Luis Gerardo Méndez Says Mexican Directors Thrive in U.S. Because They’re Battle Tested

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
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Ever wonder why Oscar Award-winning Mexican filmmakers Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant) and Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) have been so successful in Hollywood over the last two decades?

Mexican actor Luis Gerardo Méndez (TV’s Club de Cuervos) says that it’s because when they were making movies in Mexico, small production budgets forced them to be resourceful. When they started making movies in America, their talent continued to grow, but so did their film’s finances.

“That’s one of the reasons, three of the best directors in the world are Mexicans,” Méndez told Remezcla during an interview Monday (Dec. 21). “In Mexico, you learn to make movies with less money. When you’re making a movie with more money, you have all these toys [and] you can do pretty interesting things. You already have the discipline [and] suddenly, you have more time and resources to create better things.”

Aside from the bigger budgets, Méndez, who stars in and executive produces the dramedy Half Brothers, says making movies in the United States is very similar to making them in Mexico.

“The craft is pretty much the same,” he said. “It was very beautiful to see that it’s not that different—the way we work and why we make films. That was really nice to discover.”

In his newest film Half Brothers, Méndez stars as Renato, an aviation executive living in Mexico who learns he has a brother he never knew existed living in America. The siblings decide to grant their father’s dying wish by going on a road trip with one another to find out why he never returned to Mexico years before.

As an actor, Méndez considers himself a very curious person who always wants to try new things like shooting movies in different countries. So far, his American films have included working opposite Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston in the comedy Murder Mystery and with Kristen Stewart in the reboot of Charlie’s Angels.

“I’m curious about the way they do films in Argentina and Spain and England,” he said. “Being in L.A. is really good because it’s a soup of talent and creative people.”

Half Brothers is currently playing at theaters.