Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q: Where is your family from?
A: Cuba and I was born in Miami.
Q: Your claim to fame is that you can change a tyre in
one minute 19 seconds?
A: That’s true. I have a love for old and exotic
cars and they break down a lot. In order to really enjoy them
you have to get good with them. If you plan on spending a Saturday
afternoon with a girl you are crazy about and you are going to
go for a drive along the coast in your convertible then the chances
are your tyre is going to go, the radiator is going to blow.
Q: Doesn’t it ruin the date if you have to get
all dirty changing a tyre?
A: They love it. Ask any woman in the room - how sexy
is it when their guy is all sweaty and has oil all over his face.
Q: How about being the sensitive guy in the movie?
A: It was treat being able to play a guy who isn’t
the tough guy. It was nice to play the sweet, innocent guy and
let other people do the crazy stuff.
Q: And you don’t play an obvious Latino role in
A: You don’t want to limit yourself - you want
to grow. You want to be able to play all those roles. I love what
guys like Denzel Washington and Andy Garcia have done. They have
crossed the line.
Denzel plays the same roles that Tom Cruise would. Hopefully,
20 years from now, we will be talking about my 18th movie. To
just play the same thing over and over would be scary. People
expect me to be the Latino. So in this film to play a role like
Jeff Foreman who is a small town sweet guy was fun. So hopefully
people will think this is a cool change.
Q: Is there a showbiz background to your family?
A: As a kid I grew up around music, my uncle started
The Miami Sound Machine in the 1970s. And my family was always
very close with Andy Garcia, so as his career was growing I had
the opportunity to be around and share that excitement. But although
I was always an entertainer I never thought of myself as an actor.
I played music and whenever I had the chance to perform live I
would. But it was always for my pleasure for myself than a career
choice. I play piano, guitar and drums...I love it.
If I was better I would be a rock star. I never had plans to be
an actor, I was in law school, I was engaged I was about to get
married, lease a BMW and send my kids to school. And I was ready
to do it until I was miserable for six months. It was a dark winter
Then I went to a bar and as I was having a bowl of soup it hit
me! It was as clear as day - got to LA and be an actor. I heard
a voice and the next day I sold my car, dropped out of law school
and went to Los Angeles. Now seven years later I’m still
Q: When you did Speed 2 and were on the set for six months
for one line did it seem like you’d made a mistake?
A: It was a helluva line....’I took my pants off.’..
[laughs] No I never thought that I’d made the wrong decision.
I don’t know if it was faith or being naive but I always
knew that things would work out. I still feel that now. It’s
not like I’ve made it but I hope I will continue to grow
and have opportunities like those I’ve had.
Q: You have worked with Andy
Garcia in his directorial debut on Lost City, what was that like?
A: Knowing him when I was young was different to sitting
with him in a tobacco field at 3am, it’s raining and the
cameras are rolling...you are doing a scene; you’re holding
each other and crying! It was a dream come true. To look at a
call sheet that said ... Dustin Hoffman, Bill Murray, Enrique
Murciano! It was an absolute treat.
The movie takes place in Cuba in the 1950s and tells the story
of two brothers - one takes a conservative approach to revolution,
the other follows Castro and Che. I play the second character.
It tells the story of what the revolution cost a lot of families.
I think Andy Garcia has done a great job at telling an honest
story and illustrating how much was lost. It is daring for me
to say this but it is the Cuban version of The Godfather. It’s
a big movie. The acting is impeccable. I’ve never seen Bill
Murray be this good and I love him, he is one of my favourites.
Q: Have you been to Cuba?
A: No I won’t go until the time is right for me
to go. My family lost everything years ago. It’s a very
touchy topic with myself. It would be hard for me to go and enjoy
the rum and cigars and be able to ignore that there are people
who live a miserable existence. But I would love to go, I dream
of Cuba every day.
Q: You said your family lost everything?
A: My mom moved to Johnston City, Tennessee in 1960 with
eight sisters and $9. It was tough. It was about losing your history
Q: When did you do that Cuban movie?
A: At the same time as this. I did this, the Cuban movie
and my TV show all at the same time. I didn’t speak for
three months after that. It was difficult but at the same time
it was like being a fisherman who goes out and the fish are biting
and you have the thrill and excitement that keeps you going. As
an actor to play three different roles in three movies that I
am so proud of was marvelous. If the fish are biting you keep
pulling them in the boat. Think about being tired afterwards.
Q: You worked with Sandra on Speed 2, is she still the
same person today?
A: I think the reason Sandy is so successful is because
she’s Sandy... period. I don’t think she has ever
let success or the way people perceive her change who she is.
There is a reason why people love seeing her movies...it’s
because you go to see Sandy and it’s like seeing an old
friend. You hope that friend won’t change and I haven’t
seen her change one little bit.
People think of her as the girl next door - my neighbour doesn’t
look like Sandra Bullock! Neither is she a producing power house
like Sandra. Nor does she have the comedic skill or timing or
chops as an actress to achieve the things that Sandra Bullock
Q: Is Sandra funny all the time during filming and was
it hard to stop yourself laughing?
A: Every day. It was very difficult to keep a straight
face. But I learned a lot from her, not just about the acting
but as a human being.