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How much of the Camino have you walked? Have you ever considered making the journey?
The producer, myself and my son spent two months on the Camino prior to shooting, and when we filmed it, we shot in sequence. We reckon we walked about half of it – about 400 kilometers – as a group. I have considered making the journey – it’s something I would love to do sooner rather than later. Maybe it’s something I can talk my son into.
The film is dedicated to the memory of your grandfather, Francisco Estevez. Tell us about that.
My grandfather is from the north of Spain. He left Spain when he was a boy and sailed for Cuba. There was a quota on how many Spaniards could come into the states because at that time we were at war with Spain. So he came to the states as a Cubano. I wanted to dedicate the film to him. He and my son were the reason we were all there. It’s a movie inspired by a son and dedicated to a grandfather. We just wanted to honor our roots. I owe a debt of gratitude to Francisco, and I wanted to go on record.
The final destination in the movie winds up being a place in nature rather than a church, which is the final destination along the trail. Tell me about that.
I think that we find peace in nature and we find it in our faith and our community and our family. The film is structured to celebrate that. It’s structured to celebrate what Hollywood in many ways has stopped making films about. For me, it was important to go from this manmade holy place to an environmental place – a place that’s natural but no less dramatic or impactful on the lives of these individuals.
The message in the film seems to be one of accepting yourself. Do you agree?
It’s about being okay in your own skin. We’re in this culture where we are told to take this pill to be happy and this pill to sleep. We’re told to go on this diet and lose weight and whiten your teeth and people will love you more. What about this idea that you are a wonderfully gorgeous, imperfect being? How about being okay with that?
Finally, I have to ask you about your legendary Brat Pack status. When you look back on those films, what are your thoughts? Do you have fond memories of those days?
Sure, they were great years. We worked a lot, and we were blessed to have the jobs. What’s interesting is that when people ask about the films, they ask if I had any idea they would be so popular. The short answer is: no. When you’re a young, struggling actor, you’re just happy to get the job. The week I auditioned for The Breakfast Club, I auditioned for a Burger King commercials and the TV show CHiPs. I got a call back for The Breakfast Club, and I got the job, but at the time, it was just a job. I didn’t think of it in any other terms. The fact that these films have transcended generations and are still around, I think that’s a great thing. To have a couple of movies on your resume that people continue to talk about is not something every actor has the luxury of.
Do you cringe when you hear the term ‘Brat Pack?’
Of course. It was coined by this journalist, and that’s what he’s known for. I got another 40 years of movies in me.