George Lopez: Walking With Herb

Comedian George Lopez stars in WALKING WITH HERB and Risen talked with the actor about why he took the role, being a “forward thinker” when it comes to his career, and how documentaries have helped with his dyslexia.

Interviewed for Risen Magazine

Risen Magazine: In the film you play Herb and he’s this, motorcycle riding messenger from God. Why did you think that this role would be a good fit for you?

George Lopez: Well, that’s a good question. In the last few movies, The Tax Collector or El Chicano or River Runs Red, there’s been kind of a theme more toward dramatic and less towards comedy. And those were the things that were kind of getting sent to me. And I’d never met Kathleen Quinlan before, but I was a huge fan of her work. And Edward James Olmos I met in 1988 and has always remained kind of close to me and through Cheech and all those guys, you’ve got this kind of Latino network of guys. But the idea of being able to act with an Academy Award Winner, both, and this is most definitely I think the biggest part or the biggest character that I’ve ever done. And I thought, in doing what I’d done in the sitcom and those other kinds of shows, and then with the dramatic, was I ready to step up to this level with actors of that caliber? And the challenge is what made me want to be in this film.

RM: It’s interesting to hear how you’re kind of strategic about the way that you plan things. Have you always been that way with your career or is that only afforded later in life when you get that luxury?

GL: No, that’s one of the best questions that’s ever been asked to me. It’s almost like when someone’s trying to hit a home run and all your powers into this one thing, I would be the person that would just try to chip away at something and get in. I remember when I used to drive by Warner Brothers, and I would drive by this huge wall with all these shows on the outside, I used to think, what do you have to do to get in there? And what the answer was, to work hard and be prepared so that when an opportunity arose that you would be ready for that. But my life has been a bit that way. A bit of, somebody said forward thinking, so you think forward and then you go and get it. So unbeknownst to me, I’ve been a forward thinker my whole life.

RM: My kids are little, they’re six and two. And so watching this film, I was like, “George, what are you doing to me,” at the beginning. It brings up, I’m glad I stuck with it, but it brings up the idea that depending on where you’re at in your stage of life, your lens for which you watch or view material changes. For you, have you seen shifts within the way, not only maybe you write your comedy or your material, but in way that you consume it too?

GL: Well, I’m going to say yes, because I never watched YouTube and as soon as Apple TV came out, I started to watch documentaries. They became almost the best way for me to learn — with dyslexia, I couldn’t really read and understand, but auditory processing and seeing it — just became the best way for me to learn. So I went crazy about documentaries.

WALKING WITH HERB premieres April 30, May 1, and May 3 for a three-night nationwide Fathom Events limited engagement.

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