EVERYDAY WE CROSS PATHS WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE DIFFERENT. INSPIRING INDIVIDUALS WHO TAKE CHALLENGES HEAD ON AND GO THROUGH THEIR LIVES DOING MORE. GENUINE CONVERSATION IS A SERIES THAT SPOTLIGHTS THESE INSPIRING ARTISTS, CREATORS, AND UNIQUE TALENTS TO REVEAL WHAT DRIVES THEM TO DO WHAT THEY DO. THE AUTHENTIC AND STRAIGHT-FORWARD NATURE OF THEIR HARD WORK MAKE THESE INDIVIDUALS TRULY GENUINE.
Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentine born actor Guillermo Zapata career started by packing up his things and moving out to Los Angeles in 1992. Armed with a degree from the Argentinean National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, Zapata crafted a career that has seen him featured in campaigns by nationally known brands like Land’s End, Seas Quest, Hostile Intentions and Mercedes. Early in his career he also invested in a small discreet space in West Hollywood that is now known as the famous SUR restaurant, one of LA’s trendiest eaterys with more than 8000 square feet of space. We interviewed Guillermo and asked him about his career, his family and advice on a great destination we should visit.
THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY. CAN YOU TELL OUR AUDIENCE A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR UPBRINGING/CHILDHOOD AND HOW YOUR EARLY LIFE INFLUENCED YOU TO BECOME AN ACTOR/MODEL?
My father Rodolfo Zapata was an artist, singer and comedian, so for as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a passion to be on stage and be in front of the camera.
YOU’RE NOT JUST AN ACCOMPLISHED MODEL/ACTOR, BUT ALSO A LOVING FATHER OF TWO BEAUTIFUL GIRLS AND A HUSBAND TO A BEAUTIFUL WIFE. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU? AS A FATHER, WOULD YOU ALLOW YOUR DAUGHTERS TO FOLLOW IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS WITH MODELING/ACTING OR DO YOU WANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT FOR THEM?
If my daughters Lou Lou and Mia Rose have a passion for acting like me, so of course I’d be happy for them. I’ll support them in anything they choose to pursue however, I do want them to get a college education first.
YOU’RE PART OWNER OF A POPULAR LA RESTAURANT. WHAT’S THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED FROM BEING A PART OF THAT INDUSTRY? ARE YOU A HANDS-ON TYPE OF GUY?
In my case, I worked in all aspects of the restaurant industry, from starting out as the dishwasher to managing the restaurant and then eventually branching out and starting my own restaurant. This industry is very versatile and fast paced so you have to constantly adapt and be hands on. I opened SUR almost 20 years ago and I am there every night working alongside my staff and talking with my customers. The restaurant and the people there are like my second family.
YOU’RE A GUY WHO CARES ABOUT HIS BODY AND WE SEE THAT YOU TAKE FITNESS SERIOUSLY. WHAT GOES INTO KEEPING YOURSELF READY PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY FOR YOUR JOB AS AN ACTOR & MODEL?
Fitness is part of daily routine. Working out not only helps me to stay physically fit but also mentally focused. I release energy in the boxing ring, meditate and concentrate with taekwondo, I also occasionally have fun on the tennis court. Fitness is a way of life for me and affects all aspects of it.
IN THE PAST, YOU’VE MODEL FOR BRANDS SUCH AS LANDS END, MERCEDES BENZ, AND OLD NAVY. WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL STYLE LIKE? DO YOU HAVE A “UNIFORM” LOOK THAT YOU TRY AND STICK TO? DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR GUYS WHO WANT TO GIVE OFF THAT SHARP “LA COOL” LOOK?
For me, I love a good pair of jeans, a James Perse tee and some classic leather sneakers as much as I love a tailored fitted suit with a tie. I think that way you present yourself is very important. It’s not about the money you spend, (even though it can help) it’s about your personal style. Everyone in LA has great personal style but I’ve learned that having confidence is just as important as your looks.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ARTICLE OF CLOTHING OR ACCESSORY THAT YOU HAVE TO HAVE ON YOU AT ALL TIMES? MAYBE IT’S A FAMILY HEIRLOOM THAT WAS GIVEN TO YOU BY SOMEONE IN YOUR FAMILY?
I have a pair of jeans that I’ve owned for years. I joke to my wife that we’re growing old together! They get a makeover once in awhile at one of the best jeans doctors in LA (just like me!).
YOU’RE 49 YEARS OLD AND YOU’VE BEEN THROUGH A LOT. FOR PEOPLE WHO MAY JUST BE STARTING THEIR PROFESSIONAL CAREERS, WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE THAT YOU CAN GIVE THEM? (IT CAN BE ANYTHING RANGING FROM SCHOOL, TO ACTING, TO MODELING, OR JUST GENERAL LIFE ADVICE)
My motto is “We only live once but if you do it right, once is enough.” I’ve always had big dreams and told myself that nothing or nobody would stop me from pursuing and reaching them. Also, always stay positive! There will be ups and there will downs. It might take awhile but you can make it. Never give up.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO MEN ON DATING, FINDING THE RIGHT WOMAN, AND HOW TO KEEP THEM HAPPY? WHAT’S HAS KEPT THE LOVE IN YOUR MARRIAGE SO STRONG?
I believe destiny brings people together. Love manages to surprise you at the right time. You’ll know when it’s the right person and when you do, don’t let them go.
SUCCESS IN HOLLYWOOD DOESN’T COME EASY. WAS THERE EVER A TIME IN YOUR CAREER WHERE YOU DOUBTED YOURSELF OR YOUR ABILITIES TO MAKE IT? WOULD YOU CHANGE ANYTHING YOU’VE DONE DURING YOUR CAREER?
I believe that obstacles and failures are put in your journey to make you grow, to test you and to make you a better person. I’m who I am today because of my dreams, my humiliations, my ups and downs and my successes and failures. I wouldn’t do anything differently.
WHEN YOU’RE NOT BEHIND THE CAMERA, WHAT DOES GUILLERMO ZAPATA DO IN TERMS OF A HOBBY? AS YOU GET OLDER, DO YOU FIND THAT YOU RATHER SPEND TIME DOING THINGS YOU LOVE, RATHER THAN WORK?
I am a workaholic! However, I love spending time with my wife and daughters. We travel as much as we can but even during those trips I am constantly looking for inspiration for new projects. When I’m on vacation my mind is still creating, working and curating new projects. It’s hard to find me not working in some sort of way.
WHAT’S SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU? WHAT WOULD SOMEONE WHO KNOWS YOU PERSONALLY SAY ABOUT YOU?
Once in a while, I indulge in a big pot of dulce de leche. It’s one of my weaknesses but don’t tell my trainer. I usually make sure to run an extra mile the day after!
IF YOU HAD TO PICK 3 PLACES IN THE WORLD THAT YOU’VE VISITED, WHICH 3 WOULD YOU SUGGEST THAT EVERY GUY NEEDS TO VISIT AT LEAST ONCE AND WHY?
Rome is one of the most historic and romantic cities I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting.
In Tulum you can find peace and serenity between their beautiful white sand and stunning turquoise water. Last but not least, Buenos Aires. it’s as fashionable as Paris yet as energetic as NYC.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO TELL OUR AUDIENCE?
Every night, I’m running my business at SUR in West Hollywood. I invite your readers to come visit. Don’t hesitate to say hi and share a glass of our famous white peachy sangria with me.