Joaquim de Almeida

One of the greatest Portuguese actors of all-time, Joaquim de Almeida rose to international fame with his portrayals of Félix Cortez in the 1994 thriller Clear and Present Danger and Bucho in the 1995 action thriller Desperado. His intense performances launched him into a successful career, as almost a decade after he played the role of Ramon Salazar, Jack Bauer’s antagonist in 24, and in 2011 as Hernan Reyes in Fast Five.

A resident of magical Sintra, he is known for his love of Portuguese food and the simple pleasures of life. To get to know him, and his views on Lisbon, we asked him a few questions, below:

Secret location?
A house I rent every year in the Algarve near Praia do Ancão.

– Best view?
From the top of Castelo São Jorge.

– A guilty pleasure?
One sweet too many in any of the Cafés of Sintra.

– What is the first thing you do when you land in Lisbon?
Kiss my kids.

– What Portuguese dish/dessert/ingredient, do you crave most when you’re shooting movies abroad?
Any good grilled fresh fish done the way only the Portuguese know how.

– A special smell that always reminds you of Portugal or Lisbon?
The smell of coriander.

– Where can we find you on any given Sunday (when in Lisbon)?
In my house in Sintra entertaining friends.

– Where do you like to unwind?
Chatting with friends at my everyday lunch place, Taverna dos Trovadores in S.Pedro de Sintra, or having dinner at A Velha Gruta in Largo Camões.

– Something you cannot resist?
Good fish and great wine either at Mar do Inferno or Furnas do Guincho.

– What can you do here & nowhere else?
Watch how the sunset reflects on the river Tejo making Lisbon an irresistible sight, while riding an old cacilheiro (ferry) on the Tejo.

– Someone NOT to be stuck in an elevator with?
Any Portuguese politician.

– Someone you’d like to star alongside?
Greta Garbo.

– How do you get into character?
That’s a secret of the trade!

– If you weren’t an actor what would you be?
It’s been too many years doing it – I don’t think I could do anything else.