The Venezuelan actor spoke to us in this interview of Yes Day, his first comedy after two decades of career, about multicultural families, his ability to act in different languages, his joy at the approval of TPS for the citizens of his country and of your intention to become a US citizen
Since the beginning of his career at the beginning of the century, Edgar Ramírez has acted in dozens of films, in different languages and countries. But until now he had never participated in a comedy. Thanks to an invitation from Jennifer Garner, he removed the thorn with ” Yes Day “, in which both are a married couple who are always saying “no” to their three children to the point that they feel they are becoming a family bitter.
To regain their joy, the couple decides that for a full day they will do whatever the children want, a “yes day” that the little ones receive with as much surprise as disbelief. Will parents survive a whole day of crazy things designed by their children?
To talk about this film that Netflix is now releasing, we were able to chat with Ramírez, who is touring the Rocky Mountains, “a trip like those that only a moment like the pandemic would allow you to do. The actor, who will turn 44 this month, told us about the challenge of making a comedy, about multicultural families, his ability to act in several languages , and the recent approval of TPS (Temporary Protected Status, for its acronym). in English) for citizens of your country, Venezuela, who are in the United States.
Question: “Yes Day” is a comedy that must have been fun to shoot …
Edgar Ramírez: It was wonderful. But it was a lot of work. It is the first time that I do a comedy and I realized that doing comedy is something very serious. There is a musicality, a rhythm, which is very different from drama. Especially in this American comedy that has a lot of the screwball of the 50s, where the air of the dialogues is cut. It is a completely different game. But the cool thing is that there was wonderful chemistry between everyone. Jennifer Gardner, who is responsible for me getting into this mess, is wonderful. Miguel Arteta, our director, is incredible. And children. Despite the “work”, it was a lot of fun. There came a time when you couldn’t believe you were going to work because you were going to have fun. In my case, once you get up to speed, it was like going to play with your friends.
P .: It is a bicultural family. You play a Hispanic father and you sometimes speak to the boys in Spanish, mostly to scold them.
ER: I don’t come from a multicultural family, but because of my dad’s work we traveled a lot as children and I had the experience of growing up with bicultural families. And when there is a strong emotion, be it positive or negative, you always return to the mother tongue. In many Latin American countries, especially in the Caribbean, we have this cliché that when your parents get upset with you, they call you by name and surname. My middle name is an ancient name for which I have been mocked all my life which is Filiberto, my father’s name. The moment he told me “Edgar Filiberto”, I knew something bad was happening. That is something we wanted to integrate into the film. Miguel and Jennifer were always clear that they wanted a bicultural family with the father of Latino origin. It is a direct reflection of the reality of the world we live in.
Q .: And should we give children a yes day or is it a utopia?
ER: I think it is a wonderful therapeutic tool. And not just from parent to child. Any relationship that is important to you deserves a Yes Day. With your partner, with your parents, with your friends, with people at work, with yourself. It is about easing tensions and restoring the balances that are naturally lost in the dynamics of any relationship. At first glance the film is familiar, but there is also a story of love and restoration of balance within the couple. My character begins as the fourth child in a family of three children. He wants to be the popular dad friend of the children. But he ends up learning that he must get involved and be an active part of the structure that every child needs when they are educating him.
Q .: How do you rate the recent approval of TPS for Venezuelans?
ER: I value it very much. It convinces me once again of the danger of populism. The way in which Trump used the Venezuelan case for so long to generate polarization and guarantee the Florida vote… and in the end, a few days before leaving the White House, he threatened to do something that he has been capitalizing on since he entered the Presidency. But he never really did anything for anyone. He never did anything for Venezuelans in a concrete way and even less for the Venezuelans who were here in the United States. So I am very happy. It is a human rights issue. In this case, it is under the Biden Administration, but any administration that has a modicum of respect for human rights is what it should have done. The Trump administration never did.
Q .: Part of the Venezuelan community in the United States bought that speech from Trump …
ER: The Venezuelan conflict was electorally exploited by Trump in such a crude, so rude way … and once again they made Venezuelans confront each other within the United States. It was a total and utter manipulation. I am happy that coherence, a logic, is beginning to be seen within the American Government. In the United States, democracy was tested in these elections and they opted precisely for democracy and not for the populisms that have historically done so much damage to so many countries.
Q .: Do you already have US citizenship?
ER: No. I don’t have it yet. It is something that I am considering at the moment. Identity is very flexible and I feel very American in many ways. This country has allowed me to fulfill many of my dreams. It has been a very receptive country where I have felt welcome. And of course, I would like to eventually become an American so that I can be more directly involved in the political destiny of this country.
Q .: You are an actor who has done the crossover successfully. What is the secret?
ER: There are no secrets. Each path is different and each race is different. I always dreamed of making movies anywhere I could. Hollywood has been a market and a community where I have been welcomed and where today I have a seat in the chair, something for which I am very grateful. In the same way as in French cinema and in other countries.
Q .: And do you prefer to work in one language over another?
ER: I had the privilege of having a multicultural, international education and upbringing, always jumping from one language to another. For me it is natural. When you act in French it is a tone, energy. When you do it in English it is another. In Spanish, in German, which are the languages I speak. I have not yet had the opportunity to act in Italian, which is a subject that I have pending because I love Italian cinema. But I feel very lucky to be able to fulfill what I always dreamed of, which was to work in different cinematographies and in any place where I could.