Latino actor is cast in new Tyler Perry flick

$400 million movie producer casts Latino actor in newest flick
By Shari Logan, New York Post, September 11, 2009

Tyler Perry’s “I Can Do Bad All by Myself” hits theatres today and this time around Latino heartthrob Adam Rodriguez of “CSI: Miami” has a leading role opposite Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson (April). In the movie, Rodriguez plays Sandino, a down on his luck Colombian immigrant that moves into April’s basement until he can find a job. While living with April, he gives her the one thing that she’s been missing most of her life—real love. Rodriquez spoke to TEMPO Espresso about the movie and his next move in Hollywood.

Tyler Perry is known for bringing the laughs and a message, what can Sandino’s character teach audiences?

I would say …here’s a guy that has an accent, isn’t from this country, has no family, no home, and doesn’t really have a job or a future. Seemingly this guy has his life more together than anybody else that would’ve judged him. And he understands what’s important about life: to give love freely. And when you give that love freely, you give others a chance to be their best selves and to love others around them.

Taraji said something today and it was “without love you are not living” and that’s the truth. People that want to hold on to the bad things that happened in their lives and expect that that should determine who you are for the rest of your life. Well, then you’re wasting your time. You gotta have hope, you gotta have faith, you gotta believe.

I think part of the message too is that the people it’s hard to love, are the ones you need to love harder. April was one of those people and I don’t think Sandino was going to quit.

How did the relationship with Tyler Perry start?

I met him in LA for a meeting. His agent [Charles King] is an old friend of mine and Tyler asked King about young Latino leading men that he should be aware of. So he [King] put my name in the hat.

When you first heard that your name was put out there to Tyler Perry, how did you feel about being able to work with him?

I was excited to see what Tyler’s process was. Here is a guy who is so prolific, so successful starting from the ground up. Once I did get a glimpse of it I was blown away.

I was inspired as well. It made me want to work harder, reinforced some things that I already knew like go your own path, do what you have to do, do what you believe in regardless of what other people think. That’s what you have to do to make a change in anything. And he’s definitely making a change in the way Hollywood makes movies.

What was it like it on the set?

Non stop laughs. We had a fun from the minute we all got in the room together to the minute we turned the lights off and wrapped the movie.

Do you remember anything specifically that was funny?

It was the first day on the set and I had essentially just met Taraji. We had a scene where she gets some bad news and I’m consoling her. At the end of the scene we were just in the moment and we started kissing. It wasn’t scripted. And Tyler decided to play a joke on us and let it keep going and going. It was like a Big Red commercial.

What’s next for you?

I’ll be in New York doing "Ugly Betty." So I’m going to get a chance to do some comedy. I’m doing seven episodes and I’m finishing up “CSI: Miami.” I have seven episodes left.

So, no more “CSI Miami”?

After this year, that’s it?

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