How Leandro Taub was selected to play Bonifaz

In one of his interview questions, Woodwind director Fin Manjoo was asked about his approach in finding an actor for the lead role of Bonifaz the composer. Here follows the answer:

Early in 2016 a casting agent asked me before I selected the lead actor, ‘If you had a massive budget, who would you select to play Bonifaz?’

Honestly, the budget didn’t make the slightest difference for me. Even with a budget the size of the Lord of the Rings, I would’ve still selected Leandro Taub to play Bonifaz.

When I thought of actors who played mythical characters with a style and personality that I admired, I immediately thought of Alejandro Jodorowsky in El Topo (1970). Last year Jodorowsky was 87-years-old and too old to be Bonifaz (laughs).

Late in 2015 I was going through about 100 actor profiles from European casting agencies and I only stopped when I saw Leandro Taub. He reminded me of El Topo. At that time I wasn’t ready to select Bonifaz yet, but when selection came three months later, I watched videos of Taub and was very impressed with his unique style and art.

This was long before Poesia sin Fin (Endless Poetry) was premiered and Taub’s IMDB didn’t even mention that he was playing the poet in this Jodorowsky film. It was only later that I had learnt about it. I see the connection as fate, even though it must be said that there’s no relation between El Topo, Woodwind or Bonifaz. Taub’s experience in depicting this persona, his own research in India and other countries, made it easy for him to understand Bonifaz and for me to be sure he will be the right Bonifaz.

Fate played a major role in the making of Woodwind behind the scenes. Of course in making choices we ultimately focus on artistic merit – everything about Leandro Taub convinced me… ultimately, now looking back, his outstanding performance underlines that he was meant to be Bonifaz.

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