I met Ruben Cortada once, when a friend of mine, television director, brought him to my house to offer him a job. He was offering the possibility of being the host of a variety entertainment program that would air in Cubavisión, on Sunday afternoons. The writer of these lines was involved in the idea; I was to be co-writer of that program.
He wasn’t hired. My friend withdrew from the project, which evolved in another direction. Cubans finally saw it on their screens under the name “Todo con Tony” with another presenter.
I only heard again of Ruben Cortada when I saw his name and face on the website of El Pais, which qualified him as an object of desire. Five minutes later, I discovered that this Cuban from isla de la Juventud had Spain in his pocket.
The febrile review dedicated to him helped me understand that this alumnus from the Lenin Vocational School had seduced the Iberian hearts. A feat he achieved in the least opportune time. From being an immigrant in a country in crisis he has become the protagonist in the most recent success in Spanish TV.
“His imposing physique went unnoticed among many other Cubans with sculptured body and hypnotic accent,” says El País about him and his countrymen, as if in CUJAE where he studied Automation Engineering, were a branch of Christian Dior.
Ruben Cortada plays Ben Barek Faruq in The Prince, a television series for Telecinco released in February 2014, in which he plays a Moroccan drug dealer whose sister falls for a cop.
That said, the argument may seem very bland (hey, it’s a telenovela), but the plot is more complicated, including terrorists and panoramic views of Ceuta, a Spanish city in North Africa.
The first season is over and they don’t leave Ruben alone. No day goes by without the Spanish press devoting a few lines to this Cuban. A victory for the Spanish entertainment industry and another lost talent to the island of his birth.
Rubén Cortada is the heartthrob the next Cuban telenovela will not have, a space that no longer collect crop because people got tired of complaining on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at nine in the evening. In the era of the Guidelines and the weekly package, Cuban viewer does not have to explore the five television channels (eight, if you already have digital TV) to find something to watch and be entertained.
A USB stick or DVD take him out of boredom. You might be able to fall under the spider web of Rubén Cortada´s telenovela. Then the Isle of Youth kid will become famous in his country, to the delight and amazement of many a few.
P. D. By the time I finished writing this note, a coworker was raving about the Prince a few meters from me…