Paddy Breathnach’s ‘Viva’ puts Cuban drag culture in the spotlight

Paddy Breathnach’s ‘Viva’ puts Cuban drag culture in the spotlight

Director Paddy Breathnach on the set of VIVA, a Magnolia Pictures release. ; Credit: Magnolia Pictures

The new film “Viva” is about a young gay man named Jesus living in modern-day Cuba.

Jesus scrambles to make money as a hairdresser, mostly for drag performers who perform at a local club in Havana.

He dreams of one day taking the stage himself, and once he does, becomes the star of the show. But when his father is released from a 15-year stint in prison, his world is turned upside down.

Irish filmmaker Paddy Breathnach was inspired to make the film after seeing a drag show while on vacation in Cuba. He joined Take Two to discuss the film and what it was like to direct his Spanish-speaking actors, when he didn’t speak much Spanish himself.

To hear the full interview, click the player above.