We attended the press day today for Miss Bala, Mexico’s official Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film, which tells the story of Laura (Stephanie Sigman), a young woman whose aspirations of becoming a beauty queen turn against her, delivering her into the hands of a gang that’s terrorizing northern Mexico. Although Laura succeeds in winning the beauty queen crown, her experiences as an unwilling participant in Mexico’s violent war leave her shaken and transformed. In an exclusive interview, we sat down with the film’s executive producer, Diego Luna, to talk about the film which opens January 20th. We’ll post the full interview shortly, but in the meantime, we wanted to share what Luna had to say about his upcoming projects including Contraband, Will Ferrell‘s Casa de mi Padre, and Neill Blomkamp‘s Elysium. Hit the jump to read more:
Collider: Can you talk about your upcoming projects?
Diego Luna: I am an actor in two films. One of them opens tonight called Contraband where I have a small role, but I had a lot of fun doing it. It’s something very different from everything I’ve done, but I enjoyed it. It was the first time I spent a week doing a sequence. It was this gunfight that lasted six days of shooting. My wife didn’t believe me when I called her and said “I’m still shooting this.” She would be like “Where the f*ck are you?” “I’m still shooting the same truck and the same guy.” And then, I’m doing Casa de mi Padre also which is a crazy comedy. It’s a crazy film we did directed by Matt Piedmont with Will Ferrell, Gael Bernal and Genesis Rodriguez.
Does Will Farrell improvise a lot, or because it’s in Spanish, does he stick pretty much to the script?
Luna: (laughs) We did a lot of improvising, but his Spanish is really good. You won’t be able to judge [until you see the film]. I don’t know how good your Spanish is…
How crazy does it get?
Luna: Crazy, crazy! It’s a crazy film.
What’s the craziest thing that happens?
Luna: The whole thing. We were allowed to do everything. Everything we did would have been judged like [we were] the most amateur actors ever. In the film, the tone is very special. You are allowed to go through every mistake possible and every cliche. It’s crazy shit!
Are there any unusual surprises that audiences can look forward to?
Luna: The whole thing, for sure! You’ve never seen something quite like this.
You’re also involved in Elysium?
Luna: Yeah, I shot that.
Can you talk about your character?
Luna: Not much. The contracts they ask you to sign are longer than the script. One of the things that it says is you cannot talk about it because the film won’t be ready soon. We are part of a process that is the shooting of the film. But then, the other part of the process comes in, which is creating the world, and Neill is amazing at that, but they’re still doing the film. So no, I cannot. They don’t allow me to talk, but I had a great time. I had a great time!
Did you see District 9?
Luna: Yeah! I liked it. I loved it! I loved it and enjoyed it as an audience, and then when I got the script of Elysium, it was District 9 that made me say yeah, for sure. I’ll do anything for this guy. He’s an amazing director.
Can you talk at all about what Neill Blomkamp is like to work with as a director?
Luna: I don’t know if I can. They’re going to kill me if I start talking more about that than anything else. The only thing I can say is that he is… No, no, I’m not even in the right track to talk about it.
Have you wrapped it yet or is it still ongoing?
Luna: I’m wrapped. But that’s the thing, it’s such a long process and it started way earlier than when I got an offer. It’s a huge film and you, as an actor, are a little part of the process.
Have you seen any of the footage?
How did you first hear about it?
Luna: I got a script from my agent. It was the conventional way of getting the film.
How does making a film like that compare to some of the other projects you’ve been involved in?
Luna: It’s completely different. There is a lot. Everything is planned and designed. Even though there is room for improvising in films like that, even in Contraband, the amount of perfection and the planning is striking. While we come from a world where a lot of what happens is what suddenly happened and it gives a complexity to the project.
What suddenly happens?
Luna: Yeah, what suddenly happens on the streets and what is suddenly happening to your location. It’s a completely different way of seeing cinema. Many times we have to work with what’s there, you know? I have to say that as an actor, at the end, it’s kind of the same. Producing is a completely different world. But, as an actor, at the end, it’s the same. At the end, the game is pretty much the same.
Look for the full interview soon.