“I was really born doing theater,” says the actor, producer and director. Humberto Zurita, one of the most emblematic faces of Latin American entertainment. She was born in the north of Mexico, in the city of Torreón, within the State of Coahuila. He is part of a large family of ten siblings, and he is the only one who dedicated himself to the art of acting. But when he was little he had little interest in the craft of the boards, until, when he was in high school (equivalent to our secondary school), a classmate invited him to participate in an amateur version of the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice . An invitation that he rejected because that profession was something that he was not interested in, until that moment he had never seen a theatrical show, and he was dedicated to trading in a designer furniture business. Everything changed when he witnessed the rock opera “Tommy”, with music by the British group The Who. At that moment he felt that the stage was his thing.
He moved to Mexico City and began studying at the University Theater Center (CUT), where he performed different plays for several years. Finally, she debuted in the profession, with the help of the Argentine actress Lucy Gallardo and the Cuban Carmen Montejo, settled in Aztec territory. She then filmed the film “Bajo la metralla”, under the direction of director Felipe Cazals, in which she played the head of a guerrilla commando. In 1981 the explosion of popularity would come with the remembered soap opera “El Derecho de Nacer”, on Televisa, along with the star Verónica Castro.
He won numerous awards in the activity, both revelation and best actor, although he maintains: “My greatest award was presiding over the National Association of Interpreters of Mexico (ANDI). “I am very proud to have served my union and taken care of everything that has to do with intellectual property.”
He was married for more than three decades to the Argentine actress Christian Bach, who died in 2019, and with whom he had two children. Very educated, refined, elegant and eternally seductive, he indulges in a conversation with NEWS to tell, among other things, his expectations with the new season of “Inexplicable Latin America”the History channel program that recorded in our city.
News: How do you remember Christian Bach?
Humberto Zurita: Like the great love of my life. She is the woman I lived with for 36 years. We met working, in Mexico, recording the novel “Soledad”, with none other than the remembered Libertad Lamarque. At that time each of us had her partner and we became great friends. Then we made “Depura sangre” in 1986, we fell in love, and that same year we got married. With Christian, who was a beautiful and extremely intelligent woman, daughter of the great dancer Adela Adamova, we founded the ZUBA production company. We started with theater and later, we began to produce television and movies for Televisa for many years until we moved to another television station, Azteca.
News: Are your children also involved in the entertainment industry?
Zurita: Well, they are two wonderful sons, Sebastián and Emiliano. The youngest studied architecture and the other studied business (economics), but today they live in Los Angeles and dedicate themselves to this. They say that ours is a disease and that it is a contagious disease (laughs). Well, they have a production company, Addiction House, with which they produce series that they write themselves. They are the creators, they direct, they act and they have done very well. Emiliano has just made a great film, called “The Dance of the 41”, about a real event that occurred in Mexico during the Porfiriato, with this issue of gays who at that time were not accepted and where several personalities of the political, of high birth, they got together, had a club and cross-dressed. It is a story that makes clear the machismo that exists in my country. This wanting to crucify all these people who had preferences that are not those of society. It is a very modern, very current topic, where respect for the rights of others is peace and where I believe that human beings should have more tolerance. Believe in each other, no matter the differences we have.
News: Did you allow yourself to feel love again?
Zurita: I met Stephanie Salas many years ago, together we did the work “The protagonist” by the Argentinean Luis Agustoni. She became very good friends with us and truly, I never saw her with anything other than friendship; I am eighteen years older. She worked quite a bit with our production company and one day we stopped seeing each other, until she called me when she found out about Christian’s death. We met again more often and now we are doing “Papito Dear”, a comedy that we would like to bring to Buenos Aires. It is a blessing to have found her again.
News: Let’s talk about the program, do you believe in paranormal events?
Zurita: I’m actually a little skeptical of these things. Nor do I leave aside the possibility that there may be energy. Well, I believe in energies, which can be good or bad. Simply you and I, in this contact, there is an energy in which we exchange something inexplicable. The writer of the scripts is passionate about searching for strange stories of UFOs or apparitions, visions or strange places. So this job has expanded my culture. My job has always given me a very interesting cultural background because everything you do leads you to investigate. For me, History brought me a great gift for this moment in my life. Although I am a little skeptical, now that I am seeing all this that I tell, these wonderful stories, I see that there really are magical and strange things that you could believe happen.
News: Of all the ones you had to present, which one do you remember as the most enigmatic?
Zurita: There are many, but one that I am going to tell you that is inexplicable, even for Mexicans and of course the entire world, is the great mystery of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Juan Diego. The fact that an Indian man climbed a hill that didn’t even have a cactus and, suddenly, he found some roses that the Virgin told him to ask for. It is a story that has a lot to do with us. The program exposes an inexplicable event so that you can decide for yourself whether it can be possible or not. There are also many legends from the colonial era in all the countries that were colonized. They are stories that came together between what came from Spain and what we, the indigenous people, were.
News: Is this your debut as a presenter?
Zurita: Well yes, it is an honor to be able to participate in this History proposal. John Leguizamo did it before, so when I received the invitation, I was very happy, because I had never “hosted” a program.
News: Do you feel the weight of the figure of William Shatner, the original host?
Zurita: I think Shatner is an excellent actor and host, in addition to being part of the production. He is a very established man, with a lot of experience and prestige, so trying to do what he does there in the United States is a great responsibility, but we accept the challenge with great enthusiasm.
News: You are no stranger to the context of what is happening not only in Mexico, but in Latin America, how do you see the current situation in general?
Zurita: From my point of view, I see it as very serious. I think we have very corrupt governments. All Latin Americans are not saved from that. They have already plundered us for centuries, you could say, because we Mexicans come from the Porfiriato, which was a dictatorship. Then we moved on to the revolution that promised a great change that did not happen because the revolutionaries ended up being, I think, worse than Porfirio Díaz. Today we have a very controversial government, with a president who fights with everyone and, politically, is very weakened. I believe that these political movements should seek, if not equality, then the fact that each human being had the same opportunity to reach their goals. They are like our parents, but we, the children, should not expect everything from them. When we are children, I talk about my country, because the government has the great obligation to educate them, feed them and give them shelter. I think that, if that parity occurred, it would be fantastic, but I think that everyone deviates in the tournament and that their ambition wins.
News: Can anything change?
Zurita: I have hope because Mexico is a great country and because its people have woken up a lot lately. Argentina, for example, politically has always been at the forefront of Latin America.. They have been very politicized. Mexico did not have that and from these changes that have emerged, there is beginning to be an intellectual movement among the people and the town that leads them to be interested in knowing more about politics, more about culture and to commit to life.