Welcome to Acapulco: Michael Kingsbaker On Mexico and Doing Own Stunts [Exclusive Interview]

Apparently, someone took a wrong turn at Albuquerque, New Mexico, and ended up in Acapulco, Mexico.

In the action comedy, Welcome to Acapulco, the film follows a video gamer developer who ended up on a flight to Mexico after getting drunk with an old friend. As he tries to get his bearings back to the States, he ends up on the run from powerful criminals, deadly hitmen and the Feds—seeking a mysterious package everyone believes he possessed. He must partner up with a badass femme fatale and channel his video game action hero personality to unravel the conspiracy that could shatter the foundation of the United States.

The film stars Michael Kingsbaker, Ana Serradilla, William Baldwin, Michael Madsen and Guillermo Ivan. The film is also directed by Ivan.

LRM Online had an exclusive phone interview with the lead star Michael Kingsbaker on his role as Matthew Booth, the video gamer on the run. He talked with us about the cast, working in Mexico and the lure of doing his own stunts in the film.

Kingsbaker has appeared on television shows like Power and The Sonnet Project.

The film is available On Demand and Digital Download on March 12.

Read our exclusive interview below.

LRM: Let me start off with the easy question–why were you attracted something like Welcome to Acapulco?

Michael Kingsbaker: For one, a lot of those actors are already involved. That was huge. And it was a fun action comedy. It’s an original take in an interesting character that was sort of fish out of water thing. There’s a lot of fun to play. It’s to have fun with some stunts and do the little things in a way that’s like a little more character oriented as opposed to trying to look bad ass or cool.

LRM: What do you love about playing this character the most?

Michael Kingsbaker: I think that it is just the humanness. He was pretty much like any of us. Just a regular guy. He’s just like caught up in this like this huge, crazy thing. As a regular guy, like us, he plays some video games and done regular things. He tried to plot his way along with whatever he knows. In over his head, every time he goes around the corner and it just keeps getting crazier. [Laughs]

LRM: Was this film entirely filmed in Mexico for you?

Michael Kingsbaker: Pretty much. Yeah. We’re in Acapulco for almost all of it. We shot a few things in Mexico City like the airport, the airplane and coming off the airplane. Everything else was in Acapulco. They really opened the gates for us. We had access to so many things. Such a beautiful city. It was a dream.

LRM: How was it over culturally for you filming in Mexico rather than here in the United States?

Michael Kingsbaker: Oh, wonderful. As w whole set, we had producers from Bulgaria and we had a lot of actors from Mexico. We also have actors from Venezuela. We had people from all over the world on this production, which I found to be like really dynamic and wonderful. It bought a richness on everything we did. As far as Mexico, we had a lot of people locally too from Acapulco that were working with us as well. People showed me around the town. They tied me to on what was happening down there in the culture. It was incredible. It’s picturesque. It is gorgeous down there. Some of the most lovely people I’ve ever met–both on screen and off.

LRM: Sounds like a lovely place. How was your Spanish?

Michael Kingsbaker: Not great. [Laughs] As Americans, we take it for granted. Everybody else speak five languages. People were having fun with me. They were teaching me some of the local slang. It was a lot fun.

LRM: I’ve checked out your film. It seems like you did a lot of physical assertion throughout the entire movie. How was the physicality for you in this role?

Michael Kingsbaker: I liked to do that type of work. Some of the days is with a lot of running. And others got a little extreme. Some of the days got hot. We will get it to work. Hopefully, it was worth it in the end. It’s fun get to do some stuff with a little experience in with some of that. The production let me do a little more dangerous things. I like to try to push the envelope where I can. I’m no Tom Cruise, but in anything that I think I can do–I would rather do it and have somebody else. There was a couple of leaps and umps that I pushed to try to do. They finally cave.

LRM: Were there any stunts that you didn’t get to do for this film?

Michael Kingsbaker: Yeah, definitely a few. I’m not allowed dive into Acapulco Bay. No one can really do it unless you’re Acapulco diver. I did not get to do that. They had a real professional for that. There was a stunt double who stepped in for a few thing. For the most part, they’ll let me do a lot of it. Some things are a little more dangerous and a stuntman had to step in.

LRM: Why do you like to do your own stunts? Are you like a personal athlete yourself and do you always prepare for these things?

Michael Kikngsbaker: No, I think it’s less about athleticism. It’s about what’s going on screen to be more of this character. It’s trying to take some ownership of this character. I believed in doing these stunts is bringing the character work that I’m doing to it. He’s not the most coordinated guy. He’s not the best fighter in the world. You want to be able to shape whatever is representing the character on screen. It all helps with my storytelling on who he is and what’s going on.

LRM: There were some pretty good known actors in this movie. Who did you enjoy working with the best?

Michael Kingsbaker: I was bummed. I didn’t really get a scene with [Paul] Savino or [Michael] Madsen. They had a scene together one day. I went down to the set that day and hung out with those guys a little bit. I’ve got the work with Billy [Baldwin] quite a bit. Everyone was wonderful. Bradley Gregg was great. Ana [Serrailla], I love working with her. She’s a real gem and just a wonderful person. All these scenes I had with her were super special for me. Being the same room with Billy Baldwin was pretty special.

LRM: What do you think of the director’s vision for this film by blending in video game fantasy before your character?

Michael Kingsbaker: That was pretty awesome. I think it brings a fun element and helped quite a bit with the storytelling who he is; how he’s trying to manage his way through this world; what knowledge he has; he thinks he could be; and who we actually is. It provides a lot of fun. Hopefully, it’s the timing not taking himself too seriously, but expected to do when it is. It’s really about having a good time and going on this crazy chase with this guy. Guillermo is just incredible. Uh, and pause that there. Uh, I was talking to somebody that I’ve worked with as much or like warm, friendly atmosphere. I’m going to think it’s that time for everybody and, and just always has such an incredibly positive attitude. So that was really special.

LRM: One last thing, what are your upcoming projects after Welcome to Acapulco?

Michael Kingsbaker: I’m working with my theater company, The Shelter, here in New York. There is a lot of theater stuff. There’s a film called Russian American that David Gutnik directed. It should be coming out this year probably first go to some festivals at some point this year. The film also stars FKA Twigs and Costa Ronin. It is a crime film the Russian areas of Brooklyn.

LRM: Excellent. Hey, thank you for this conversation. I really appreciate it. Thank you very much.

Michael Kingsbaker: Hey, thank you.

The film is available On Demand and Digital Download on March 12.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive

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