Acclaimed director Miguel Arteta serves a delicious cinematic concoction in BEATRIZ AT DINNER (now available on DVD).

I recently had the honor of talking to the Latino filmmaker about the contemporary and insightful story, the amazing cast (lead by Salma Hayek and John Lithgow), Donald Trump, and more.

I am sure that you love all of your films. But do you feel specially proud of this one?

I do. I feel that it is a movie that it has something to say, and that it says it in an entertaining way. It’s tense, funny and, at the end, it makes you think.

The cast is so perfect. What does Salma Hayek bring to the character?

She has a very big heart, compassion and intelligence. That is very important for the character, Beatriz. She is a surprise for these guests because she is very smart, passionate, and talks true to power.

What did you see in John Lithgow that made you think that he was perfect for this role?

He has such a range! He has played the nicest, but also the ugliest of people. He can get away with all kinds of behavior. He is a great actor and being able to play this character with glee and ease was very important.

Comparisons have been made between his character and Donald Trump. But Doug is way more articulate and multidimensional than Trump. If I had to choose, I would prefer to have Dough as my President!

Exactly! Donald Trump is a cartoon character. He belongs in reality TV. He is a liar, a con-artist. He is deprived of any integrity. I agree with you. Doug has convictions and he is willing to defend his philosophy without lying. And he is way more charming that the President!

There are also other characters that have good intentions, but they don’t care about really listening, nor investing the time to learn about an issue like immigration. Have you encountered many people like that?

Absolutely. The character that Connie Britton plays is fascinating because we recognize ourselves in her. We all have better intentions than the ones that we are ready to follow through. Specially here in LA, you see a lot of people just grandstanding. The movie is a plea for you to examine your own convictions. How much is it possible to live in line with what you believe in? We have created a society where it is difficult to maintain high values.


**3… 2… 1**

I feel like at the end, some of us want Beatriz to become an Old Testament Messiah, a violent warrior. But she stays true to herself and closer to a New Testament Messiah, professing love and understanding. Can you talk a little bit about that?

It could have been easy to make a bogus ending where she becomes violent and becomes like a liberal pornography, where you can just kill someone you disagree with, or to give a sense of false hope. But we humans are not doing very well right now: we are killing the planet, we are killing animals, and we are killing each other. So we decided to make an honest film that at the end gives you a surprise and asks you to think about it, instead of predigesting something.

BEATRIZ AT DINNER is now available on DVD and Digital.

Beatriz (Hayek), an immigrant from a poor town in Mexico, has drawn on her innate kindness to build a career as a spiritual health practitioner in Los Angeles. Doug Strutt (Lithgow) is a cutthroat, self-satisfied billionaire real estate developer. When these two opposites meet at a dinner party, their worlds collide and neither will ever be the same.