At the end of March 2020, to encourage fans to vote for the elimination of Felipe Prior in Big Brother Brazil, actor Hugo Bonemer, 33, tweeted promising a nude if his wish was fulfilled. Prior ended up being eliminated from the reality show and the audience just didn’t managed to appreciate Bonemer’s full nude because of a plastic bag covering her intimacy: “I asked you not to use a bag, a glass, or a straw.[…] It was just having refused a small bag”, he joked – but in the name of sustainability.
With 42% of the popular vote, Hugo Bonemer’s joke won the Poc Awards 2020 in the “The Bosh of the Year” category.
Hugo, you won PocAwards in the category “The Bosh of the Year”, title in 2019 won by Titi Müller at Rock In Rio. What was your reaction when receiving the prize, was it a surprise?
Huge surprise. I didn’t think it was going to have that repercussion. From the beginning, when I made the joke, I didn’t think about it and, to my surprise, the Internet is more debauched than I imagined.
Did it generate a lot of engagement in the social media, within the idea of marketing for the cause? Were you wanted to do more similar actions?
I can’t measure whether it generated engagement for the cause as I thought. In fact, I played the game and reversed the result for the environmental cause. I also released the second season of “A vida secreta dos casais” in which I appear naked, for anyone who wants to check it out. After all, I only intend to appear naked in audiovisual projects, so if someone still wants to see more, just send an email to the stations asking them to hire me, it would be a good way to help an artist they like and still receive a nude. But I have not had a significant increase in followers or commercial contracts in this matter. It was a passing joke and did not interfere either positively or negatively in my profession.
Veganism and sustainability are his life philosophies – at least two of them. Your posts on social media are directly linked to this cause, whether from the consumption of food or any other product that causes a harmful environmental impact. When did it start and what sparked your passion and involvement?
What woke me up was going to the middle of the ocean and seeing the amount of plastics that are floating very close to the Brazilian coast. Our authorities knows that and unfortunately that is not a priority. We already have biodegradable plastics among other alternatives and, at least what we can do indoors, is what I share on the social media, bringing more solutions than blame for people.
When you want to be didactic, where do you start your pro-veganism argument? Would there be any indication of literature or videos for the public that is starting their way of thinking about the planet in a long term?
I always recommend the documentaries that are on Netflix, like “Cowspiracy” and “What the health?”. For those who want to see how the industry works and are prepared for stronger scenes, I recommend the “Humanos” that is on YouTube. But what I really mean is to question relations of power. To what extent do we want to have certain powers within society? When I say that I am not going to eat animals, I do not want to have the power to raise, kill and eat and that ends up reflecting in other areas of my life and in thoughts that are very important for all of us today.
Changing the subject a little, you have a long resume as an actor – from the theater, the beginning in Maringá, to participation on Broadway and TV Globo. How do you use your space as a public person to deal with the social and behavioral issues that you think that are important?
I take the consequences of positioning myself the way I do. Just as there are producers who do not wish to associate themselves with my professional and personal image, there are also directors, producers and artists who sent me messages when I made my public outing in 2018, congratulating and wishing success. I believe that the market is undergoing transformations and I sincerely hope that I can also take advantage of the market opening to young and admittedly LGBT artists who are not in the comedy. I hope this is not just a benefit for the next generations. The market still seems uncertain to me after the outing but I believe that things will get better soon.
You have acted in “The Wizard of Oz”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Cinderella”; gave Romeo life; represented Jesus Christ and Ayrton Senna. You lent your voice to Freddie Mercury, in theaters. Which of these roles gave you the most pleasure? And what would you still like to be able to represent?
I would very much like to be able to represent my Syrian-Lebanese family’s origins in some immigration-related program. I would like to explore improving addictions, especially alcohol addiction, which is treated with a lot of glamor in our culture and which has devastating consequences and, in the most of the time, imperceptible. I would like to be able to tell LGBT stories from a more trivial point of view, with issues like getting attention to children or strained love relationships. And I miss getting on a set without knowing exactly what I’m going to do there with the new and different characters than I’ve been doing, quite often.
In fact, speaking of Freddie Mercury, you – musician that you are – have already opened Queen’s show, at Rock in Rio Lisboa. Maroon 5 and Bruce Springsteen too. You sang songs on television, as an actor and guest on television shows. Is it possible to sectorize the passions and measure what you like best or is it all part of a great indivisible artistic performance?
All the characters I have conquered are similar within the romantic and anti-hero spectrum. The musical dubbing, the theater, the cinema, the television, the reality musical, as it was in Faustão, poetry show, production of comic books, musical show. This has motivated me a lot in my profession, I am very happy with the chameleon label within a profession that being flexible is one of the greatest qualities. My biggest passion is getting into work without having the slightest idea of how I’m going to be able to do it, but when it doesn’t, I try to experience the same passion in very different media formats. I think it gets a little closer to the feeling.
And how do you see your struggles when viewed through the lens of public authorities? What are the steps in creating laws and establishing behaviors that still need to be fomented in Brazil?
The most urgent step is in relation to homoaffective couples within the IRS database, which arbitrarily and randomly determines who the child’s father or mother is, not considering both. The problem is that the IRS database is used by several other public agencies, in other words, we still do not have the formation of homoaffective families in Brazil. This, for me, is the most urgent step, but we still have others to conquer.
If the interview came because of an almost “nude”, it is because it is of the public interest. If you have the public interest, we cannot miss the question: how is the heart doing? If single, what is essential to establish a relationship, even a friendship, with Hugo Bonemer?
My attention is drawn to people who are curious, especially affectionate and who know how to respect the natural desire of others to be alone, this already calls me a lot of attention to any type of relationship. I have long periods when I need to be alone and that bothers me a lot, on the other hand, when I am together I try to be the most affectionate and tender that I know how to be and, of course, for a loving relationship, it’s a different history and it is natural that I look for people with a lifestyle similar to mine so that there are fewer conflicts, after all, in a relationship you already have so many.