Mariana Treviño And Manuel García Rulfo Talk About Co-Starring With Tom Hanks In ‘A Man Called Otto’
In the film A man Called Otto, a remake of the 2015 hit Swedish film, A Man Called Ove, there’s no doubt Tom Hanks is the lead, as Otto, a grumpy loner. But Mexican actors Mariana Treviño (Club de Cuervos, The House of Flowers) and Manuel García-Rulfo (The Lincoln Laywer, 6 Underground) play a key role as the film’s co-stars, as they help change Otto’s perspective on life, friendship and family.
The dramedy starts with Otto attempting to commit suicide so he can join his wife and the only person he truly connected with in his lifetime, who had died of cancer. But life and neighbors get in the way, preventing him from succeeding.
Treviño – who has significant screen time – and García-Rulfo are Marisol and Tommy, a young couple with two small children and another one on the way, who move in across the street from Otto. Despite his efforts to keep them at bay, Marisol forces her way into Otto’s life. In the end, they form a loving bond – just like co-stars and friends Treviño and García-Rulfo share in real life.
The actors have previously worked in two Mexican films directed by Manolo Caro, Tales of An Immoral Couple and Perfect Strangers. This is their first Hollywood film and with Tom Hanks, no less. They both speak of the thrill of working together again.
What was it like to team up again and collaborate on your first joint project in English?
It was great because we had each other to share the excitement about this great project, working with Tom and the magnitude and dimension of the whole experience, we got to share it. We got to feel a little place of home. And and well, I think we continue to strengthen our friendship. And for some reason we keep bumping into each other.
I was really happy as well you know, and not just because of the friendship. I love working on on scenes with with Mariana because she catches you off guard. She improvises a lot, you have to be on top of things. It’s not like a regular scene that you rehearse your thing and then the other actors do their thing. With Mariana, she comes in and she’s in the moment, which is like every actor’s dream. She has this ability to be in the moment. So it’s just so fun to work with her.
How was working with Tom and the rest of the cast?
He’s the nicest person ever.
The reputation that he has as the nicest guy in Hollywood…confirmed completely. He was so embracing of us and so warm. And he just brought us into the project with so much love, him and Rita [Wilson]. We’re just so grateful for that because it made us feel at home, made us feel at ease to connect and to construct and create together. So, eternally grateful
Everything was beautiful. Marc [Forster] as well, the director. He is such an amazing director. Yes Like his sensitivity and Tom and the energy that we breathed on the on the set, it was just beautiful, which helped the film I think.
The producers chose a Mexican family as the film co-stars. Do you think that decision could encourage other producers and creators to incorporate more high-profile Latino characters and storylines in film and television?
I think the choice of the Latino families is sort of cliché, but holds some truth. There’s this thing about Latino families that we’re very like… They come in storming with the noise…the chaos.
We’re here! There was so much structure in the movie in the character of Otto. He had a very set mindset with what he was living and was very rigid. And this family comes in with this expansive, chaotic but really just candor and breaks through these barriers.
You come and you knock and you barge into the space, not in an invasive way… because you’re like let me in. And that’s symbolic of what happens, from an honest, disinterested manner. No gain. We just want to connect and we forget because we live in a very utilitarian time and everybody has to serve a purpose and we have to get something from everyone and everybody has to service our needs. And here it’s not like that And that’s what I love also about the connection that is just humans being supportive of each other.
The film covers some difficult topics which once touched you the most. And what do you think of the movie’s final message?
For me, what touches me a lot is we don’t think as a society, a lot of it is the fact that the loneliness of older people. We kind of feel like, you know, they already lived their lives but there’s something about the loneliness of it, that is very sad for me. And it’s not that Otto is but it’s like this sense that his life is over. Nothing to give anymore. Nothing to give. Nothing to receive. And I think the message is that. That even in the darkest places, a little bit of light. It will overcast the shadows and all these characters come together to bring that.