Diego Calva: 5 Things To Know About The Standout Star Of ‘Babylon’

Get to know Diego Calva, who stars in Damien Chazelle's epic new movie with heavy hitters like Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie.

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Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

  • Diego Calva is a Mexican actor.
  • He stars in ‘Babylon’ with Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie.
  • He’s best known for his role in Netflix’s ‘Narcos: Mexico.’

Sharing the screen with Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie probably isn’t easy, but Diego Calva pulls it off in Babylon. The 30-year-old actor has a major role in Damien Chazelle‘s epic film that arrives in theaters on December 23. The movie explores Hollywood during the transition period from silent to sound films, in the late 1920s. So many people are talking about this movie already, including how great Diego’s performance is.

Want to know more about Diego? HollywoodLife has got you covered! Here’s everything you need to know about Diego Calva.

Diego Calva
Diego Calva in ‘Babylon’ (Photo: Paramount Pictures)

1. Diego plays Manny in ‘Babylon’.

Manuel “Manny” Torres is a Mexican-American film assistant with aspirations to become a film star. He explores Hollywood during its transitional period and connects with silent film star Jack Conrad (Brad Pitt) and aspiring actress Nellie LaRoy (Margot Robbie). Babylon is Diego’s first major English-language role.

2. He was hand-picked for the role.

Director Damien Chazelle, 37, revealed how Diego got cast in Babylon in an interview with GQ. “I saw a headshot randomly, [of Diego], and I was just like, ‘Oh, that’s the face of a dreamer. Those eyes have real poetry in them. Who is this guy? Has he ever acted before?” Damien said. The two men eventually met on Zoom and Damien realized Diego would be perfect for the role of Manny.

3. He’s a Golden Globe nominee.

Diego’s performance in Babylon is already landing well with critics. On December 12, Diego was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor — Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. His fellow nominees include Daniel Craig, Adam Driver, Colin Farrell, and Ralph Fiennes. In total, Babylon received 5 Golden Globe nominations, including Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy.

Diego Calva
Diego Calva at the ‘Babylon’ premiere on December 15 (Photo: CAROLINE BREHMAN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

4. He’s from Mexico.

Diego has a lot in common with his Babylon character, including their native Mexican heritage. Diego was born in Mexico City where he attended a film school. Diego relates to Manny even more because they’re both newcomers to Hollywood from Mexico.

5. He starred in ‘Narcos: Mexico.’

Diego had a recurring role for six episodes in the third season of Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico. He played Mexican drug lord Arturo Beltran Leyva. Diego struggled with the role and how the show exploited the drug world in Mexico.

“The way they put the story of my country, I don’t agree at all. There’s a lot of truth and that’s amazing, but there’s a lot of lies, too,” he told GQ. “I think my country doesn’t need more narco culture and making these guys heroes.”