Hollywood’s Latino ‘king’ Rodriguez Having Fun With ‘machete Kills’

New book looks at Hollywood choreographer

Matteo Guidicelli and Migs Villafuerte reveal their feelings for Sarah Geronimo

“I want to keep giving Latinos the chance to work both in front of and behind the cameras, and to create content through my network,” the 45-year-old movie maker told Efe. “These newcomers should be able show what they can do without depending on Hollywood, where it’s really hard to get started,” he said. The writer of films like “El Mariachi,” “Desperado,” the kiddie saga “Spy Kids” and “Sin City” – whose sequel will debut next summer – premieres this Saturday the sequel of “Machete,” which was such a success that it took its own creator by surprise. While for the original film Rodriguez worked with such headliners as Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Steven Seagal and Lindsay Lohan, this time he’s going all out by adding to the cast Lady Gaga, Mel Gibson, Sofia Vergara, Demian Bichir, Charlie Sheen, Antonio Banderas and more. “The idea of a Latino action superhero in a ‘Mexploitation’ film – with a low budget and elements of exploitation film and Mexican culture – was overwhelming. I thought it would go directly to a DVD but it unexpectedly took off,” he said. Danny Trejo, 69, repeats his role as Hollywood’s first Latino superhero, a one-time federal agent recruited by the president of the United States to nab a revolutionary and an arms dealer who have joined forces to plunge the world into chaos. “I didn’t have a lot of time, but the screenplay was such fun I wanted to make it mine before shooting ‘Sin City 2.’ I did it really fast, in 29 days. I wanted to have a good time with the actors,” the filmmaker said, who doesn’t hesitate to combine wild humor and violence whatever the critics might say. Follow us on twitter.com/foxnewslatino

machete.jpg

Due to an oversight, Romero received no screen credit on that movie, so legend has it that Elvis himself choreographed the dance. While Elvis made some level of contribution, it was under heavy supervision. It was Romero who tapped into Elvis Presley’s very natural ability. Romero balks at the idea of his initially attempting to do a standard Hollywood musical number, only to be corrected by Elvis. In fact, Romero liked the rock and roll sound and had a keen enough vision to realize Elvis had a certain raw talent that could be cultivated. He patterned the song’s movements after Elvis Presley’s natural responses and the result was a harbinger for the MTV music videos that followed decades later. A dancer whose career dates back to vaudeville, Alex Romero’s recollections are filled with fascinating anecdotes about Elvis, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, and others, from his experiences working on such classic movie musicals as “Take Me Out To The Ball Game,” “On The Town,” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” Among the many intersting stories Romero tells author Knowles, is his recollection of James Cagney whom he worked with on the movie “Love Me or Leave Me.” Playing a disabled person in this picture (whose nickname is “the Gimp”), Cagney does no dancing. But he attended every dance rehearsal, and tap danced with Romero just because he enjoyed it. “He was the first guy to ever call me Mr. Romero,” Alex recalls. The memories of people who worked with some of Hollywood history’s brightest stars can be alternately moving and disturbing. Throughout this book, Alex Romero comes off as skillful, friendly, talented, and hard working, and his memories of the great musical stars are enlightening and entertaining. Recommended to film buffs and those interested in dance and its history.