Smokin' Aces - Andy Garcia interview
Compiled by Jack Foley
ANDY Garcia talks about appearing in Joe Carnahan’s Smokin’ Aces and some of his forthcoming projects…
Q: You must get sent a lot of scripts, but why did you decide to do sign up for Smokin’ Aces?
A. I was a big fan of Joe’s film, Narc, so when you hear there’s a script coming over from Joe Carnahan, you know it’s going to be interesting because he has such a fresh voice.
I actually talked to Ray Liotta, who is a good friend of mine and he said great things about Joe. So, I met with Joe and told him I dug Narc. We spoke about the part and I said: “Sure, let’s do it.”
Q: There are so many colorful, crazy characters in the film. The guy you play, FBI Deputy Director Stanley Locke, is probably the most sane. Is that what attracted you to play him, that Locke is like the eye of the cyclone?
A. I actually asked Amanda [Mackey, casting director] about playing the hitman character that Nestor Carbonell plays. I said: “What about that part?” But Amanda said: “No, Andy, Joe needs you to be the moral authority of the film.” [Laughs.]
Q: Do you like being the moral authority of a film?
A. No, not necessarily. I would have liked the other part, but there are some things that the hitman does that in retrospect I probably would not want to do, just because of my kids. And Nestor is just great in the part.
Q: How was it working with Ryan Reynolds? This is a bit of a breakthrough role for him and pits him in some intense scenes with you and also Ray Liotta. How did Ryan handle it?
A. Ryan is great. He’s a terrific guy. I haven’t really seen some of his comedies, but just because an actor is known for comedies does not mean he can’t do drama. It’s important not to be pigeon-holed, which can happen. But Ryan is a sweetheart kind of a guy and did a beautiful job in the movie.
Q: Joe Carnahan said you have a natural acting gift in that you know exactly where to stand in a scene. The camera could be moving, but you have this natural ability to be in the right spot. Are you aware of that?
A. Michael Douglas said that to me earlier in my career when we did Black Rain. Maybe it’s just an instinct I have about staging. I guess it’s just an instinct. It’s not like I’m constantly thinking: “Where’s the camera?” It’s about having a healthy third eye, which is what I used to study in theatre. Where that stems from, I don’t know.
Q: Having that third eye it must help you when you direct a film?
A. Yeah, I guess so. Joe isn’t the first guy to say it, so they must be picking up on something. [Laughs.]
Q: Did you meet any actual FBI agents when preparing for the role?
A. I have friends who are in the FBI.
Q. Did they help you with playing an FBI guy?
A. I talk to them about it but you also get a sense from them just in natural conversation. You kind of get their stance in life. Their philosophies, behavioural conduct and traits.
Q: So going out to dinner with your FBI friends can be a fact-finding mission?
A. If you’re around them, we’re all victims of our own environment and job description. That’s the fun of the acting challenge. You’re searching for the acting details.
Q: You’ve been in so many great movies from The Untouchables to The Godfather: Part III. What projects get you excited these days?
A. I go where I’m stimulated. If I’m stimulated, I show up. As Mick Jagger sings: “It’s my life and I’ll do what I want.” [Laughs.]
Q: Looking ahead, what other projects will we see you in?
A. I’m always going to be involved with music. I’ll record another album. The soundtrack to my film, The Lost City, is coming out in January. It’s a two CD set. I have a couple of scripts I’m attached to for 2007. They’re not financed yet, but I am getting them off the ground. I want to direct again.
Q: We see you in big budget films like the Ocean‘s movies, but we also see you in small budget movies and passion projects. What do you prefer?
A. Whatever stimulates me. If I am, I jump in. Just because it’s a big budget movie doesn’t mean its bad. The size of budgets does not alter my decision if I should do it. If there’s a movie with a budget of only $1 million that I find interesting, then I’ll sign up, but it has to be in the hands of a director who can do something with it. Ultimately, it’s a director’s medium.