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‘El Último Rey’ Actor Pablo Montero Says Portrayal of Vicente Fernández Required ‘Tons of Preparation’

Since its premiere on May 17, Univision’s “El Último Rey” is already causing a stir throughout the Latino world and beyond.

Based on iconic ranchera singer Vicente Fernández’s life and career, the series chose Fernández’s own real-life godson to play him. Mexican singer and actor Pablo Montero, 47, is known for starring in telenovelas like “Triunfo Del Amor” and “Mi Corazón Es Tuyo,” but his latest acting role is undoubtedly the most important one of his career so far.

“El Último Rey” is based on a biography of Fernández written by Argentine writer Olga Wornat, which was not authorized by the Fernández family.

Meanwhile, the Jaime Camil-headlined Chente series “The Idol Of The People” that will air on Netflix, was authorized by the family members. 

Still, “El Último Rey” is an addictive, gripping look at Fernández’s incredible life from the son of a rancher growing up in the village of Huentitán El Alto, to worldwide dazzling fame.

And according to Montero himself, playing the legendary singer was definitely a challenge. He told Univision that “he had to prepare himself a lot” to take on the role, both psychologically and vocally. They recorded 40 of Fernández’s hits in the same key with the same arrangements, which was very “hard work” emotionally and physically.

This isn’t the first time Montero takes on the role of his godfather: he appeared on the very first season of Univision’s reality show “Tu Cara Me Suena” as the “Acá Entre Nos” singer. Performing the late icon’s hits, the audience members’ jaws immediately dropped — and even Montero shed a few tears.

There’s no doubt taking on the role as Chente has deep significance for Montero, who explained to Distractify, “It was very emotional; it was, I don’t know, something I wasn’t expecting.” He continued, “I never imagined I would be portraying him, and it was just very emotional.”

He also told the outlet he had to get “rid of the nerves [he] had” as part of his preparation, and that at one point during filming he “thanked god because [he] was living something [he] couldn’t even imagine.” He described: “I felt that Vicente was with me … I felt his energy.”

With 30 episodes in the first season, the series will chronicle Fernández’s life from birth all the way to his passing last year. Montero said, “It’s everything, and it’s done with so much love and with a great team.”

“El Último Rey” airs on Univision Monday to Friday at 10 p.m. EST.

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