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Joy alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro, and in last year’s Point Break remake, he tackled the role originally made famous by Patrick Swayze.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) 91%

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) 93%

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

slashers binge anime Best and Worst biography psycho WarnerMedia renewed TV shows Columbia Pictures Fox News Video Games spider-man New York Comic Con werewolf Hallmark Christmas movies anthology Elton John science fiction Britbox Holidays trailers worst movies Music Winners elevated horror cartoon MTV Mary Poppins Returns women Classic Film romance Logo Spectrum Originals crossover australia documentaries Writers Guild of America YouTube Red Lucasfilm prank 21st Century Fox Interview TCM Crackle Disney streaming service ratings Nat Geo Avengers Funimation police drama south america First Reviews natural history NYCC 007 thriller toy story christmas movies popular ABC Family Adult Swim jamie lee curtis Hallmark TCA 2017 space The Witch ID streaming movies black BET Freeform Disney hist Ellie Kemper OWN new star wars movies adenture WGN Superheroe Election ABC FX TNT basketball football series USA Travel Channel comics MCU dark fresh Black Mirror canceled Awards Tour Lifetime scary movies Watching Series Star Wars NBA spanish BBC FX on Hulu cancelled television See It Skip It Musical The CW video sitcom transformers TLC 45 Tubi political drama Hulu Tarantino stop motion politics award winner Opinion NBC Wes Anderson kids reboot The Walt Disney Company talk show Anna Paquin APB Apple TV Plus Mary poppins TCA Film Festival Song of Ice and Fire BET Awards Biopics TV movies GLAAD Mindy Kaling hispanic Lifetime Christmas movies HBO Go superman Starz harry potter historical drama rt archives best cancelled TV shows Paramount Plus Hear Us Out festivals Podcast ViacomCBS dogs japan 1990s concert Premiere Dates CMT TIFF chucky Character Guide indie CW Seed foreign Kids & Family adaptation Netflix Sneak Peek Cartoon Network critics Marvel hollywood HBO Mary Tyler Moore El Rey scene in color Sundance TV TV One Disney+ Disney Plus TCA Winter 2020 CBS All Access BBC One cooking Spring TV Nominations period drama high school AMC marvel cinematic universe sag awards Drama stoner Image Comics mockumentary mission: impossible theme song dceu versus X-Men Sundance Now ghosts 2020 Emmys children's TV DGA Family San Diego Comic-Con 90s Masterpiece twilight disaster Shondaland CBS comic crime Shudder YouTube Premium DirecTV Comedy teaser television Red Carpet boxing Rom-Com Legendary book adaptation jurassic park aliens game of thrones comiccon HBO Max deadpool golden globe awards blockbusters Superheroes true crime Martial Arts Photos docuseries Reality olympics Paramount RT History The Academy serial killer President Horror Reality Competition target telelvision Western rotten movies we love joker Disney Channel 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards kong satire technology child's play Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Comic Book obituary dramedy Quiz 93rd Oscars Broadway casting Disney Plus indiana jones Set visit asian-american wonder woman what to watch MSNBC cancelled TV series DC streaming service boxoffice 2016 SundanceTV The Walking Dead monster movies 20th Century Fox Peacock Warner Bros. international Emmy Nominations crime thriller dc Box Office king arthur live action halloween tv justice league Netflix Christmas movies Country scorecard Calendar Oscars kaiju sequel reviews free movies legend Bravo crime drama Cosplay news singing competition Creative Arts Emmys SXSW Animation golden globes movie LGBT rotten IFC Films emmy awards Marathons Awards Pirates Chernobyl Dark Horse Comics aapi Star Trek Mudbound Acorn TV 2018 71st Emmy Awards Polls and Games Discovery Channel The Purge heist movie diversity Syfy Mystery Teen LGBTQ universal monsters Toys FOX DC Universe Universal sports TBS VOD National Geographic new zealand Amazon Ovation cats Summer facebook Spike comic books fast and furious GoT directors animated revenge Christmas Brie Larson E3 canceled TV shows GIFs BAFTA war TV renewals E! Fox Searchlight ITV dragons PaleyFest Super Bowl unscripted documentary witnail Pride Month Trailer venice hidden camera festival french die hard SDCC TV Land Rocketman strong female leads USA Network Rocky Marvel Studios razzies laika Certified Fresh remakes travel japanese nfl doctor who Year in Review Tomatazos Pop TV Holiday Stephen King Comic-Con@Home 2021 The Arrangement VH1 video on demand nbcuniversal batman Infographic spy thriller Winter TV YouTube screenings DC Comics independent ABC Signature OneApp Tumblr blockbuster a nightmare on elm street sequels Turner docudrama Heroines all-time Turner Classic Movies know your critic ESPN Television Academy miniseries A&E saw Film new york PlayStation 2021 Musicals Sundance richard e. Grant Arrowverse Baby Yoda superhero Thanksgiving Action Sony Pictures Endgame TV Apple TV+ Marvel Television cars First Look Tokyo Olympics rom-coms Captain marvel Women's History Month History cops adventure 2015 Amazon Prime Video Black History Month Binge Guide classics Fall TV Vudu Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Ghostbusters Rock Countdown movies Trivia pirates of the caribbean latino lord of the rings films psychological thriller king kong Pet Sematary parents Crunchyroll 4/20 worst Extras Food Network cinemax IFC Alien Pacific Islander suspense Comics on TV criterion Amazon Studios TruTV spanish language supernatural zombie screen actors guild 2019 American Society of Cinematographers vampires spinoff 99% Television Critics Association RT21 italian breaking bad streaming blaxploitation cancelled Showtime cults toronto Paramount Network Comedy Central BBC America comedies godzilla YA 2017 based on movie franchise Trophy Talk PBS robots Esquire Lionsgate discovery Nickelodeon zombies social media medical drama finale Grammys FXX TCA Awards CNN zero dark thirty Exclusive Video archives game show stand-up comedy tv talk composers green book book nature quibi Epix mutant Academy Awards Pixar halloween 24 frames name the review Amazon Prime Apple romantic comedy Valentine's Day VICE Cannes A24 72 Emmy Awards Sci-Fi Fantasy Schedule james bond spain Walt Disney Pictures Pop