With his megawatt smile and oh-so-humble vibes, Ricky Martin is known as one of the nicest guys in Hollywood. But he admits he got a real kick out of playing a villain in Netflix's new film, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey.
"It's fun because you can allow yourself to do things you would never do — at least not in public!" he says of voicing the evil Don Juan Diego in the holiday film. "Any character you give me, I will make the best of it." Here, the 48-year-old dad of four talks to OK! about acting and his most cherished holiday memories.
Tell us more about Don.
RM: He's Machiavellian, and he's a hypocrite and a liar. I think he was just made with a glitch. I kept telling director David Talbert, "Come on, let's give him a chance! He can be a good guy!" Laughs.
You filmed wearing a motion capture suit. What was that like?
It's really tight and hot. But it was the first time I did that, so for me, it was like a brand-new toy, and I was like, "Let's do it and let's do it right." I beat myself up like crazy if things don't go well.
Have your kids seen the movie yet?
My older kids are loving it. The little ones not yet. When I was working on the movie, I would randomly scream lines walking around, and they would be like, "Have we lost our dad? He's crazy now?" Laughs. When I press play and they hear what I was doing, that's when the magic will come.
Which character from the movie do you relate to most?
Don Juan, but not because I play him. I've found that I have to be stubborn and make sure that I tell people what needs to be done. But always with good intentions behind it.
What are you hoping this movie brings to audiences now?
Magic. It's about us finding the magic within us, and I think the message is there for that to happen.
The cast is very diverse. Is that what drew you to the project?
I loved being a part of it in every aspect because it's historical. It's something that needed to happen sooner, but it's happening now and it's just the beginning.
What's your favorite Christmas song?
"Feliz Navidad" by Jose Feliciano.
Is there a toy or gift you really wanted as a child?
An action figure for the Star Wars character called Nien Nunb. My little brother got it — but I kept it!
You're known for putting on incredible stage shows. Whose performances have wowed you?
It takes a lot to entertain me, to be honest. I still haven't been able to recover from the last time I saw Sade in concert. Her aura was very special. And then Rihanna. I saw her in Sydney. I appreciated her show.
You got into showbiz early. Would you let your children follow in those footsteps?
I told my dad that I wanted to be a singer and he had no idea how he was going to help me. I would tell him about auditions and all of a sudden in 1984, I hopped on a plane and never came back. And that's my life. I don't regret it. If my kids asked me to do the same, I would support them. I would've been very frustrated without my parents' support.