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Center Stage

By Carita Rizzo

Photography by Kurt Iswarienko

03.19.18

Actor Diego Boneta opens up about the role of a lifetime, portraying Latin legend Luis Miguel in the highly anticipated autobiographical series "Luis Miguel: La Serie."

Looking out over a crowd of 50,000, Diego Boneta couldn’t help but flash back to his youth. The Mexico City native rose to fame at 12, when he beat out 40,000 kids for a spot on Mexico’s first televised talent competition, leading him to a career as a multiplatinum-selling recording artist touring venues like Madison Square Garden and the Los Angeles Coliseum with the Latin band RBD. Though he now stood there as a character—portraying legendary Mexican singer Luis Miguel—the irony of his return to the stage was not lost on the 27-year-old. Call it kismet—Boneta certainly does. “The first song that I ever sang on national television, when I was 12, was one of Luis Miguel’s songs.” When approached by producer Mark Burnett about an autobiographical series depicting Miguel’s life, the actor poured everything he had into becoming his childhood hero. “This is by far the biggest challenge I’ve ever had because not only am I acting, but I’m also singing all of his songs,” says Boneta, who trained with Penelope Cruz’s and Javier Bardem’s acting coach for the project which airs on Telemundo this month. Boneta still credits co-star Tom Cruise for his work ethic. “[Cruise] said: ‘If you have a movie that’s shooting in a year, take 45 minutes a day to [prep].’ That’s really how I approached this [project]... except 45 minutes turned into my whole day, because [this] was all I could think about.” The work paid off, with Miguel himself giving the actor props for authenticity. “Singing in front of thousands of people... there’s no other feeling like it,” says Boneta. “Miguel [told me]: ‘I’m happy that there’s someone portraying me that knows what that feeling is like because you can’t act that.’ It’s the best feeling in the world.”