Roberto Urbina, Colombian actor: When comparing a Latino and an Anglo, I think there is no longer any creative or visual difference

March 24, 2023

Miryana Márquez

Roberto Urbina actor

As an actor, Roberto Urbina has been able to perform in both Latin American and American series and films, giving him a broad vision to compare both. “Right now there are no creative or visual differences. When one sees a Latino project compared with an Anglo project, I think there is no longer any difference,” he points out.

“I just saw two Latino projects: Manes, on Amazon Prime Video, and La Primera Vez, on Netflix. I liked both very much, in tone, performances, shots, and creative approach. The first time I thought it was incredible. I’ve worked before with Mateo Stivelberg (one of the directors of the series) and I wrote to him saying ‘hey, it turned out very, very well’. We have a lot of talent in Latin America,” he said.

Urbina was born in Bogota and has starred in Colombian productions displayed in other countries in the region such as Tarde Lo Conocí, Metástasis, and Correo de Inocentes. He has also worked in US hits such as Héroes, Recovery Road, and Snowpiercer, in which he portrayed Javier de la Torre for four seasons giving him worldwide recognition. He currently lives in Mexico, an equidistant point between Los Angeles and his country places where he mainly works.

According to Urbina Latinos have increased their representation in the market and he considers that for a Latino actor, this is a time less complicated to make the leap to Hollywood. Being a woman of color -Afro-American or Latina – at the moment is a great advantage, while the same cannot be said for a white man. “What they are looking for is diversity. Although in the US both minorities are underrepresented, in Latin America there are many stories to tell and they are doing so very well.”

His most recent project is the American film Deadland, in which he stars and which just released at the prestigious South by Southwest SXSW film and television festival in Austin: “Premiering at that festival is the greatest thing that has happened in my career. It is my opening news of the year.”

In Deadland, Urbina gives life to Angel Waters, a US border agent, son of Latinos, but born American, who is forced to make an arrest that seems routine, but which will haunt him forever: “He meets a migrant who decides to cross the river and this migrant literally changes his life. It’s an internal conflict in which Angel doesn’t know for sure if he’s from here or from there.”

The film mainly takes elements of horror and mixes them with many other genres such as drama, thriller or suspense. “That was the idea. It’s not exactly horror. It was an interesting, fun, and curious experience because I am a super chicken about horror, but this was a bit more psychological horror,” he said about this experience which he shared with a cast of many nationalities, including McCaul Lombardi (USA), Luis Chavez (Peru), Julieth Restrepo (Colombia), Kendal Rae (Australia), Julio Cedillo (Mexico), among others.

After the film is introduced in Texas, Urbina will return to Colombia where he is currently shooting Alix, a film by Catalyst Studios and Imaginer Films, under the direction of Ana María Hermida (La Luciérnaga) and in which he shares roles with Natalia Reyes and Carolina Guerra.