Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Very Different Kind of Star Story

He's the man they call the Mexican Brad Pitt. Once a Calvin Klein model who smouldered bare-chested opposite J-Lo in a music video, and starred in Hollywood movies, Eduardo Verastegui's smouldering looks and aquamarine eyes once attracted thousands of (invariably screaming) female fans.

But unlike the real life Pitt, who famously rejected his Southern Baptist upbringing, Verastegui chose to sacrifice a glittering film career after rediscovering his Catholic faith. A sensation throughout Latin America, where he first shot to fame aged 18, as a member of the Mexican boy band Kairo, he later starred in a string of telenovelas, the high-octane long running soap operas that command vast audiences throughout Russia, the Middle East and the Hispanic world. After moving to Miami, to successfully pursue a career as a solo singer, Verastegui was offered the lead in the 2003 comedy Chasing Papi, the tale of a Latin love God pursued by a trio of vengeful girlfriends.

Today, the 35-year-old actor is a daily Mass-goer, committed to abstaining from sex before marriage, who flies to Darfur to help the starving, provides financial help for women considering abortions and organises house-building missions in Mexico.

“I wasn’t born to be famous, or to be a movie star, but to love and serve Jesus Christ,” the former model and singer once listed as among the top 50 “hottest” Hispanics by People magazine will tell a gathering of young Catholics on his first visit to England this weekend...

There's more in this Times (U.K.) report right here.