to the versatility of the projects he is involved in, he has worked for several broadcasters, such as SBT, CNT, Band, Rede Record and TV Globo, from which he left in mid-2018. Lebanese descendants by lineage father, Otaviano began his career on television with “A Escolinha do Golias”, a production created by Carlos Alberto de Nóbrega. Other successful productions soon followed, such as “Éramos Seis” (1994), “Caras & Bocas” (2009), “Morde & Assopra” (2011), “Escolinha do Professor Raimundo” (2005), where the character Ptolomeu lived, in addition to of a great career as a presenter with “Domingo Espetacular” (2004), “Video Show” (2013), commentator on “Amor & Sexo” (2012), among others. Check out the interview!
After years of career, today you are considered a natural communicator, and even multifaceted, considering that you are present in several communication channels. In your opinion, what makes you have a communicator profile and what is needed for a person to adopt it?
I’ve always been this multi-willed, multi-desire guy who, with multiple faces, managed to accomplish many things. Of course, you develop more than one gift or another. I had the ability to understand what makes more sense or not for my career, it’s not just communication. Being a communicator was born in me, it’s from birth. The question of the actor was one of training. The radio, the announcer, the voice, it was work, it was about building a career. And so on. Music in my life is also information, so I think that with the evolution of my career and with the series of events, multiple events, I’ve been testing each of these situations, and then we’ll understand what makes the most sense. But I love being able to have this ability to be multi, to accomplish several things. Because not only does it make me happy, but it opens many doors, doesn’t it?! And Brazil finally has the same vision that the Americans have had for so many years, which is the culture of entertainment. Here, we are already used to having in our universe: actors, communicators, artists, as well as the figure of the entertainer. And that’s how I see myself as a communicator these days. I absolutely consider myself an entertainer.
The beginning of his career was on radio stations in Brazil, and although they continue to have a good audience, the podcast phenomenon on music streaming platforms ended up reviving some of those experiences with audio programs. What has been your take on this trend? Thinking about investing in it?
Look, I love this whole revolution. About how people have changed, how the form and the multiplatforms decided to tell their stories, present their contents and this generates a lot of creativity, many possibilities. And, of course, it forces all of us, especially those who are professionals in this entertainment segment, to rethink paths, journeys, formats and perspectives. I, who came from the radio, and breathed and still breathe, is the “timing” of the radio. My way of communicating in this segment, it’s cool to see how the evolution of audio has also changed. All of us, isn’t it?! I recently did a project for Spotify called “Sofia”, which is a fiction, even premiered in several countries around the world, including Brazil. First fiction in Spotify’s podcast format. I had the pleasure of bringing a character to life in the radio kind of way. Novel, that’s not it. It is a reunion with the past, but a look to the future. And I am sure that this evolution will not stop and I already have projects, in addition to the one I have already carried out, to many others that go not only in this path that points the radio in the way of doing things, but that shows the future through the form to consume.
Still on the radio, his first job was as an announcer in 1990 on Rádio Jovem Pam, on the program “Pandemônio”, where he drew attention for producing various sounds and imitations. After almost 30 years, is this first experience still reflected in your current work?
Radio is very special to me. It is the vehicle that transformed me, molded me, laid the rails so that I could pass with my locomotive of communication. This vehicle was instrumental in shaping me into the communicator I am today. The timing of how I think about things today, how I communicate, how I speak, how I think, and so on, come from this mold that radio gave me. So I think, I’m not sure, that radio will never die.
Whether talking about personal matters that become public or presenting yourself professionally, you’ve always shown a lively style, so much so that you even worked as an audience entertainer on Domingão do Faustão, on Rede Globo. Do you believe that humor and irreverence helped you to conquer the audience you have today in Brazil?
I’ve always been very cheeky, and I say it and I say it again, I am and I had to be bold. I was never shy about seeking or trying to open new doors and dreams. I always persisted, I believed it was fundamental. It’s a journey of transforming yourself. So I had to transform. I had to challenge myself. I had to look for new paths, be daring. Even as an audience entertainer, I went from Faustão, even though I was a reporter, because this audience animation happened at a time when I was already a reporter for Faustão. But even so, I understood that, animating the audience there in those moments of the pre-program, they will serve for an experience, for a journey, for a perception of something or someone. And that was it! And I will always be that figure, abusively in search of my achievements, my dreams, my joy. And, of course, with maturity, you lower that voltage a little bit. Many doors have already been opened, but I haven’t lost that voltage yet. I’m always excited to keep doing what I do and I always will.
In the early 90’s, you did your first work as an actor, first in “Escolinha do Golias” and in 1994, you played Tavinho in “Éramos Seis”. How did acting come into your life and what was it like making that transition from radio to recording sets?
I was born a communicator, this is in my soul. I am like this, I would always be like this. But along my journey, when I was already a radio broadcaster, working on some other opportunities, the possibility of acting began to emerge. As much as I already had the interpretation there, here I had no training, so I asked for many chances. Because of that, I decided to become a professional, to take serious courses, with serious people, so that I could definitely open up this shelf of opportunities and also see me as an actor, as well as a broadcaster. After a while, a lot of things came up that gave me a chance to act. And, consequently, the universe of teledramaturgy, theater, and so on emerged.
In addition to being an actor and broadcaster, you also began to consolidate yourself as a presenter in 1999, after replacing Luciano Huck on “Programa H”, at the time broadcast by Band. Later, he walked until he reached the “Video Show”, where he was also a presenter alongside Mônica Iozzi, who entertained the audience a lot in the afternoons. How were these experiences and the duo with Mônica Iozzi?
Look, when people ask me, for example, what was the best moment of your career, what was the coolest program you’ve ever done, what’s the unforgettable moment, what’s the most successful moment, and such, I always answer that the journey was wonderful and it is being wonderful. I cannot single out one or two television products, broadcasters, platforms, partners or work partners with certainty. Because everything was so incredible and I always understood that every thing smaller or bigger always collaborated with my constant transformation. So, of course, all these passages, for example, you mentioned “O Posito”, as the “Video Show” were incredible, unforgettable, exciting, valuable. Because when I remember each one of those moments, I smear with nostalgia, in the best of senses. First for the people who were part of this journey and then for the things we accomplished as an artist. From the public that we touched in one way or another, whether through laughter, emotion or information. So, for each clipping of this, for each shelf of this, it was an incredible journey that I consider very unique in my life. I just have to thank each of these people for the opportunity I had, but I can’t single out or say which one was the best. It was all worth it and “Everything is worth it, because my soul is not small”.
In 2001, after presenting a battery of game shows on television, you joined the first team of presenters of “Domingo Espetacular”, which would be an electronic magazine of RecordTV. For this type of programming, how do you consider your connection with journalism to be? Is he in your field of interest?
I love your observation! It is interesting to note that, in almost all the programs I do, I try to combine journalism in one way or another, or rather, information with entertainment. What generates that “Info Entertainment” and the “Video Show” is a clear example of that, right?! How much information about the universe of Brazilian television, about artists, do we transform into entertainment?! The “Amor e Sexo” I did with Fernanda Lima? How much legal information about the LGBT community that was about human diversity, sexual behavior and so on, was turned into entertainment and information. “O Positivo” itself, way back, we inserted at the time, many interviews, journalism in a certain way, bringing different things to the universe of young entertainment at that time. So, I like it a lot and I think it is very important. It always is possible, if it makes sense for the formats, to add information value, so that it makes sense as a whole. But, of course, not every content format allows this, but where possible, I will always try to stick with these two pillars of information and entertainment.
After a hiatus, in 2007, you made your comeback as an actor through RecordTV, and in addition to dramaturgy, you extend yourself to various fields of communication, such as presenter, radio, and nowadays even an Internet personality through Otalab, in partnership with UOL. How did the concept of Otalab come about and what were the biggest differences you felt when making this transition from a program made on television to something exclusively on the Internet?
Look, since I decided to leave TV Globo, in 2018, even though I had a current contract, I had in my head a very big provocation of being able to put or test at maximum power the multiplicity of artistic abilities that I have. Have broader possibilities of multiplatforms, multiformats and multiple paths. That “Entertainer” thing, which hit me really hard, pulsing really hard and gained even more momentum. And that’s when I decided to jump over the open TV wall. Isn’t it momentarily?! Because I can go back, as I already did. I jumped this open TV wall to test and experience this fantastic world here of multiplicities, of multiple situations. And that’s me, and that’s how I’ll be. And more than ever, the entrepreneurial side at this moment also gains a refined power, because everything I seek today, to accomplish as an artist, I also try to accomplish as an entrepreneur, so that one thing leads to another. So this is helping a lot in my thinking for the future. I mean, for the present and the future. I really like seeing myself in this place. Today I have the joy of starting work on my newest project, which is my first film that I created. It will be produced by Conspiração Filmes for Disney. I’m making a movie, just for Disney. Look how fantastic! And the coolest thing about this project is that I am the protagonist, that is, I am bringing together the actor, the creative, the entrepreneur side, all in one. I went there and opened the door to sell this project and they bought Disney. So that’s me and that’s how it will be especially for everything I want to provoke in myself since leaving open TV.
Both on television and on the radio, his curriculum is quite extensive, not only in productions, but also in the diversity of topics he tends to address, from more spicy subjects like “Amor & Sexo”, on Rede Globo, to his own program, the “No ar com Otaviano Costa”, made by the station’s radio. Would you believe that there would be an exact theme for Otaviano Costa to be in a program, or is the eclectic form really present in its essence?
Look, it doesn’t make any sense if I don’t think eclectically, about being multiple in my life, according to everything that’s happening nowadays. This directly refers to the creation drive of each project that I enter. Each format we imagine for the platform, especially its content and each project with a specific look. I like that eclectic thing and I’ve always liked to bring tones where possible. Mixture of tones within the same format, you know?! This also happened on my radio show. I would bring serious information, then I would come for humor, I would come for the stars, for fun, for mess. This has to be part of my thinking and part of my creative orientation, for each situation. Research reveals this. When I’m serious, people stop to listen to me and when I get emotional, I generate laughter. This is very good to know, this is what I continue and will always continue to bet on.
Another form of artistic communication that you’re not so new to is dubbing. Among the titles in which he has already lent his voice, for example, we can mention “The Incredibles 2”, where he participated in a duo with his wife Flávia Alessandra. How do you consider your relationship with dubbing to be?
This is one of the most challenging jobs I have on my radar in my life, voice acting. Something sacred, beautiful to be done. It’s so beautiful to go back to the past, but at the same time, as I said, to look to the future. We made “The Incredibles 2” together, Flávia and I, but I also did “Ferdinand”, “Inside Out”, it’s a very challenging job. It’s difficult, it’s a carpentry of the voice, it’s a carpentry of interpretation. I say this to give value, especially to professional dubbing actors, because we artists are invited to do some dubbing in a timely manner, to call and highlight, to give attention and to highlight the films, for each journey of communication and dissemination of each animation of that. But there are these incredible professionals who do the day-to-day work of various films, various formats, animation content and who do a beautiful job and when we get there, even though we have acting experience, it is a very big challenge, because it is very difficult fit your voice there in “lipsync” (in sync with the lips, in the right tone, in the exact interpretation). It’s very beautiful to do and it’s a job that I really want to continue doing as much as possible, also because it meets what I find very beautiful, which is the voice. And it’s one more way to test the voice in another multiple format.
Considered a television classic, especially when we talk about humor, in 2015, the remake of “Escolinha do Professor Raimundo” debuted, this time with Bruno Mazzeo inheriting the character from his father and you playing Ptolemy. What meaning has being able to relive this program bring to your artistic life?
I don’t forget a scene that reveals a lot of the feeling of having done that. The experience of being part of it. All of us actors already dressed as characters. I like “Seu Bartolomeu” who happened to be played by Nizo Neto, son of Chico Anysio. We already had an aura there of feeling, of anxiety. All the students were already in the room, the actors, and the only one not in the room was Bruno Mazzeo, dressed as “Professor Raimundo”. And then we all went in, introducing ourselves, we were introduced because there was a live audience, so the board introduced the characters. Cininha de Paula, director at the time, called out: “And with you now, Bruno Mazzeo, Professor Raimundo”, when he walked in it was a transcendental thing, nobody saw Bruno, dear Bruno, actor Bruno Mazzeo, we saw the “Professor Raymond”. We saw Chico Anysio there and it was very moving. I got emotional and we saw several colleagues getting emotional too. There was non-stop applause, because it was almost like a spiritual meeting, you know?! Chico, descending on his own son and Bruno incarnating. If we are to use metaphor, he embodied it in an absurdly beautiful, fun way and it was a fantastic experience to be able to make humor in this way. So many valuable people, genius of humor who were by my side. It was an amazing experience and will be forever unforgettable.
Otaviano, in addition to being Olívia’s father, the result of his marriage to Flávia, you also have Giulia Costa, as your stepdaughter, who has also always been present in your life since your marriage in 2010. acquired in your life trajectory, what is the legacy that you, as a father, intend to leave for your daughters?
I have two daughters! Giulia is my stepdaughter, the daughter of the heart and I am also her godfather. She chose me to be her godfather when she was young. I’m the best man along with Keila, my wife’s sister. And I have Olivia who is my blood daughter. So, for me, I have two girls, one by heart and the other by blood. I think that Flávia and I practice every single day, we try, and that we already see in them, what makes us very happy, is that regardless of the world we live in, which in the eyes of a child, is a spectacular world, of fame, success, but always trying to nail their little feet to the ground, you know, in the best of senses! Letting things be very natural so that none of this affects not only us parents, but especially them. That they value, not what we had, not what we have, not what we represent as artists, public figures, but for what we are, in short. The legacy we leave is “Don’t worry about having, worry about being”. That’s it!
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