Exclusive Interview: Edgar Ramirez on Joy and Point Break

Edgar Ramirez as Bodhi in Point Break
Edgar Ramirez as Bodhi in Point Break

During a press conference for Point Break, in which he plays Bodhi, Edgar Ramirez shared a deep philosophy about what both Point Break movies mean. “The promise of accumulation and being successful financially and accumulating material goods is the promise that Reaganism left us,” Ramirez said. “25 years later, it got broken. Our movie pretty much recreates the broken dream and the broken promise of capitalism and trickle down theories saving us.”

I got some more time to speak with Ramirez further about his Point Break theories, and also about his role in the movie Joy. In Joy, he plays Joy (Jennifer Lawrence)’s ex-husband, a struggling singer who still lives in her basement. Both Point Break and Joy open Christmas Day.

Nerd Report: I loved your philosophy about the evolution of Reaganism. Did you come up with that while making the movie?

Edgar Ramirez as Bodhi in Point Break
Edgar Ramirez as Bodhi in Point Break

Edgar Ramirez: As always, it’s always a process. So I remember very well the first film. Of course when I saw it and I was a kid, I was 13, I was fascinated by the rebellious and subversive element of the film. But of course I couldn’t really grasp too deep into the political statement of what they were doing. There was a sense of rebellion that was very appealing, especially to a young kid, being a teenager and starting to question the adult world and starting to question the rules and all that. Then as I grew up and I revisited the film, especially in the days leading up to principal photography in this one, then I realized that they were rebelling when Patrick Swayze – may his soul rest in peace. He’s such a great, fine actor whose performance is brilliant and is something that should remain untouched – he says, “We decided to do this in order to show these people driving dead in metal coffins, inching along the highway. We’re teaching them, letting them know that the human spirit is alive.” Then you realize that they belong to a moment in history where this country, by the virtue of the influence that America has all over the world,

"POINT BREAK"; Interpol Pictures, LLC; Fünfundzwanzigste Babelsberg Film GmbH; 2014
Interpol Pictures, LLC;
Fünfundzwanzigste Babelsberg Film GmbH;

Definitely these guys, not only Bodhi, Bodhi is the paramount of a whole group of people, but I think he represents a philosophy, a group of people that exist actually that are trying to just be aware. Aware of, in the case of this film, of how we are destroying our environment and doing nothing about it. He knows exactly what’s wrong and what’s right in terms of protecting the environment. Of course his choices are very extreme for sure and open to debate. That I understand but he’s not looking for enlightenment, for nirvana. He has a very close relationship to nature and he wants to protect the environment that gives him a reason to live. People like Bodhi, they’re so conscious of the limited time that we have on this planet. Since they are allowed to enjoy and to become one with the geological forces of the earth, then he wants to protect those forces. So it’s pretty simple.

Nerd Report: I heard you lived as a singer for a month for Joy.

Edgar Ramirez: Two months.

Nerd Report: Is a singer’s life that different from an actor’s life?

Edgar Ramirez, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro in JOY.
Edgar Ramirez, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro in JOY.

Edgar Ramirez: I think it’s tougher. It’s really tough. The music industry’s really tough these days. It’s a different kind of connection to create. I love acting. Acting is my craft, is my art but there’s something very special about music. I think music allows you a more direct connection to grace, to that thing that we aspire to find when you commit to your craft, when you try to do art. You’re looking for that moment of grace, to reach that moment. Sometimes you reach it, sometimes you don’t but I think that music has a very special channel to reach that. And it was very revealing to me. I didn’t know that I could be a singer. Now I sing. I don’t see myself now pursuing a musical career, but I would be very happy to use singing as a part of my acting career. I really enjoy doing it and now I have three songs in an album. It’s a beautiful thing.

Nerd Report: Did David O. Russell direct you in Spanish?

Edgar Ramirez: Yeah, many times because he speaks very well. The thing is it translates different. When you say higher, the thing is in Spanish higher and louder is the same word. So you say mas alto, could be either in pitch or in volume. So sometimes when he was saying mas alto to me, I couldn’t understand if he was referring to the pitch or to the volume and I would sing louder. He said, ‘No, no, no, mas alto.’ And I said, ‘Well, I’m doing it mas alto. I’m doing it louder’ because I thought that he was referring to the volume. Actually, he was referring to the pitch so it was fun to have that miscommunication.