According to his IMDB page bio, Jorge Diaz ("Hor-Hey" – don't call him "George") is lactose Intolerant. He feels you should know that. He was recently in New York to attend the HBO New York International Latino Film Festival for the world premiere of 'Love, Concord' directed by Gustavo Guardado, in which he plays the lead role of Gerry, a class clown who meets Melinda (played charmingly by Angelina Leon), a pretty Latina bookworm and his world is flipped upside down in this sweet funny story that is the first feature set in Concord, California. Jorge's charm, sweetness and inappropriate humor proves he has something for everyone. LatinoBuzz caught up with him!
LatinoBuzz: 'Love, Concord' is very inspired by throwback films from the 80's. What was the dopest thing from those films that you would treasure most; Marty McFly's Hoverboard, Ralph Macchio's Crane Kick from 'The Karate Kid', A Mogwai or Phoebe Cates taking off her top in 'Fast Times At Ridgemont High'?
Jorge: Gizmo, the Mogwai, has to be the cutest creature on this planet and I had my own stuffed animal as a kid, but can I treasure a combination of a couple of these options? Can I add to my basket my Hoverboard and fly around with Gizmo in it E.T. style??? Imagine that silhouette flying across the moon. Let's come from a place of all possibilities and throw in a topless Phoebe on my board, she was in 'Gremlins' too! We're all homies, she's comfortable. I can do the Crane Kick pose while I'm at it. Boom. Let's take a mental still image of that flying across the moon. I want that tattooed on my back right now, or at least framed to hang on the wall of my bedroom. Wow. I'm inspired.
LatinoBuzz: Stranded on a desert island, the 3 books you take?
Jorge: One: "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coello, book is beyond inspiring and if I'm stranded on a desert island, I'll be talking to the moon, stars, and ocean and looking for an omen to help me back home…or wherever it is I need to be. Two: "The Mastery of Love" by Don Miguel Ruiz. It has become one of my favorite books ever. I could read it over and over again. A must read for everyone. That man speaks nothing but truth in those pages. Three: "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein. One of my favorite books as a kid, so I could never lose my appreciation for all that nature has to offer. It would just be me and my tree friends :)
LatinoBuzz: They are remaking a movie and you would kill for the lead role, which is the film?
Jorge: Can BBC just remake the entire Planet Earth series and incorporate me in it??? Just take me with the crew WHEREVER they go; on a boat, in the jungle, on a grassy field. I could imagine my ass just swimming with dolphins, petting goats, delivering panda babies. Yes. No, but in all honesty, I can't think of a role just now. I know that role exists in my future, and I'm open to the possibilities. Some of my favorite films are partly due to the fact that I greatly appreciate that actor/actress in that particular role. Their unique energy was needed for that project. However, there are some directors I would LOVE to work with…Tarantino, Cameron Crowe, Judd Apatow, Luc Besson to name a few. I know James Cameron also has a few more Avatars coming up so… lol. No, but seriously.
LatinoBuzz: Worst stereotype about Latinos in Hollywood?
Jorge: Worst stereotype for Latinos are any roles depicting us as ignorant. Be it a housekeeper role or a brain surgeon, we need deeper stories that reveal the characters' humanity and complexity. So many roles for Latinos have been written so superficially. That is why we need more Latinos telling their stories in general! That's the beauty of "Love, Concord" it's just the director's truthful portrayal of a two young people falling in love, who just HAPPEN to be Latino. I am first generation Mexican-American from two working class parents…I'm not gang member, I'm not a gardener. There are SO many just like me. Why aren't we represented on TV and film? We underestimate just how powerful of a teacher television is. People are constantly learning social norms, which are often NOT normal.
LatinoBuzz: Worst song you have ever put on a mixtape?
Jorge: I'm not going to say “Worst”, but this one definitely has to be the MOST RANDOM song ever put on a mix tape. The theme to The Main Street Electrical Parade from Disneyland. I know, but let me EXPLAIN. I always have to when it comes on because I still own that old mix cd! I LOVED that parade as a child. It brings me back to a place of joy and awe every time I hear it. The intricate compilation of sounds that flows out of that tune was beyond its time! Like seriously. I would love for Diplo to dissect some of the music, sample it, and make a sick beat! Haha! Just so you get an idea of HOW random that song is, on that same mix I have Outcast's "Hootie Hoo," Maxwell's "This Woman's Work," and Cat Stevens' "The Wind." Main Street Electrical Parade theme: Download it NOW!
LatinoBuzz: People you would do hookah and talk smack with?
Jorge: Albert Einstein. In love with this man! Einstein had such a deep understanding of life stemming from his simple child-like curiosity, and has such a wonderful spirituality I admire. He also seems like he'd be a cool dude to take around to all your BBQ's and be like "this mah' Uncle Albert, dude's kinda crazy, but he's brilliant!". The other four would have to be Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., Jesus, and John Lennon. I doubt smack is what we'll talk, but the ideas that would come from a meeting of those minds would be life changing for me and the people on this planet. However, I also just see us being SO present, and simply laughing and enjoying each others company…and possibly recording an album, why not!? Those men are such inspirations to me. To think how all these men must have held such an intimate relationship with Fear…to do what they did. Such revolutionaries in their own way. To speak their Truth, when so many doubted them…to be called crazy, idealistic, and numerous other things. Fear is something I feel we all battle with on a daily basis. I'm sure they fought the same battle too, but did it anyway. I never want to let fear get in the way of anything I want to do when I'm coming from a place of truth and love.
LatinoBuzz: How did your family take to your decision to become an actor?
Jorge: It still hasn't sunk in. hahaha. They probably think I drive around LA all day as a job. My mother is the big worrier in the family. Very "realistic" for a lack of a better term. Always mentioning education first and a back-up plan. I understand it, they sacrificed a lot, and still do. I got that college diploma though! My dad was very supportive from an early age, he'd be the first guy on set making friends whenever I booked something. I think it's mainly due to my brother being such a bad ass growing up; it made me look like an angel. I was just a kinda shy, sweet kid, but after raising that child, I think my dad was just happy with me staying out of trouble. But what's funny is that both my parents are entertainers in their own way. My mom writes rap lyrics in Spanish, and my dad is a joke-telling machine. He knows hundreds of jokes! It's insane! Such characters they are.
LatinoBuzz: What is your favorite journey?
Jorge: My favorite journey is this. Right now. My life on earth. I always try to take the time to reflect and see what I've done. How much I've loved those I love around me. Have I helped someone along the way? I'm I living to my fullest potential? Sharing my gifts? There so much I want to do beyond acting. Like a ridiculous MUCH. I have to remain connected to that sweet dreamy kid within me. Cuz that's where the expansive imagination is…that's where all possibilities lie. Little kids with no fear, they're my heroes. I admire them. Their purity, their imagination, their honesty.
So much in our world is disempowering. You hear disempowering messages from the news, other people. But to the people who say it can't be done, don't curse them. Be sympathetic towards them, send them love in your thoughts…because someone killed that beautiful child in them and caused that light to dim. May our way of living will help ignite that fire again.
LatinoBuzz: Who best describes you as a romantic lead? King Kong opposite Fay Wray, Patrick Swayze in RoadHouse, whatever Ryan Gosling did in the Notebook, Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything or Ron Jeremy?
Jorge: I see myself as more of a John Cusack in 'Say Anything'. He has a quirky child-like demeanor to him. Pssh, I wish I could say Ryan Gosling in whatever he did in "The Notebook,''…cuz whatever he did, it worked! and keeps on working! Before Ryan became #1 on every girl's crush list, I would occasionally see him out in LA and never understood why SO many women threw their panties at him. Then one day I finally watched "The Notebook," and after was like "Ohhh…ok, i get it." Haha! But I think all the guys mentioned did their unique honest portrayals of a human being in state of love. That's my aim for anything I do…honesty, just plain honesty.
LatinoBuzz: What do you think happens to Gerry and Melinda in 'Love, Concord'?
Jorge: Gerry becomes a man whore. Melinda gets knocked up, has a kid, names it Little Pisto. Gerry drops out of school and joins a gang. NO! haha… I think he remains in love with her, BUT I don't know if they're together or apart. I think you meet certain people, have certain experiences to ultimately grow and get you ready for the next chapter in your life. Some of us don't grow, that's the problem. So we keep experiencing the same shit over and over again, and attracting the same thing into our lives. Gerry does grow. He needed her, and will forever cherish that relationship. He Learns to become grateful for having experienced it. I think that's just as beautiful as your typical happily ever after…cuz it's REAL. People need to learn to be more grateful for the experiences they interpret as "bad"…that way we don't carry them into our future.
Written by Juan Caceres and Vanessa Erazo, LatinoBuzz is a weekly feature on SydneysBuzz that highlights emerging and established Latino indie talent and upcoming trends in Latino film with the specific objective of presenting a broad range of Latino voices. Follow @LatinoBuzz on twitter.