“The Last Stand” marks Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to Hollywood after a less-than-graceful end to his political career as Governor of California but for actor, comedian and known prankster Luis Guzmán, the film was just another opportunity to bond with family.
“I’m traveling with my 17-year-old son and he has the keys to my room,” says family man Guzmán , who has adopted four out of his five children. “So, right next door to the room there’s a closet. I hid in the closet, so I’m like a half hour in the closet and I’m almost falling asleep,” he says, unaware that his son knew all about his scheme and deliberately sent in an undercover agent to foil his prank.
“I hear the door open and I jump out! But it happens to be the housekeeping lady who I scared out of her life,” said Guzmán. “My son walked in laughing ‘ah hah.'”
His son might have been cracking the jokes off-camera, but Guzmán was the comedic star on set as Michael Figuerola, or “Figgy,” Schwarzenegger’s hilarious deputy sidekick. Figgy packs some serious heat to help Schwarzenegger, who plays the sheriff of a small, quaint town, nab a dangerous, drug-hardened cartel boss who has escaped from prison. The FBI are in on the chase as the drug kingpin races to the border. But the action-packed film shows that all the technology in the world doesn’t stand a chance to good-old-fashioned courage.
“It was really well-written for an action movie,” says Guzmán . “It’s about how the little guy stands up to the bad guy and stands up in the name of the justice.”
His character provides plenty of laughs in the film with a star-studded cast that includes Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville, Rodrigo Santoro and Eduardo Noriega.
“It was a wonderful cast of people,” says Guzmán. “It was really interesting because it was the first time I worked with a director that had a translator.”
South Korean native Jee-Woon Kim, revered in his home country for horror flicks like “A Tale of Two Sisters,” directed the film. Guzmán says the experience wasn’t without its ups and downs.
“He would tell the translator in a very soothing kind of way whatever adjustment he needed and then the translator would turn to me and say, ‘LUIS! Do DA DA DA DA!'” laughed Guzman. “I thought it was very…interesting.”
The 56-year-old Guzmán says he’s looking forward to his next film where he plays his first leading role as the Aztec Warrior in a movie called, you guessed it, “Aztec Warrior.”
Fans will surely be looking forward to seeing more of the Puerto Rican star but for now their best chance is to head to theaters and catch “The Last Stand.” Guzmán says the best part of the experience was working with Schwarzenegger, especially he says because the former politico’s acting skills were sharp as ever.
“He was on point and very very smart. We had great conversations about stuff, like the environment,” says Guzmán .
“It’s not every day you wake up and go to work with the Terminator.”