In the short film “Item 47,” actor Maximiliano Hernández plays Jasper Sitwell, a S.H.I.E.L.D agent who tracks down a couple who discover an extraterrestrial weapon and decide to use it to rob a few banks. “Item 47” can be found in the special features of “The Avengers” Blue-ray. It is the third short film created as a supplementary story for Marvel blockbusters such as “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger.”
How does it feel to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at this point of your career?
It feels really good to be working with Marvel and Disney. Everyone is on board and behind us. It’s feels like a family. I’ve been reading comic books all my life, so for me this is a dream come true as a comic-book geek.
What comic books did you used to read and do you still read them?
I’ve had an ongoing subscription to “The Incredible Hulk” since I was 12 years old. I still get it in the mail. I get mad when my mailman folds it. It’s been a part of my entire life. I’ve used to read “X-Men,” but I was mostly interested in “The Incredible Hulk” and “Captain America.”
In the comic books, your character Agent Sitwell looks nothing like you. Were you surprised when they cast you in this role?
Yeah, it’s bizarre. In the comics [Agent Sitwell} is a six-foot tall white guy with blonde hair. In my mind I was thinking, “I’m not that dude.” But [director] Kenneth Branagh really liked what I did [in my audition for “Thor”] and he pulled the trigger. The next day I got a phone call.
Do you think that says anything about how Latinos are perceived in the film industry? I mean, they could’ve easily gone out and found someone who looked exactly like the character, but they didn’t.
I certainly hope it changes people’s perceptions. We live in a multicultural world, so everything has to reflect that. I don’t think it’s honest when you see a TV show and there is one black guy and no Latinos or Asians. I’ve enjoyed playing roles that are labeled “unspecific ethnicity” because it doesn’t pigeonhole you to a cultural stereotype many Americans have in their heads.
What would you do if you found an alien gun just lying around like the couple in “Item 47?”
(Laughs) I’d probably sell it to the highest bidder.