A 20th-century theatre in the heart of Guimarães. An actor with roots in the birthplace of Portugal, but whose face is familiar on screens across the world. Kevin Dias, who we’ve seen in the famous series Emily in Paris, one of Netflix’ big hits, has deep roots in Portugal, more specifically in Guimarães.
At the tender age of 10, he joined the cast of the film Amélie, and right there and then it was clear acting was in his blood. He made a name for himself in the second season of the series Emily in Paris in the role of Benoit, a musician with whom the main character’s best friend forms a band and ends up falling in love with. A talent on the rise who is now getting the recognition he deserves.
Q: So today we are shooting in Guimarães… a city that means a lot to you. Do you feel at home here?
A: I really do! I love this city, it’s where my dad was born. Since I was a kid, I always enjoyed coming here and spending my holidays at my grandparents’ place. But I confess I’d never known the beautiful Jordão theatre!
Q: You’ve been acting since you were very young. Did you always want to be an actor?
A: I always wanted to appear on television, I’m not entirely sure why… but I wanted people to see me! I started working on all kinds of advertising campaigns as a kid and I loved going to castings. It ended up being my favourite place to escape: learning lines, trying out different roles. Aged 10, I played a small part in the French film Amélie, and it was all the proof I needed that I wanted to keep on going.
From that moment on, I’ve never lost my passion for this business. If I’m not filming, I’m never entirely happy. Something seems to be missing, it’s difficult to explain, as if I need to be in constant transformation. I like this idea of being 1000 different characters in a single lifetime.
Q: Did Emily in Paris come as a surprise, at this point in your life? What was the experience like?
A: It really was a surprise, I didn’t see it coming. All I knew was, it was a global hit for Netflix and though the audition went really well, I never imagined I’d get the part because hundreds of actors were waiting in line besides me…
But the truth is, I also put in a lot of hard work, so it was a nice surprise that it happened. It ended up being a right thing at the right time of my career. It was an incredible experience. Shooting with the cast from the first season was without a doubt one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. I also learned a lot of watching an American production in action, always super slick, respectful and every day a pleasure to turn up on set.
Q: What have been the main challenges in your chosen career?
A: Always believing in yourself, and not comparing yourself to others. Everyone’s journey is different. Having patience, and never giving up. And whenever things go right, making sure to keep your feet firmly on the ground!
Q: What’s your lifelong dream as an actor?
A: To win the Best Actor Oscar, obviously! But acting in a film alongside Leonardo DiCaprio wouldn’t be bad either (smiles). I’m a big fan of his work.
Q: You play the part of a singer on the show, whose music goes viral… what role did music play in your life?
A: I always loved singing and playing guitar, but I never imagined I’d be recording tracks sung by me in a studio, that would end up on streaming platforms! When I began filming the series, the producers asked me “can you sing?” and I replied “I can make a go of it.” And that was what happened… but it wasn’t on the cards at first.
Music plays an important part in my life, and it helps me get through tough times. I’m pretty broad-minded, and I can spend my day listening to music, pretending my life is a film with its own soundtrack.