Luis Guzman: “I’m one of those guys who can have just one line in the movie, and people remember me from it.”

Luis Guzman can be in a single scene in a film and you walk away thinking he was in the whole movie. That’s the mark of a great actor.


On his career: “I’ve been really fortunate, because I’ve worked on so many good movies with so many good directors. It helps a lot to have been in so many memorable movies. Also, not to take anything away from other actors, but you can have one line in a movie, and nobody will remember it. I’m one of those guys who can have just one line in the movie, and people remember me from it.”

On auditioning for his new film, The Taking Of Pelham 123: “I met with ‘Pelham’ director Tony Scott, and he said, ‘I’ve been wanting to work with you for the last 10 years, but every time I want you, you’re working on something else. I didn’t have to formally audition or anything like that. We just hung out for two hours, and he talked to me about this project. I love the original movie — it’s a classic — but Scott made me understand this was not going to be anything like the original. It’s a whole lot bigger picture, and the style of performance is a lot different. So it worked out great.”

On stealing a movie with one scene: “Many years ago, I did a really bad movie — I’m not even gonna tell you the name of it — and I had one scene. (We’re guessing it’s Eddie Murphy’s “The Adventures of Pluto Nash.”) When it came out, it got panned by everybody. But one review had one little paragraph that said the most notable performance in this movie is by Luis Guzman. That gave me a certain level of pride, because it felt like I had done my job and got noticed for it, even in a bad movie.”

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