Although he admits that many refused to give him a hand when he left Mexico to try his luck in the United States, the actor Eugenio Derbez he prefers to keep that in the past and proceed by doing the opposite: helping his compatriots have opportunities in Hollywood. An example of the latter can be the appearance of Carmen Salinas as her mother in “El Valet”, a film that will be available on Star + in Latin America from this Friday, May 20.
“When I arrived in this country, many people, many colleagues did not shake my hand, I don’t know, maybe for fear that the competition could take their jobs, I don’t know. And I think it’s the other way around. You have to know how to team up”, she stated in dialogue with “Skip Intro” of “El Comercio” about this romantic comedy in which she shares a leading role with the Australian Samara Weaving.
WATCH THE INTERVIEW WITH EUGENIO DERBEZ ON VIDEO:
In this American remake of the French film released in 2002, Derbez plays Antonio, a humble parking valet who overnight has to pretend to be Olivia’s boyfriend, a Hollywood star who wants to hide her romance with a married millionaire.
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In addition to romance, the film directed by Richard Wong has a particular plus: it was the last thing that the iconic Mexican actress Carmen Salinas recorded in the cinema, before she died after not overcoming the consequences of a stroke suffered in November of last year. This was our conversation with the Mexican:
– Did it ever cross your mind that this film could be your great tribute to Carmen Salinas?
Note that no, but it ended up being. I can swear to you that this is the best work of Carmen Salinas in cinema. And if not, second best. It’s spectacular, really. How well this movie turned out, and I’m talking specifically about Carmen Salinas. I had never worked with her and it was a surprise to see how disciplined she was, the desire and energy she showed on stage. I was fascinated with her. It makes me very sad that he didn’t get to see it, because he wrote to me and asked me every so often when the movie comes out. He was dying to see the finished film, and unfortunately it didn’t come. But yes, this is a tribute to Carmen Salinas.
-In the video you shared on Facebook for Mother’s Day, she tells you ‘thank you for bringing me to this movie’. Have you helped Mexican colleagues to enter the industry in the United States?
Absolutely. I believe there are two paths in life. Those who say ‘nobody helped me, I’m not going to help anyone’ and the one who says ‘nobody helped me, but I’m going to help others’. I chose the second, because it seems to me that the first leads you to nothing more than holding grudges. And in the latter, it all comes back to you. When I arrived in this country, many people, many colleagues did not shake my hand, I don’t know, maybe out of fear that the competition could take their jobs, I don’t know. And I think it’s the other way around. You have to know how to team up, and African-Americans know how to do that very well, they support each other a lot. For some reason, we Latinos spend our time fighting and we divide. Here in the United States I always refer to Latinos as one race. Here we are all the same, Peruvians, Mexicans, Colombians or Ecuadorians we are brothers. Let’s stop making differences. And for me it is the best way to grow, teaming up and supporting each other.
– “El Valet” has very emotional moments that remind me of movies like “No Returns Accepted” or “Man Overboard”. Beyond the fever for superheroes and the advancement of science fiction, do you think that cinema is still about moving people?
I believe that cinema is only about moving people. Special effects should be the complement of a film and not its base. It happened to me. Many years ago I went to see one of the first Transformers movies, where the special effects were spectacular, but there was no plot to move you. And I remember that the first few minutes were woah! But after ten minutes you get used to the effects you say: uhmm, and at the end you say ‘My God let this end’. If a movie doesn’t move you, doesn’t make you feel things and isn’t a roller coaster of emotions, no matter how many effects it has, it’s useless.
– How do you get up to start shooting a new movie after having had awards, nominations and having shared the shooting in tapes that even won the Oscar? Do you feel some kind of fear?
In my case, I wake up very scared. Instead of feeling more and more secure, I feel more and more insecure, because I feel that the bar rises, that I can fall, and that the more I climb, the stronger the fall. But at the same time that fear forces me to prepare myself more and more. When I’m not afraid I worry, because then I don’t make an extra effort to be a better director or a better actor. I believe that being in your comfort zone and not feeling fear is more dangerous.
-A few days ago I saw you recording a video against the construction of the Mayan Train, however, it is still being built. How far do you think the power of celebrities reaches?
I think we have an obligation and that is why I speak. A lot of people tell me ‘don’t get in trouble anymore’. I have even received death threats, vetoes and a number of things that you cannot imagine. But I feel we have an obligation. As public people with access to the media, we have a responsibility to speak up for those who don’t have that possibility. For those whose environment is being destroyed, or for my country where they are destroying underground rivers that reach Latin America. Precisely where the Mayan Train will pass, an underground river passes, which is the most important in all of Latin America. We have to raise our voice, we have to try to do something to stop it. We could not. I don’t think we will achieve it, because I see that they are determined that they are determined to go against all odds, even though it is illegal, but at least I can raise my voice and that leaves me calm.
“The Valet” premieres on Star+ on May 20 and features Eugenio Derbez, Samara Weaving, Max Greenfield, Betsy Brandt, Carmen Salinas, Carlos Santos, Mrisol Nichols, among others.