I spoke with Reynaldo Pacheco about Our Brand Is Crisis, The Hollywood Academy of Performing Arts, Changing Stories, his music, and more. Reynaldo plays Eddie in the film and stars alongside Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, and Anthony Mackie. Our Brand Is Crisis will be available on Digital HD 1/19 and Blu-Ray 2/2.
Lena: In Our Brand Is Crisis you play Eddie and star alongside Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton. What can you say about the film and your role?
Reynaldo Pacheco: My character represented the people of Bolivia and in a way, the heart of the film. I play the young guy that believes the politicians. I represent the pure innocence and throughout the whole film, even though I’m poor and I don’t have the power, I’m pretty much just getting survival from this political campaign. I don’t want to spoil the movie but you know politics. Eddie is such a pure and innocent guy that for me as an actor to get back to that pure state I had to do a lot of work within myself, which was very interesting because I didn’t realize how far I’ve spent from just being open and vulnerable. I think that we all get hurt as we grow older and we start building shields of protection. I had to break those in order to become Eddie. A lot of forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving other people, and letting things go and it was a wonderful experience to become that character.
Lena: What was it like working with the cast?
Reynaldo Pacheco: At the beginning, it was honestly intimidating. Sandra Bullock is such an icon and Billy Bob Thornton and George Clooney. It was interesting for me especially because I’ve never been surrounded by so much attention and suddenly I’m with this group. At the beginning, I would just get so shy and walk just looking down at the floor. [Laughing.] Then I just started connecting with people really quickly. For me, that was such a beautiful experience. Also I got to see them work as actors. Even though they are so famous, well known and everything they still have to memorize lines and there are takes that don’t work, so it was very humbling at the same time to work with them. And also to continue with the humbling thing, they are so humble. It’s incredible—the biggest actors that I’ve worked with Christopher Plummer, Sandra—actors that are recognized globally are really very down-to-earth and pleasant people. I think that shows up on screen as well. That’s why people love them and they are the stars that they are.
Lena: My friend that was in The Blind Side with Sandra spoke very highly of her.
Reynaldo Pacheco: Exactly! She told me to enjoy the experience but don’t become the experience. That honestly applies to everything in life.
Lena: What do you hope that people will take away from the film?
Reynaldo Pacheco: The film is about a time in history in Bolivia, but I think it’s bigger than that. It’s actually a behind-the-scenes look at politics. It takes you through the marketing and PR about preparing a campaign. It’s almost like a show, so entertaining and fun. You are in a room with the political party but towards the end you realize that this is not a joke. This actually happened and had a huge impact on people’s lives. I think people will take that and realize that there is a big responsibility with their vote. We need to choose wisely especially now that we have elections coming up. It’s not a joke. We definitely have to be careful whom we choose. We can’t choose someone who is going to be bias and not let us enjoy our diversity in race, equality, and culture. That’s where we learn and expand. I think that’s the important message that people will take away from the film.
Lena: You are the founder of The Hollywood Academy of Performing Arts.
Reynaldo Pacheco: I started on the streets in Bolivia doing theater at bars, plazas and unfortunately and fortunately, at the same time, I didn’t have a place to study so we had to do everything like our makeup and costumes. We had to get our information from wherever we could and the internet wasn’t as powerful as it is now back then, especially in Bolivia. We were kind of blocked with information and now that was one of my main goals, if I ever get to have a certain power or voice to bring back to Bolivia an opportunity that I never had. We developed The Hollywood Academy of Performing Arts, which is a three-year program where the students get experience and get to work with working actors here in LA. We have 400 students in 4 cities and it’s becoming an international project. It’s more than just acting, it’s about society and learning about who you are and understanding who you are, accepting who you are and that’s when creativity starts happening. It’s my baby. It’s a very important project for me.
Lena: What other projects do you have coming up?
Reynaldo Pacheco: Because of the movie, I developed a song inspired by the film. I’m also a singer, that’s actually how I started. We have a music video. It’s a social song that reminds us that people are fighting for their rights right now. It’s a very interesting song that came out of the film. I’m also writing some mainstream music and I’m going to be releasing that soon. I’m hoping to do more social work and more social stories. I have a nonprofit production company called Changing Stories. That’s my dream. My dream is to tell stories that impact.
Our Brand Is Crisis will be available on Digital HD 1/19 and Blu-Ray 2/2
Reynaldo on Twitter: https://twitter.com/reynaldopacheco
Reynaldo on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReynaldoPachecoArtist
Photo: Robyn Von Swank