While he’s a relative newcomer to American audiences, Oscar nominee Demián Bichir has been long recognized for his talent in his native country of Mexico. Initially, he had left Mexico to try acting in New York, but had to return when he was working more as a busboy than an actor. Bichir’s choice worked out for the best, as the role which tempted him home won him that year’s Ariel, the Mexican version of the Academy Award.
He then went on to act in 1991’s “Sexo, pudor y lágrimas,” which broke box office records and was the highest grossing Mexican film until 2002. This momentum eventually carried him back to acting in the United States, with such roles as Fidel Castro in Steven Soderbergh’s two-part “Che” series.
Recently, Bichir acted in “A Better Life” as Carlos, an immigrant gardener in East L.A. trying to protect his son from gangs and give him a life better than his own. His highly emotional performance has been rewarded not just by critics, but by a nomination with an Academy Award for Best Actor.
What are the differences between acting in Mexico and the United States? How did Bichir draw on his own experiences to play the role of Carlos? What did you think of his performance in this film?
Demián Bichir, Actor nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, for his performance in “A Better Life”