What happened to Benito Pocino, the perfect Mortadelo who never left his job at the Post Office… and ended up getting into adult cinema

In 2003, Javier Fesser took on the daunting task of adapting Mortadelo and Filemón for the big screen in Spain, a challenge previously attempted by Vara studios with mixed results. Despite the hurdles, “The Great Adventure of Mortadelo and Filemón” became a smash hit, sparking a sequel and renewing interest in Francisco Ibáñez’s work. Yet amidst this success, a star emerged—Benito Pocino.

Pocino, born in Barcelona on March 21, 1958, is on the verge of turning 66. He earned the nickname “Mortadelo” from childhood friends, a moniker he tolerated despite its teasing nature. A childhood accident left him partially deaf in one ear, a detail he often highlighted in interviews.

His early career was eclectic, ranging from baking to acting. Pocino stumbled into acting in 1987, landing a small role in Bigas Luna’s “Angustia” after accompanying a friend to an audition. Despite this early break, he maintained a steady job at Correos (Spanish postal service), where he remained even as acting opportunities arose.

Pocino’s path to acting prominence was paved with extra and supporting roles in films like “Makinavaja,” “Let’s be dangerous!,” and “Stories of the fucking mili.” His breakthrough came when Fesser cast him as Mortadelo, alongside Pepe Viyuela as Filemón. Despite initial skepticism, Pocino’s portrayal resonated with audiences, propelling him to unexpected stardom.

The success of “The Great Adventure of Mortadelo and Filemón” led to a sequel, but Pocino’s demands for higher pay led to his replacement in “Mission: Save the Earth.” This decision marked a downturn in Pocino’s career, culminating in a regrettable appearance in a pornographic film titled “The Anatomical Sulfate.”

Despite these setbacks, Pocino remains pragmatic, expressing openness to reprising his role as Mortadelo under the right circumstances. He continues his work at Correos, finding solace in everyday routines with his wife, while occasional reminders of his past glories evoke a sense of nostalgia.

In summary, Benito Pocino’s journey from postal worker to unexpected movie star, and subsequent fall from grace, reflects the unpredictable nature of fame and the enduring allure of beloved characters like Mortadelo.

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