The bilingual Mexican romantic comedy LA BODA DE VALENTINA, directed by Marco Polo Constandse, stars Marimar Vega, Omar Chaparro, Ryan Carnes (General Hospital).

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with the American actor about his experience shooting the film.

Is “El Gringo” your new nickname, now?

Yes. “P*nche Gringo.” [Laughs]

What aspects of this shooting were unusual for you, and what was the same, compared to the Hollywood productions you have done?

In terms of the work, my experience was very similar and familiar. The language of film is pretty universal. No matter what language people is speaking on set, what they are saying to each other, it’s basically the same. We all showed up with the same goal in mind: to make a great film. The director still calls “Action!” and “Cut!” and the cameras work the same way.
The most different thing is that there was a different language being spoken. I know more Spanish now than I did when I shot the movie. I was pretty in the dark when people spoke Spanish around me, specially when the movie started. I often had to ask Marimar or Omar to translate for me. Marco Polo also speaks English very well. But sometimes they just would forget, discuss something and be ready to call “Action!” and I would go “Hold on, guys. I have no idea what you just talked about! No hablo Español” It wasn’t a problem, we just had fun.

I wonder if Omar Chaparro, in particular, gave you a hard time with your last name.

Ah, yes. People love to joke about that. At some point in my life, someone told me that “Carnes” means “meats” in Spanish. So after I introduce myself, people would go “Like meat?” and I say “Yes, exactly like that.” It’s one more thing that people can have fun with me, as a Gringo, so I fully embrace it.

Can you talk about the fact that we have characters from different countries and cultures, but none gets vilified at any point?

We explore a multicultural relationship and nobody gets vilified. As a comedy, we are able to have a fun and “Take a piss” at each other, but we can also highlight and embrace what makes our cultures special. Not only these two different people can exist in this fun relationship, but the two cultures can coexist. The message of unity and bringing people together is very important right now. To me, that’s one of the best things about this project and everyone involved should be proud of.

Are you, the actors, able to enjoy when you shoot a “celebration scene,” for example the party at the wedding?

It depends of the scene. For example, that one was a night shoot and it was really cold and rainy. It was not nearly as glamorous as it looked in the movie. In contrast, the scene that we shot in the bar, with Omar, we got to enjoy ourselves a bit. I tried Mezcal for the first time in my life, and I enjoyed that. I kept eating these grasshoppers called “chapulines,” all night long.

LA BODA DE VALENTINA is now playing in select theaters.

Valentina (Marimar Vega) seems to have the perfect life in New York, with a perfect job and a perfect boyfriend, Jason Tate (Ryan Carnes)—far, far away from her scandalous political family in Mexico. When Jason proposes to her and wants to go to home to meet the family she has been keeping a secret, her two worlds clash. Adding to the hilarious chaos, her family brings her ex, Angel, (Omar Chaparro) into the picture and convinces Valentina to go along with a sham marriage to him in an effort to stop further negative press as her father runs for re-election. In the end, Valentina must choose where her heart belongs.