Sebastian Delascasas. Remember the name. In the future you may be hearing a lot more of it.
Sebastian is a homegrown talent with increasing traction globally. After the Qatar-schooled actor and writer wrapped the short film Live it went to Tribeca and Cannes. And speaking of wraps, strictly under wraps is Sebastian’s role in an unnamed major feature film shooting in Canada and due for release in July 2022. We can’t say much more about it, but it’s clear the young thespian is aiming to shoot the lights out. We chatted to the refreshingly modest and honest actor about his backstory, the characters who’ve influenced his life, and what’s in the script for his future.
Tell us about your upbringing in Doha.
I arrived here in 2005 at just seven years old. My dad is a pilot for Qatar Airways, which is why my family moved here. It was exciting coming to a new country as a young boy. It was a huge cultural change for me, but I couldn’t have been more grateful for it.
You lived in Qatar for 11 years. What are your most precious memories of home?
Having seen Qatar become what it is today is one of the most amazing memories I have. I think being able to look back and see how much has changed in such a short time is incredible. I remember there was no Pearl, no Villaggio, in fact, there really wasn’t much. I’ve been very lucky to see how much Qatar has welcomed and taken in other cultures to create a better place.
When did you first get bitten by the acting bug?
I only started acting in my senior year of high school. Until then I had never really thought about pursuing it. When I went with my little sister to a Doha Players audition for Peter Pan, I ended up getting the lead role, which was incredible. Ever since then, I knew it was what I wanted to do.
You performed several times with the Doha Players. Do you have a favourite role or a production you are most proud of with them?
I joined the Doha players in 2015. I did William Shakespeare’s The Tempest with them and very much loved playing Ferdinand in that production at the QNCC. It was my first time ever doing Shakespeare. I learned so much from the cast and crew and, to this day, it is one of the main reasons I fell in love with acting. It pushed me out of my comfort zone.
Please share the story of Some Like It Hot Theatre Company and the trip to the Edinburgh Fringe.
Jane Williams cast me in the Some Like It Hot Theatre Company’s production of Cluedo. Inc. Although my audition for the show was terrible, she believed in me and really wanted me to be a part of it. I guess she really saw my potential if directed correctly, and I am extremely grateful to her. We travelled to the Edinburgh Fringe festival performing the play there which was one of my greatest experiences. I was also called a “comedic standout” in the Broadway Baby review, which encouraged me to pursue this career.
We’re intrigued to know more about the short horror film 6.
I wrote 6 as a junior in college. My friend and I shot and directed the whole thing with essentially no budget. After presenting it to my professor, we worked more on it with her and submitted it to a bunch of festivals. The film was nominated for 17 awards and won eight, including Best Actor at the Lee Strasberg Film Festival, Hollywood Blood Horror Festival, London Shorts and Dark Comedy Film Festival and for Best Dark Comedy Film at the Hollywood Blood Horror Festival.
If you can make it there you can make it anywhere. So, tell us about your New York odyssey.
I went to NYU Tisch, studying acting for four years for my Bachelor of Fine Arts. I also studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, and at Stonestreet Studios. Life in New York couldn’t be better for an up-and-coming actor. I was lucky enough to get signed with the wonderful talent agency, A3 Artists, which has opened incredible doors for me. People are always trying to create and tell stories here, so it’s an amazing place to be.
Want type of actor do you consider yourself?
I studied at the Strasberg Institute, so I guess I would call myself a method actor. Method acting is the idea of using sense memory to trick your brain into reliving circumstances you have lived through and adapting them to the circumstances that your character is going through. Whenever I’m able to dive deep into the skin of another character, I really feel alive.
What is the theatre culture like in Qatar?
Theatre in Doha has been growing tremendously since I moved there. More and more people are being encouraged to take part in performances and shows. Doha has also made an effort to bring international Broadway productions to perform in recent years, which is an amazing opportunity for everyone.
How do you integrate your heritage and your upbringing to the global film market?
My Colombian heritage and my Qatari upbringing set me apart. Talent is important, but there are so many talented actors auditioning for things all the time. What makes you special is that you are you. My story is so unique and wonderful to me, that it shines through in my characters. ✤
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