X-Men: First Class – Alex Gonzalez
I do this thing where I obsess over a movie and watch it every day and night to fall asleep, and that movie right now is X-Men: First Class. I have probably watched this movie about 38478215098473 times, and I’m still not tired of it. Because of this, it was a thrill to be able to interview Alex Gonzalez (I know, same name!) who plays Janos Quested, a.k.a. Riptide, in the film.
For those who don’t know who Riptide is in the X-Men comics, he is a mutant with the ability to spin his body at an incredibly fast rate. He also has the ability to generate calcium growth from his bones that protrude through his skin, often taking the form of shurikens and spikes. When he spins, Riptide can release these growths at will from his skin, the additional velocity that comes from his spinning making them lethal missiles that can even punch through steel.
(The interview was conducted in Spanish, but I translated it into English)
Me: Hi Alex, how are you today?
AG: I’m wonderful, thank you! How are you?
Me: I’m great! Thank you so much for your time today.
AG: No problem, happy to be here.
Me: I guess we can start off with you telling us a little bit about your character, Riptide.
AG: Perfect. Riptide is a marauder. He doesn’t have much background in the movie because there really isn’t much information about Riptide in the comic books. In the movie, though, Riptide is aggressive, lonely and has in his mind the idea of world domination. It isn’t a movie about bad or good. We make personal decisions that make us all different, but what he has in common with everyone else is that his “gift” is born in pain.
Me: Did you read the X-Men comics before auditioning for the movie?
AG: Actually, no, but I saw all the movies. I am a huge fan as well as my sister. I always remember when I went to see the first X-Men movie with her 11 years ago. We still talk about how we were so in awe when we saw the first one together, and now I’m a part of it! It’s incredible. I’m now a part of this series, and it feels like a miracle. There are no Latinos in the X-Men comics, so I’m very fortunate to be part of the project.
Me: What was it like working with actors like Kevin Bacon, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender among others?
AG: At first, it scared me. I grew up watching and admiring Kevin Bacon, and it’s true that behind every great actor is a great person. This is true with Kevin Bacon. I was the only foreigner in the movie, but everyone made me feel comfortable. When we finished working on the movie, I went to say thanks to Kevin Bacon for helping me to feel comfortable because I was scared at first. He said it was no problem, because it was scary for him too to be a part of a movie and franchise as big as this, and I was like, “Don’t kid with me!” (laughs) But he was a great actor and person.
Me: After working on this movie, what advice do you have for young Hispanics reading this article who also want to be actors and actresses?
AG: Well if they have any advice, I’d love to hear it! (laughs) I’m still learning, but I think the key is that it’s 30 percent talent, 30 percent work and 30 percent luck. They have to think ahead, because suddenly your life changes. The key is to be prepared and believe in yourself. You also have to love and respect this business.
Me: Is there anything in particular people should know about the DVD?
AG: Well, the DVD comes out Sept. 9. Whether or not you’re a fan of X-Men, this DVD will make you one. It’s complete with interviews with the actors, they can see how they put makeup on all the characters, and there are many more surprises.
Me: Okay, well I know time is running out, but I just wanted to say before we’re done, we have the same name!
AG: You know, I saw that when I was looking down the list of interviews for today, and I thought, “That’s crazy.” What a coincidence!
Me: I know! I was like, “I don’t know how I’m going to be able to talk to someone and call them my name,” it’s strange!
AG: Same for me! But I like your name. (laughs)
Me: Well, thank you so much for your time, it was great talking to you.
AG: No, thank you, and hopefully I keep making movies so you can keep interviewing me. I already know your name! (laughs) Besos!