This Reunion Proves The Cast Of ‘Blood In Blood Out’ Are Still Tight 25 Years After
La Plaza Cultural de los Artes in Los Angeles hosted a screening of the 1993 classic “Blood In, Blood Out.” The movie stars Benjamin Bratt (Paco), Damian Chapa (Miklo) and Jesse Borrego (Cruz) as three cousins whose lives take very different paths after their gang, los Vatos Locos, get into a violent altercation. Here’s a summary in case your memory is a little fuzzy when it comes to the film:
Miklo goes to prison, Paco joins the military and eventually becomes a police officer, while Cruz, an artist, struggles with drug addiction.
The film not only had lots of standout characters…
… it also had lots of memorable quotes. Like this one:
And this one:
Um, this one is probably best explained by watching the movie.
Several cast members, including Jesse Borrego, as well as director Taylor Hackford, reunited at a screening in L.A. to meet fans, sign autographs and participate in a Q&A.
Here’s a list of the cast members from left to right: Ray Oriel (Spider), Carlos Carrasco (Popeye), Freddy Negrete (Tattoo Artist), Enrique Castillo (Montana), Victor Rivers (Magic Mike), Jenny Gago (Lupe), Raymond Cruz (Chuy), Jesse Borrego (Cruz), Valente Rodriguez (Frankie) and Geoffery Rivas (Carlos).
During the Q&A, the director and cast members recounted what it was like to work on the now-iconic film.
Panel discussion with the cast of Blood In Blood Out
Posted by LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes on Saturday, August 19, 2017
Hackford revealed that Benjamin Bratt originally wanted to audition for the role of Miklo, a character of mixed ethnicity, because Bratt related to the character (Bratt’s mother is Peruvian and his father is German). The director then explained that Damian Chapa made more sense in the role because Miklo needed to be someone who “hated his white skin.” Hackford later spoke about being a “gabacho” working on a Chicano movie, saying that he assembled a team that could help him tell an authentic story: “When you are not of [the culture], you trust the people around you.”
Jesse Borrego said he was excited to work on the film because his fellow actors were immersed in their roles: “From the first time we did the table read, you could see that everybody was bringing their ‘A’ game.”
Valente Rodriguez, who you may recognize as Ernie from “George Lopez,” said a joke about how Benjamin Bratt’s footwear helped score him the gig. When Bratt showed up on set wearing penny loafers, Rodriguez said something like “What’s your gang name, Penny?” Rodriguez joked: “I think that’s what got me the job.”
Raymond Cruz (“Training Day,” “Breaking Bad”) shared a brief anecdote: “I remember we were working and people used to walk up and would hand me and Valente weed. I said, ‘Hey, Val, why do people keep handing us weed?’ And he goes, ‘I don’t know but don’t say anything.'”
Carlos Carrasco (“Speed,” ‘Dro’s dad on “Insecure”) said he was grateful because he initially felt like an outsider. Carrasco, who is from Panama, said he felt like a phony during his first day on set, but he was accepted by his castmates and, eventually, the fans of the movie: “The embrace and inclusion that I experienced from this wonderful group of people, and later, from you, the community and the audience, has really changed my life.”
Adan Hernandez, the muralist who worked on paintings featured in the film, also participated in the Q&A.
He revealed that he created 30 original pieces for the film, including the above painting of Cruz. Actor Jesse Borrego said Hernandez’s work was so powerful, that to this day, people ask him, “Hey, do you still paint?”
Benjamin Bratt, Damian Chapa and Danny Trejo were unable to make it to the event due to their work schedules, but Trejo took time out to send a brief message to the attendees.
“I wanna give a shoutout to all the people that are there. Sorry I couldn’t make it. La Onda don’t shine shoes, remember that!”
Nearly 25 years after its release, “Blood In Blood Out” remains a cult classic. They weren’t kidding when they said “Vatos Locos Forever!”
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