Demián Bichir is an actor you just want good things for. A longtime working actor for years, he got his breakthrough in part when he was cast in Che, but it was truly when he landed A Better Life that everything changed. Not only did he get raves for his performance in the film, he landed an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. That Oscar citation led to a whole host of A-list filmmakers looking to work with him. He hasn’t been off-screen since, and the industry is better off for that. On the occasion of A Better Life turning ten years ago, Bichir and I got in touch to discuss the movie, how it came about for him, and much more.
When I interviewed Bichir last year (found here) for Land (which he just recently took home an Imagen Award for), I started things off with this complimentary bit:
There are few more deserved citation by the Academy in the past decade or so than when voters nominated Demián Bichir. Getting into the Best Actor race for A Better Life, Bichir not only impressed with his independent film, but managed to build on that nod. While Hollywood doesn’t always come calling for him with movies worthy of his talents, when he gets a good one, he knocks it out of the park. Whether it’s The Hateful Eight, The Midnight Sky, or Land, Bichir is a talent. In Robin Wright‘s directorial debut (reviewed here) he really goes above and beyond. In fact, it’s his best work since that nom for A Better Life.
Below, you can hear my chat with Bichir. You’ll soon be able to see him in Chupa on Netflix and in the Showtime version of Let The Right One In (which he also produces), but today, we’re talking A Better Life. Of course, he was Academy Award-nominated for the role, so that’s always worth celebrating, but it’s the tragic remaining timeliness of the film that lingers. So, we didn’t ignore that and actually tackled it head on. The movie still very much holds up, but here’s to hoping that eventually it becomes a relic of a past time. Regardless, be sure to revisit the flick before or after giving a listen to my discussion with Bichir. It’s a good one…
Here now is my interview with A Better Life star Demián Bichir. Enjoy:
Be sure to revisit A Better Life for its ten year anniversary!