Giving It All Up for Faith - An Interview with Eduardo Verastegui
Beliefnet interviews the star of 2006's Bella and one of the members of the great cast for the upcoming historical war epic For Greater Glory.
That’s why they didn’t teach any of this in school, but I think it’s the opposite. We need to bring the wound out, heal it, go back to history to study and learn from these decisions that were made at the time, so we don’t commit the same mistakes in the present, so we preserve ourselves from all these horrible consequences. I think people need to stand up when the government is trying to take religious freedom away from the people, and hopefully we don’t make the same mistakes but sometimes people don’t learn you know. We commit the same mistakes over and over expecting the same results but its nuts. It happened in Spain a few years later, it happened in Cuba, and in many other countries. It will happen here now in the States and many parts of the world where the government starts taking the right of religious freedom away.
The character you play is a pacifist, is that something that you identify with?
Yes and no… no because my temper is very explosive. I’m trying to change the things I don’t like about myself and one of them is that. When I see somebody doing an injustice I have this tendency to try and do something right away, I’m trying to change more to Anacleto Gonzalez Flores. He was always trying to defend his faith, his belief, and his religious freedom with peaceful means like wisdom, intelligence, not with violence. I’m learning from him, I feel like I receive more from him than what I gave to this character. So I think this Mexican hero is going to change the lives of so many people, has changed the lives of so many people, including my own life. As an actor I am trying to see if I can do other roles, other characters, where I can learn from them. So by the time I finish I feel like I am a better person. I feel like I am more human by giving myself to portray them and in that process I end up learning so much about their virtues and about their lives and I can put that into practice into my own life.
[Flores] was a true peace maker and not only a person who was just talking. He did it. He sacrificed everything for something that was bigger than himself and he became a martyr. That’s the ultimate form of love for something bigger than yourself, and in this case it was for Christ, his faith, and to protect religious freedom. When I saw the film and saw the scene where he gets killed, he challenged me, and I asked myself “Am I willing to die for my faith?” “Am I willing to die for something bigger than myself?” “Am I willing to do the right thing?” “Am I willing to die to protect religious freedom?” Sometimes fear comes into me and the answer is no, but then I realize that it is humanly impossible to do what they did. They needed to receive a special blessing from God, where they get that strength to really die for their belief. I hope that if I am one day in a situation like this I can say “yes” and I can die for my faith.