“A Night in Old Mexico” features the great actor Robert Duvall in this modern quasi-western movie based on the border of Texas and Mexico.
Duvall plays an aging Texas rancher who took all his money with his estranged son to a border Mexican town. In hopes for a better life, he meets a stripper and a couple of shady men.
The movie also stars Jeremy Irvine and Angie Cepeda.
Latino-Review had an exclusive phone interview with the lovely actress Cepeda while she was overseas to promote the movie in Spain. We discussed about Mexico, the character and working with a Hollywood legend like Duvall.
“A Night in Old Mexico” is currently On Demand and on iTunes.
Latino-Review: Tell me on why you were attracted to this film.
Angie Cepeda: The script. To be honest, I read it and I fell in love with it. It’s very beautiful. It’s a beautiful story and well written. And it’s also not easy to find a female role like that especially when you’re auditioning here in the United States. [I’ve auditioned] in Spain, Columbia and Latin America, but most of the auditions that you’ll get in the United States aren’t really interesting.
So when I first read the script, I couldn’t believe it. It was a great opportunity. After that they texted me that Robert Duvall was going to play the lead—I just wanted to get in [the film] so bad.
Latino-Review: Could you explain to me about playing the role of Patty Wafers? Why is this character so good?
Angie Cepeda: First of all, she’s the only [female] in the movie. This is kind of sad story. All of the characters have something in common in their loneliness. They’re all not going through a good time in their life.
She was going through her life even though she was a singer and not that talented. The character still felt like having these big dreams. So she got stuck in this town and never got to go to the United States. She was trapped in this place on the border. She started to do this job that she hated as a stripper, but at least she was on stage.
She didn’t see herself as a victim—not exactly complaining about the life that she had. She was just scared of going back home even though that’s what she wanted. She was very strong and had a very beautiful heart. I just loved that.
I also loved the fact that she fell in love with an older man. It’s that she got naked for these men who didn’t appreciate her. And then this man came into her life and talked to her in a different way. He cared about her and then she fell in love with him.
Latino-Review: Did you do any special preparations for this role? You did sing in the film.
Angie Cepeda: Yeah, I did sing. I wasn’t supposed to be a good singer in the movie. I was relaxed about the whole situation. I had to sing in other movies before, but this one I didn’t have to be good or a professional singer. In that case, I didn’t have to do a lot of preparation since I’m not supposed to be talented. The only I had to do was memorize the song for me to sing. By the way, the director gave it to me like a week before we had to start shooting since he changed the song at the last minute.
I did work on the character though. I worked with the director on my version of the character. I tried to make her different than other characters I’ve played before and me adapting the character and myself as the same person.
Latino-Review: Didn’t you find it odd that your character falls in love with an older man, played by Robert Duvall? He’s forty years older than you.
Angie Cepeda: I don’t think of it as old. He does have a wife [in real life] who is my age. That happens all the time. I didn’t feel like it was awkward. In life, when you are broken with not so good of a life—a person can truly come along to show that he cares. It just makes your heart open up and that is exactly what happened.
I’m sure she had something like this before, but she wanted someone to make her feel like she’s back at home. That’s exactly what he did.
Latino-Review: So what was the greatest challenge for you during this production?
Angie Cepeda: My greatest challenge was that I was really scared on working with Duvall. He is a very respected actor. Everybody in the United States knows him as this legend. I’ve always wanted to work with him. So I was a little nervous.
We didn’t get to rehearse or to talk about the characters. I just had to show up on the set and do my work. I was a little intimidated in the beginning. That all went away when I met him and turned out he’s a very good person. He is very supportive with me in the movie. Slowly, I felt more comfortable acting with him on the set.
Latino-Review: Overall, how did you enjoy your experience with Robert Duvall? You’re right, he’s a legendary American actor.
Angie Cepeda: It was amazing. Sometimes you’ll get to work with actors and there aren’t any connections there. Bobby and I connected a lot. He was easy [to get a long] and I was surprised about that.
There are a lot of actors who like to work alone. These actors just do their job and you’ll just do yours. In this case, Bobby wasn’t like that. He’s very generous and there for you always. Everything was going to happen internally and all those emotions are going to come out. He’s just amazing.
Latino-Review: Since he is a veteran actor, did you learn anything new or did he give you any good advice?
Angie Cepeda: Mentally, these things get really complicated in my head when I’m working on a character or a scene. Sometimes it should be simpler than that. Bobby is the kind of person who thinks that it’s good to be simple. That’s it. You don’t have to do anything extraordinary. He kept reminding me of that.
Latino-Review: This was film production what was completed in 23 days. Not to mention, it was filmed in Randall, Texas. Could you go ahead and talk about that?
Angie Cepeda: First of all, it was really really hot. It was crazy to work there, because it was so hot that we had to shoot with a very small set since there was no air-conditioning. Wow. It wasn’t comfortable to work with the heat.
But, let me tell you something, I’m from Latin-America. I worked in Brazil, Columbia, Argentina and even in Spain. [Our productions] don’t have the money like you guys have in the United States. So in a way, I’m kind of used to work in [compressed] productions like this. Now maybe not in 23 days, but I’m used to the eight week production. Sometimes you get to work under a lot of pressure and sometimes it works out just fine. In this case, I think it went off really well.
Emilio Aragon, as a director, is very calm and very sweet. When the director has good energy—everything comes out fine. When you work with a crazy director, then everyone gets antsy and you can tell the difference. Emilio was a very serene person to work with.
Latino-Review: The setting of the movie revolved around Dia de Muertos or Day of the Dead, a traditional holiday for Mexico. Was this something that was pretty interesting to you since you are Columbian?
Angie Cepeda: Yeah, we don’t celebrate that. In fact, I think it was an idea from the director like everything to happen on that day. So it was a change from the script, because it was more colorful with life. We don’t celebrate that in Columbia.
I do think it was kind of sweet. Apparently, people go to the cemetery and eat there with dead people. I’m not too familiar with the tradition, but it was pretty nice to have it in the film. Now since I’ve seen the movie—it looks really nice and is a great addition to the story.
Latino-Review: You do a lot of Spanish-language television. You rarely do American movies. Would you like to do more American movies and why don’t you?
Angie Cepeda: Definitely. I would love to do more American movies. After all, it’s not in my hands. Hopefully after this movie, I’ll have more opportunities. I love the United States and I moved to Los Angeles two years ago. Before that, I was living in Spain. I love the U.S. and I don’t know why. I feel like I have the connection there. I hope I’ll get more opportunities in the future. We’ll see.
Latino-Review: Could you talk about any of your upcoming projects? I believe you have a few Spanish movies coming up?
Angie Cepeda: I have several movies coming up. One of them is this Peruvian movie called “El Elefante Desaparedio,” which means the vanished elephant. It is a thriller. Another movie is this Columbian film “La Semilla del Silencio” or the “Seed of Silence.” And this too is another thriller. And finally, my third upcoming film is this Mexican film called “Elvira, Te Daria Mi Vida Pero La Estoy Usando” or “Elvira, I Would Give You My Life But I’m Using It.” It’s kind of like a comedy drama. What do you call them?
Angie Cepeda: Yeah, a dramedy. A mix of a comedy and drama. [Laughter] Yes, those are my three movies that are coming out.
Latino-Review: I want to congratulate you on this movie. I thank you for speaking with me, Angie.
Angie Cepeda: No, thank you for doing this and maybe one day I’ll get to meet you. Bye!
“A Night in Old Mexico” is currently On Demand and on iTunes.