Passing through prisons, fighting a giant crocodile, dealing with lockdown and even fighting in the Second World War, are just some of the roles this great actor has played in his artistic career. We are talking to Jose Palma, one of the most admired Costa Ricans in the UK thanks to his talent and dedication to his profession, but above all for his charisma and humanity.
Jose, a Costa Rican to his bones, has spent the best part of his life in the dramatic arts, and has been on the big screen for many years now.
Despite having studied business and working in various companies, Jose discovered that his happiness was not to be found in an office, but making art through acting. Of course, as in so many of life’s decisions, there is someone pushing us to take the plunge, in his case his mother was a great support and encouraged him.
“This life is lived just once, so you might as well do what makes you happy.”
Wise words of his grandfather which inspired this Costa Rican to take up acting.
Getting started in this business was anything but easy, requiring plenty of patience, dedication and learning to wait for the opportune moment. The most important thing was to understand that the profession needs a certain resilience, as it can be tough when doors open, only to close again suddenly. Jose decided that acting would be not just a dream but his life’s ambition, and decided to fight day by day to make it, with lots of work, study and above all motivation.
“For a long time I was afraid to venture into acting, as sadly in Costa Rica there are very few opportunities in the industry and not much support, so it is hard to make a living at it”
Nevertheless, Jose stuck with it, and once he moved to London, the agency that represents and supports him gave him his big break to grow and advance hi career as an actor in the UK.
There is no doubt that he is a lover of his profession, and it shows all the time. However, he is clear that it is not all about the fame as many might think, but more a means to tell stories, connect lives and make art. It is this approach over the last nine years that has led to greater professional success and international recognition.
“… La vida de un actor es una vida de mucha espera y paciencia, pero sobre todo de perseverancia”
He has appeared in Crawl, Linked, A Friend in Need, Encarcelados en el Extranjero, the successful Netflix series The Liberator, set in the middle of the Second World War and shot entirely using green screen technology during lockdown. He is also due to appear in Venom II, hotly anticipated by its fanatical fans, alongside Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson. He never lets fame go to his head though, and his humility comes across every time we talk to him.
What next for Jose?
His plans in cinema are to continue getting involved with big projects and challenging roles, which we will surely be seeing on our screens soon. He is also keen to promote Costa Rica and encourage more support for the industry and artists from our country.
My experience in the UK
Trying tea in the English style was quite an experience for Jose, for like any Tico he was accustomed to drinking coffee every day. On the day he was served it with no advance warning, it didn’t go so well.
“I think the pained expression on my face the first time I tried it, despite my acting skills doing my best to hide it, meant the meeting didn’t quite go to plan!”
PS during this interview, between laughs, Jose was drinking a British cup of tea, which he enjoys alongside his beloved Costa Rican coffee.
Thanks Jose, good luck, we’ll see you on the big screen