Two fifteen in the morning. On the television they put Art Attack and there are no children awake at that time. Yes, there are those who cannot sleep or are still coming home. Jordi Cruz (Barcelona, 1976) welcomes you from the television. “Hello, art maniacs! This is Art Attack, the arts and crafts program that shows you that you don’t have to be a great expert to be a great artist ”. And he goes on to explain the next job: a “terrifying” hanger. The one he teaches is from the Frankenstein monster. “How have we done it? Very simple, with a cardboard box that I have here ”.
20 years after that, Jordi seems to be younger. The boy who started presenting Disney Club in 1996 at the age of 19 and Art Attack a couple of years later he looks the same except for the beard. “The genetics in my family are spectacular. When i did Art Attack I was 20 years old and they asked me for my ID at nightclubs. But that’s great, “says the presenter, who is currently presenting the podcast with Samantha Hudson. You still there? and Netflix Y He is involved in a literary project that will see the light of day in a year.
You have counted that there were two different generations in Art Attack: those who saw it in the morning and those who wore it when they got home at dawn. You yourself, at the time, ever went to record Disney Club splicing … Yes! But at that time it was not even broadcast Art Attack. It was the beginning of Disney Club, which was done live on Saturday mornings. I was a 21 or 22 year old boy. What was he going to do on Friday? And it wasn’t always. And going splicing doesn’t mean going drunk either. I liked to dance, go out with my friends, have a good time … So I had an energy with which I could shoot live. But then I took the airlift and if I was delayed for half an hour it was death, because until four in the afternoon there was no other and in those three hours at the airport I looked like a zombie, wanting to sleep everywhere. Everyone has their stamina too and after having been dancing and doing a show, the only place I wanted to get into was in bed. Sometimes I would fall asleep at the airport, on the ground, tying my backpacks to any bench and with a piece of paper on which I wrote which flight I was on in case I fell asleep. Although I would put myself to sleep right next to the gate and they already knew me a little [risas].
In the years when Disney Club Y Art Attack coincided, Jordi’s life consisted of spending the week in Maidstone (England, where the crafts program was recorded) and recording on weekends Disney Club in Madrid. “At that age I had all the energy in the world and, when we finished recording Art AttackWe would go out, we would go down to London to buy clothes … Who at that time, aged 22, could say that he was going to England to record a television program? If someone is thinking about a story of a broken toy, or of a boy-star tormented by the fame and work rhythm of his youth, that story is not Jordi’s. His memories working for the entertainment giant couldn’t be more positive. “There were days when we managed not to repeat a single take. With that we won one more day and the production company said that it had no problem, because it was going to continue paying the team and we would also have a day off. We also put music on the recording, we brought many gifts … There was an impressive good vibes. We were very happy recording Art Attack”.
At what point do you begin to realize that you are a popular face? I think I still don’t realize it. At the beginning of everything, on these nights when I went out and the next day I had Disney ClubFriends of the profession told me: “You have to be careful, because someone is going to see you dancing.” Well, if I have to stop dancing on top of a bar counter because I feel like it, I prefer to leave the TV. I don’t have famous friends. People around me realize before I do if someone has recognized me. When we go to a festival we have a keyword to make me realize that someone is watching me.
What is that keyword? I can’t say it, but it’s the name of an animal [risas]. I am like that and with my dogs too. There are certain moments when dogs can drive you crazy, because they throw a lot, so with my partner we have a keyword, which is “guacamole”, which means: “I can’t handle this. Take care of yourself ”.
What is it like to work for the Disney corporation? It has everything good and its part with its things. The good thing is that starting in this profession with Disney gives you enormous security. We were in a white, reference program, which was going to mark and accompany many children … And that part is great. But then it doesn’t stop being Disney, a corporation. The contracts that I have signed with them are super weird, because there are things like: “All this will be broadcast on known media and to be invented, on this planet and in the universe.” Sure! In 1997, who was to know at Disney that platforms would appear online, that there would be the wifi, the tablets or content on demand? So they covered themselves in health for what might happen. Who knows if in 20 years they will emit Art Attack on the moon?
The program, indeed, went viral many years later on a different platform: with parodies of youtuber Loulogio, which doubled original deliveries of Art Attack with a language that was anything but suitable for children. “I think he was the first to realize that Art Attack It was a program that had marked many generations and it was perfect to turn it around, make it viral, change it and give it a touch of humor. When I met him I would say to him: ‘Say what you want about me, but it tastes terrible when you say’ those little sons of bitches’. Poor guys! ”.
Shouldn’t you try to go back to the place where you’ve been happy? I think so. Look, there are people who fear nostalgia, because they see it as a sign of weakness. Unfortunately, I have lost both of my parents and I have no choice but to return to that part. And I come back very delighted, with more desire than ever. It happens a lot with Art Attack. I think that what brings you back to good memories, to moments when you had no worries, when nothing could go wrong, is a minimally safe place. Of course: there is no use returning to nostalgia if you have no future plans. You cannot live anchored in nostalgia.
Were you homesick before your parents passed away? Yes. For me it is important to return to your memories, to the base … In that, the family has a lot to do with it. When my mother died it was very important to keep talking about her. I do it a lot with my aunt, her sister, who is already eighty-something; we talk as if the days had not passed. Talking to her takes me to summers in Mallorca. Continuing to have contact with the family, having this special bond, makes you return to that root. If all that is lost, it costs more. eye! I have been fortunate to have a family that has behaved well, but if your family has not behaved well with you and you have had to create a new one, you do not need to come back at all.
How did you get your parents to trust you when you moved to Madrid so young? They trusted their son fully. One of the reasons why I have always tried not to get out of the way or not to gamble with things that were not under my control has been out of respect for that trust. When they trust you so much you cannot fail. You can be wrong, but I always say the same thing: don’t give your parents annoyance! I remember they didn’t even see my first apartment in Madrid. And I think my father never saw any of the ones I rented.
But they did see you on TV, right? Yes Yes. Sure! But they never asked me what I did or what I stopped doing or what I did at night. They trusted one hundred percent. I think that is the secret of all this.
In 2000 it was announced that Jordi would combine the work of presenter of Art Attack with that of collaborator in Lightning, a nocturnal and rogue project of Antena 3 that had as one of its claims the presenter Inma del Moral and on the other, seeing the Disney star in a radically different register. That was, according to Cruz, a “touch” of the company. “But it wasn’t my fault either [risas]. They made a comment on Lightning (“If Mickey Mouse saw you now …”) and then they called me: ‘Hey, tell them Lightning leave Mickey Mouse alone. ‘ Manel Fuentes took it out in Martian Chronicles and it was seen more than it should have ”.
It is that suddenly you went from Disney to interview a couple of porn actors in the middle of filming. Yeah, but that wasn’t the plan. Lightning it had to have been a Sunday afternoon show. Disney did give me permission for that, but then the plan changed and they spent the night to compete with Martian Chronicles. I remember the meeting, when they asked who was going to do the most risque reports, and then everyone looked at me, at Disney, saying that this would be more fun.
And was it? Well … there were reports interesting and others a little more sordid that didn’t interest me at all, but they had to be done. And other things that we did not get to broadcast because it was already too much.
Does a television presenter cease to exist when he ceases to appear on television? For people it seems to be yes. It is the fantastic question of “Are you not doing anything anymore?”, Because it seems that if you are not on TV, then you are not doing anything. But we do; we have to subsist. I am not an Arab sheikh, I have to work. [Cruz ha presentado en los últimos años otros programas en radio y televisión y ha sido actor de doblaje en el cine].
They called you to go to the birthday of the daughter of a millionaire man, for example. Yes. We thought about it and we did it — it’s the only time I’ve done it in my life — to experiment. We arrived, the parents welcomed us, we had a drink with the relatives, they brought out the cake … and I simply left. But I’m telling you: I’m not Beyoncé, nor did they pay me like they can pay that woman. These are things you do because then you can give that money to an association, a friend or people who need it. Maybe what I’m going to say sounds bad, but what does it cost me to go to a birthday for two hours? I can’t consider it work, but I can’t consider it profit either. It was a surreal thing and we did it out of curiosity.
How many of the wishes that you have made when blowing out the candles on your birthday have been fulfilled? Mogollón. I have to be very happy for all the things that I have achieved and that have happened to me. Now everything that happens is a gift. And if nothing else happens, I’ll be just as grateful.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.