Childhood & Early Life
Miguel Ángel Silvestre Rambla was born on April 6, 1982, in Castellón de la Plana, capital of the Province of Castellón in Spain, which is predominantly inhabited by the Valencian community. His father, Miguel Ángel Silvestre Vara, is a physiotherapist and a bank manager. His mother’s name is María Lidón.
Silvestre’s first love was tennis. Throughout his childhood and adolescence, Silvestre dreamt of representing Spain in the international arena. However, after toiling for years in the tennis court, Silvestre realized that his talent with the racket would fall short of his dreams.
While Silvestre was still studying to become a physiotherapist at the ‘University of Spain,’ Silvestre’s worried father implored his aunt, a theater director, to guide and assess his talent. Thus, Silvestre’s wish to be an actor was not completely a whimsical thought. He was a frequent visitor to his aunt’s theater rehearsals and had his sister as an inspiration.
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Pinning his focus on this new-found passion, Silvestre switched from studying physical therapy to learning drama. He moved to Madrid and took up theater, modern dance, and acrobatics classes. He stayed in a rented room, performed in amateur plays, and even put up a production with the help of a friend.
In 2002, Silvestre won the ‘Mister Castelló’ pageant. He got his first break on TV in 2004, in the Spanish sitcom ‘Mis adorables vecinos.’ The sitcom revolved around the daily life of a family in a new wealthy neighborhood and its interaction with the residents there.
Silvestre did not have to wait long for his break on the silver screen. He worked in Santiago Tabernero’s family drama ‘Vida y Color’ and Juan Vicente Córdoba’s social commentary ‘A Golpes’ in 2005. While he managed to break into the world of Spanish cinema, his TV career flourished, too. He got his first recurring role in the ‘Round Productions’ suspense thriller series ‘Motivos Personales.’ He appeared in 13 episodes of the show.
He quickly rose to being the lead in his next movie, director Iñaki Dorronsoro’s ‘La Distancia.’ The movie featured him as a battered boxer who ends up in jail, where he barters his morals for freedom. In an interview with the magazine ‘The Hedonist,’ Silvestre spoke about his skill of not harboring any prejudice against any character that he had ever played. He stated that he intended to bring life into any character based on its experiences, good and bad.
After a short film named ‘Dolly’ in 2007, Silvestre returned to TV with the hit Colombian telenovela ‘Sin tetas no hay paraíso’ in 2008. He stayed on the show until 2009, appearing in 28 episodes. The same year, he appeared in a number of films, too, leading in a few of them. Dany Saadia’s romantic drama ‘3:19’ had Silvestre in the lead role of ‘Ilan,’ who was shown testing the fate of his love in the face of a deadly disease. His character was a mathematician with a belief that connections between two people is like a formula that depends on the right set of random integers. He was the male lead in another Spanish lover story, ‘Zhao.’
For the next couple of years, Silvestre was seen in some notable films, such as the fantasy–horror ‘Verbo’ in 2011, the multi-starrer comedy ‘Winning Streak’ in 2012, and José Luis Cuerda’s drama ‘All is Silence’ (original title: ‘Todo es silencio’) in 2012.
2013, however, transformed Silvestre as an actor. Silvestre hit the jackpot on both the large and the small screens, first bagging one of the main roles in Spanish TV’s big-budget series ‘Velvet’ and then earning a dream role in notable Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s comedy ‘I’m So Excited.’ His performance in ‘Velvet’ put him under international spotlight.
While Silvestre was enjoying his stardom on Spanish TV as ‘Alberto Márquez’ in ‘Velvet,’ something more exciting and life-altering came his way. He was called for an audition for the Wachowskis’ ‘Netflix’ original science-fiction series ‘Sense8.’
He went through four rounds of auditions, the last one of which was with the Wachowskis in London. After almost a month’s wait since the London auditions, Silverstre heard the good news on a ‘Skype’ call with the casting director. With the blessings of his previous employers, Silvestre accepted the role of a closeted Spanish actor, ‘Lito Rodríguez.’ He shot in 13 countries, which made him an international star and helped him earn fans all over the world.
The show ran for two seasons (2015–2017) before ‘Netflix’ canceled it abruptly in 2017, without concluding the story. The decision was widely criticized, upon which, a 2.5-hour series finale was released on June 8, 2018.
For Silvestre, however, ‘Sense8’ was just the beginning of an international career. He was picked up by another ‘Netflix’ hit series, ‘Narcos,’ in 2017. The series featured him as real-life Colombian money launderer Franklin Jurado, who had worked with the ‘Cali Cartel’ to facilitate their financial movements.
Silvestre has shifted base to Los Ángeles now, and is often seen auditioning for major networks. In 2018, he was hand-picked by Hollywood superstar Jennifer Lopez to feature opposite her in her single ‘El Anillo.’ His latest project is a miniseries named ‘En el corredor de la muerte,’ based on the real-life story of Pablo Ibar, a Spanish man incarcerated and awaiting the death penalty for three crimes that he claims he did not commit.