In The Valet he plays Antonio, a man who works parking cars in Los Angeles and who overnight sees his life in chaos when a movie star (Samara Weaving) hires him to pretend to be her partner so they can hide her true affair with a married man. For Derbez, the role was perfect, since he has had a special relationship with the valet for many years, when he began to try his luck as an actor in
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“I remember that when I got to the studios, the meetings with the executives didn’t go so well. They interviewed me, I told them that my programs were widely watched, but they didn’t believe me. One day with my agents we went to have lunch at a restaurant and they saw how the valet recognized me, that they did not want to charge me, that they left my car at the door. Then, the waiters gave me the best table, the cooks went out to take photos, they gave me dessert. Then they told me: “Eugenio, you don’t do your meetings in the studios again, but in a restaurant”, and that’s how it has been. You don’t know how the affection my people have for me has helped me, because here in Hollywood the only thing that matters is how the box office is doing, and thanks to the Latinos who go to see my
films, I have been able to grow up in this country.”
After reaping fame in Mexico with productions for television such as ‘La familia Peluche’, among other comedies, Derbez found his place in Mecca where he has participated in films such as No returns accepted, Miracles from heaven, How to be a Latin lover, Geostorm , Dora and the lost city, sharing credits with big stars. The most recent was the winner of the
Oscar Coda, where he played the music teacher, Bernardo Villalobos. “I don’t forget my roots and I always talk about Latinos, but in a different way, because I was already tired. All the papers that they offered me in USA They were gang members, drug traffickers, robbers, in the best of cases, gardeners, and here, in coda, The idea was to change the narrative a bit and make characters that have nothing to do with whether you are Mexican or not. Here Bernardo Villalobos is a teacher who turns out to be Mexican, not by force”, he explains.
Regarding The Valet, he assures that he worked on the story thinking of paying tribute to all Latinos who, like him, came to the United States in search of a better life. “Like them, I crossed the border to look for a better opportunity. I know how difficult it is and I see how they suffer for standing out and how they are not seen even though they are the force that moves this country. Because from four or five in the morning they are already working so that your breakfast is hot or your car is at the door. But people don’t see them, they’re invisible, and once I felt that way. So, I wanted to make this film as a tribute to them, a love letter to all the immigrants who work in this country.
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Nostalgia also embraces him when he remembers his countrywoman, actress Carmen Salinas, who played his mother in the film, months before her death, at the age of 82. “Sharing with Carmen was very special. I had never worked with her, I knew her because she was a good friend of my mother, this was the first time. So, I feel very blessed and honored that your last
movie has been with me. During the filming she was like a mother to me, because she took care of me and told me stories about my mother, she worried that she ate. It was a nice experience, it just hurts me a lot that I can’t see the final result of the film. She told me: ‘I think this film is going to be very successful, because you can see the love with which they are making it and how you take care of it’”.