Lived The Research
I usually don’t specifically do research like on purpose let’s say, but because I am — in Los Bastardos, for example, we were doing casting with all real immigrants that were there or were going to go there from here, or had gone there and stuff like that. Because the main idea of Los Bastardos was to have these real guys, real immigrants, and put them in this fiction, almost film noir situation of the film. And so, through that we would hear a lot of stories. And when you put in part of what is reality, part of what really — people that really live what you are speaking about, I think that it’s okay to not do so much research. The research, it’s kind of irrelevant in a way. And same with Heli, with the last movie; I didn’t really — I mean it took me so long to write it, and living in Mexico, and just being soaked up by all the information around. By the time you shoot without noticing — I did a lot of research, that was the same way with Los Bastardos also, as we did the casting, and we — for example, we tried to take one guy from Mexico to United States. Well, he’s in the movie, Jesus Moises. He’s the main — the older of the two guys.
We crossed them from Mexico to United States, but it was a very difficult process, that took months. And at the end, the last moment, when we were at the border, took 10 hours of interviews to him, and a very difficult process to be able to pass them to United States, because all those things are somehow research. We lived the research somehow.1 And the young guy for example in the film, he had crossed the border seven or eight times through the desert, and many times he was caught and sent back, and so he had that — for me, I trust that he has that in him, in his eyes, in his voice, and the way he acts. And I didn’t want to make a movie about the crossing. I wanted to make a movie more — somehow also my feeling of Los Angeles, living there not as an illegal of course, because I’m not illegal, but I was surrounded only by Mexicans basically in my jobs, and then by the time I went to school there with my friends, because my first language is Spanish.
So, those things somehow made it so I didn’t have to do so much research. And I was interested in the subject, because I — not that I — yeah, because I lived it in a way, I knew about it.2 And in the same way, with Heli, I mean fortunately I haven’t lived so grotesque, violent situations, but the ambience is here, and you read about it, and you know people that have suffered et cetera.