Wonderland.

ELISEO BARRIONUEVO

The newcomer talks joining the cast of Sky Atlantic’s Rivieria, and what we can expect from the new season.

Riviera
Riviera

Another lockdown coming? Someone ready the TV because we’re ready to binge-watch all the series to pass the time, and at the top of our list is Sky Atlantic’s Riviera. The compelling show follows the glamorous elite as they navigate the secretive world of the French Riviera with newcomer Georgina Ryland (Julia Stiles) at the forefront of the madness. After an explosive two seasons, the new season sees Georgina venture to exotic Argentina to start a new life, leaving behind all the damage and devastation from the Riviera.

“They will also face a surprising Georgina,” says newcomer Eliseo Barrionuevo. “She’s taking enormous risks, which will lead her to enter new adventures, which will give the viewer the possibility of travelling to Argentina and seeing a completely different world from the one they have been seeing. I would like you to let yourself go through the new characters that appear in this season. I know they are going to fall in love with them and hate them at the same time. It is a season full of tension, action, and reflection on the world in which we live.”

Having started in various Argentinian films and productions, the actor makes his UK TV debut in Riviera, starring as the sophisticated and suave Dario. We caught up with the newcomer talking his role, joining the season in its third season and what we can expect next.

Check out the interview below…

Hi Eliseo! How are you?
Would love to say fine, but to be honest sick and tired of all this ware situation. Trying to stay positive and creative.

What have you been up to in lockdown?
Many things. It’s being a long time since the beginning of this, so …I’ve been reading a lot; I think more than 40 books by now. Watching all the classics (movies), I had never seen. Writing every day. I’m in a new play, and some kind of personal diary. Playing some music, practising my yoga and my meditations… learning how to cook new dishes… dancing alone some nights…

How did you come to join season 3 of Riviera?
I had an audition. My manager called me saying that there was an international production looking for two young Argentinian characters. So, I prepared Dario and after some auditions, they told me that the role was mine. Everything happened very fast. I remember taking a flight to Nice a week after the casting.

You play the sophisticated and suave Dario in the new season; how did you approach this role?
Well, it was interesting work to do. The first characteristic that showed up to me when I was reading the script was: “this guy is so ambitious”. So, I thought it could be an interesting idea, to take the decision that he would speak in English, in the best possible way. Definitely, this was too pretension. I mean, seriously an Argentinian guy trying to sound like an English man? Impossible. There is no way I can get around my foreign accent. But that’s exactly the reason of why I took that decision. Dario is extremely pretentious. He is the kind of guy that can’t realise that it would be better to talk normally, with no effort. Relax. Yeah, well. He doesn’t know the meaning of that word… relax you said? I liked the very idea of sounding strange when speaking. The next thing I thought of to shape his personality more in detail, was that he had to be different from his young brother. So, if Cesar is the rebellious, immature and provocative, Dario is the calm mind behind the plan. The serene side of the family. So, I knew he was not going to raise his voice ever. He controls his temperature. Because he is smart, and he knows himself as a powerful politician, so there’s no need to shout or go crazy about anything. But he is Latin-American. Even if his personality is not the typical prototype of a Latin guy, he can’t escape from it. So, I knew that the combination of these opposites would do its own job. He got this Latin blood, you know. And no matters what he does to hide it, there will be, knocking at the door, to go out. I loved the idea of that tension. This way, brothers would work in perfect combination, by his differences. If he suffers, that’s something he does in privacy. He will hide his feelings to the others in order to create mystery around him. I was attracted by the idea that he could be always hiding something. This was the essential dressing that I wanted him to have. I also knew that a guy who is having an affair with a woman like Daphne had to be a sophisticated man. So, we did excellent work with the costume’s department in order to find that elegance that would distinguish him. We looked for very specific fabrics for him. Particular glasses, watch, and a very tidy hair. Dario is the kind of man, that even if you are not with him, you can imagine his perfume.

Can you relate to Dario in any way?
I don’t know. My essence is more bohemian, but there’s an elegant aspect in him, that I would like to think I also have. What I definitely have from him, is the obsessive personality. No matter what time is it, he will keep working until he knows what to do. I’m exactly the same, when I’m shooting or when I’m rehearsing a play, I work obsessively until I find what I’m looking for. In other aspects, I’m very different. More temperamental than him. I do have that Latin blood within me!

 How would you describe Dario’s relationship with Daphne Eltham?
I don’t think they are really in love with each other. But they need each other, in away. They really like to spend time together. I also think they feel safe in the privacy of their lives together. But everything that revolves around them, their pasts, what they must face from now on, is too complicated for it to work. They perceive that they won’t be together for long. There’s something in the atmosphere that makes them know that it won’t last. But still, they want to be part of the others life, as much as they can.

What was a challenge you faced filming this season?
Everything. I mean, acting in another language, travelling, composing a character that hasn’t much to do with me, in a world that’s definitely not my world. It was even challenging to film in my country, in places I’d never shoot before, such as “Villa 31”, which is not an easy location… But I have to say, it was an amazing experience, I would love to repeat soon.

What’s one thing you’re excited for the fans to see this season?
I think that for the fans of the series it will be a very big change to see new characters with the power they have, with their own stories, their own density. They will also face a surprising Georgina, taking enormous risks, which will lead her to enter new adventures, which will give the viewer the possibility of travelling to Argentina and seeing a completely different world from the one they have been seeing. The contrasts between the world of power and the glamour of the Riviera, vs the density of South American power. I would like you to let yourself go through the new characters that appear in this season. I know they are going to fall in love with them and hate them at the same time. It is a season full of tension, action, and reflection on the world in which we live.

Outside of Riviera, what else do you have planned / what are you most excited for?
I will be based in Madrid. Hoping that things find their new normality, to finally present Once, the musical of John Carney with music by Glen Hansard, which I had the honour of starring last year in Buenos Aires, and which we will soon do in Madrid. I will be going back and forth to London and Buenos Aires, for different projects. Some that are already in the making, and others that will come. One of the things I love about my job is the possibility it gives me to travel. So, whenever I have free time, between one project and another, visiting new places, or returning to the cities that I love, it is always a pleasure. I am writing a new play and a novel. So even though I don’t like to run that kind of project, I’m very on top of them. Writing daily. Writing is a lifelong love, with which I found myself all the rage in these times of social distancing.

ELISEO BARRIONUEVO

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