Your parents didn’t own a TV. What kind of a relationship do you have with modern technology today?
It took me a long time to get used to things like e-mail. I’d get scripts sent to me digitally and I had to print them out because otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to read them. Besides, I always want to make notes on them. But I do need a smartphone for my work – especially GPS so I don’t get lost, but also as a translator. And when I’m in Cuba, I use it as a camera. It’s also good for listening to music, but those are really the only things it is useful for.
You probably don’t get lost in Cuba.
Of course not! Cuba is my home. That’s where my parents are and where my best friends live. Those are my people, my streets, my places. And if I want to see someone, I don’t need to call first. I just stop by. Everything just flows better there.
What are some of your most cherished childhood memories?
I have amazing memories from my childhood. I grew up in a little beach town close to Havana. There was this beach there with all kinds of crazy rock formations that I would run over barefoot. My mother always wondered how I could do that. I also have wonderful memories of my grandmother, who died when I was very young. But I still have very vivid memories of her cooking. She didn’t say, “This is the protein, this is rice and beans, this is the tomato salad.” Instead, she served a large meal with three salads and croquetas, tamales, frijoles, almost too much for three people.