Growing up in Venezuela, Edgar Ramirez imagined that he’d influence the global population through a career in international politics. Instead, the 30-year-old will be reaching out to the world via thousands of multiplex screens in one of the season’s most hyped blockbusters, “The Bourne Ultimatum,” which opens Friday. Nevertheless, Ramirez, who speaks five languages, insists his two passions are not as polar opposite as they may seem. “I’m an actor for the same reason I wanted to be a diplomat,” he says. “I’m fascinated by the human condition.”

Here, Ramirez demonstrates to WWD that he’s more than just a pretty face.

SETTING THE STAGE: In addition to focusing on his sociological and political studies in high school and college, Ramirez stayed active in theater clubs. “I never thought of my interest as a career, just an inner fantasy,” he says. Then one of his professors saw him in a student film and encouraged him to take up acting professionally — with one word of advice. “He warned me that one day, in a theater that seats 500, there might be four people. One will be leaving and one sleeping. I said, ‘Yeah, but if at least one person stays…'”

DEMOCRATICALLY INCLINED: An active participant in Venezuelan politics, Ramirez spearheaded the Venezuelan organization Dale el Voto (similar to MTV’s “Rock the Vote” campaign in the U.S.). Still, he insists he won’t use his work to promote any agenda. “I’m not interested in using my craft to make people think a certain way,” he says. “That’s not my job. I do not choose projects based on political belief.”

FAMILY MATTERS: “I come from a pragmatic household,” he says. “I grew up always having a plan. My parents had reservations, of course [about going into acting]. I managed to convince them I had a plan. I didn’t.”

ON HOLLYWOOD: “Even when you are in Los Angeles you can find so many creative people who have nothing to do with the stereotype of Hollywood,” he says. “It’s a state of mind that could exist anywhere.”

This story first appeared in the July 30, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

FASHION FIGURES: As the grandson of a tailor, Ramirez has an appreciation for well-cut clothing and isn’t ashamed of it. As he says, “If fashion is so silly and so superficial, why do so many people care about it?” In fact, four years ago he attended an Alexander McQueen show with a friend from Austria who was a jewelry designer and friend of McQueen. “I felt like the show was Cirque du Soleil.”

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