Maximiliano Hernandez – Item 47

September 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Chaléwood

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.

Maximiliano Hernandez – Warrior

September 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

Not even a dislocated ankle could keep actor Maximiliano Hernández away from the set of “Warrior,” a sports drama following two estranged brothers fighting in the same Mixed Martial Arts tournament.

In the film, Hernández, 38, plays Colt Boyd, a trainer watching the development of one of the brothers who shows up at a local gym to get into shape. Prior to “Warrior,” Hernández starred in film such as “Pride and Glory” in 2008 and “Thor” earlier this year.

During an interview with me, Hernández talked about some of the misconceptions people might have of “Warrior” and what he learned from a doctor after dislocating his ankle two weeks before production.

I thought “The Help” was going to end up being the feel-good movie of the year until I saw “Warrior.”

Yeah, it’s touching a lot of people. When my family and I went to see the film, there were people walking out of the theater sobbing. I know it’s an emotional film, but I think it catches people off guard because they see this movie about fighting called “Warrior.” It seems to have this tough exterior. I think people have been pleasantly surprised how much heart it has.

Is there anything in the film you think will specifically attract Latino audiences?

There is a lot about the importance of family and togetherness. There is a message about treasuring the family you have. There are also certain religious aspects to it like the prodigal son returning and Cain and Abel influences. We didn’t expect that to come through, but they’re stories that are repeated through generations. I think a lot of Latinos will pick up on that and have a visceral and emotional experience.

Did you spend anytime prior to shooting in a gym like the one in the film?

Yeah, I did. I’ve been doing Thai boxing for a long time. We trained at a place in Pittsburgh before the film began. On the first day, I’m kicking a pad and I completely dislocate my ankle. It looked mutilated. This was the first day! I reached down and popped it back in. They took me to the hospital and they found out I had a bunch of hairline fractures from all the years of Thai boxing.

How long before the movie started shooting did this happen?

Two weeks! I was worried I was going to have to walk around with a cane for the movie. My foot was in a cast. I didn’t train anymore after that. I got to watch everyone else work out while I sat back eating ice cream in front of them.

Did you know a lot about Mixed Martial Arts before you joined the cast?

I did. I’m a huge UFC fan. I’ve actually been to a bunch of fights in Las Vegas. I love MMA. I really respect the sport. People try to bring it down by saying it’s human cockfighting, but it’s the absolute opposite. These guys are trained machines. They have to mix several forms of fighting into a cohesive motion. It’s a physical chess game.

What about other combat sports?

I love boxing. I would watch the fights with my dad. That’s where the real love of the game came from. Every time there is a Mayweather or Pacquiao fight we’re right there watching it on Pay Per View.

Do you have a prediction for the Mayweather Vs. Ortiz fight this weekend? Note: This interview with Hernández took place before the Sept. 17 bout between Mayweather and Ortiz.

Ortiz has a lot of heart and I pray that he wins, but I don’t think he will. Mayweather is at a different level. I think what Ortiz has going for him is that he has nothing to lose. To be honest, no one wants to see these little fights. We all know the fight we want to really see is Mayweather Vs. Pacquiao. That’s the one we’re all waiting for.

Do you think it will happen or is there just too much politicking going on?

I think it’s mostly politics. I desperately hope it happens. Right now, Pacquiao is the best pound-for-pound fighter. I think he is at his peak. But Mayweather is asking for a ridiculous amount of money. It’s not even about the love of the game anymore for Mayweather.

How do you think you’d fare fighting in the octagon?

(Laughs) I can tell you right now, I’d put my hands up and someone would take me down and tap me out in 14 seconds.

Maximiliano Hernandez – Hotel for Dogs

January 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

He may have started taking acting lessons to get out of detention back in high school, but actor Maximiliano Hernández soon found himself attending the same theatrical classes even when he wasn’t getting in trouble.

Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., Hernández, who is of Honduran descent, got his start in the industry off-Broadway before turning his attention to T.V. After one-episode bit parts on shows like “Law & Order” and the short-lived “Conviction,” Hernández earned roles in director Mira Nair’s 2006 drama, “The Namesake” starring Kal Penn (“Harold & Kumar”) and the crime drama “Pride and Glory” starring Edward Norton (“The Incredible Hulk”) and Colin Farrell (“In Bruges”).

Hernández now stars in the family comedy “Hotel for Dogs” with Emma Roberts (“Nancy Drew”) and Academy Award-nominated actor Don Cheadle (“Hotel Rwanda”). In the film, Hernández, 35, plays Officer Mike, a policeman on the trail of the film’s two troublemaking albeit dog-loving kids. Via phone, he talked about what led him to acting and what kind of dog he’s hoping his son will choose when he’s old enough to take care of one.

Other than it getting you out of detention, what else did you enjoy about acting when you first started?

I think it’s all about finding a character in yourself. When you start exploring the things that are inside you, it’s interesting and cathartic. It’s nice to go through those emotions.

How has your theatrical experience helped you with the work you are doing today?

I think theater did everything for me. It taught me to focus and listen to people. These are tools I can carry with me for the rest of my life. To me there’s nothing like theater. Television and film are great, but there’s something about having an audience watch as you put yourself through these moments. There’s something beautiful about that. You don’t always get something like that in life. For young actors, it’s a perfect way to start your career.

But at some point you realized you wanted to move on…

Yeah, I was doing theater for years. One night at a show in New York, a manager came up to me and handed me his card and said he’d really like to talk to me. Within a month of having a manager, I did an episode of “Law & Order” and starting doing more TV. It was nice find someone who could see my ability.

I know you have a 5-year-old son named Diego. How exciting is it for him that you’re in “Hotel for Dogs,” a movie that he can actually see?

(Laughs) He’s really excited. We just got back from New York and he saw this huge display for the movie and he pressed his face against the glass and was like, ‘Papa, the movie!’ This is my first family film.

Do you have a dog at home?

We don’t have a dog. My son asks me for one everyday. I grew up loving dogs. I was the one that brought strays home. When [Diego] turns 10, he can pick any dog he wants.

Since you worked with so many purebreds in this movie, is there any that you’re hoping he’ll choose when he’s old enough to get one?

I’m very partial to the French bulldog and the Rhodesian Ridgeback. But I’m not going to put any thoughts in his head, wink, wink.