And we found time to copy the interview.
Us: Did you read the book Fast Food Nation?
WV: It was very interesting because all my friends who were in college, [and] this book became almost mandatory for them to read. I actually didn’t read the book. I wasn’t aware of it. But when I read the script, I thought “Wow.” It became a project that was just so exciting to be a part of. Maybe a few times in a career [you] get a chance for a role that really means something, and this was it.
Us: What was the hardest part of playing this role?
WV: I think that’s a really important question. As Latinos, we are so aware of what people go through in order to come to America. It’s very interesting to do research on something that’s been culturally a part of your existence.
Us: You’ve said that your character reminded you of your own childhood experiences. How?
WV: Yes. I grew up in Venezuela, and when I was 14-years-old, my parents decided to sell everything and come to America. Five of us lived in a two bedroom house. It wasn’t a sad truth, it was just the way it was [at the time]. That feeling is so universal for every immigrant.
It’s just frustrating because we’re such a small percentage of the population who have a voice. As a Latin man, obviously immigration has been a part of my culture for decades. [I] grew up understanding what you go through in order to come to this country and searching for that American dream.
Us: Do you feel compelled to start a charity or give back in some way?
WV: For me, honestly, I’m an actor. There’s one thing I know how to do – act. And that’s all I know how to do. Through our work, [actors] can trigger awareness.
Us: Do you still eat fast food or did this movie influence you to change your diet?
WV: I played sports, so I understood quickly I shouldn’t be eating fast food because it was slowing me down, making me feel lousy and lazy, and my instincts were not working as they should. I was always wondering why the first ten minutes of eating fast food is heavenly and then after those ten minutes you start feeling like s**t?
Doing this movie made me realize that our bodies are digesting things that it’s not meant to digest. It’s pretty bad for you. The cast is [now] very, very aware of where we get our food and what we put in our bodies.
THG NOTE: So is Kate Bostworth.
Us: What’s up next for you?
WV: I have a few things going on. December 8, I’m releasing Unaccompanied Minors, which is a big fun Christmas movie for Warner Brothers. Next year I’ll be doing C.H.I.P.S.