Q&A with I Carry You With Me” star which will have Sunday July 18 screening to benefit LGBTQ Asylum Seekers
“I Carry You With Me” is Based on true love, this decades spanning romance begins in Mexico between an aspiring chef (Armando Espitia) and a teacher (Christian Vázquez). Their lives restart in incredible ways as societal pressure propels them to embark on a treacherous journey to NYC with dreams, hopes, and memories in tow.
Armando Espitia stars as Iván in his first romantic film. He starred “Heli” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. He his appeared in many films TV shows and theater productions. He is presently in Mexico City premiering the film.
A special screening of “I Carry You With Me” will be a benefit for Queer Asylum Accompaniment which is a local organization that helps LGBTQ+ Asylum Seekers in our community. It happens Sunday July 18 at 4:15 pm at Rialto Cinemas In Sebastopol.
Gary Carnivele: Armando, you are fantastic as Ivan in “I Carry You With Me. What attracted you to the role of Ivan?
Armando Espitia: First because it was a love story and I’ve never played the lead in a romantic movie. It was a deep and layer epic story. Then there is the social and political aspect because it deals with homophobia and immigration in both Mexico and the US. So this movie offered me everything as an actor
GC: Did you meet with Ivan to help prepare for your role and if so, what did he offer you?
AE: We didn’t meet until the last week of shooting the film. Heidi the director didn’t want us to meet because she wanted us to play the memories that Ivan had. This playing memories allowed us artistic freedom Ivan and I have become friends so I think he liked my performance
GC: Was it more or less difficult to play a real person compared to a fictional character?
AE: At first it was difficult because I felt pressure to play his life with dignity. Later I learned to not try to be perfect and tried to have some fun and take risks as an actor
GC: Did you feel a responsibility playing a gay man, as well as an undocumented person living in American?AE: I am a gay man so I felt proud to play a gay man which doesn’t happen in many Mexican movies. Also an immigrant who ate sting people and important to the country they work in. They deserve our respect. I felt a responsibility because movies travel around the world
GC: What was it like working on location in Mexico and New York?
AE: Mexico is beautiful and my home. It was my first time in New York and I loved it. It was great when I returned to present the film. I felt like I already knew the city
GC: Were you very satisfied with your performance?
AE: Never. (Laughs). I feel insecure when watching myself but so many people on social media have written beautiful things about my performance.
GC: What do you hope audience members take away from “I Carry You With Me?”
AE: “I Carry You With Me” will make LGBTQ people and immigrants and Dreamers feel good and appreciated. I am very happy the movie does that because the story is important.
GC: Talk about your background and what if anything your experiences brought to this role?AE: I grew up in Mexico and many members of my family and neighbors are unable to find work here to support their families. They want to be responsible fathers but need to leave to work in US. It is very hard for them
GC: Tell us about your career. How many films have you made and which are you most proud of?
AE: 15 maybe. My first lead in a film “Heli” premiered at Cannes and I am very proud of that. It was right after university. I do many films and TV and theater. My friend and I started a theater company in Mexico. I also teach film acting classes
What advice would you offer to young actors just starting out?
Come to Mexico and take my free classes. (Laughs). Ask many questions. Lead with all your senses. Never stop learning.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. Best of luck to you.