News  ·  08 | 08 | 2023

Omar Ayuso on Crafting His Character in 'On the Go'

"There is a lot of me in him. Jonathan is the character that most resembles me of those I have played so far in my life."

After the great success of the Netflix series Élite, Omar Ayuso faced another challenge with the character of Jonathan in On the Go. In this fascinating, crazy road-movie directed by María Gisèle Royo and Julia De Castro - with echoes of the first movies directed by Wim Wenders and Pedro Almodóvar - the bright star of Spanish showbusiness plays Jonathan, a young man tormented by his past, hiding his pain behind a mask of fake, never-ending happiness. Ayuso talked with Locarno Daily about the choices that brought him to create such a poignant and moving character.


On the Go mixes comedy, drama, road-movie, fantasy and so much more. How did you work with the directors in order to find the right balance through all these different tones?

Comedy, drama, and fantasy are the result. We did not work any scene with the intention of making people laugh or cry, laughter and crying are the consequence, not the objective. In the case of Jonathan, my character, he uses comedy and frivolity to avoid feeling the painful emptiness that has accompanied him since childhood. It is his survival mechanism. Let's say Jonathan performs a role in life, and only in a couple of moments in the film does he show that he is vulnerable.  


The chemistry with the director/coprotagonist Julia de Castro is remarkable. How did you work with her in order to develop it?

Julia is one of my best friends. The chemistry on screen is proof of our chemistry in life. Now watching the movie, a year after shooting it, I realize that our relationship is a lot like that of our characters, I don't know if it's because of shooting On the Go or if it was already like it before. Haha! 


In this movie you have some emotionally challenging scenes.  Which has been for you the most difficult to shoot?

Definitely the beach scene with Manuel de Blas.


Is there anything in Jonathan’s character in which in some way you see yourself?

There is a lot of me in him. Jonathan is the character that most resembles me of those I have played so far in my life. 


Which movies or movie-characters inspired you when you started thinking about how to portray Jonathan?

I was inspired by people around me, and by the real Jonathan. 


On the Go is a movie which has a lot to say about Spanish society, freedom, sexuality and much more. Even if probably “message” isn’t the right word for a movie like this. Let’s put it this way: what would you like the audience to take away from watching On the Go?

I would like people to face the viewing without judgment and with freedom, which is how we shot it.


How much is important for artistic, daring movies like this to find an audience at Film Festivals like Locarno?

It is vital. Otherwise these kinds of films are not easy to get onto conventional exhibition circuits.


Adriano Ercolani