Juan Pablo Di Pace: the power of acting

Photo credit: Melissa Coulier

Actor, singer and director Juan Pablo Di Pace (Argentina, UWC Adriatic 1997-1999) currently plays Fernardo in "Fuller House", the hit TV series now streaming on Netflix.  While his artistic soul emerged at a very early age, it is during his time at UWC that he discovered his passion for acting - and, since then, he never let it go.

I guess my passion for the arts started as a child when I discovered pencil and paper. I used to spend hours and hours drawing, and I was obsessed with creating characters and perfecting the human body on paper as early as I can remember. Then, at around age 6, it became a form of escapism when I started getting bullied at school. I guess I was a little different, I was an artistic kid, so I didn’t fit in at all. Drawing became a form of survival because it allowed me to feel ‘comfortable’ and a part of something I could do well. Art kinda saved my childhood as I would see the bullies shut up as soon as they saw my drawings. It became a weapon.

Acting came much later, when I was 17, and it was exactly at UWC Adriatic that I first discovered the love for the theatre. I had always loved seeing films and theatre but never had the guts to go onstage myself. At UWCAD I had my first chance of playing a lead role in "GREASE the Musical", and it blew my mind. All of a sudden I didn’t want to draw and ‘withdraw’ anymore. Being onstage was kind of like a lightbulb turning on in my chest. I had to pursue this for a living!

Since I arrived in Duino in 1997, as first year I remember my favourite thing was to watch and be included in all the “International Evening” shows where students would sing, dance, act little absurd plays about their countries and life in the college. That to me was the best part. And once I was a second year, the college gave the students a chance to put on a musical and I decided to stage “GREASE”. That was the beginning of the rest of my life. If it wasn't for Mr Sutcliffe and his belief in us as a team, giving us a little budget for costumes, venue, sets, lights, rehearsals… I would not be doing what I do today. UWCAD definitely gave me a start in life. It wasn't Harvard or Princeton, but it was that opportunity to step onstage and be accepted by my peers, to be celebrated as we celebrated every single student that attempted anything new. The college was 100% a defining moment for me. And that is not even counting the incredible people I am still in touch with today… Friends for life.
Upon graduating from UWC Adriatic in 1999, Juan Pablo went on to study Theatre at the London Studio Centre and officially began his career in the United Kingdom appearing in the London musical “Chicago”. Since then, he played many roles on both TV and cinema, spanning from the UK to Italy to Spain to the US.

Juan Pablo is best known for playing the role of Jesus Christ on NBC mini-series "A.D. The Bible Continues" (2015) and that of the self made billionaire Nicolás Treviño on TNT's reboot of "Dallas" (2014). In 2008 he also appeared in the movie "Mamma Mia!" alongside Meryl Streep and Colin Firth.

Juan Pablo has an extensive music theatre background, has directed several short films and he wrote a one man show, "Primer Acto", (2012) which won a "Best One Man Show" award at the Butaquita Awards.

If you are in New York in February 2017, you can catch Juan Pablo performing at 54 Below (21-22 February) - click here for more information.