Fluency opens Ana Maria in Novela Land in select theaters on February 27th, 2015.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What advice would you give Ana Maria if she were to ask you how to be happier?
Luis Guzmán: I would tell her to live her life how she wants to live it. Don't go according to how other people judge you. Love yourself, be YOU. Enjoy life, and brush your teeth every day a couple of times.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What kind of magical realism would you like there to be in your life?
LG: Being able to ride a 50-foot wave with ease.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How challenging is it to find original material as an actor?
LG: It's not challenging at all. I think that everyone is different. Sometimes you get stuff that are full of cliches and things like that, but sometimes I have the ability to get a rewrite done. I'm really fortunate. Everything is pretty much 90% original.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How did you develop your love of comedy as an actor?
LG: Living life showed me how to find the humor in things. I love life, and how I live it, and sometimes it's funny.
NYC MOVIE GURU: If you could design your life, what film genre would you want it to be?
LG: I would love to live my life in a national geographic moment, like in a geolithic dome with solar collectors and a beautiful bed made of garden, and I'm growing my own food. I'd create my own energy, living off the grid and with nature as it should be. The genre my life would be in is definitely romantic comedy.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How different is telenovela-style acting compared to the style of acting in films?
LG: The funny thing about telenovela acting is that it's absolutely over-acting, and it's over-dramatizing things that happen. I find that to be comical. I grew up as a kid watching telenovelas with my mom. That was her thing. I had to bear it. You just kind of look at the acting and over-sensationalize. I got a really big kick out of it. You show up and do this role, and it's like hyper acting.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Do you think that jealousy is part of human nature? How do you combat it within your life?
LG: We all have to exert energy in happiness, sadness, anger and you have to extert it in being jealous, too. We all have to grow up and go through our jealous moments in life. When we come to grips with the fact that there's nothing really to be jealous about. You have to go through life to understand that and to come to terms with it.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Technology seems to be advancing. Do you think that mankind is advancing along with it?
LG: I don't think mankind is advancing. Things have become very impersonable. We used to speak to each other and hear each other's voice. We went through that phase that every time I call, it went to the machine. It's very impersonal when you get a text. Everybody texts. It's not like people don't have the time to talk, but talking is become a little bit of a lost art with people. It's so funny how nowadays people feel so lost without their phone. They feel naked. There used to be a time when we didn't have all of this stuff, and we were all great lovers, great cooks and we sat down at home to watch a great movie together. People still do it, but sometimes when you're having great sex or a great dinner or watching a great movie, you still have that phone right there, and in the middle of it all, you turn to look at it. I feel like technology sometimes does get in the way.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Which actors from the Golden Age of American Cinema would you like to work with if they were still alive today?
LG: Marlon Brando and Charlie Chaplin.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Why do you think there's a shortage of screwball comedies nowadays?
LG: The timing and the script has to be right for it. The circumstances have to be right. There has to be the right balance between comedy and screwball.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How do you manage to find spirituality in the shallow world that we live in?
LG: At times, living becomes shallow because we're surrounded by so much technology and materialistic things that makes you think "I gotta have it!" I don't live my life that way, but I'm guilty of it from time to time. I also feel that it's important for me to gravitate toward that warm place: spirituality. I try to be true to myself: my body, my mind. Because that's still there, man. Nowadays there's so much of a detachment, so people forget that. Sometimes people have to remind themselves that at one time, I was a very spiritual person, and now I'm like the king of texts. Those are 2 different universes. It's important for people to always be in touch with their spirituality. It's a beautiful, peaceful thing. It's one of those things that really helps me to go through situations throughout the day.