by Luke Hickman
'Get the Gringo' is a Blu-ray I've been anticipating since first hearing about it. Despite the media drama that Mel Gibson has found himself in over the years, I've continued to love his on-screen and behind-the-camera personas just as much as ever. So to hear that he had co-written and starred in a film that threw him back into the sort of crass and gritty action role that got him started, I was pumped.
If you read M. Enois Duarte's review of 'Get the Gringo,' you will read my exact sentiments of the film; he expresses my very own opinions. Through the character (known as "Gringo"), his hilarious narration and the story, we get to see Mel Gibson return to form - and it's awesome.
In the just released 'Get the Gringo,' the young boy (simply known as "Kid") who Gringo forms a friendship with is the secondary lead, the co-star. Kid is played by young actor Kevin Hernandez whom you would recognize if you Jonah Hill's irresponsible flick 'The Sitter.' Hernandez was primarily used for straight comedy in 'The Sitter,' which didn't offer much insight into his acting capabilities. I didn't realize that Hernandez could pull off a serious role in a mostly serious movie until now - not that he was bad in 'The Sitter,' but it didn't provide opportunities for him to show what he's capable of. If you've seen both films, you will know what I'm referring to.
For the Blu-ray release of 'Get the Gringo,' we were given the opportunity to conduct a phone interview with Hernandez. The last thing I expected from this phoner was for the second half of the conversation with this teenager to turn into what reads like an interview with a seasoned professional. As you read on, I hope that the impression I got from Hernandez over the phone will translate through to the text – that this is no average "kid actor." Kevin Hernandez has his head on straight, his priorities in place and it's going to be great to see what he does on-screen as he gets older. Enjoy!
HDD – Luke Hickman: How are you doing today, Kevin?
Kevin Hernandez: I'm doing pretty good. How are you?
HDD: Not bad at all, thanks. I watched 'Get the Gringo' last night and – I've got to say – I'm pretty surprised at your performance because all I know you from is 'The Sitter.' How was is going from 'The Sitter' to 'Get the Gringo?'
Kevin Hernandez: I actually filmed 'Get the Gringo' first, then 'The Sitter.'
Kevin Hernandez: Yeah.
HDD: I never would have known. How long ago did you shoot the two movies?
Kevin Hernandez: (misunderstanding my question) 'Get the Gringo' was for three months and 'The Sitter' was for two or three months too.
HDD: How have you liked mainstream acting?
Kevin Hernandez: It's really fun. I get to go out to places that I've never been to before. It's really great meeting different people, seeing different things – all these things that a typical kid doesn't get to.
HDD: Like working with some pretty big actors?
Kevin Hernandez: Yeah!
HDD: How was it getting to work along side Mel Gibson?
Kevin Hernandez: Oh, God! He's so great. As an actor, he taught me so many things (inaudible). He's really great. He's forward. He likes what he does. And he's really fun too.
HDD: How old were you when you filmed 'Get the Gringo?'
Kevin Hernandez: I had just turned 13.
HDD: And how old are you now? (I ask because Kevin now has a very deep voice.)
Kevin Hernandez: 15.
HDD: As a then-13-year-old, how was it acting in a movie with so much violence, language, –
Kevin Hernandez: I was prepared for it. I knew that it was for the movie. I was ready for it. I adapted to it. It's better to know this stuff than not to know it.
HDD: How did your parents feel about it? Between 'Get the Gringo' and 'The Sitter,' you've had to say quite a few choice words. I don't know of too many 13-year-olds who get their parents' approval to things like that.
Kevin Hernandez: They were okay with it. They know that it was for the movie and they had confidence in me, that I wasn't going to change because of it – and I didn't!
HDD: Where did you shoot 'Get the Gringo?'
Kevin Hernandez: Vera Cruz, Mexico.
HDD: Had you ever been to Mexico before?
Kevin Hernandez: No. This was my first time.
HDD: Being a kid, how was it shooting in a foreign land?
Kevin Hernandez: It was great because I speak Spanish and was able to talk to the people in Spanish. It was great experience being in Vera Cruz – plus, we got to go to the beaches, enjoy the food and the water.
HDD: What's up next for you? Are you working on anything now?
Kevin Hernandez: I have some projects that I'm still waiting on - but as of right now, no. I'm just focusing on school first.
HDD: Were you in school when you shot your two big movies?
Kevin Hernandez: For 'Get the Gringo,' I told the school to send me packages with the homework. We would go back and forth and it worked out. Then, when I moved to 'The Sitter,' I was home-schooled. I thought that was much easier. I could do it all on a computer. It was there and I didn't have to wait on the school to send me the packets full of homework. It was quite easy. I preferred the home-school route, but now I go to a public high school.
HDD: Having acted in two different genres, is there one that you prefer over the other?
Kevin Hernandez: I like both. With drama, you don't know where it's going to take you. There are so many different perspectives of it. It's more – you have to have more faith in yourself, to be more intact with yourself. With comedy, you can just relax, have fun with it. You can change your lines, have fun and improvise. You learn different types of things from both.
HDD: For a 15-year-old kid, that answer was one that I'd expect from someone who had been in Hollywood for a while. You must have had a good acting coach.
Kevin Hernandez: I do.
HDD: Are you still taking lessons?
Kevin Hernandez: All the time. I'd like to keep acting, so in school I'm taking more classes too.
HDD: Well, keep it up Kevin and thanks for your time. I look forward to seeing what you get to do in the future.
Kevin Hernandez: Thank you and have a great day!