Marvin Acosta, "Por las plumas"
Marvin Acosta, “Por las plumas”

The Costa Rican film “Por la plumas” continues to gain prizes at festivals and rave reviews and no one is more euphoric than its star, Marvin Acosta. Eyes twinkling merrily, he told a La Nacion interviewer, “I”m famous — now all I lack is to get the riches!”

The cable and satellite giant HBO picked up the rights to the movie (that was made on a shoestring budget) for an undisclosed sum as well as the rights to “7 cajas,” a Paraguayan movie. It was the first feature film by director Ernesto “Neto” Villalobos and enjoyed rave reviews.

Acosta plays a lonely private security guard, Jason, who buys a fighting cock for company and has a number of adventures to keep the rooster (named “Pollo,” which is Spanish for chicken). Asked if he had any problems with the role, Acosta said he had not because he was no stranger to poverty.

At first, Acosta debated, he said, whether to go to the audition in San Jose because he thought he might be too old. But he found himself on his motorcycle on the way to San Jose. When Villalobos saw him, the director knew Acosta was just the actor for the part, despite his being no spring chicken.

The actor is not religious although he does have a spiritual connection with God. He thought this might be a problem but Villalobos is an actor’s director. “No, Marvin,” Villobos said, “I want it normal. Talk like you do, following your conviction about your relation with the Lord.”

Acosta’s own view is that God exists, but religions were devised by man. Since Jason is supposed to be a religious but simple person, this worked. Strangely, the hardest scene for him was one where he was shaving — “I had to lather up and wash the shaving cream off time after time” during the takes.

A bachelor father of two children, he lives alone, like Jason. He has a dog, unlike his character in the movie, and is a motorcycle messenger who works for himself. He has earned the nickname “Gato” or cat which comes, he says, from his agility aboard a motorcycle — and because having survived several potentially fatal accidents, has nine lives.

In short, the man who dreamed as a child of being an actor has arrived. Certainly, he will have to wait for his riches — his salary for a modest movie that made it big was not a great deal. But he’s willing to wait.

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