The well-known presenter and actor Celso Zucatelli will make his long-awaited debut on the big screen with the national action film “Tração”. Invited by director André Luís, Zucatelli will play the character “Rico Rei”, a controversial and provocative journalist who brings remarkable comments about important moments of the plot, together with the performance of the acclaimed actor Nelson Freitas, who gives life to the motorcycling-loving politician ” DiMello”.
The film, which dives into the universe of motorcycles and features references to the renowned “Heist Movies” of the 70s, such as “Italian Job”, hits theaters across Brazil tomorrow, providing an experience full of action and adrenaline, valuing stunts and effects practices so appreciated by film buffs and spectators.
This is Celso Zucatelli’s first foray into the audiovisual sector as an actor, who has previously participated in plays and musicals, demonstrating his versatility and enthusiasm in tackling new challenges in dramaturgy.
How was the experience of making your film debut in “Tração” as the character “Rico Rei”? What attracted you most to this role?
I did some stuff for the theater many years ago and I’ve been doing it again in recent years. I’m very happy to be on television now, but I’ve never done film before. It was a great experience to receive an invitation from André, director and creator of this incredible idea for a Brazilian action film about motorcycle racing, something I love. Participating in this project alongside dear friends, such as Maurício Meireles and Pasquim, is a great satisfaction. I’m super happy, and this experience opens doors for others to come. It’s a nice feeling to be starting something new.
In fact, everything is quite different. Here I am in answer number 2, and each environment has its particularities. My participation in the film was in the television studio, an environment I know well and in which I feel comfortable. It made my debut easier. Theater, on the other hand, is a unique experience, as the actor is in direct contact with other colleagues on stage, with no second chances, which requires a lot of improvisation. It’s like live TV, while cinema, according to my experience, is more similar to recorded TV, with the difference of having a text to memorize, something that is not common in my job as a presenter. Each environment has its riches and challenges. I loved this opportunity in film, just as I love my work in TV and theater. Each has its own unique pleasure.
“Traction” is an action movie on two wheels. How did you prepare to play a controversial and provocative presenter in this context? What were your references to build the character?
The presenter had to have a controversial approach, with criticism. I’ve done television news with this style before, and I used the dear Marcelo Rezende as a reference. When I received the script and learned what André needed, Marcelão came to my mind. I really enjoyed playing this role, it was really cool.
My background in this helped, and I believe André even thought of me for this role because of that. It was a good way to start and experience the universe of cinema in an environment that made me more comfortable, it certainly helped and made me feel more confident about this first experience.
Traveling gives me the opportunity to be a sponge of knowledge, to get to know different cultures and languages, to live close to societies that are very different from ours. All this becomes an element for comments, analyses, criticisms and complements in my reports. It helps to bring extra information and translate facts from other cultures to the viewer.
For sure, travel has a big impact on my acting, I always bring a lot of my experiences to my role in the studio. The information I learn and the experiences I accumulate are used in reports, interviews and comments, adding to the pool of information that helps me to communicate more fully and accurately.
What’s it like juggling your passion for travel and extreme sports with your media career? How do these experiences influence your work as a communicator?
I’ll tell you from the bottom of my heart, I gain energy every time I participate in every action, every moment we’re doing it. I gain energy, I don’t spend it, see? I just gain, gain, gain more energy to be able to do other things. It’s really cool to be involved with social causes, it does a huge amount of good. It’s such a good exchange, such a good gift for us. The causes with which I am most involved today in my routine are especially animal protection, as everyone knows, my involvement with a pet adoption application and with animal protection NGOs. This is something very special in my life, in my routine, as well as an education project for special children, which is also a very cool project.
So, being able to participate in these things is very good. A little while before answering this interview, I was participating in a meeting and analyzing the details of an application that is part of this education work for special children. It’s very good, I gain energy, I gain strength, I gain more desire to move on with life and build a better society. It sounds like a cliffhanger, but it’s not. Each one doing their part, everything gets easier. And I’m not just talking about building a better society, I’m talking about living happier, stronger, with more pleasure. It’s really cool, I gain energy, it’s really good.
About my love for animals, I am the father of Paçoca, with great honor, my dog. Animals are part of my life in a very special way. I support causes related to animal rights since Paçoca went on TV as a baby. We started making guidelines for pets and I didn’t know anything about this universe of animal protection. I was simply a guy who loved dogs, as I am to this day.
Upon entering this world, I began to understand the universe of NGOs, shelters, the difficulties, the needs, the flags. I learned from these people, understanding what their important needs were, and I learned how important it was to collaborate in every possible way. Collaborate financially, with time, with ideas, with image, collaborate in every possible way. It makes me feel good, I only win with it. It’s really cool to be able to be part of, help, collaborate in the dissemination of lost animals, abandoned animals, animals in search of families, or in the fight against mistreatment, in the fight for laws that really punish those who do this, laws that change people’s relationship with animals, valuing good deeds and what is really important in the cause.
Animals are part of my life, they are part of my family at home. We have four, the Hamburger was the last to arrive, adopted at the end of last year, in December, in a battle to survive due to a virus. Thanks to God, he is with us now, being the fourth element of the class at home. It’s great to have him with us, and I try to show people how good this is and what good it can do for all families. Always valuing responsible and committed adoption, because it is a life, it is a life in the same way as ours. I always learned from the protectors, I learned from the NGO group that we should value and simulate what they are. Always responsible adoption is a life that gives us all the love in the world, and then you need it, you need love, care, lots of love, care and respect.
Throughout your career, you’ve had the opportunity to cover important events in Brazil and abroad. What were the most striking and challenging moments of your journalistic career?
As a journalist, I can say with certainty that Obama’s election was one of the most remarkable moments, without any exaggeration. It was very special to witness the American population so happy and excited about that moment, something I had not seen in other elections there. When I moved to the US, I had just completed my MBA in finance, and I was at the height of the financial crisis, so everything was very fresh for me, with lots of information, contacts and sources available.
It was a tremendously rich time, and watching the election of Barack Obama was a gift to my career as a correspondent. In addition, I covered the New Orleans hurricane, the emergency landing of the plane in the Hudson River and many other special situations that immensely enriched my professional career. However, without a doubt, Obama’s election was the most transformative moment. It was a message to the world, the election of the first black president of the United States, an event of great importance for the entire planet. Being able to be a part of that and cover that moment was a gift and an unforgettable experience for me.
How do you balance your personal and professional life, especially considering your long partnership with journalist Ana Claudia Duarte? What are the values and principles that you share?
Look, I’ll tell you that in the beginning we met in college, right? We’ve been together since college and, in the beginning, people would ask: ‘Well, what about at home, what’s it like? Do you avoid talking about journalism?’ Or exactly the opposite, right? We talk a lot, one helps the other a lot, palpitates a lot and guides the other. It’s really cool to listen to someone who wants your best and opines with suggestions in your career decision-making. That’s really cool, it’s a counterpoint, and we have very different opinions on a lot of things. So that’s really cool too, because it’s good to have someone by your side who has an opinion different from yours, and that obviously helps you in building ideas, in building what you plan, what you want. It’s super cool, and at the same time it’s really nice to have someone who understands this crazy routine, huh? Not having a weekend, not having a holiday, having to cancel a vacation trip at the last minute, having to go back in the middle of a vacation trip, interrupting and that’s okay. It’s great to have someone who understands this and who lives the same way. This obviously makes our lives easier.
And in the universe of theater it’s also the same thing, right? Because the routines are also different, weekends, Saturday night, Sunday night, it’s my wife’s life much more than mine, mine is occasional, that of hers is now her routine. This, then, is very cool, we can understand this reality of each one and add. So, this is wonderful, and at the same time, knowing how to value, because we both love to travel, we both love to know the world and be able to understand that we need to give super value to the moments when we manage to do that. And from there, invest in it and do it with the greatest love, with the greatest care, and reserve the agenda to do it. Dude, it’s good as hell, it’s really good! It’s very good we do it together, we do it together. So, one collaborating with the other, one helping the other in this mission, so that we can have fun. And we do it all the time, all the time.
What are your future plans and projects? In addition to film acting, are you interested in exploring other areas of the entertainment industry?
I usually say that these opportunities appear, and we have to embrace them. So, I don’t know what will appear, but if there is a chance, I’ll play. We have to be open to possibilities, because we have the privilege of working in an environment of creation, ideas and opportunities. That’s why, when we’re open, doors open for us too. I don’t know what lies ahead, but for sure, I want to learn to do other things and always be growing, as a professional, as an artist, as a communication professional. I believe that every day we open a new door, we gain knowledge, and that is very good. One of the best things in the world is being able to go home with the certainty that today I learned something new. My life is richer, it’s cooler.
Follow Celso Zucatelli on Instagram