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Juan Pablo Di Pace talks 'Dallas' villainy, theatre, and the Twelfth Doctor

Juan Pablo Di Pace stars as Nicolas Trevino in the TNT soap opera "Dallas," airing its third season Monday nights on the cable network.
Juan Pablo Di Pace stars as Nicolas Trevino in the TNT soap opera "Dallas," airing its third season Monday nights on the cable network.
TNT

With the return of TNT's Dallas, that means Nicolas Trevino is back for more scheming. As an antagonistic force in season three of the hit soap opera, Juan Pablo Di Pace cuts a menacing figure on screen. Off screen, the Argentine actor, singer and director is obviously nothing like his alter ego. He sat down with us last week to give us some insight into playing Nicolas - and that one time he worked with the new star of Doctor Who.

Juan Pablo Di Pace stars as Nicolas Trevino in the TNT series 'Dallas,' currently airing its third season on Mondays.
Courtesy of Fifteen Minutes PR

"They kept it to themselves how much of monster Nicolas is," he told us. "I was shocked as anyone else when I got the script and it says by the way, I'm the one that kills [Elena's brother] Drew. We're taking about a serious assassin here!"

"I absolutely love playing Nicolas. He is just the most fun character I've ever played, because there are so many layers to him," he continued. "There's a real heart there for Elena and his family. He would do anything for her and for his children. But then there's a side of him that's just [a] stone cold killer."

Juan Pablo told us that the heightened drama which began at the start of season three is going to continue with the remaining episodes. "The second half of the season, it's accelerated. It's full of cliffhangers. Every single episode, you think it's going to be the finale and it's not," he enthused. "It's so far the most exciting season yet."

With so much going on amongst Dallas's large and intertwined cast, how does he navigate the complicated world at and around Southfork? "You just concentrate on what you're given," he explained. "I read every single script every time we get it, but you have to work on it and work on what you can bring to the table."

"There are so many amazing characters on the show and [they're] so defined as well," he added. "It's all about knowing how you fit into the whole game. The wonderful thing about Nicolas is he's not your typical villain. He has a soft side, but then he can kill you with a smile."

It's the latest complex role for Juan Pablo, who's played a variety of characters that all seem to have something going on beneath the surface. "Most of the stuff that I've done that I loved has to do with theater," he reflected. "I started with the musical Chicago. I went on to play Tony in Saturday Night Fever in Spain; I opened the Spanish production and that character was just so much fun to play. He was a real cocky bastard, but at the same time he had to have a heart, and he had to have a passion.

"I worked on Mamma Mia the movie with Meryl Streep; it was a tiny role but that was fantastic," he added. "Last summer, we did a show called Camp for NBC and I played a best-selling author. All these characters, funny enough, they all have this massive ambition for something or they have a hidden agenda. And I like those characters."

"I just finished a movie with Matthew Morrison, [and] Jane Lynch is in the movie as well," he said, referring to his upcoming film After the Reality, in which he plays Dunkin, another not-so-nice guy. "It's going to be very interesting. It's about this guy who loses his father to cancer and instead of coping with it, he decides to go on a reality show, kind of like The Bachelorette. That's Matthew's character [and] I'm kind of his nemesis."

Juan Pablo also appeared opposite the newly-debuted Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, in the 2006 TV-movie Aftersun. Naturally, we couldn't resist asking him what it was like to work with a future Doctor. "I love Peter Capaldi," he told us. "Peter's the best and I'm so happy he's doing Doctor Who. Peter would just have us laughing for hours and hours. He's the funniest man. And that was a great, great project."

The sky's the limit for this talented actor, but for right now, he just advises viewers to hang on for the remainder of the season of Dallas. "The second half of the season is incredible. It's really full on," he said. "Keep tuning in, because the episodes just get better and better."

Dallas continues tonight at 9 PM ET/PT on TNT. For more with Juan Pablo, follow him on Twitter (@JuanPabloDiPace).

(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.