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Of the ‘Genius’ Genus

31 Dec, 2013 By: Ashley Ratcliff

‘I’m So Excited!’ Cast Talks Working With Writer-Director Pedro Almodóvar

It took a certain kind of genius to dream up a farce that adds danger, hilarity and a madcap mile-high club of sorts all in one film. This mastermind is none other than the Academy Award-winning Pedro Almodóvar.

I’m So Excited! centers on the mayhem that ensues aboard a doomed flight from Spain to Mexico City, with a trio of flamboyant male flight attendants dashing about the airplane, employing strange methods (namely drugs, booze and sex) while hoping to ensure that the passengers are none the wiser. Oh, and there’s a campy lip-sync routine from The Pointer Sister’s hit song, from which the comedy’s title is derived, smack dab in the middle of it all.

The Spanish-language comedy lands on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Jan. 7 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Bonus material includes two behind-the-scenes featurettes.

As a writer and director known for his meticulous approach to filmmaking, the cast of I’m So Excited! reflected on working with Almodóvar (Women on the Verge of a Breakdown, Talk to Her) on his highly anticipated project, which hit U.S. theaters this past June.

“I like him because he’s a very detail-oriented person, and he offers you many tools from which to build up your character,” said Blanca Suárez, who stars as Ruth, one of the few characters who appears on the ground. “He even does a great job with the pauses and the silences within the character. … He never lets you improvise. It doesn’t matter what you do.”

With the many zany antics that unfold in I’m So Excited!, Almodóvar being a stickler for his actors performing according to the script may come as a surprise to some.

“That’s his genius,” said star Javier Cámara. “When Pedro talks to you, he’s talking about films from the ’40s or the ’50s in America or Mexico or Asia. He’s talking about films or music, about theater or actors that you have never heard about. You’re receiving information every single day with several influences and you have to be able to be connected with that. And, of course, you have to be awake.”

Almodóvar has also been known to create parts specifically for actors with whom he’s previously worked. Reportedly, such was the case with both Suárez and Cámara, who portrays the ostentatious head flight attendant Joserra.

“I wasn’t really concerned about that. During the filming I didn’t realize that this is specifically for me,” he said. “I think a journalist asked about it, and he told [them]. If I had known about it, I would be responsible and stuck in the middle. … It’s a gift, but at the same time it’s a responsibility. Sometimes I feel like every single day is my first day with him. He knows me really well.”

“[He told us,] ‘Be true.’ I have to put a lot of originality, a lot of heart into this character to make it normal. It’s a goal to give him everything,” Cámara added. “When you heard ‘action!’ you’re free. I need to be free to play with [Almodóvar] because he knows everything. He’s like a microscope. He can see everything. I feel naked in front of him. I love that. He’s a genius. I trust him.”

For others, it was a dream come true to be a part of an Almodóvar film for the first time.

“Pedro has created his own world, a world that you can recognize once you see a film,” said co-star Miguel Ángel Silvestre, whose acting career began with plays and telenovelas. “You can see a scene and you can say, ‘This is from Almodóvar.’ That’s his world, his code. This is my first time working with him, but for the very first week of rehearsals, he created a family. We were a family at the end. … It’s a beautiful world, a world that I always wanted to live. It’s like a dream for me being in this film.”

About the Author: Ashley Ratcliff

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