HAVANA,april 27 William Levy’s story is filled with hardships—and one heck of a happy ending!
In an exclusive interview, the handsome actor tells us about his amazing trip to his homeland of Cuba, his first trip back to the island since 2008. But this time, he was back as a star and the bearer of some very exciting news: This summer, Levy plans to fulfill his life-long dream of making a movie in Cuba.
The Dancing with the Stars alum, along with his friends and producers Jeff Goldberg and Eric Brenner, took a last-minute trip to Havana in order to scout locations for their upcoming film. The producers were treated to the best cuisine as the star showed them around his favorite childhood haunts.
But for the actor, this wasn’t just a business trip. He also used the opportunity to surprise his former neighbors and friends whom still live in the very same streets where he grew up.
“There is a powerful connection between William and Cuba. I could see tears welling in William’s eyes as he looked out of the airplane window and saw Cuba on the horizon after so many years,” said Goldberg. “And once he was there, everyone showed such an incredibly warm and genuine love for him.”
“It’s so beautiful to come back to your country, with your people that you know have been through so much, and have them tell you such beautiful things,” Levy explained as his eyes watered. “They told me things like, ‘You don’t know how proud we are of you and we love to see a Cuban being so successful outside of Cuba, because you know how difficult it is for us to leave this country. Seeing you making it is like us making it too.'”
As William walked through the streets, everyone immediately recognized him. In the video below, shot by Goldberg, we see the warm welcome he received in his hometown.
“I gave all of the money that I took, because I would just hand money to people that I knew,” William said. “They all just really need it.”
The father of two plans on returning to Cuba this summer to shoot scenes for his upcoming film, which he will star in and produce.
“It’s just beautiful to be able to film a movie in my land. When I was there and would walk the streets or play baseball without shoes, and I would look out into the endless sea I used to wish I could go to the United States and just do what I wanted to do,” William said. “Now finding myself back in my country and filming a movie there…that’s just something that’s so surreal, I can’t even begin to explain it.”
The actor plans on bringing jobs and a sense of hope to the Cuban film community.
“William is a true ambassador for film production in Cuba. He’s rallying everyone in his circle to create opportunities to shoot there, starting with his next film, an action-thriller that was previously set to shoot in another country. William has always dreamed of making films in Cuba,” Goldberg said. “He wants to show the world how beautiful the country and its people are, and so this is a very exciting moment for him.”
The actor came to the United States at the age of 15 with hopes of making it as a Major League Baseball player. After high school, he was given a baseball scholarship to play for St. Thomas University in Miami.When his mother and stepfather split up, Levy had to quit school and baseball. He felt the need to provide for his family and began working in construction.”It was a devastating moment, baseball was my life,” William said. “But I became the man of the house and I needed to help support my family.”
Since acting was always a passion, he snuck in acting lessons with long days of work. Clearly, it all paid off.
During our interview, politics could have been the elephant in the room, but the star simply said, “I don’t get into politics, I just want what’s best for my country and to see these people that have suffered so much, be able to decide what they want to do and when they want to travel,” Levy said. “It’s all I want. I want happiness and freedom for my people.”