She may be a lover and not a fighter, but don’t underestimate Colombian actress Zulay Henao’s passion for going after what she wants.
In her most recent film “Fighting,” which was just released on DVD and Blu-Ray Aug. 25, Henao plays Zulay Valez, a cocktail waitress who catches the eye of a street brawler played by Channing Tatum (“G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”).
During an interview with me, Henao talked about everything from piracy to her thoughts on fame and how she handles rumors about her personal life in the media.
Is it safe to say “Fighting” will be a new addition to your DVD collection at home?
Yes, I’m very proud and very excited about that. I actually have a movie night planned because some of my girl friends didn’t get to see it at the theater. So we’re going to sit around, watch the movie, laugh, and have some drinks.
Well, before I got on the phone with you I went to Amazon.com and saw I could order the movie for $19.95. Or I could go to another website and download it illegally and watch it for free. What do you think of that?
I think piracy is so wrong and not just for my movie. It’s really disappointing. My father just went to Colombia on vacation and some people told him, “Oh, we saw your daughter’s movie!” And he was like, “Really? It’s not at theaters here yet and it’s not on DVD.”
Explain to people how big a production actually is and why piracy could hurt employees that work behind the scenes.
Yeah, what you see on screen – the actors – that’s just a small fraction of what it takes to put a production together. It’s just a beautiful exact science the way everything comes together. I’m falling more and more in love with all the aspects of production as I work more. I think there are so many challenges for people to make one finished product. I wish more people could see that. Maybe then they wouldn’t be involved in that sort of thing.
The DVD is going to be released in both a rated and unrated version. Were any of your scenes cut from the movie that you hope are added back onto the DVD?
Yeah, there are a couple of scenes. There’s a scene between Terrence [Howard] and I that I know was cut out because it was the first time he and I worked together. It’s going to be interesting to see what scenes get put back to see if it changes any of the storyline a little bit. I don’t have any details, so I’m going to be just as surprised as everyone else.
Now that you’ve been in the industry for a while, how comfortable are you with the whole idea of celebrity?
My comfort level still needs to get to a place where I can say I am okay with it. I know when you go to red carpet events what it’s all about. And fortunately for me I haven’t really received much attention in my regular life. In terms of the concept of fame, I just want to do work that is great and if I get recognition for it I’ll be happy. But I don’t know about fame. I’m not really there yet, but I know it’s a very weird thing. There are a lot of pros and cons. I think anyone can be okay if they balance everything out and stay true to themselves and not compromise who they are.
How do you handle journalists who only want to talk about your personal life?
I’d rather not talk about it because there are so many things that just aren’t true. Those things actually bother me quite a bit. But those things are inevitable. I don’t even read them anymore. I’d rather talk about the work. In the beginning it’s flattering when people are talking about you, but when you see things that are constantly being taken out of context, it just bothers you.
Hypothetically speaking, is there anyone you would like to fight? For example, I would really like to fight the ShamWow guy.
(Laughs) Oh, he’s so annoying! Let’s see, hypothetically speaking? I know there is someone but I can’t think right now.
Well, maybe you can just help me tag team the ShamWow guy then.
Yes! I’ll be on the sidelines just in case you need a hand.