Five Favorite Films

Edgar Ramirez's Five Favorite Films

The Hands of Stone star talks about the impossibility of love and why he prefers not to do on-set interviews during filming.

by | August 26, 2016 | Comments

Photo by: Jason Kempin / Getty Images

Though he made his Hollywood debut over a decade ago, Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez caught his big break when he earned widespread acclaim for his portrayal of real life terrorist Carlos the Jackal (aka Ilich Ramirez Sanchez) in the 2010 miniseries Carlos. Most recently, he appeared in David O. Russell’s Joy alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro, and in last year’s Point Break remake, he tackled the role originally made famous by Patrick Swayze.

This week, Ramirez reunites with De Niro for another true story, starring in Hands of Stone as Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran. He spoke to RT enthusiastically about his Five Favorite Films, noting that they were hard to pin down and that he could have continued well past the five he mentioned. Read on for the full list.

Dancer in the Dark (2000) 69%

The first one that comes to mind is Dancer in the Dark. I was very moved by Bjork’s performance in the film. You know, how much can a person take? How much suffering can someone endure? Also, how storytelling saves you from pain. In the case of this movie, it was through her singing. She was making stories; the medium that she used was music, but it was storytelling through music. She found a refuge in music to deal with so much excruciating pain and isolation and despair. That movie really moves me because it’s so beautiful and it’s so painful at the same time. It’s really overwhelming. I love that film.

A lot of people find that film difficult to watch more than once. Is that the case for you?

I return to that film, and to that soundtrack. Actually, every time I watch it, I cry as if I’m watching it for the first time. It really breaks my heart, that film. It’s how poetry saves you from darkness and pain, which is a great metaphor for life in general. And the music is so beautiful, and the character of Selma, her pain is so palpable. And the movie deals with so many issues – not being in your country, being far away; dealing with feeling manipulated and deceived – so many issues. But beyond all that, it’s just the pure pain of the film, of the character. It’s really moving to me.

In the Mood for Love (2001) 90%

The next one that comes to mind is In the Mood for Love. It’s about the impossibility of love, how we get in the way of our own happiness. Again, it’s pure poetry. And Wong Kar-Wai is so stylized, but at the same time, so raw; there’s a rawness in the beauty. He’s a painter, but in his movies – and especially in this movie – beauty doesn’t equal gloss. It’s just pure beauty in the rawness of the emotions in the film. I really like him, and the actors – I love Maggie [Cheung] in the film; she’s so beautiful and so strong.

Clouds of Sils Maria (2015) 90%

I really loved Clouds of Sils Maria. I just love Juliette [Binoche]. She’s a very close friend – we worked together on An Open Heart in France – but I think everybody was fantastic in this film. Kristen Stewart is fantastic in this film. I think it’s such an honest film. Of course, it’s very intellectual, but it’s very emotional at the same time. If you talk about this film with someone who hasn’t seen it, it’s very hard to say what the movie’s about. There’s so many layers to it. It’s how reality and fiction intertwine, and of course, that’s something I relate to because I’m an actor. So that’s a movie, I think, that really resonates a lot with people involved in what we do – writers, directors, actors. It’s like, when does it stop? Where’s the boundary?

Because here’s the thing: the thing is that you need to give something of yourself – you need to lose something – in order to gain something. I think there’s no creative process that goes without injuries and scratches and punches. You get beat up somehow, and that’s part of the commitment. You have to be open to that. You do your job, you do your homework, you open up, and then the camera captures the accident, and when there’s an accident, definitely there will be injuries. That’s what this movie makes me feel.

So what’s the boundary? Sometimes, in the middle of the process, you don’t really know. That’s why it’s so hard to speak about movies or your characters when you’re in the process. You know, for example, when they take camera crews or journalists to set, when I’m doing a movie, if it’s possible, I try not to do it. I try not to give interviews during that moment because I don’t really know what to say. I’m being it – you don’t have perspective, because you’re already this mixture; you’re mixed with your character, or at least, that’s my process.

I’m telling you this just to illustrate that boundary. You know, where does it begin, and where does it end? I get that from the interaction between Kristen and Juliette’s characters in the film. How much of themselves were they putting out there when they were rehearsing, you know? It’s fascinating, I think. Brilliant.

The Hunt (Jagten) (2013) 92%

Wow, this movie… I mean, come on. Mads Mikkelsen and Thomas Vinterberg. It’s a very strong film. It’s about the doubt that lingers there. How can you really recover from something like that? And how can you really blame other people for doubting you after something like that? Because the thing is that, the way Thomas Vinterberg presents it, it’s agonizing because you know the truth as the audience, but there’s no way for the character to fully prove that. It’s a movie that makes you really uncomfortable.

There's Something About Mary (1998) 83%

I love this film. It’s one of the most hilarious films I’ve ever seen. It’s fantastic, I love it. I love everything about the film. Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller are so moving in the film. Ben Stiller is so fantastic – how many things can go wrong? I mean, it’s hilarious.

You know, I was going to say, your choices are all pretty heavy films.

No, no, no, I’m not a sad guy. It’s just the moral conflicts, you know? I’m very moved by sadness, yes, but also by bright and amazing happiness and goofiness.

Hands of Stone opens this Friday, August 26.

Tag Cloud

reboot festivals Super Bowl finale comic First Look Disney Plus Starz Hallmark BBC America strong female leads crime thriller Dark Horse Comics Character Guide Brie Larson political drama National Geographic Kids & Family revenge The Walking Dead Cosplay spider-man Mudbound independent TCA YouTube Avengers TruTV Spectrum Originals TNT Pixar YouTube Premium vampires discovery Christmas Lionsgate crossover cars renewed TV shows YA Calendar cooking LGBTQ Creative Arts Emmys space CMT doctor who Crunchyroll Trailer Anna Paquin HBO Oscars ITV IFC Films YouTube Red ratings Film Festival Animation Baby Yoda TV Universal Chernobyl OneApp BET Hulu Nat Geo sequel slashers History Set visit crime drama golden globes joker The Purge E! Ovation name the review Photos Family ESPN Reality christmas movies Podcast Television Academy Countdown supernatural free movies NYCC San Diego Comic-Con Captain marvel Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Rocky Extras spinoff police drama Lucasfilm 2020 Western halloween The CW award winner Apple Awards Tour Peacock technology DC streaming service Esquire Certified Fresh versus south america Musical American Society of Cinematographers Logo sports Food Network historical drama Valentine's Day zero dark thirty MTV adventure A&E talk show Sundance Now miniseries Amazon boxoffice psycho 45 First Reviews Disney Fox News Marvel Studios cartoon SXSW Summer Apple TV Plus MCU Mary Tyler Moore DGA indie CNN Martial Arts children's TV cinemax Superheroe LGBT Teen WarnerMedia RT21 Lifetime Awards Vudu dramedy Spike Mary Poppins Returns Trivia President Lifetime Christmas movies spanish language New York Comic Con Syfy anime Walt Disney Pictures television Thanksgiving jamie lee curtis crime Schedule travel disaster cancelled Tomatazos Nickelodeon Acorn TV Turner Sony Pictures PBS Elton John USA SundanceTV FXX Ghostbusters Superheroes 2018 comics Trophy Talk Women's History Month Interview Sneak Peek breaking bad Holidays Sci-Fi Shondaland sitcom Watching Series DirecTV kids binge book Comedy Emmys adaptation directors movies transformers Marvel mutant CW Seed canceled TV shows Biopics what to watch animated 21st Century Fox romantic comedy series 24 frames HBO Max psychological thriller Cannes MSNBC Opinion APB harry potter Heroines Song of Ice and Fire Toys WGN 2015 documentary comiccon Amazon Prime Nominations theme song game show video Winter TV Video Games cats Horror FOX biography nature Grammys Pride Month screen actors guild Action period drama Hallmark Christmas movies TV Land Rocketman Year in Review Writers Guild of America witnail DC Universe toy story elevated horror Comics on TV Discovery Channel thriller TBS Premiere Dates spain canceled Endgame TLC justice league Cartoon Network VICE blaxploitation Star Trek Freeform dc Black Mirror Shudder Music SDCC Spring TV Netflix Apple TV+ sag awards Binge Guide TIFF cancelled TV shows Mary poppins E3 Arrowverse 2016 Paramount screenings unscripted Infographic medical drama Showtime Rom-Com TCA Winter 2020 CBS All Access Pet Sematary Marvel Television DC Comics game of thrones richard e. Grant war Mindy Kaling Disney Channel Polls and Games USA Network 007 OWN ABC Britbox ABC Family science fiction latino politics TCM NBC Adult Swim Marathons Winners A24 foreign Sundance Crackle Columbia Pictures GLAAD 71st Emmy Awards Best and Worst Red Carpet BBC Mystery dceu rotten movies we love Reality Competition TCA 2017 VH1 diversity Pop X-Men mockumentary TV renewals Epix streaming Classic Film Academy Awards Netflix Christmas movies Amazon Prime Video Tarantino cancelled TV series blockbuster cults Paramount Network cops Masterpiece serial killer Holiday hist FX 20th Century Fox composers aliens IFC batman spy thriller RT History Warner Bros. hispanic Country based on movie green book Ellie Kemper Bravo facebook Disney+ Disney Plus Star Wars romance GIFs The Arrangement Film AMC Quiz casting Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Emmy Nominations See It Skip It anthology Disney streaming service social media GoT Stephen King zombie Musicals ghosts The Witch singing competition 2019 Comic Book Comedy Central CBS Tubi cancelled television Fall TV Pirates true crime Turner Classic Movies robots zombies Sundance TV natural history Drama El Rey Box Office Election 2017 Rock PaleyFest Tumblr dragons docudrama Fantasy werewolf stand-up comedy quibi teaser tv talk