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Cristo Fernández as "Dani Rojas" in the Ted Lasso series.
Cristo Fernández as 'Dani Rojas' in Ted Lasso. Photo: Apple TV+

Cristo Fernández and his emblematic role in 'Ted Lasso'

Actor Cristo Fernandez admitted that 'Dani Rojas' is a role he's prepared his whole life to play.

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Actor Cristo Fernández plays 'Dani Rojas' in the Apple TV+ comedy Ted Lasso. The series is in its second season and is nominated for 20 Emmys. 

Dani's phrase ¡El fútbol es vida! (Soccer is life) has been immortalized in the series. The actor from Guadalajara created the phrase during the casting for the series and the creators liked it so much they included it into the script.

"I didn't remember that in the scenes I had to talk about my past in soccer, and that's when I said: ¡El fútbol es vida! (Football is life!) because I played for the Tecos and I love this sport. I also proposed Dani's chant and it stuck," said the actor during an interview with the newspaper, El Sol de México.

Cristo managed to conceive Dani Rojas as an Icelandic soccer player of Mexican origin. And without intending to, he immortalized the phrase and the character of Dani, who is characterized by being cheerful and positive, instead of the villain created by the writers of the series.

In this way, Cristo managed to break the stereotype of the Latino criminal or villain that we find in the series. 

"For me it is necessary to break stereotypes. There are stories that need this type of characters, crooks, drug dealers, whatever. But it is important that we are known as we are: good vibes, positive, with good energy and charismatic. My goal is for the character to feel very Mexican, very Latino."

The Apple TV+ production is in its second season and is nominated in 20 categories at the upcoming Emmy Awards, including "Best Comedy Series." 

Before he got to work on Ted Lasso, Fernández says he had many doors closed to him in the U.K. because of his immigrant status.

"Many opportunities were closed to me because of papers, visas. Because if they wanted someone Mexican or Latino, it was easier to get a half-Spanish, half-English European to give the catfish. That's why in Dani Rojas I want even the accent to be well marked," said Fernández.

"All the things I've done have helped me to be where I am. And it's a piece of advice I can give: Maybe the jobs you do are not exactly what you want to do, but they will help you prepare. Without knowing it, with soccer and all the things I've done, I've been preparing for this role my whole life," he said.

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