Saturday, August 27, 2011

Behind the Scenes with Enrique Castillo -- Just Wrapped Indie Homebound

Enrique Castillo as Cesar in Weeds

Enrique Castillo embraces his roles with the type of passion that remind you of a De Niro, Pacino, or Bardem. Like a true thespian, his versatility roars.

I had a chance to catch up with the SAG Award nominated actor recently where we discussed his latest project, Fanny Veliz’s indie, Homebound. Enrique goes from playing the villain in a recent episode on CBS’ NCIS to playing a cancer victim in Homebound.  The film, shot in El Campo, Texas, tells the story of a family coping with estrangement, love, and loss. Castillo plays Gilberto, the family patriarch, who is dying from a rare form of cancer and trying to prepare the family for the inevitable.

Latinowood: You just finished filming Homebound where you star in the principal role of a family patriarch.  This is an emotional role – how hard was it for you?

Enrique Castillo:  It was emotionally draining in that you have to invest in the execution of emotions to convey what the character was going through. Gilberto is not where I’m at as a person in my relationships with my own children; however, as the character, I had to feel the pain he was going through both health wise and in his relationship with his son. It was physically and emotionally exhausting.

LW: How has Gilberto changed you as a father or husband?

EC: I would say, only in the sense that it helped reinforce my feelings: that I love my children to the degree that I do and that I love and appreciate every day that I can share with my wife, my partner.

LW: What was it like to work for Fanny Veliz? She’s so young, talented and a real go-getter… in what way was it different working for her than other directors?

EC: I enjoyed working for Fanny very much. I appreciate her trust in me and I hope that I did her work justice. I wish her all the success in the world and find no reason why she shouldn’t be able to build a very solid career in the film industry. What made the experience different is that it’s the first time I’ve worked for a female director in a feature. But I didn’t see her as a female director, I just saw her as a colleague and an employer that I was fortunate to be working with and for.


“The catena of roles throughout my career and how well I did my work, is what I hope in the end, defines me as an actor and not one role in particular.” –Enrique Castillo


LW: Homebound was filmed in El Campo, Texas and understand the Latino community was generous with their support. How so?

EC: My understanding is that many in El Campo contributed to the budget of the film. Also, there were several in-kind contributions. Many were extras and some even got speaking roles.  It’s a great credit to the producers that the project they pitched to the community was so well received. Given that the story reflects the community’s experience, I’m sure they took great care to ensure that the story reflected the positive aspects of their lives.

LW: Homebound will make the indie film fest rounds. What is it that you want audiences to take away after seeing this movie?

EC: That this is an American story that closely mirrors the rule and not the exception to the majority of Latinos. The characters have been in the U. S. for generations and helped build the culture of the West – not unlike what we’ve seen in countless of American Cinema stories. They live as Americans yet they are proud of their Latino heritage. They’re patriotic with several military veterans of foreign wars in the family. In fact, Gilberto is a Vietnam Veteran and proud of his service to his country …con orgullo de ser de la Raza Bronze.

LW:  How does your role in Homebound compare to your other film roles?

EC: I choose to look at this role as I do all the others I’ve had the privilege to portray: They’re human with a moral center that gets maneuvered either to one side or the other of the moral compass. How the audience perceives my character is a result of how well I do my work. I leave the judgment to the audience.

LW: Of all your roles, which one has defined you as the fine actor you are?

EC: The role of Montana in Blood In-Blood Out is the role I’m most recognized for in a public sense. The catena of roles throughout my career and how well I did my work, is what I hope in the end, defines me as an actor and not one role in particular.

For more information on Homebound, go to:

 ECastillo/Homebound, Latinowood © August 26, 2011
 Edited by: Casandra Moreno Lombera