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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Time Magazine's exclusive preview & interview on Apocalypto

This Time Magazine exclusive preview and interview showcases the new talent that Mel Gibson has assembled for Apocalypto, most of whom are natives of southern Mexico (where filming is now taking place). A more extensive preview is still expected from Time Magazine sometime soon.

Read the Time Magazine article right here.

So, what have we learned from this article?

First, we've (finally!) been given official confirmation on two actors and one actress who will be appearing in Apocalypto (now we can do some background checks):

  • "Newcomer Rudy Youngblood, 25, a movie-star handsome Comanche and Cree Indian who plays the Apocalypto hero named Jaguar Paw, grew up in Texas and had been a grass dancer with the Native American Dance Theater before Gibson found him last year."
  • "Raoul Trujillo, a veteran Native American film actor, is perhaps the only Apocalypto actor who may be recognizable to U.S. audiences (he appeared in last year's The New World). He says he jumped at the chance to be part of Gibson's Maya adventure... [he]plays a sinister Maya warrior named Zero Wolf."
  • "Mayra Sérbulo, a Mexican Zapotec Indian who has been nominated this year for an Ariel (Mexico's Oscar) as best supporting actress."
The cast had some interesting things to say:

  • Rudy Youngblood: "As a dancer, I know how to tell a story with my eyes and my body, which is the kind of acting this film requires most, But I also have ancestors who fought at Wounded Knee and Little Big Horn, so it's not hard to use my Native American heritage for this role. Mel's been teaching me a lot about how to go back and find emotional things in my life and family to draw on."
  • Raoul Trujillo: "A story like this has never been done before. Mel is fearless that way."
  • Mayra Sérbulo: "People do have to remember that this is action fiction, not a Maya documentary, but I'm frankly surprised and excited about the care they're taking to portray indigenous Mexicans."
Mel Gibson also took some time to explain his reasons for choosing unknown locals rather than big-name Hollywood stars (and so far he seems very happy with the results):
  • "It brings an honesty and a valuable reality to what [we're] doing."
  • "These characters have to be utterly believable as pre-Columbian Mesoamericans."
  • [speaking of Rudy Youngblood] ""I'm amazed at how much Rudy's running reminds me of a cat." And again: "He's the track star we needed for this picture."

Also: "Gibson is quick to note that Apocalypto is less dependent on dialogue than most movies, and as a result, he looked for people who could express as much with their faces and actions as they do with their lines... a good chunk of Apocalypto involves a wild and terrifying foot chase through the Mexican rainforest."

Biographies and more information on the newly-revealed Actors & Actresses as we find it... *stay tuned.*