The actor tells us all the secrets of his darkest role: a sinister psychopath in Perverso, the new Amazon Prime series.

Spanish award winner actor Jan Cornet has a talent rarely seen: the ability to surprise. Since his youth, he has been accumulating more and more surprising and unpredictable projects, and you never know when he enters a movie theater, settles into his seat, and gets ready to watch one of his films. You never know when you walk into a movie theater, settle into your seat, and get ready to watch one of his films. What will it be this time? A vulnerable young man, a prisoner trapped in the twisted games of a surgeon, someone caught between parallel realities, or a faithful friend. Well no, this time, with Amazon Prime’s new series and spin-off Parot, Perverso manages to offer us the more sinister and darker side of Jan Cornet. The disturbing psychopath Oscar is an elusive man who hides in the shadows as he kidnaps and tortures the richest and most privileged while planning his vendetta against the protagonist played by Alex Meseguer. A thrilling thriller that does not give a moment’s respite and traps the viewer who can not help but be surprised to see a chameleonic Jan exploring the darkest corners of the human mind.



Do you live in the area?

No, but my therapist’s office is nearby.


This is a very elegant neighborhood, I’m sure the office is very nice, like Bedelia Du Maurier.

 Yes, it’s really nice. But there are all kinds of practices.


I always imagine them elegant, with a little zen garden and things like that.

You’ve never set foot in a therapy session, have you?



No, but I should (laughs).

 Well, nowadays the subject of mental health is on everyone’s lips. We are more and more aware of this issue and I think it is going to grow.


Do you think so?

Yes, I think so.


You still haven’t gotten to the chapter on optimism in your sessions with your therapist (laughs).

It’s not optimism, it’s reality. I think that social networks are affecting us a lot, but I don’t think they help. It is necessary to resort more and more to therapy and personal growth. It is very common among actors.



Do you spend a lot of time using social media?

I only use Instagram. I started using social media very late and I had a hard time using Instagram because I felt it exposed my private life. But now, in the industry, it is important to use social networks, since you are your brand and as an actor, it comes in handy to promote your projects. I on Instagram prefer to look at other people’s posts.


And what post do you look at?

I look at a lot of reels. It happens to me that I start looking at reels on Instagram and half an hour flies by, wasting time.


I don’t think it’s wasting time either, it’s entertainment of a different kind.

 Yes, but it’s half an hour that goes by in a very brief way. Although sometimes, I find it very amusing. It’s a bit like fast food.



What are your favorite accounts?

 I really like Roy Galán’s account, I really like his thoughts on masculinity. I also like watching an Italian mamma who prepares typical Italian dishes. And the videos of a guy who cooks soups I also love.


Hey, show me that book you have there, and see what you are reading.

La Vida Simple by Sylvain Tesson.


Are you a big reader?

 Sometimes. Lately, I’m reading less because I have a heavy workload. But I like to read and on paper.


Me too, even if it’s more expensive. By the way, now that you mention work, how are you living the premiere of your new series Perverso?

 Very well, the series has been very well received by the public. I’m getting many messages telling me that the series is really enjoying and attracting many people. I have heard very good things about my work in Perverso, people don’t recognize me physically. The other day someone who had seen the series said to me “Hey, I think you’re a good-looking guy but in the series, you look really ugly, I don’t recognize you”. I replied that that was the idea. The main character, Aro, played by Iván Massagué is a very romanticized criminal and that’s why I wanted to go in another direction, the two psychopaths in the series could not be the same. That led us to work a lot on the character’s past and try to find out why someone does what he does what he has had to go through in life and what has hurt him. I dyed my hair, grew it long, and shaved it every day. People would ask me about my lips if they were prosthetic, but when I shave they seem to stick out more.


Isn’t that a wig you’re wearing in the show?

 No, that hair is my hair!



But how much time did you have to prepare for the role?

My hair grows so fast! I like to play with my hair, sometimes I wear it light and sometimes shorter.


In your films, I’ve seen your hair almost always long.

It depends on the project. In The Skin I Live In I wore it short and dyed, and I even wore colored contact lenses to look like Elena Anaya. I really like to change my look depending on the character I’m playing. The physical part is a very interesting way to approach a character. Tom Holland in The Crowded Room was a great inspiration for the character of Perverso. I found his appearance in that series to be handsome but at the same time fragile and a little weird.


Does it affect your personal life in any way to play for several months a psychopath as hairy as the one you play in Perverso?

 It’s inevitable that it affects you, that you take some of the work home with you. I try to finish shooting and forget about it, but when you live so long with a character like that, it’s inevitable that your imagination changes day by day. My girlfriend couldn’t watch the series because she was repulsed by seeing me in character. When I finished shooting she confessed that she was happy because she didn’t find me very handsome and because I gave her a creepy vibe. With this character what I did was to write him a letter from the real me, from Jan. When I started shooting I read it in my dressing room and that allowed me to get into the character and when the day was over, I reread it and that made it easier for me to get out of it. It was a way to distance myself from Oscar and feel free when I became him.


And how has the experience of being Oscar been?

It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve played characters that have had everything done to them, kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and many other barbarities. But this time I was the one who did the barbarities, who had that power. That makes it a lot of fun, plus the directors and screenwriters have given me a lot of freedom that I think can be seen in many scenes.



Did you get any information about psychopaths?

I saw a lot of true crime, which is very fashionable now. I also saw a lot of interviews with psychopaths, but to avoid Óscar being a stereotype and to find his own point of view. Everything has to do with a certain wound and its consequences.


Sometimes I think we try hard not to assume that the bad guy is sometimes bad and that’s it.

The first thing you are taught when you have to play a character is not to judge them. That’s why, when I have to play a character, what I try to do at the very beginning is to try to understand him, to know his motivations and the reasons why he does what he does. What I think as a person may have nothing to do with what the character thinks as a person and that’s why I should not judge. We live in a very moralistic society in which everything is either good or bad and sometimes it can be more harmful to those people pressing the button and controlling the IBEX 35 and sinking the economy of an entire continent. But capitalism makes all that seem less harmful. Characters like Oscar allow an actor to visit the dark corners that we all have and do not allow ourselves to explore, thank God. But doing so in fiction is healing and a lot of fun.


Actors love to look for answers and sometimes there just aren’t any.

That’s true. We insist on finding a solution when in life sometimes there are only unexpected twists and turns that constantly show us that we know nothing about life. But I think that happens to all human beings, that’s why there are things like religion that try to answer that mystery that scares us so much. And I think that many actors don’t have to look for answers because we love to immerse ourselves in the life of the character and prepare it very well. Shooting then flies by.


Has Oscar been your most complicated character so far?

Maybe, but at the same time, what I had to do in The Skin I Live In was very, very complicated. My character had to change sex in very strange circumstances and that was very difficult for me to imagine. Also working with Almodovar generates a certain pressure, a great repercussion, and a lot of expectations. But Perverso was also very complicated, but very liberating and fun.



You enjoyed playing the bad guy.

Sure, but the other day I was talking to my friend and I was wondering why I don’t get more normal characters, with everyday problems. They always give me complex and weird characters, and I love doing them! But I’d like to do something a little more normal. I’d like to play a straight character whose plot is not the hero’s journey that we usually see with that kind of character, the man who wins, the strong man. I want to show the insecurity of men. I think that fiction has not yet shown the tender man, the vulnerable man, ambiguously feminine and showing security but far from aggressiveness. I am now writing a film I would like to direct called Los Hijos de Adán in which I want to tell the story of a group of friends where one of them gets involved in a case of sexual aggression towards a woman. That is the starting point to tell the emotional journey of someone who for the first time is pointed out as an aggressor. I find it very interesting to talk about the problem that men have with desire because it is clear that there is a problem.


 Would you also star in the film?

I don’t know. I’d like to focus on the directorial approach.


Hey, you who have immersed yourself in the mind of a psychopath and have informed yourself, I would like to know why you think people like psychopaths so much.

 Darkness is always very attractive and even more so when we repress it. I think that when we see a character that brings out that part and lets us see the violence and everything hidden, in a certain way we end up empathizing with that character. It’s very important to see characters with ghosts, with light and darkness.


Do you consume that kind of fiction?

I consume quite a lot of fiction, more series than movies. One of the films I liked the most recently is La Estrella Azúl by Javier Macipe.


¿Qué reacciones te gustaría que despertara Perverso?

 I would like people to feel trapped by the series, that they can’t stop watching it. I also hope that they sympathize with the characters and that they understand Oscar and what he is trying to do. And also, that they have a good time of course.


Photography by Itziar Barros