A/V Room









Criminal - Diego Luna Q&A

Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q: John told us that you give out a feeling of wanting to hug you instantly. Is that how people usually approach you?
Ah, it's such a nice thing. I wish, but no.

Q: You have a considerable fan base of teenage girls. Does that affect your personal as well as professional life?
Your personal life gets affected, but I love my job and I love telling stories and I want people to hear these stories.
If it’s not to see my work, the film will be gone in two or three weekends, you know? Before Y Tu Mama Tambien, I shot like 15 movies that no one got to see. So this is a new feeling and a really nice feeling.

Q: Have you seen the original film Nine Queens, on which Criminal is based, and what do you think about it?
I watched the movie a week before we wrapped this one. Five days before we started shooting, I bought the DVD and when I met Steven Soderbergh and Greg Jacobs, they told me not to watch it because I would be thinking about the choices that were made in that movie.
I can say the approach I had to this movie is what felt right to me. The only story I knew was Criminal. Then I watched Nine Queens when we wrapped and it's a fantastic movie.

Q: Do you think it’s a carbon copy or that it's something different?
I think it's different. I think LA becomes a character in this movie. I think it's a movie about how many different people live in the same city, how many little frontiers LA has because they live in the same city, all these different cultures and accents and languages, but they don't really share it. I don't know, it's a weird thing.
LA’s a very important character for the movie and in the other movie, Argentina is very important. And that makes a big difference.

Q: In the movie, there's a line where John C. Reilly’s character says that there’s an advantage to you being nice-looking… has that been an advantage or an obstacle for you in your life?
Well, he doesn't say nice looking. He says that my character looks like a nice guy, which doesn't mean you're nice looking. But no, it's never an obstacle. I mean, if you look like a nice guy, people are going to trust you. And if that’s everything you are, you should use it as an advantage. If not, life would become painful.

Q: Maggie said that she doesn't like people who lie and she doesn't like telling lies, is that the same for you?
No, I have to say that, when I was a kid, I enjoyed lying a lot. Then I found out there was a profession that got paid for that and that's what I do. Basically, I tell stories that are not totally true. And I pretend to be a guy that I'm not, I pretend to be somebody else. When you're doing a movie, you're somebody else and you try to get people to believe that. But now, I don't lie in my real life because I do it in my job.

Q: What about when you were a kid, what did you lie about?
Oh, everything. I used to say that half of my family lives in England. I always told stories about my family that were not true.
One day it was Scotland, the other day it was Ireland, the next day it was London. My grandfather was an admiral for the navy and I always used to tell stories about him that he never told, like about a submarine that he had and how he got hit by a huge ship, whatever. I loved to tell stories. But now, I do it for my job.

Q: What impact has Hollywood made in your career now that you're getting more and more Hollywood films?
There's a lot of directors and actors I would like to work with here, like the Coen brothers or Paul Thomas Anderson, but basically, Hollywood is not the goal, you know? I just want to do good movies, tell good stories, and work with people that I can learn from and that I admire.

Q: You have worked with big Hollywood directors like Steven Spielberg and you have worked with tiny productions in Mexico, can you tell us about the difference working on both types of films?
Well, it's just the amount of money that is around. At the end, to do a good film, you need a good story, a good guy to tell it and enough days to shoot it. We shot for 28 days in this movie and it felt right. We used every second we had and we have a good movie. If the story matters to you, it's gonna matter to other people, so...

Q: Do being on big sets intimidate you in any way?
No. It’s definitely amazing to be on a set where everything is real. It makes your job easier instead of more intimidating.
Like on the airport set of Terminal, I really felt like I was at an airport. And in Open Range, you see 200 horses running and in a Mexican movie you would have to imagine the 200 horses running.

Q: How was it working with Maggie Gyllenhaal?
: It was amazing. With Maggie, the greatest thing is that there's always a lot happening in her eyes. You can see what she's feeling because she has very expressive eyes. It's really nice to be working with someone like that because it makes your job easier. She's a great actress and again, she has a very intense look, so it's really nice to look at those eyes when you're acting.

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