'La Tempestad' Star William Levy on His New Telenovela and Return to Spanish-Language TV

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William Levy

The former "Dancing With the Stars" competitor stars in a new Univision novela debuting Monday night.

Telenovela star William Levy makes his return to Spanish-language TV on Monday night.

The Cuban-American actor, who took a two-year hiatus to compete on ABC's Dancing With the Stars and other projects, is starring in Univision's novelaLa Tempestad (The Storm), which debuts Monday. (It will air weeknights at 9 p.m.)

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La Tempestad centers on Marina (former Miss Universe Ximena Navarrete, making her acting debut), whose revelations of her vengeful former boss' indiscretions force her to find work in a small fishing village. There she meets Damián (Levy), the owner of the fishing boat La Tempestad, and they fall in love. But jealous and ambitious rivals emerge bent on destroying any hopes they may have had for happiness.

The telenovela's cast also includes Spanish star Iván Sánchez as Levy’s main rival, along with Mexican actors including César Évora, Daniela Romo, Laura Carmine, Jessica Coch, Diana Bracho, Alfonso Herrera and Luis Manuel Avila. 

The project, shot in and around Veracruz, Mexico, is said to be one of Televisa's most ambitious productions to date, spearheaded by producer Salvador Mejía (Triunfo del Amor).

Ahead of the show's premiere, Levy -- whose credits also include Sortilegio and Triunfo del Amor -- talked to The Hollywood Reporter via e-mail about his new show and his growing fan base.

The Hollywood Reporter: What is it about this project that attracted you to the role?

William Levy: I'm excited to return to telenovelas with this production. It's an action-filled, romantic drama. In fact, one of my first scenes is a full blown battle with pirates. I know my U.S. fan base, and they will love this action-packed drama that is also a beautiful love story.

THR: How has your fan base grown since Dancing With the Stars? [Levy finished in third place on the show's 14th season during the May 2012 finale.]

Levy: The show gave me a new fan base here in the U.S.

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THR: What can you tell us about your character in La Tempestad?

Levy: I play Damián Fabre, the captain of a fishing boat, who falls in love with Marina, the director of the company I work for. The obstacles and challenges they face make it a riveting story that I know audiences will enjoy.

THR: What can viewers expect to see from the show?

Levy: La Tempestad is full of action, yet a romantic drama. In fact, my first scene is a full-blown battle with pirates. It's a great production that was filmed on location in beautiful Veracruz, and it has a great cast.

THR: This is your first Spanish-language role since DWTS. What made you want to return to Spanish-language TV?

Levy: This was a great opportunity for me because the novela has good elements. I simply loved the script. Besides La Tempestad, I have two movies coming up next year: Addicted and Single Moms Club, both Lionsgate productions.

La Tempestad premieres at 9 p.m. Monday. Watch the first episode's first 20 minutes below.