Ready for Your Close-Up: How to spring clean your skinContinue reading.
Ready for His Close-Up: How Rodrigo Santoro got in “300″ shape
Rodrigo Santoro is a man who refuses to deny himself.
“Come over and I’ll make pasta pomodoro,” he jokes. “A little fresh pasta. Nice tomatoes. I make a good risotto. I’ll treat myself to some bread.
“It’s part of my routine,” he says. “I don’t do it everyday – of course. I like to eat healthy. But you have to live it up a little bit, too.”
“Don’t deny!” he cries. “Live!”
He’s living large in the new movie “300,” where the Brazilian sex symbol reprises his role as mortal-turned-god Xerxes. In the film directed by Noam Murro and written by Zack Snyder, Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) leads a charge against the invading Persian forces led by Xerxes and Artemisia (Eva Green).
Santoro enjoyed playing a mythological figure. “We’re not talking about someone who is good or bad. He’s not the hero or the villain.
“It was very rich terrain to explore,” he says. “It also made the experience fresh for me.”
Santoro says his character has changed.
“Six years have passed since I shot the first one. I’m a different person,” he says. “I thought, ‘How interesting. I can look at this in a completely different way.’
“I’ve never revisited a character before, although we don’t call this a sequel. It’s a companion film.”
He says getting in shape for the role wasn’t easy.
“I divided my sessions in the gym, which meant I would train in the morning and go back in the afternoon,” he says, groaning. “It was very hard work.”
What food did he miss on his mega-”300″ diet?
“I can only pick one food? Can I pick two? One for sweet and one for salty?” he begs.
“I’m half Italian, so pasta is a big thing for me. I missed a good pasta. And I missed a good ice cream. Give me my gelato. I couldn’t even be around the smell of gelato during my diet. I couldn’t look at it.”
“People ask me, ‘What is discipline?’ I think you have to mentally put yourself into your goal to the point where you don’t accept failure,” she says. “In terms of diet, you teach your body the right thing to do. I said to my body on this film, ‘Buddy, this is it. We have low carbs and low calories. This is what we have now. Let’s survive!’ ”
His physical challenges didn’t end there.
“There is no hair on my body for this movie, so I had to shave my whole body. Then there was the makeup process,” he adds. “I spent five hours a day in the makeup chair and another hour at night removing the makeup.”
He says it’s worth it to star in films like “300” and the upcoming Will Smith movie “Focus.” He’s currently filming “The 33,” based on the real-life mine collapse that trapped 33 miners underground for 69 days.
He has also done roles in films including “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” (2003), “Love Actually” (2003), “Che” parts one and two (2008) and “I Love You Phillip Morris” (2009). He voiced Tulio in 2011’s animated “Rio.”
He also played Paulo on “Lost” for the 2006-07 seasons and was a mysterious love interest for Nicole Kidman in a series of Chanel ads.
Stardom hasn’t gone to his head.
“I still go surf. I go to the supermarket, but at the right time. I’ll be looking at tomatoes and hear, ‘Rodrigo, is that you? Do you cook?’
“It’s very important to live your life,” he says. “Depriving myself doesn’t work for me.”