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Joy alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro, and in last year’s Point Break remake, he tackled the role originally made famous by Patrick Swayze.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

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