Spanish Icon Raphael Plays 'Crazy Diva' Version of Himself in 'Mi Gran Noche'

Juan Naharro Gimenez/WireImage
Raphael attends 'Mi Gran Noche' premiere during 63rd San Sebastian Film Festival on September 20, 2015 in San Sebastian, Spain. 

Alex de la Iglesia’s comedy premieres at San Sebastian.

Spanish musical icon Raphael plays a satiric version of himself that director Alex de la Iglesia calls a “crazy diva” in his new film Mi Gran Noche, a send up of televised music spectaculars that just premiered at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Raphael, who emerged in Spain as a movie star in the ’60s, as well as one of Latin music’s most original performers, accepted the role after a 40-year absence from the big screen. The ageless romantic ballad singer was on hand for the festival screening last night (Sept. 20).

As a review in the Hollywood Reporter calling Iglesias’ screwball comedy a “very Hispanic item” suggests, Mi Gran Noche can be expected to be a hit in Spain when it is released in October, and resonate with Latin American and U.S. Latino audiences.

Raphael plays Alphonso, a legendary, and rather nasty, performer, who battles with a much younger singing idol for the right to perform the first song of 2016 on the pre-taped New Year’s show to be seen on national television.

Spanish actor Mario Casas, who plays the young singer Adanne wearing a ridiculous blonde wig, has likened his character to pop stars David Bisbal, David Bustamente or Carlos Baute.

The movie takes the name of Raphael’s classic “Mi Gran Noche,” the theme song of the exuberant soundtrack. The same song was used in another movie that starred Raphael, 1968’s Digan Lo Que Digan.

Alex de la Iglesia, widely known Goya winners “Accion Mutante” and “El Día de la Bestia,” used a Raphael song as the theme for his 2010 movie La Balada Triste Con Trumpeta

De la Iglesia has announced a third movie in his Raphael trilogy, also named for one of the artist’s best loved songs, Que Sabe Nadie