In real life, my father was indeed a painter and this melancholy is one of the things that are most immediately recognizable about him. To me, it was clear that Ulises and I were projecting the same kind of features over the character. His answers were helping me to discover and to remember. I kept asking questions.
After this set of questions, I asked candidates to tell me a real story about their lives that they thought this character could have lived. Some spoke about long barefoot walks on the highway, some about fights with monkeys in the jungle, some about heroic deeds of their past. Ulises narrated the last night he spent with an ex-lover in a motel in the heart of Mexico City. The way he spoke about it greatly reminded me of my father. In real life, sometimes he would talk about previous lovers in that same tone, his voice exhibiting the same texture and rhythm, creating a similar feeling. It was very clear that Ulises was the right choice.
It is important to note that I never explained anything at all to the actors. My idea was that, by creating a surface for projection (the spoken portrait) and by asking the right questions, they would help me to remember this character that only existed in my memory. We, through a process similar to anamnesis, were able to discover what this character was like. Later, when I asked the actors to perform something, I barely had to give them directions. The exercise of discovering the character together was enough to make the actions flow naturally and to create the main features of what I wanted.