Interview with Jacob Vargas

Jacob Vargas is appearing in the recent horror film “Devil”.  He is known for his roles in “Next Friday”, “Death Race” and “The Hills Have Eyes 2”.  A big thank you to his friend Clifton Collins Jr. for setting up this interview. Movie Mikes was able to chat with Jacob and discuss his career and his latest film “Devil”.

Click here to purchase “Devil” on DVD or Blu-Ray

Mike Gencarelli: Tell me about working on the film “Devil”?
Jacob Vargas: It was great.  I have always been a big fan of M. Night’s work.  One of my favorite films is “Unbreakable”.  I thought it was a fresh take on an action hero movie.  Not your typical “Hey I got bit by a spider, now I am swinging on a web in a costume”.  I was looking to do something special on this.  Early on when I signed on, there was no script.  It was all top secret.  I think we all went on faith.  I didn’t get a chance to work with a lot of the guys in the elevator, though.  I play Ramirez, the security guard. Chris Messina plays Bowden.  With his role and also Matt Craven and Joshua Peace, we are the four guys in the security room.  Our goal is to try and get these guys out of the elevator before anything else happens.  All of our stuff was shot later on so we didn’t really have a lot to work with.  We had a green screen monitor that we looked at the whole time.  We had to create our moments of fear and anxiety and make those moments feel real.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your character, Ramirez?
Jacob Vargas: My character is the spiritual one.  He has a lot of faith.  He is also the narrator of the film.  He talks about the story that his mother told him about the devil.  So Ramirez, with his background, realizes that what is happening here is this phenomenon called the Devil’s Meeting, which has been documented throughout time and history.  It is the moment when the devil/Satan will present himself in some form and gather a group of people to toy with, torture them and eventually steal there souls.  My character realizes that this is what is happening and it is his theory.

Mike Gencarelli: Did you get to meet M. Night? If so what was it like working with him?
Jacob Vargas: Night was there in the very beginning.  He was there for the table reading, wardrobe and camera tests.  He went back to Philadelphia and worked on something else.  He tends to really believe in his directors and he really lets these guys do their own thing.  He would just kind of come in, watch over and give some advice.  For the most part, he was just an observer and watched everything go down.  He was very happy with it.

MG: What was the most demanding aspect of working on the film?
JV: For me having really to believe and see the devil’s face, it is an intense experience for my character.  That was tough maintaining that level of intensity for long periods of time.

MG: Going back a little, how was it working  on the film “Next Friday”?
JV: It was such a fun project to work on.  A lot of people don’t get the slight homage to Cheech’s character in “Up in Smoke” with the beanie and all that.  I am a huge Cheech and Chong fan.  It was a fun character to portray and being able to bring out the comedy of that character.  It is amazing how it resonates and became such a cult classic.  I still get people yelling my lines down the street and quoting it back.  It is love man, its great.

MG: What made you want to start your own production company, Third Son Productions?
JV: I formed the company because I wanted to do more producing in my career.  I did a movie a while back called “Road Dogs” with Clifton Collins Jr.  and myself.  We had a blast.  We shot it for $150,000 dollars over 17 days.  It was a labor of love.  I caught that producing bug and I decided to form a company and started producing more projects.  I also want to create vehicles for myself because there is not a lot out there, especially for Latino actors.

MG: What do you have planned next?
JV: We have a couple of projects in the pipeline.  I am also developing a TV show sitcom with Cheech Marin.  I am really excited about that.  Cheech will be playing my dad.  I think it is going to be awesome. I launched a web channel with my best friend Clifton Collins Jr. called the TheTVFantastic.com.  It is a way for us to stay creative in between gigs and hang out with each other and laugh.

Click here to purchase “Devil” on DVD or Blu-Ray

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