Andy Garcia charms his way to the big screen once again in the romantic comedy At Middleton, opposite Vera Farmiga. The film, which Garcia produced, centers on two single parents who meet on a college campus tour. We got the chance to speak with Garcia earlier this month about his favorite rom-com, his secret to a long-lasting career in Hollywood and who's on his bucket list to work with.
Here are a few highlights:
On working with Vera Farmiga and what makes a good romantic comedy: It's all about the story. The quality of the writing sets up an innate chemistry so it’s already inherent in the material, and the other half is the casting. I felt very good chemistry from the get go with Vera Farmiga. It was easy, she's a genial actress, an extraordinary lady, she's a consummate professional, she's generous, she's not afraid to improvise and that's what you look for in an acting partner.
The performances come off of each other, it's not something that you can predesign. It comes off experience. For this movie, we didn’t have any rehearsals. I met Vera briefly for about an hour the day before at a wardrobe test, and I asked her if she wanted to talk about the script and she said, "No, I just want to execute." So I said, "OK, I'll see you tomorrow."
Check out this exclusive clip with Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga:
On his love for comedy: I do enjoy comedies more but conflict is a lot easier to achieve. Most people in this business don’t think of me in comedic terms. If you're blessed with work you can get typecast, but then as an actor you want to explore different genres and it gets harder for people to see you differently. It's funny because I started my career in comedy.
On his favorite romantic comedy: I call it a romantic comedy but it's much more than that, it's Hal Ashby's Being There. I think it's one the greatest movies ever made. I love the acting, directing, cinematography, the editing, everything about the movie.
On his next big-screen project, Hemingway & Fuentes: I'm in the middle of working on Hemingway right now. I cowrote the script with Hilary Hemingway. I'm going to direct and act in it. I'm three-and-a-half years into it but Lost City took me 16 years. But that's how it is; if a studio doesn’t give you the money you have to find another way.
On his secret to career longevity: I don’t know. I strive for my work to have resonance. Over the years I've tried to be selective with the things that I do. I do believe in creating opportunities for myself. I don’t sit around and wait for people to call me. I have my own ideas and things that I want to do. It doesn’t mean that it's going to be easy but you have to try. I've produced a few movies and it takes a lot of effort, diligence and persistence. It can sometimes take years before a film is made; you have to challenge yourself, keep at it and exploring different avenues.
On the one person on his bucket list he still wants to work with: Meryl Streep. I'll work on anything with her, comedy or drama. I'll cook spaghetti with her. Anything.