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Urban

Andy Garcia ('Smokin' Aces') Andy Garcia ('Smokin' Aces')

'The Ace Talks Freely!'

Andy Garcia isn’t bitter, but he’s an honest man and quite frankly, he’s a little sick of playing the authority character. Initially, when he was asked to play a part in Joe Carnahan’s new film “Smokin’ Aces”, the actor thought it would as a hitman, not as another master of morals.

“I actually asked Amanda [casting director Amanda Mackey] about playing the hitman character that Nestor Carbonell plays. I said "What about that part?" and Amanda said "No, Andy, Joe needs you to be the moral authority of the film."”

Garcia, who has played similar parts in films like “Desperate Measures”, “Jennifer Eight” and “Internal Affairs”, said he didn’t necessarily want to play the moral authoritarian - FBI Deputy Director Stanley Locke - of the film. “I would have liked the other part, but there are some things that the hitman does that in retrospect I probably would not want to do, just because of my kids. And Nestor is just great in the part.”

The actor says he would’ve played any role in the film, to be honest, because it was the chance to work with Carnahan that interested him – not so much the thought of playing a hitman. “I was a big fan of Joe's film, Narc, so when you hear there's a script coming over from Joe Carnahan, you know it's going to be interesting because he has such a fresh voice”, says Garcia. “I actually talked to Ray Liotta, who is a good friend of mine and he said great things about Joe. So, I met with Joe and told him I dug Narc. We spoke about the part and I said 'Sure, let's do it'.”

Though he probably could’ve played the role of in his sleep, Garcia didn’t – he worked to check on getting the character down pat. “Naturally, in research you pick up things. Often a role will open you up to something that you are not used to. You learn from every experience in life. It's another layer to your baggage. Each role has different needs and demands. Sometimes there's technical demands."

"In the case of this part in Smokin' Aces, Joe and I talked about giving him a tinge of being a veteran FBI guy who has spent a lot of years in Virginia at the FBI headquarters. I wanted to bring a bit of that flavor into his dialect. Every role has a different attack, but ultimately you want to get inside the character and find a sense of truth. This guy is a career FBI guy and to be deputy director he has been doing it for a long time; he is a man molded by the organization and committed to the oath of that organization."

“I have friends who are in the FBI”, he continues. “I talked to them about it, but you also get a sense from them just in natural conversation. You kind of get their stance in life. Their philosophies, behavioral conduct and traits. If you are around them, we are all victims of our own environment and job description. That's the fun of the acting challenge. You are searching for the acting details.”

And Garcia, having worked within the confines of this boys club, especially got along with Ryan Reynolds. “Ryan is great. He's a terrific guy. I haven't seen his comedies, but just because an actor is known for comedies does not mean he can't do drama. It's important not to be pigeon-holed, which can happen. But, Ryan is a sweetheart kind of a guy and did a beautiful job in the movie.”

Garcia has received equal praise from his co-stars, many mentioning that it’s amazing that he knows exactly where to stand in a scene. The camera could be moving, but Garcia has this natural ability to be in the right spot. “You know, Michael Douglas said that to me earlier in my career when we did Black Rain. I don't know. Maybe it's just an instinct I have about staging. I guess it's just an instinct. It's not like I'm constantly thinking 'Where's the camera?' It's about having a healthy third eye, which is what I used to study in theatre. Where that stems from, I don't know.”

Next up, Garcia will “... record another album. The soundtrack to my film, The Lost City, is coming out in January, it's a two CD set. I have a couple of scripts I'm attached to for 2007. They're not financed yet, but I am getting them off the ground. I want to direct again too."

And though he’s starring in one of the most expensive films of 2007, “Oceans Thirteen”, he’s far from one of those actors that only signs on for pricey films that entail well-paying gigs. “Yeah, I do whatever stimulates me. If I am, I jump in. Just because it's a big budget movie doesn't mean its bad. The size of budgets does not alter my decision if I should do it. If there's a movie with a budget of only $1 million that I find interesting, then I'll sign up, but it has to be in the hands of a director who can do something with it.”

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