The actor, writer and lawyer Arthur Santileone is shining in the eighth season of the series “Reis – A Consequência”, from Record, playing the character Simeia. Born in Campinas, Arthur took a surprising path to reach the television screen. Graduated in Law in Natal (RN), he ventured to the Southeast in search of his dream of acting. With a journey that included selling coffee door-to-door and going through several acting courses, the actor managed to consolidate his career and conquer significant roles.
In the plot of “Kings – The Consequence”, Arthur Santileone gives life to Simeia, a character marked by the complexity of being the son of King David and, therefore, bearing the consequences of a relationship considered sinful. Simeia struggles to find her place in her brother Salomão’s shadow and faces prejudices while searching for recognition within her own family. Arthur’s performance brings to life a brave, special protagonist in search of his identity.
In addition to his acting career, Arthur also dabbles in writing. His book “Legado de História e Imaginação” explores the border between the real and the imaginary, leading readers to question whether the script described was actually recorded. Coming from an adoptive background, the actor also shares his love of art as a form of escapism and refuge.
While following an innovative path as an actor, Arthur does not stop exploring other passions. He dedicates time to singing, dancing and sports activities such as running and swimming. His journey is not only inspiring, but also illustrates how determination, passion and authenticity can shape a remarkable and versatile career.
How has the experience of playing the character Simeia in “Reis – The Consequence” been? How complex is this role and how did you prepare for it?
Simeia was a gift from Record TV at a time when I was just taking care of the script for my next project, so being able to go backstage and in front of the camera was extraordinary. I love being on the set of a period project, learning to ride a horse, fighting… including, as a big fan of “Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars”, taking fight lessons and living in a world far from my reality it’s been surreal. The role of Simeia moves me because he is in a moment of life similar to the one I lived between the end of my law school and the beginning of my acting career in 2017, the limbo… the phase of having to make decisions and not knowing decide… I was in limbo not knowing whether I would pursue a legal career or pursue my dream of being an artist. Simeia is in limbo and in a shadow between the sins of the fathers, that falls on him in the form of society’s prejudice against him and his brothers, and his future that is already decided without him having any choice: he will never be the KING, since that title only belongs to Salomão, lived brilliantly by my work partner Guilherme Dellorto. That is, Simeia does not know what to do with her life and follows the flow of events. All this “background” I had to build from the moment I was selected for the role, so that I could step on the set more safely, and thanks to my trainer Denan Pettmant, from “Téchni Academy”, I managed to be confident to act in the best way and even propose new Simeia moments during the scenes. since this title only belongs to Salomão, brilliantly played by my work partner Guilherme Dellorto. That is, Simeia does not know what to do with her life and follows the flow of events. All this “background” I had to build from the moment I was selected for the role, so that I could step on the set more safely, and thanks to my trainer Denan Pettmant, from “Téchni Academy”, I managed to be confident to act in the best way and even propose new Simeia moments during the scenes. since this title only belongs to Salomão, brilliantly played by my work partner Guilherme Dellorto. That is, Simeia does not know what to do with her life and follows the flow of events. All this “background” I had to build from the moment I was selected for the role, so that I could step on the set more safely, and thanks to my trainer Denan Pettmant, from “Téchni Academy”, I managed to be confident to act in the best way and even propose new Simeia moments during the scenes.
Simeia is a character who deals with prejudice and lives in her brother’s shadow. How did you approach this emotional and psychological duality in character building?
I answered part of this question in the first question lol, but in addition to what I already said, I needed to understand Simeia’s position in the Kingdom of Israel, and how he sees the sinful past of King David, lived by Petrônio Gontijo, and of Bateseba, interpreted by Anna Lima. I tried to use emotions that could give me freedom to play on stage without having to be a copy of what everyone is when it comes to pleasing a powerful being, which in this case is King David. Simeia won’t agree with everything, and he won’t even think like the others, at times he will be by his father’s side, at others he will accept that David needs to pay for the consequences of his sin and that’s okay. Simeia can become cold and neutral in her father’s affairs. Not to mention that he misses more attention from his mother, who only has eyes for Salomão.
You made the transition from law to acting. Can you tell us about this journey and the difficulties you faced when you arrived in Rio de Janeiro to follow your dream?
I took OAB but never wanted to practice… it’s not my passion. I got to work in Telemarketing in Natal (RN), even with a diploma in my hands… if I was going to do something far from law, let it be in the profession I always dreamed of and here we are lol. I left Natal in 2017, I went to my birthplace which is Campinas (SP), I took some theater classes there and in 2018 I came to Rio de Janeiro for good. It was a decision that left me isolated from the whole family, since everyone stayed home and I was alone exploring Rio after acting courses, free jobs on webseries and television tests. I worked selling coffee for a while, but it didn’t pay off. I got some free roles in some jobs until my first feature film appeared, “MEDUSA”, directed by Anita Rocha da Silveira and produced by Vânia Catani (Bananeira Filmes). Medusa was the start of a career with financial return, in addition to putting me on a set that breathed cinema the whole time. I was very lucky to have been part of the cast of this film that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021, with Mari Oliveira, Thiago Fragoso and Bruna Linzmeyer in the cast.
You mentioned studying in different places. What would you highlight as the most valuable experience in terms of artistic development?
The best place I studied was with Denan Pettmant at “TOP – The Own Project”, today renamed “Téchni Academy” and which is right here in Rio de Janeiro. It was there that I rediscovered myself as an artist, especially because we work a lot with the realism/naturalism that cinema demands so much, whether Brazilian or North American. There I learned to work with emotions and to “fine tune” my “working instrument”, which is my body, that is, I learned to use speech, body and look in favor of the character and more precisely.
In addition to acting, you are also a writer. How did your interest in writing come about and what inspired you to explore the theme of psychopathy in your work?
As I lived in Rio Grande do Norte for 17 years, I was a little far from the artistic center of Brazil, which is the Rio-SP axis. As I still didn’t know if I was going to pursue a professional career in art, writing is what I had left to stay connected with this universe. But when I was about to graduate, I needed to choose a topic for my CBT and I tried to combine two of my main interests: Criminal Law and Psychopathy, which is a topic that many films and books have addressed for years. In this joke, I ended up turning my TCC into an E-book and published it in 2017 on Amazon. It is called “Brazilian Criminal Law and Legal Psychology: an analysis of cases of Psychopathy”. In fact, it will be 10 years since I’ve been studying this topic and I’m learning more and more new things… it’s a scary and fascinating topic at the same time.
About your book “Legacy of History and Imagination”, how did you balance the line between the real and the imaginary? And what message do you hope to convey to readers?
“Legado de História e Imaginação” is a scripted book, that is, written in the form of a movie script, which was born out of the need to bring psychopathy to a fictional narrative and dealing with cases of psychopathy that are not always addressed in the mainstream media. : the non-complete psychopath or the psychopath who doesn’t kill, but who is everywhere and causes great inconvenience to victims who will never know they were victims. It’s a thriller that seeks to alert readers of the potential risks of looking at psychopathy as something far from us…no!! As Ana Beatriz Barbosa Silva said, “The Psychopath Lives Next Door”. Many people tend to think that a psychopath is just a “Serial Killer” like Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer, but no. psychopaths who live in society, they have a family and work normally and do not seek to harm anyone, just as we have the psychopath of a more moderate degree who will become the famous swindler and make several victims without taking the life of a single soul, but all these types are still psychopaths and we need to recognize them. Everything goes far beyond the “Serial Killer”, which is the maximum degree of psychopathy.
How do you deal with your “complicated” background and adoption? How does that experience influence your approach to life and art?
I always knew I was adopted and it helped me grow up at peace with that. My parents, Irene and Dirceu, were wonderful and gave me a very rich upbringing of values and I am eternally grateful. But I always had that feeling that there are still missing pieces of my story that are out there, wandering through time and space, and that I will never be able to understand. Even though I know who my biological parents are, there’s a whole life story behind them that doesn’t belong to me and belongs to me… it’s mine and it’s not… that’s very strange. But it’s the price I paid and that’s okay. Better that than never having been adopted by anyone and not having the possibility of a future. Therefore, adoption is very important and one day my son will be adopted too. I want to adopt a child over four years old, as the older the child, the harder it becomes to find a home for her. I want to be able to repay what life has given me: the chance for a better future.
You spoke about your passions for reading, comics, movies and series. Has any work in particular influenced your artistic career or shaped your worldview?
Oh my! Miscellaneous! Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was the first film I saw at the cinema, back in 2001, and it was the work that made me want to be an actor, but there are films that shape my artistic profile and that greatly impact my scripts and artistic choices, they are them: “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”, “Citizen Kane”, “The Keeper of Promises”, “American Graffiti”, “Eyes Wide Shut”, “The Dark Knight”, “Once Upon a Time in the West”, “City of God” among others. But there are other artistic influences that shape me daily: actors like Wagner Moura, Fernanda Montenegro, Rodrigo Santoro, Al Pacino, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro, Cate Blanchett. Musicians and singers like Chico Buarque, Ney Matogrosso, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Hans Zimmer, John Williams… film directors George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Sérgio Leone,
In addition to acting and writing, you also dedicate yourself to music, singing and dancing. How do these activities enrich your creative journey?
I found out that I’m a tenor and I auditioned for characters that required singing, here’s my request for me to be “Chico Buarque” in a future biopic lol lol, many say I look too much like him in my youth and I have a voice which I believe fits with his songs. It’s fascinating how the act of figuring out how to use your voice to sing, impacts the way you’ll take care of and work your voice in acting, it’s all interconnected. Dance is essential to loosen up my body and leave it free to work on the roles I will play, especially since I go to the gym every day and we know that bodybuilding can leave you “stuck”, so dance goes there and “unlocks” everything lol.
His career spans television, film and even international awards. What are the next steps you plan to continue exploring different aspects of art and entertainment?
I am writing a project for Brazilian cinema that will cover the Second World War and Brazil’s participation in it. We have few works talking about the subject and I believe it is essential that we preserve the national memory of this very decisive period of the last century, especially of such a powerful journey that the FEB had in the theater of operations in Italy and the impact of this journey on the Allied victory over the Axis. I study the subject a lot and I am very excited for us to move forward with this feature, not only to impact our country, but for the world to know the strength and courage of Brazilians.
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