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“An actor must interpret life and, for that, must be willing to accept all the experiences that life has to offer. In fact, he should seek to know more about life than life puts at his feet”. The James Dean‘s phrase is believable with the trajectory of Luís Nicolau Schumann Puig, who, as an actor, refused the cliché of good-looking characters and went beyond the comfort of his own consolidated TV career to engage in vast experiences.

Currently, living in São Paulo, Nico Puig is at his fullest of achievements, whether romantic or professional, and the villain who appeared to the sound of Stereo MC‘s is something as distant as a reincarnation.

We went after Nico Puig and unfortunately we weren’t able to have an in-person chat, not that we feared the red laser of the character from his first Globo soap opera, but because of the safety measures of the pandemic times.

Personal archive

Schumann Puig, what is his origin?

Schuman is Austrian and Puig is Catalan, but I also have African and Indian in the family, it’s a very mixed family, a blend (laughs).

You started your career as a presenter when you were a teenager on the show Revistinha on TV Cultura in 1988/1990. How was this show like?

Revistinha was a great thing to do, right, it was a live, daily program, made by TV Cultura, and it was a delicious program, it was educational, it played with the imagination, I joke that it was a big freak because the cameras were always crooked, the colors were fluorescent and it was a very nice trio Daniela Barbieri, Ariel Borghi and me.

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Not many people know but you also opened the TV Manchete show Milk Shake in 1989. An opening by the way that had advanced special effects for the time (you turning inside a blender with milk). What was it like to make a show that marked a teen generation?

Opening Angelica’s Milk Shake was a great treat; first because it had a retro aesthetic that I love; second because I did it with Ana Paula Matiotta, who was a model at the time and very much my friend, very dear; and it was really cool to be part of the imagination of this generation, it was a job we did in Rio de Janeiro and it was really cool. Good memories.

Was your TV Globo debut on Sex Appeal? The miniseries was a success and revealed several talents such as Luana Piovani, Carolina Dieckmann etc. Was this job cool?

My debut on Rede Globo was doing Sex Appeal, I played Tony, who was a middleweight boxer who ended up becoming a model and I worked with amazing people like Bel Kutner, Camila Pitanga, Carolina Dieckmann, Luana Piovani… well, there was a start for many people and it was very cool to do that work with the direction of Ricardo Waddington and a text very well written by Calmon, which portrayed a whole generation, the yearnings, the dreams of a whole generation, so it was really cool.

nico puig
Personal archieve- Gabriel Lucas

In 1993, you played the villain in the global soap opera Olho no Olho, a very prominent character, in a plot aimed at young audiences (again) that was quite successful at the time. What memories do you have of that work?

Right after (Sex Appeal) I was invited to do Olho no Olho, which was also by Ricardo Waddington’s direction and script by Calmon. The character was cursed right, completely different from anything I had done so far, a very faceted character, and he was very prominent, he was the antagonist and he was very cool. The beginning of the filming were made in Rome together with Tony Ramos and Stênio Garcia, for me it was a pleasure to travel with them, mainly doing work because it was a business trip… it was a really cool time, I liked to do it, despite of the character being cursed, I really enjoyed doing it, it was very different from Nico and that was a wonderful exercise and I hope people have good memories.

You lived for 1 year and a half in the United States, what made you move to another country? The possibility of pursuing a career abroad?

I went to live with my partner in San Francisco, we stayed there for 1 year and a half, it was not my intention to work as an actor, quite the contrary, I wanted to see the other side of the coin, work formal jobs, work serving people and I managed to do this, I worked with house cleaning , I worked with garbage , I worked with souvenir shops… in short it was a very nice job, everyone I did there and it was also a very nice moment to be there in a place where I I always thought about being, living, even closer to my partner.

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You posed nude for G Magazine in 1999, being one of the best-selling covers. Did you do it for vanity or money?

Before going to San Francisco, I was asked to do the pictures for the magazine, G Magazine, and I did it because I didn’t think there would be any harm in doing so; on the contrary, I thought it was a good opportunity, even because I was going to be away for a while, living abroad and it was really cool to do the work because they followed all the guidelines I asked, which would be on top of the 7 deadly sins, that they were done most of the photos were outside, on the street, and I thought the work was cool. It was something I wanted to do, not out of vanity but more for money, but also so that I could show it in the future when I was really old… to show that I was once young too.

Did you ever fear losing work as an actor for having posed nude?

Look… if I had any problems regarding this shoot, I can’t assure you because I myself didn’t notice any retaliation, nothing that could affront me in any aspect, even because I was away for a while, I came back after the magazine already had been out more than a year, if it harmed me in any aspect, I do not know myself, maybe yes, even more than 20 years ago, maybe society had not yet digested this possibility or this type of work/photo-shoot, but for myself, I passed anesthetic (laughs) I didn’t see any problem with that, if there was, I don’t know.

You’ve been married for over 20 years to producer Jeff Lattari, how was that experience coming out of the closet in order to make your sexual orientation public?

I have been in a relationship for almost 25 years, it will be 25 years now… I am very happy, I feel lucky because I have found a person, a partner who encourages me, nurtures me; and certainly the fact of coming out may have had some consequences, both for him and for me… whether personal, professional, family… anyway, but nothing that we couldn’t overcome, because I understand that in life we have to try to do the that makes us happy and also dictates our truths, so I tried to do it and I don’t regret anything I did. Five years ago we really made it official, now I have his last name, and he mine, and so we lead our happy lives and wish the same for everyone.

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Do you watch soap operas? How do you rate dramaturgy today? Many claim that the quality has dropped a lot (weak actors, shallow plots etc).

I don’t think the quality of teledramaturgy has dropped, I think it’s pulverized, right, nowadays it meets different expectations, different niches, different audiences, I think there are some productions that have better quality, maybe others are a little more simplistic, but I think everything is entertainment, everything is cool, everything is paying off; I myself prestige, I watch, some I like more obvious, others I like less, but I don’t think it has lowered, I think it has changed, shaped itself for current times.

Recently in a live, the actress Maria Zilda Bethlem mentioned where have you been. What are you currently doing?

I am very happy with the memory of Maria Zilda, in fact, when I went to work with her in Olho no Olho, I was a fan because one of the characters I had most liked on television was in Vereda Tropical, Maria Zilda playing that ultrasexy character and when I went act with her playing my mother, I said ‘wow I hit the jackpot, right’. It was a delight to work with her, I am very happy for the memory, and where is Nico Puig? He is around, for life, he’s a guy who continues to do jobs, today I work with upcycling, I work with events, and I really enjoy what I do and I’m very happy to produce what I’m producing, and I have great memories of what I already have. I did but I look forward to amazing things for my future too.

Are you currently working with sustainability, recycling and reforestation, a tremendous career change, is being an actor no longer a pleasure for you?

Well… I don’t recycle anything, right, because recycling means reprocessing a material, my work is upcycling, in fact I appropriate certain materials that are discarded and I reuse it, reread it, right, and I also do my work with my events partner; and in relation to reforestation, I was actually part of a group called Piracaiova, which was a reforestation group with seedlings, with a certificate, but which was a group that dreamed much more than realized. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to move forward, but I keep planting possibilities within me and I know that many doors can open and that I still have many forests to explore.

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What message would you leave for GAY BLOG BR readers?

I think the best message I can leave for GAY BLOG BR is that differences exist and we need to respect them and we need to understand that the best thing we do in life is to really try to be happy within our life expectations … from what we understand as seeking what makes us complete and in pursuit of our dreams, and that we don’t let ourselves be overwhelmed by the other’s opinion, the other’s opinion is important, yes, but it cannot stand out from our wishes , our yearnings, and what we understand as happiness for ourselves.

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