Rodrigo Santorio – The Last Stand

January 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

In “The Last Stand,” actor Rodrigo Santoro (“What to Expect When You’re Expecting”) plays Frank Martinez, a small-town deputy who comes to the aid of the sheriff (Arnold Schwarzenegger) when the leader of a dangerous drug cartel makes a run for the Mexican border.

Tell us about your character Frank Martinez?

We kind of built this back story for the character. He’s a veteran who came back from war and had a hard time adjusting. He was always a little lost in life. He was supposed to be this big athlete but he never took it serious. Anyway, the sheriff – Arnold’s character – gives him the opportunity to redeem himself.  He feels strong about going after the bad guy and stopping him.

Why did you want to be a part of the film?

Well, first of all, I grew up watching Arnold’s movies like “Terminator” and “Conan.” All those movies were huge for me. It’s been a while since he’s shot a movie, but it was great to get the opportunity to work with him now that he is back. Also, they told me about the director (Jee-woon Kim). I had seen his work before. He’s an incredibly talented South Korean director. When I heard he was going to direct this, the combination just seemed very appealing to me.

How do you think Arnold did coming back to the big screen after his stint in politics?

He did great. I really like the way he played this role. He doesn’t take himself too serious. He makes the whole thing about aging and I think that’s very smart. He’s not trying to be who he was a long time ago. I really loved the way he developed the character. He brings a lot of comedy, humanity, and vulnerability to the role.

This is Jee-woon Kim’s first American film. What does he bring to the industry?

He’s a visionary. The pace of the movie is great. It looks fantastic. The action sequences are incredibly well done. The camerawork is amazing. But he understands that it’s very important to also have characters. It’s not all about the action. The audience need to connect with these characters on a human level. [Kim] really invested in that. We talked so much about my character – the details and very little things that would make a difference at the end.

We’re going to see you this summer reprising your role as Xeres in the sequel to “300.” Did you approach the character the same way you did for the original?

This is the first time I revisit a character. It had been about six years [since the original]. It was a challenge. This time we’re going to have a little bit of [Xeres’] back story. I had to match him and be the same character, but I also had to give him something fresh.

Genesis Rodriguez – The Last Stand

January 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

In “The Last Stand,” actress Genesis Rodriguez (“Casa de mi padre”), 25, stars as Ellen Richards, a special agent caught up in the escape of a dangerous drug dealer who is trying to escape into Mexico. The film marks action star Arnold Schwarzenegger’s’ first lead role since the 2003 sequel “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.” During an interview with me, Rodriguez, who is Cuban and Venezuelan, talked about earning roles based on her heritage and what makes Schwarzenegger such a star.

How did you get involved in “The Last Stand?”

Luckily, I had worked before with one of the producers on “Man on a Ledge,” so it was an easier process. I went in knowing they knew what I could do. The audition was pressure free. I felt really comfortable and got the part.

What did you like about your character Agent Ellen Richards?

What drew me to the part was I love the fact that she was a mainstream character with an American name. She didn’t have a Lopez or Rodriguez attached to her.

Why is it important to you to play characters that are not necessarily Latina?

I’m bicultural and everyone sees me as a Latina, but in my head I see myself as both Latina and American. It’s very important to me that people see I am an American and I was born in the states. I love my [Latino] roots and customs, but I’m here to represent an new generation of Latinos who were born in the states, are bilingual and consider themselves as mainstream as anyone else. I hope when Latinos see me playing a mainstream character, they’re proud of that.

How did Arnold do in his first lead role since 2003?

He is so awesome, man! I’m a huge fan of Arnold. This is a high-octane, stunt-driven movie. There is a lot of action and brilliant camerawork by [director] Kim Jee-woon. It’s an action movie for everyone. It’s not just for the boys. This is exactly the way I want to see him come back to films. I was very exciting to be a part of it.

At 65, do you still see Arnold as an action star or does there have to be an evolution that comes with his age?

Well, I know in “The Last Stand” he is kind of poking fun at himself. I find that humor so sweet and endearing. Obviously, he’s in a different stage in his life so he’s going to come out with an action film that is in a different light. But he’s still a badass. He should still be seen as the biggest action star out there. I see him as that no matter what.