Christian Chávez on RBD's Longevity, Virtual Reunion and Reboot Rumors (Exclusive)
By Liz Calvario
Courtesy of T6H Entertainment
Christian Chávez still smiles at the mention of RBD. The former pop star embraces his past with open arms. Chávez was 21 when he became an instant sensation, starring as Juan "Giovanni" Méndez López on the hit Mexican teen telenovela Rebelde in 2004.
Rebelde led to the creation of the pop group RBD, one of the best-selling Latin music artists composed of Chávez, Anahí, Alfonso Herrera, Dulce María, Christopher von Uckermann and Maite Perroni. The group released nine studio albums in Spanish, Portuguese and English, selling over 15 million records worldwide until they disbanded in 2009.
For over a decade, Chávez has continued to work on music, as well as acting in a variety of projects. Now at 37 he's back to his pop roots with a new single titled "Celos." He's also reveling in fans' newfound love for RBD after their entire discography was put on streaming services for the first time ever last month. And if that wasn't exciting enough, there's also more major news about the beloved telenovela and band.
While chatting with ET earlier this month, Chávez teased that a big RBD announcement would be made in the upcoming weeks. On Sept. 30, it was revealed that RBD will be reuniting for a virtual concert on Dec. 26. Tickets for the event will go on sale on Oct. 4, which is also the 16th anniversary of Rebelde.
The Mexico native also shared his plans for new music and what advice he would tell his younger self after going through some personal lows.
ET: RBD's discography came out this month on streaming platforms. How has the reception been and how does it feel to have the fans' support once more?
Christian Chávez: It's so weird because it has been 15 years and the music was not there, the videos weren't there. It's really weird that we're getting all this attention from people again, but it's also amazing. Every one of us is so excited about it and it shows us that pop music is still there, and the rebels are still there but in different generations. They show it to their sobrinos, primos, hijos. It's a family thing now. It's really beautiful for me. It's an amazing reconnection, not only with the fans because the fans have been there for a long time, but to the new generations. I think it's amazing to see the new generations coming and listening to RBD's music history. I think it's surprising that we're breaking all these records. It's part of the RBD magic, I guess.
Do you and any of your former group members get together and reminisce about your time on the show or in the band? If so, what do you talk about?
The last time that we talked, we talked a lot about scenes and how we laughed doing them. Also, on tour I was always the practical joker. I was always making the others laugh, especially when we were tired of traveling. They remember that part, and I remember those moments with so much love.
Looking back at all the RBD songs, which one do you connect with more and makes you nostalgic?
"Rebelde." I cannot say anything else. When I listen to "Rebelde," like the songs says, "Mientras mi mente viaja donde tu estas (laughs)." I really go into other moments in my life and I feel the energy. The moments, everything comes back to me. So yes, "Rebelde" is the song that gives me goosebumps.
If there were to be a revival or reboot that included Giovanni, how do you picture his life right now? What would he be doing?
That's a really good question. I hope he's still meatpacking with his family, still working in the carnicería. I think Giovanni will be a really successful guy. He was really smart and funny, so probably he and his parents have a big chain of meatpacking stores. He would be married to Vico (Angelique Boyer), I guess, and have a lot of baby pollitos.
Let's talk about your new music. What was the inspiration for "Celos"?
What can I say about "Celos"? I think it's something really Latino, being jealous. With novelas, it's known that Latinos, we are pretty passionate about everything. This song is about that. It's about asking someone, "Are you jealous?" And they're like, "No, I'm not." And then you start to hear them say, "Why did you like those pictures?" or "What are you doing? Why did you do this?" Then it's like, "Oh, so you like me? So you are jealous." It's a song to provoke the, "Yes, you like me and you're jealous."
Does this come from personal experience?
Yes, it's a personal experience, but not from one relationship. I think it happens in a lot of relationships. Definitely this is something that happened to me before, yes for sure.
After this single, are there plans for more new music? An album?
At the beginning of the year, well, you know, 2020. This year is a surprising year. At the beginning of the year, I was more into the acting side because I was doing things with Netflix, La Casa De Las Flores, and it was going so well. I started to do some movies. So I was like, I'm going to take a break from music. But then knowing the music from RBD was going to come out into the digital world, I was like, "Well, I should do something about it." Musically speaking, I did this song, which I love. I personally love it because it's a grown-up sound but it's really refreshing.
We are working on other different songs and, yes, we were talking about doing something in English. I have something in Spanglish, English and Spanish, because I'm from McAllen in Texas, so I have double nationality. Y creo que es algo importante using both languages. So yeah, there's a lot of music there, but let's see what's going to happen.
Right now, after this 2020, I'm letting life surprise me. I'm planning things and the universe knows what I want, but I don't stick to an idea. I let it go through my mind and they are there, but I don't want to be the slave of my ideas or my goals. I really know what I want, but I work for it and I live day by day and I love how the world is surprising me every day. I'm just going with the flow right now and let's see what happens.
As for acting, you had such a powerful role as Patricio "Pato" Lascurain in the third and final season of Casa de Las Flores. It was unlike any other character you've done before.
I really enjoyed it a lot and I'm really thankful for [creator] Manolo [Caro] because I almost didn't do it because I was so afraid of what people were going to say. Or I thought, this is such a beautiful character, I don't want to f**k it up. Then I talked to Manolo and he was like, "You won't and we're going to work together." And it was amazing because at the beginning, I didn't know anything about the drag world in the '80s in Mexico, especially the drag world in general. I was not close to it, and now I am close to it because Valentina gave me all the insights of drag and I started to really recognize this side of me that I didn't know. So it's really amazing because with the characters, it's not only about being someone else, it's important to give that feeling and that emotion and to learn not just as the character, but also as an actor.
As you've gotten older and found yourself, what goes into your mind when you pick certain roles? Have they changed over time?
I'm going to be honest with you. Right now, the main thing for me is that I like to be a chameleon. I like to change my skin and my color and my way of talking and the energy. I like to be a chameleon. For me, it's more about the job that I can do as an actor to create a new character, but also I am looking for characters that have something to say. That is my main goal, a character that has something to say, that has something to bring to the table.
For me, it's not about getting the main role or being the main character, it's about having the opportunity to transform, and people aren't like, "Oh, it's the RBD guy with a different hairdo or hairstyle." I think it's important for people to say, "Who is this guy?" "Is this the guy from Rebelde? Oh yeah, I remember, now." I'm looking for those kinds of projects that really put you in the spot and you need to work hard for it.
You have a couple of acting projects in the works. What can you share about those roles?
I just finished a series for Netflix that we started at the beginning of the year, and then we had to stop. Now this last month I finished the project. Then I am flying to Miami to start the pre-production for the new novela for Telemundo. I'm really excited about it. There's a lot of things coming my way, and especially right now that it's a hard moment for everybody. Everybody is struggling for jobs, and especially for jobs that you like the character. So for me its a win-win. I'm really happy and I'm really grateful for the opportunities.
As you reflect on the past decade, what would you tell your younger self who was just starting in Rebelde?
I would say, "Relax, dude. Relax. Enjoy. Everything is gonna go the way it's gonna go. Just go with the flow, take care of yourself. Have fun." You spend so much time thinking about things that sometimes don't even happen. I think it's important to live in the present. I would say to him, "Live in the present and try to give your best and take care of yourself." I'm really grateful for everything that happened, good and bad, because I think the bad parts also make you stronger.