#INTERVIEW: ADRIAN MARTINEZ ON “FOCUS”
You know him quite literally as the Sidekick in pretty much everything. Adrian Martinez has starred in over 80 titles, stealing scenes alongside an A-list Resume of talent including Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Christian Bale and now Will Smith in smart new Action-RomCom, FOCUS.
The personable Funnyman was in Toronto recently to promote the Blockbuster which hopes to whet the appetites of Moviegoers craving both tough punches and romance this Valentine’s Day. The Movie centers on an experienced Con Artist Nicky (Smith) and the stunning Jess (Margot Robbie), whom he takes under his wing. Passions flare after he finds himself with conflicting emotions, careful not to let her in too deep, ultimately the two are torn apart. Fast-forward a few years and the two reunite under the most unlikely circumstances. The bonds of trust are broken and the Story takes us through several unexpected twists and turns. Will Nicky and Jess be able to make it through together, or will danger separate them as the stakes (and risks) are multiplied exponentially as other powerful figures enter the picture?
Chatting with a select group of Digital Journalists, Martinez gives candid responses about the many talented Actors he has worked with, coming a far way certainly since his one-liner debut in an Unsolved Mysteries re-enactment.
Martinez in FOCUS plays the frank, forward and multi-disguised Sidekick Farhad to Smith‘s slick Nicky, one of the few people whom the latter trusts fully. He tells us that truly he connected with this Character. “I read the Script and didn’t see the ending coming. A lot of Movies are formulaic. This one took a lot of nice twists and turns and I wanted to be a part of it”, says Martinez. “Farhad is extremely faithful to Nicky and I am faithful to-the-death to my Family and Friends being a Scorpio, and that was common ground in how to build the Character.”. “He doesn’t know everything, but he knows he has to protect his Boss (Nicky).”.
On how to play a Criminal, he says “You have to be authentic when bullsh*tting. Same thing with acting. You’re using real emotions to sell imaginary situations”. “It’s similar to being a Con-Man in that regard.”.
But does Martinez consider himself a Character Actor? “I consider myself a Lead Actor in a character suit. Like Wilson in Cast Away” he jokes, “Now he has balls.”. He adds, “Character Actors represent a tradition in acting that you need in Movies.”. “We need these kind of Actors. Not everyone can look like Will Smith or Margot Robbie, so you need these Actors to counterbalance that by grounding and putting it all into perspective.”.
I ask him of the many people he has worked with, just who inspires him most. He equates Will Ferrell much like a “Banker” off-camera – not particularly funny. “The moment he yells ‘Action!’, he is right there with the humour and timing.”. Ben Stiller is commended for what Martinez calls “mind-blowing work ethic”, pulling-in easily 16 hour work days on-set and after the day has wrapped. And although most of his work was cut from American Hustle, he jokes “Thankfully the cheque cleared!”. “I do still love Jennifer Lawrence.”.
On his experience working with Will Smith, he recalls some fond memories and feeling gratitude. “There was a sense of community and party in the air. Will would start dancing at 3 am around the Superdome (a key scene involves a high stakes Football bet). He brings this relentless sense to every take of ‘I’m really gonna f*ckin’ go for it, man!'”. Martinez recalls Smith‘s gym-equipped Trailer being the size of a block. “He is in another league in terms of work ethic”, he comments on Smith‘s physical preparation for the role of Nicky. “Meanwhile I’m like, do I choose the multigrain bagel or Cheerios?”, he laughs.
Martinez also has high praise for the stunning Margot Robbie, whom he works closely with in a few scenes in FOCUS, crediting her for making “smart choices”. “She was all ‘I’m not gonna let this guy throw me!’ and it really was a Chess Match with her.”. “She’s gorgeous, intelligent and grounded. Awesome like a Jane Bond.”.
Although often we see a comedic side to Martinez on-screen, he reveals plans for something big in-the-works. “Time-Warner and I are co-creating a Project. It’s still funny, but saucy”, he tells us before stopping himself. “I’m not supposed to talk about it, but it’s gonna be good.”.
And speaking of good, word is Martinez is a huge Fan of Poutine! We hear he loved the Pasta Poutine at his Toronto Hotel very much. Honourary Canadian.
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release FOCUS on Friday, February 27, 2015.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)