I recently got the opportunity to talk to Al Dias about his role in ‘Spy Kids 4D: All The Time In The World’. Here, Al talks about what it was like working with Robert Rodriguez and the cast and crew on-set, his recent experience in a cinema with 4D Aromoscope technology and about his first ever role in ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’…
Hey Al. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. ‘Spy Kids 4D – All The Time In The World’ will be in UK cinemas as of 19th August 2011.
What can fans of ‘Spy Kids’ expect from this instalment? What’s the general plotline?
The fans can expect an action packed 3D work of art by Robert Rodriguez along with the 4th dimension of Aromoscope ‘Scratch And Sniff’ technology. I feel the kids will enjoy the ‘Scratch And Sniff’ experience as its something new for them to interact with. They can also expect a great cast with Jessica Alba, Jeremy Piven and Joel McHale, who deliver pure fun-filled family entertainment for all ages to enjoy along with the introduction of the new Spy Kids – Rowen Blanchard and Mason Cook. These new up and coming young super stars are ones to follow. And yes you will see that Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara haven’t skipped a beat. The general plotline to me is that we are running out of time and need to spend more time with our kids and our families. As we get caught up with the day-to-day motions time is flying by and before we know it, our kids are grown and ready to move on and start their own adventure. Don’t let the Time Keeper rob you of all the great moments. Family first!
It’s been labelled as a ‘4D’ movie – exactly how is it ’4D’? I’ve heard rumours of a scratch and sniff card you get when you buy your ticket – and the movie tells you when to use it…
The 4th dimension involves the ‘Scratch And Sniff’ technology yeah. The experience was a first for me and even though I had the pleasure of being in the film I couldn’t wait to scratch my card to see what would happen. I won’t mention which one but definitely “Scratch And Sniff With Caution” lol. To me, having the audience participating like that involves them more and makes them also feel like they are part of the production. Once you scratch and smell the aroma, it puts you that much closer with the production – it’s almost like you are on set with us.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play the role of a OSS Agent that gives the kids a run for their money after catching them off guard. Without giving away too much, Rowen – (the young actress that plays Rebecca) referred to it as ending in such a “Bru- Ha Ha”.
How did you get involved in the movie in the first place?
I had already worked with Robert on one of his previous films before, called ‘Machete’. Not long after ‘Machete’, I received a call from casting agent Beth Sepko who asked me if I’d like to be in the new ‘Spy Kids’ film – I said ‘Yes’ – and then I went and auditioned in front of them both. I feel so privileged to have a continuing working relationship with Robert – as he’s one of the ‘greats’ of our time.
The film stars Jessica Alba, Jeremy Piven, Joel McHale, Rowan Blanchard and Mason Cook – what was it like working with the cast on the film?
We had a great time. Working directly with Rowen Blanchard and Mason Cook was such a great experience as they both were such professional and personable talents. It was also a humbling experience to know and witness hands on just how hard they worked and how dedicated they were to delivering a great performance. They enjoyed every minute of it – as they both walked around on set with smiles on their faces all the time. This made it very easy for me to interact with them while we were working.
The film has been directed by Robert Rodriguez – who as you’ve mentioned before you’ve worked with on ‘Machete’ – what do you think it is about Robert that makes him a good director?
Robert is such a laid back multi talented and creative individual that expands on his thoughts to take the entire production cast/crew/fans to places they may not have experienced before or even thought of. He pushes the envelope and delivers pure entertainment and no matter how much action packed explosiveness is delivered – there will be some sort of humor that can be found in most of his works. He is very easy to work with and knows exactly what he wants and if you don’t deliver on a certain take he simply asks for you to do it again or says “Let’s try it this way”. His approach, at least in my experience, is what makes the entire working experience as an actor a true pleasure – no matter how many times you hear “Back to 1”.
If you could design your own spy gadget, what would it do?
It would detect explosives from 1000 feet away.
Let’s talk a bit about you Al. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
My first experience was working with Chuck Norris on ‘Walker Texas Ranger’. After working with such a great production and not to mention Chuck Norris, I thought it would be worth pursuing further to see just how far I could go with it. I love being involved in production. It all started for me in music production then studio engineering – I was doing different projects locally. This eventually led into promotions, performances, management and establishing a vast network. Later on, I was given an opportunity to try acting. I never had really thought of pursuing it but once I did – (and since my introduction to it was with such great people) I figured the skies the limit.
Who has been your favorite actor to work with so far and who has given you the best advice? If one of the answers isn’t Danny Trejo, I’ll be pleasantly surprised…
Danny “Machete” Trejo is certainly one of my favorites. I mean…come on, he let me live and walk away in ‘Machete’! And he’s really a good guy and I most certainly hope to work with him again. I have been fortunate to have worked with such a variety of top rated talent such as Danny, Brian Cox, Chuck Norris, Mike Starr, Bradley Whitford, Colin Hanks, Katherine Heigl, Johnny Knoxville, and many other great talents. I would have to say I had the most laughs working with Mike Starr and Bradley Whitford and really enjoyed the one on one conversations I had with Mike Starr as he is truly a “goodfella”. As to who gave the best advice – they all had something different to offer and the more I get involved and continue to pursue my career they all earn that much more “respect” from me.
You briefly mentioned that you made an appearance in ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ – what was it like to work with the force that is Chuck Norris?
Working with Chuck Norris was the beginning of a new chapter in my life and was an experience I’ll never forget. I was given a few opportunities to work on the show in different roles and quite frankly it’s the reason I have continued to pursue this business. It was a great production that employed many great crew and talent and left an everlasting impression in my mind of how all productions should be. He along with those that made the productions possible, “I thank you!”
If you could recommend a film and a TV series to someone, what would you choose and why?
‘Boardwalk Empire’ as a TV show. I love the period piece, the outfits, the cars, the history – the entire production takes you back in time. Not to mention Id love the opportunity to work on the show with Steve Buscemi. As for recommendation of a film it would depend on the kind of person I’m making the recommendation to. Films like ‘Gladiator’, ‘300’, ‘Braveheart’, I would recommend to anyone as they really show just how much heart you must have to make it and what you have to put on the line in regards to fighting for what it is you want. I would also recommend ‘The Godfather’, ‘A Few Good Men’, ‘Goodfellas’ and so on.
If you could have a dinner with three historical guests, living or dead – who would you choose?
Warren Buffet, Bob Evans and Francis Ford Coppola.
What’s been the most interesting / funny news story you’ve heard about in the last month?
The most interesting news has been the double dip recession. Money never sleeps! So what happened?
What is coming up for you in 2011?
I am pleased to announce that I have just signed with a Global Events Partner – Jaki Baskow of Baskow and Associates out of Las Vegas, Neveda. Baskow and Associates are celebrating 35 years in 2011 as one of the Top 10 star and talent brokers and corporate event planners in the world. I look forward to what the future has in store. I have several productions that I am reviewing right now and currently am in the development stages of an Old Las Vegas story regarding an individual that was at the height of his career servicing ‘The Stars Of The Past’ along with the ‘Mob families’ that built the casinos. It will be inspired by a true story and will be a roller coaster of a ride coinciding with stories portrayed in the movies ‘Casino’ and ‘Blow’. It will be a period piece that will show the life of luxury during the grandeur of the opulent 70’s and will be filled with dangerous dealings of the underworld.
I currently have a film in post production called ‘Silent Red’ of which my supporting role in this film has many layers. I portray “Dino” – the boyfriend/model agent of the once famous “Red” who is facing many of life’s challenges.
‘Inventors and Vendors’ is also another film recently screened this summer of which will begin making its way through the festival circuits. You may see the trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5z8AzsApJM0.
Thanks for the interview Al!