As private of a person as iconic Mexican singer Luis Miguel has been over the last 40 years, giving a production company your blessing to tell your life story in a TV series seems like the exact opposite of what El Sol de México would do.
Actor and singer Diego Boneta (Rock of Ages) never got a chance to ask Miguel why he decided to support Luis Miguel: The Series, but he’s glad the singer chose to move forward with the project. The second season premiered its first two episodes on Netflix on Sunday, April 18.
“I don’t know the exact reasons about why he decided to do it,” Boneta, 30, tells Remezcla. “He’s been so private about his private life. But I did tell him how I thought what he was doing was brave, and that I admired him for it.”
Admiration for Miguel probably comes easy for someone like Boneta, who started his career around the same age Miguel did—just 20 years later. Miguel released his first album, Un Sol, in 1982 at 11. Boneta appeared on the Mexican reality show Código F.A.M.A. in 2003 at 12. Coincidentally, the first song he sang on the show was Luis Miguel’s “La Chica Del Bikini Azul” from his 1984 album Palabra de honor.
“Then, 16 years later, I got to record [“La Chica Del Bikini Azul”] for Season 1 of [Luis Miguel: The Series], which was nuts,” Boneta says. “It’s the craziest example of when things were meant to be, they were meant to be.”
So, due to all their similarities, does Boneta feel like portraying Miguel in a TV series was a role he was born to play?
“Looking back at it now, I can say I’m very happy that I got to do it, and I gave it my all,” he affirms. “I played it as if I was born to play it.”
In Season 2, Luis Miguel: The Series presents Miguel’s life in two decades—the 1990s and 2000s—and covers the many “betrayals, secrets, reunions, challenges and sorrows” that he had to deal with during that time. A few of those things include meeting his estranged daughter for the first time, confronting his grandmother who threatens to take his younger brother back to Madrid and managing his own health problems.
“I really like how the second season is darker,” Boneta explains. “It’s darker because that part of his life is where he went through some really difficult, personal challenges and was juggling so many things at the same time. I really like showing that side of him—that human side.”
Boneta said one of the most important things about playing Miguel during this season was to generate empathy for a character that “screws up” on occasion. Although the series has the support of Miguel and is considered the “authorized version” of his life story, it is not a project where writers wanted to gloss over some of the more unflattering things about Miguel’s life.
“We all have our own demons,” Boneta says. “As an actor, it’s more interesting to play those anti-hero types of roles. We understood that we needed to tell those tough moments and so did Luis Miguel. That was the most important thing for me—not always portraying him as the hero. People can’t relate to that.”
Even then, Miguel didn’t reveal everything. There’s still some mystery behind the man in the spotlight. “He did share some really intimate things with me that he asked me not to tell anyone,” Boneta says. “He told me things he thought would help me with the character. There was that camaraderie and understanding between us. It was a privilege to have that.”