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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Mexico City (AFP) – One year after his Oscar nomination, Mexican actor Demian Bichir says Hollywood needs Latino artists while his soaring career puts him in the director’s chair for the first time.

In an interview with AFP in his Mexico City home, Bichir spoke about his new film “Refugio,” his leading role in the U.S. television series “The Bridge” and his disappointment in Mexican politicians.

Bichir earned a best actor nomination last year for his role as a Mexican undocumented immigrant in Los Angeles who strives to keep his son away from gangs.

His directorial debut (“Refuge” in English) also has a U.S.-Mexican flavor, with English and Spanish dialogue to tell the story of a boy who works in a circus in Mexico before making a perilous trip to the United States.

Sitting on a sofa, Bichir appeared relieved to have finished the first three weeks of shooting on site in Mexico before cameras roll in the southern U.S. city of New Orleans.

“I thought the process was going to be much harder in terms of nerves,” the 50-year-old film-maker told AFP. “Could it be that age makes you more cynical?”

“There’s a director sleeping, hidden in every actor,” said Bichir, scion of a family of actors.

Bichir has a role in his movie alongside U.S. star Eva Longoria, his father Alejandro and his Canadian girlfriend Stefanie Sherk.

The film, he said, is being made “with much more heart than money.”

“Part of what we want to do with ‘Refugio’ is to open a breach in order to continue telling more stories, to win some sort of credibility and be able to put different studios and actors on the table,” said the actor.