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William Levy defied convention to make his own Spanish-language assassin flick

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Oozing sex appeal, and positioning himself as a badass, Cuban model-turned-actor William Levy is striving to achieve crossover success with “En Brazos de un Asesino” (“In the Arms of an Assassin”). The Latin sex symbol is deeply invested in the Spanish-language action-romance, in which he stars , co-wrote, and co-produced under his production company, William Levy Entertainment.

The story, adapted from J.A. Redmerski’s suspense novel, “Killing Sarai,” opens with hired assassin Victor Faust (Levy) making a deal with Javier (Robert Sosa), a Mexican drug lord, to kill his rival. As he leaves, however, Victor encounters Sarai (Alicia Sanz) hiding in his car. She is looking to escape after being held captive by Javier for nine years. While Javier hunts down Sarai, his “favorite,” Victor tries to keep her safe — and himself alive. Eventually, a relationship develops between Victor and Sarai, but the couple are soon plunged into unchartered territory.

Levy proves here that he could be the next Brad Pitt or James Bond. “En Brazos de un Asesino” derives its many pleasures by having the sizzling Levy swaggering through the film, dispatching bad guys with ruthless efficiency in nimble action scenes. He also sports a natty vest and a crisp white shirt that never seems to get stained. And yes, Levy does manage to take that shirt off in the second half to reveal his washboard abs. But Victor has a moral code — he won’t kill an innocent person — that gets tested over the course of the film. While his character is laconic, Levy exudes charisma because he is cool and totally in control.

If “En Brazos de un Asesino” plays like one the telenovelas that launched his acting career, that's because Levy knows how to showcase himself well in the action and sex scenes. The actor talked with Salon about his new film, crossover success, and being a sex symbol.

You adapted a novel for “En Brazos de un Asesino.” What made this story the right project for you — that you wanted to write your first screenplay, produce the film, and star as Victor?
It’s a very good book, and we did our best to make the film as close to it as possible. One of the things I wanted to do with my company is to create content for the Latin market. I want to do something for our people and I’m happy I can do this. When it comes to my career, I wanted to do something different, get out of my image from TV, and this character,........

© Salon