Portuguese actor plays giant in Spielberg’s new animated film

Portuguese actor Paul Moniz de Sá – born in the Azores but living in Canada since a very young age – reached a career milestone after nailing a role in the new Steven Spielberg animated film “The BFG”.

The movie is based on a children’s novel by the same name written by British author Roald Dahl and premieres today (July 7) in Portuguese theatres.

Moniz de Sá lent his voice and his appearance to the character of Meatdripper, one of the “man-eating giants” featured in the Walt Disney Studios film.

“It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life,” Moniz de Sá told Lusa news agency.

“Steven Spielberg is an inspirational director. The cast and crew were spectacular. I did not feel like I was working. I felt like I was making magic with friends,” he said.

Moniz de Sá has already played a number of small roles on popular TV shows such as The X-Files and Smallville – apart from a successful career in theatre. But hearing the news that he had been chosen for a Spielberg movie was still a moment he will “never forget”.

“I think my reaction on the phone when my agent called me was ‘holy cow’ while I jumped up and down the hall,” he said.

Moniz de Sá lives in Vancouver, having left the São Miguel island in the Azores with his family and eight siblings when he was a child.

“Even though I came to Canada when I was very young, São Miguel is still a big part of who I am. It is my heritage. It is the central part of my grandmother’s and family’s stories. In many ways, it is where my love for art came from,” he told Lusa.

He is currently the Artistic Director of Theatre and Music at the Arts Umbrella education centre in Vancouver.

“The BFG” tells the story of “Sophie, a girl who encounters the Big Friendly Giant who, despite his intimidating appearance, turns out to be a kindhearted soul who is considered an outcast by the other giants because, unlike them, he refuses to eat children”.

It can be seen at a number of movie theatres across Portugal starting today.