Adrian Pedraja finds success in acting

Posted March 23, 2023


Little Adrian was playing soccer along with the rest of his teammates.

Like most young boys, thrilled to pass the ball and eager to score the goal. His ambition grew more and more… but it was not football that enthralled him any longer.

Actor Adrian Pedraja (Photos courtesy of Adrian Pedraja).

Through football, he acquired a new interest, one that took Adrian Pedraja Barrientos to where he is today.

It was by playing for various football teams in Malaga that Pedraja awakened his desire to become an actor.

He reached the point of signing his first professional contract as a football player in England, with a team that his agent found for him.

After one season, Pedraja knew this life was not fit for him — and walked away from his one-year contract. Instead, Pedraja decided to leave it all behind, and move to Madrid with just one goal in mind: becoming an actor.

While playing football opened the door to new opportunities, it was the camera that made him fall in love. Well, that and watching the movie “Titanic,” of course. Because who doesn’t want to be an actor after watching Leonardo DiCaprio?

“Once I started to stand out in football, modeling and advertising agencies started reaching out to me so I would show up in ads as a football player,” Pedraja explained.

For Pedraja, it only took participating in a few advertisements to realize this was what he wanted to do. He was willing to ditch the football if that meant seeing himself on the big screen.

“This was the first contact I ever had with cameras, and it was that, and watching the movie “Titanic,” that got me interested in acting,” said Pedraja.

At the age of 25, he quit football and decided to focus on his true passion: acting. His first big role came when he took on the character of “Adolfo de los Visos,” in the series “El Secreto de Puente Viejo,” a handsome seducer, with commitment issues towards women.

Pedraja said that he auditioned for this role through a casting in Madrid. This was his first big project, but he had already worked in smaller roles, like in the Netflix show “Elite,” where he played a secondary character, and appeared in an episode as the school’s coach.

He acted in other feature films and short films, but nothing as time-consuming as “El Secreto de Puente Viejo.”

“I was called for a casting, and I didn’t exactly know what the project was about or what role I was going to have,” Pedraja said.

“El Secreto de Puente Viejo” had already begun about seven years before Pedraja was called. It’s a project that streamed in many parts of the world and was well known mostly in Italy.

“For the last season, they needed a “pretty boy,” and I didn’t know this audition was for this show,” Pedraja explained. “I participated in the casting, which had three parts to it. I passed all of them and, on the third one, they gave me the yes.”

Adrian Pedraja at the beach.

For Pedraja, this was an especially important role — but more than that, a challenge.

Being the protagonist of a series with this reach was a big step in his career. He said it was “such an honor” to be selected.

Pedraja explained that he is always willing to take on any character. At the time of deciding which role he is going to audition for, he is very open-minded.

“I don’t have any taboo when it comes to representing any characters,” Pedraja said. “I think an actor should be open to interpreting any type of character and transforming. That’s the magic of this profession; being able to become whatever person without having any weakness or taboo for doing it.”

For the time being, Pedraja has not given a no as an answer. There are no characters he has refused to take on. To him, the beauty of acting lies in impersonating your character to the point where you no longer exist. There’s no sign of Pedraja leaving, not his look, not his moves, or laugh. He is not recognizable at all.

“This is achieved very few times but when it is achieved and you can say you’ve been another person, even by the way you breathed, that’s the most beautiful part of this profession. Becoming someone else and leaving no parts of yourself,” Pedraja said.

This is a beautiful career, he said — but like all others, there’s still some hardships that come with it. Pedraja said that this was a very fragile profession: all economically, emotionally, and professionally.

“It’s very difficult to find a job or a project and you never know how much money you will make on a monthly basis,” he stated. “You may have a good month, then a bad year. To summarize, the worst part to me is the economic and professional uncertainty that comes with it.”

To him, the hardest part is the day-to-day basis of an actor because it’s a profession where “you never know when you’re going to be on the crest of the wave, and when you’re going to be sunk.”

Pedraja said that when COVID came it put everything on hold for him.

“If I had to pinpoint one hard moment it would be when COVID hit. I thought that things were running smoothly, I was the protagonist on “El Secreto de Puente Viejo” which was a well-known show, and just the day after finishing it, COVID came. My character Adrian had to disappear for like two years.”

Pedraja said it was key to be emotionally strong to not get depressed. To always push forward and keep going even when you get a no as an answer.

Adrian Pedraja and his brother Mario Bross.

Mario Bross, his brother, explained that he may slip, but he always gets back on his feet.

“Adrian has always been a man in control of his emotions and goals. He has fallen many times and every time he has come out stronger,” Bross stated. “That is what makes him achieve more and more goals. An example to follow.”

Pedraja’s most recent project was filming a movie in Peru which hasn’t premiered yet. The film is a co-production between Peru and Spain, where he grew up.

Adrian could not talk explicitly about the content since the project hasn’t been brought to light, but he did say the following, “We’re waiting to see if any large platforms buy it. It’s a very beautiful project and the cast is very good.”

The movie is called “Among Us” and is directed by Martín Casapía.

Now, Pedraja is ready to face new challenges wherever they may be. Today, he is in Mexico looking for new roles in a place where he has never worked before. Pedraja said that he wanted to search for new opportunities in South America.

Pedraja advises everyone, not just young actors, to follow their passions. Always keep rowing. Pedraja’s handsome appearance might have helped him start, but it was his values and personality that kept him going.

“The man is almost perfect… constant, educated, kind, affectionate, patient, hardworking, and full of values,” said Bross.

“I think that if you have a goal or dream to pursue; whatever profession it may be, do not give up,” Pedraja advised.

But for the young actors out there…have a plan B please, he says.

“Acting is a profession where you must be mentally strong. Know that one day you may be on the top while another day you might be sinking, professionally and economically,” Pedraja said, “And while I’m being honest… have a plan B. Have another job to have some economic stability but do not give up on acting. I believe it’s one of the hardest professions.”