Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-10-17
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

REELING FILM FESTIVAL Nelson Rodriguez tackles immigration, love in 'En Algun Lugar'
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-09-20

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


In the movie En Algun Lugar—which will be shown at the Reeling Film Festival on Sept. 22-23—Nelson Rodriguez and Andrew L. Saenz play a Chicago couple ( Abel and Diego, respectively ) who face a complication when it turns out that one of them is an undocumented immigrant.

Rodriguez—a local actor and recent Windy City Times 30 Under 30 honoree who won't see the completed film for the first time until Reeling ( a promise he made )—talked about the movie's plot, filming in Chicago and Mexico, and the concept of straight actors who play gay.

Windy City Times: Tell me how the title of the movie relates to the plot.

Nelson Rodirguez: From my understanding from [writer/director] Tadeo Garcia, a loose translation of the title is "A Place to Be," while the direct translation is "Someplace." I think the movie holds on to the idea that things are better somewhere, in some other place. Eventually, we'll get to the place where you can be somebody—that's how it ties to the movie, specifically Diego's journey to become an American citizen. Then there's an issue with his mom [who's in Mexico], and decisions have to be made.

WCT: Chicago is practically another character in the movie. You filmed in Boystown and a couple other spots. I didn't recognize the bridge you two crossed, though.

NR: Oh, that's the 95th Street bridge. We were all over Chicago, from the South Side to the North Side. We were up in Rogers Park in The Armadillo's Pillow bookstore for one scene, and were in Boystown for the nightclub scene. We were at a concert hall as well. It was really important that Chicago be represented, and that it felt authentic to where these characters would live.

WCT: And you filmed in Mexico as well?

NR: Yes—we were there for eight days. I couldn't believe it was happening. We were in small-town Mexico, southwest of Mexico City—specifically, Jalpa, Zacatecas. Actually, Tadeo's family has land there; he has memories of going there as a kid. It's very important to him that, in the story, [this area] was represented as part of his own journey. He also knew certain things, like the time of the year when the fair [in the film] takes place. The cinematographer, Charlie, did a beautiful job.

WCT: You looked different in the film [in terms of weight] than you do now.

NR: Yes—I happened to gain weight before starting the film. It wasn't specifically for the role; I was taking medicine and it made me a bit heavy.

WCT: Because there's a scene in which your roommate mentions your weight, I thought you had gained weight for the role.

NR: Actually, we didn't improv that; that was already in the script. Also, the roommate was already a fit guy, and I've never been an athletic guy. So even if I had been thinner in the movie, it would've made sense for him to tell me to hit the gym.

WCT: I get various answers to this question, but what is it like filming the love scenes?

NR: At first, they're as awkward and uncomfortable as you'd imagine them to be. The sex scene in Mexico was our first day of filming, so we giggled a lot and tried to get into the moment. Once we felt we got the vibe of what was happening, it was just a matter of doing it. I was very lucky that the crew made things as comfortable as possible—and Andrew's a total pro.

WCT: Andrew is actually straight in real life. There's a school of thought that only gay actors ( who are underrepresented ) should act in gay roles. How do you feel about that?

NR: I go back and forth about that, honestly. It's important to me that gay actors get the opportunities to tell their stories, so I totally hear that point of view—but I also want to play straight characters, as a gay man. I don't want to be limited that way, so it would be hypocritical of me to say, "You can't play the gay role, but I can play the straight role."

I often prefer, in my own work, to cast queer actors in queer roles, but I never make it an [iron-clad] rule; allies are a part of our community, and there's artistry behind what they can bring to the roles as well.

Andrew's such a great guy; it never felt like he was putting on a "queer persona." He was living truthfully as [a character] who happened to be gay.

WCT: Obviously, this movie is very timely...

NR: It got very timely very fast.

WCT: I don't want to reveal too much about the movie, but there's a point in the film where a quote from then-candidate Donald Trump is used.

NR: And he hasn't stopped saying inflammatory things.

WCT: Indeed. What was the most difficult scene for you to film?

NR: It wasn't necessarily the most difficult—but I wonder if I made the right choice right after I find out that Diego's mom is actually in Mexico, and that he's undocumented. It's a very important scene, but I wonder if I balanced that correctly in the moment as [Abel]. It's such a hard situation and I knew what I had to get to, in terms of leaving [Chicago]. I don't know if I was too harsh or if it made Abel more sympathetic.

WCT: What do you want people to take away from the movie?

NR: Even without seeing it yet, I want people to see this glimpse of what being undocumented is like—to see the pressures and situations undocumented people face. People are in those situations every day, and some people get the wrong idea about the undocumented and have these stereotypes.

WCT: For example, Diego speaks perfect English.

NR: Exactly. So I want people to learn that this is a real community, with people of different backgrounds, different levels of education; it's a very diverse community and it's not just what the media pushes at us. Hopefully, people will sympathize with that struggle and take action, like donating a few dollars to the ACLU.

WCT: Let's wrap up with a general question: Who are a few actors you'd love to work with?

NR: Oh, my gosh. My favorite actor is Jake Gyllenhaal, and he's always been my favorite actor—back to when I saw October Sky in middle school; I decided then and there that he was my favorite actor.

There are also local actors I work with whose work I really admire. I really like Henry Godinez; I really like his work and his energy is really positive. And there's Sandra Marquez; she directed me two years ago [in the play Men on the Verge of a His-Panic Breakdown] and I loved working wit her. I'd kill to be on stage with her, and I one tight little scene with her in this movie. [Godinez and Marquez] have the credentials and resumes someone like me would love to have in 20 years.

For more information, visit EnAlgunLugarMovie.com and ReelingFilmFestival.org/2017.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

The Boogeyman comes for the adults in new Halloween film 2018-10-18 - Late in John Carpenter's 1978 classic Halloween, young Tommy Doyle—whose babysitter, Laurie Strode ( Jamie Lee Curtis ), has just fended off one ...


Gay News

Entertainers come out for Michigan Avenue event 2018-10-17 - National Coming Out Day, observed Oct. 11, had the crowds coming out to AT&T's downtown flagship store, 600 N. Michigan Ave., for an ...


Gay News

CIFF: LGBT movies, star-studded premieres 2018-10-17 - The Chicago International Film Festival ( CIFF ), the longest-running international competitive film festival in North America, turned 54 this year. With screenings ...


Gay News

Billy Master 2018-10-17 - "Shit, I'm attracted to everything."—Jake Choi expresses his sexual orientation. If only I could place him. If only I could place him, although ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Michael Urie, Todrick Hall, Streisand, Met Gala 2018-10-16 - Torch Song Trilogy is back on Broadway, with Michael Urie in the starring role ( and Mercedes Ruehl as his mother ), Vulture ...


Gay News

Sisters in Cinema planning media center 2018-10-16 - The Chicago-based non-profit Sisters in Cinema has launched a crowdfunding campaign for the rehab and building of the Sisters in Cinema Media Arts ...


Gay News

Illeana Douglas 2018-10-14 - Illeana Douglas is a renaissance woman. Her distinguished career includes theater, standup comedy, movies, including several Martin Scorsese films, TV, writing, music ...


Gay News

Jill Soloway looks ahead to celebrating new book in Chicago 2018-10-13 - Jill Soloway spoke with the Windy City Times ahead of the release of their new book, She Wants It: Desire, Power, and Toppling ...


Gay News

Sisters In Cinema Campaigns to Build Media Arts Center In South Shore 2018-10-12 - Chicago - October 9, 2018 - The Chicago-based non-profit Sisters in Cinema has launched a crowdfunding campaign for the rehab and buildout of ...


Gay News

Personalities speak against anti-LGBTQ bullying for Spirit Day Oct. 18 2018-10-10 - New York, NY, Monday, October 11, 2018 — GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender ( LGBTQ ) media advocacy organization, today ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.