Friday 21st February 2014
In Machete Kills, Danny Trejo returns as ex-Federale agent Machete, who is recruited by the President of the United States for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man - he must take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet.
Director Robert Rodriguez and actor Danny Trejo willed Machete, the knife-wielding hero of Machete and Machete Kills, into existence. Machete's origins predate his brief cinematic debut in a fake trailer Rodriguez wrote and directed for Grindhouse, Rodriguez's 2007 double feature collaboration with Quentin Tarantino. "I actually came up with the character when I made Desperado and I told Danny Trejo about it on set", Rodriguez remembers. "I said, 'Someday you're going to play Machete'. For years, we kicked it around. In the movie Spy Kids, we paid tribute to this movie that we thought we would never get off the ground".
Rodriguez had an opportunity to test Machete out when he and Tarantino discussed ideas for manufactured film trailers for Grindhouse. At that point, Rodriguez had built an entire history for the character that had taken residence in the back of his mind. "When we were looking to do fake trailers, Quentin and I immediately thought, 'We've got to make Machete.' I had a story built up over the years and I jammed it into this trailer. It was the first 'Mex-ploitation' movie, like a genre picture from the '70s or '80s, but done with a Latin character".
The eye-popping fake trailer begat a real movie in 2010 with Rodriguez's Machete. But the impetus for Machete Kills began even before Machete hit theaters. When Rodriguez was putting the finishing touches on Machete, he thought the film should go out with a bang. Rodriguez explains: "Machete drove off with Jessica Alba and it's a nice ending, but it needed something else. It needed something visceral. So, while I was mixing, I decided to put some titles up for two fake sequels, just to get the audience thinking we have two sequels coming. It said, 'Machete' will return in Machete Kills and Machete Kills Again".
Rodriguez left audiences wanting more and the titles at the end of Machete went from being a creative whim to an eagerly anticipated promise. When Rodriguez saw the reaction to Machete, he realized that he should give the fans what they wanted. "I was really happy with how the first movie came out. It's probably the best reaction I had seen from an audience for one of my movies. Not just in the States: we took it to the Venice Film Festival and it got a bonkers reaction".
Trejo also relished in the success of Machete and hoped he could don his sword-lined leather jacket again. "Danny Trejo called me all the time saying, 'When are we going to make another one?'" Rodriguez says. "Anywhere he goes, people stop him and they don't call him 'Danny' anymore, they call him 'Machete.' Even his own mother called him Machete after that".
After much consideration, Rodriguez made the decision to direct Machete Kills. In fact, Machete Kills can be seen as two sequels wrapped together. Rodriguez explains: "We had no plans of making two more, but the first movie built up an audience and built up anticipation for another movie. We decided to go ahead and make Machete Kills to give people the second and a taste of the third one all in one".
Nevertheless, Rodriguez was reticent to make a sequel to Machete unless it offered something completely new to the series. He expanded upon the legend of Machete in an organic, but bold manner. "I decided to go really big and adventurous with it", Rodriguez explains. "The first movie was almost like our First Blood and this needed to be Rambo: First Blood Part 2. This needed to be Machete hired by the U.S. government to go on a mission that they couldn't solve. I wanted it to feel like we went much bigger with the second one".
After working up a 40 page scriptment with his brother and long time collaborator, Marcel, Rodriguez turned to writer Kyle Ward to flesh out a screenplay for Machete Kills. "I remember the first time we sat down, he had all these ideas", Ward recalls "He's a creative juggernaut, so the fun thing is that you can riff on that. It's fun to see it evolve".
Rodriguez threw one major challenge Ward's way: "Robert always had a vision of how he was going to do Machete Kills. He announced in San Diego that he wanted to take it to outer space. And when he first told me that, I was like, 'Aye, what am I going to do with that?'"
Indeed, Ward and Rodriguez found a way to send Machete into the stratosphere. Ward notes that the irreverent, playful tone of the film lends itself to such flourishes. "I want people to go to the theater and have a good time and laugh and say, 'Hey I've never seen anything like that before.' I think that was the goal of Machete Kills and hopefully we've accomplished that goal".
"What I think Machete has is this real sense of play and adventure and inventiveness and creativity and expecting the unexpected and going as far as you possibly can to push all the boundaries. Start there and then push further", Rodriguez says.
The impressive cast for Machete Kills includes returning cast members Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Elise and Electra Avellan and Tom Savini, as well as a diverse, impressive new ensemble: Mel Gibson, Demian Bichir, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Walt Goggins, Antonio Banderas, Charlie Sheen, William Sadler, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens and Lady Gaga.
Danny Trejo has over two hundred credits under his belt, but he is perhaps best known for Machete. Despite the distinctive look and cold demeanor, Trejo believes that Machete's allure lies in his relatability. "The one thing that I really loved about the character Machete was that he was a regular guy. He was just a cop", Trejo says of his affinity for Machete. "He was a Federale -- a federal agent in Mexico -- and he was nothing special, other than that he was a guy who had to right wrongs. He's just a regular guy that can kick ass. He uses his head".
Mel Gibson, who portrays Machete Kills ruthless bad guy, Voz, was a fan of the original Machete. "I was laughing because it was just so gratuitous in every aspect", Gibson recalls. "At the same time you kind of got into it on another level". Rodriguez found a game participant in Gibson, who embraced the opportunity to play an over-the-top enemy. "He's the ultimate Bond style villain. He's got a plan, but he also has some quirks that we manage to find along the way".
Charlie Sheen, credited in Machete as Carlos Estevez, plays the President of the United States. Sheen notes that his first collaboration with Rodriguez is long overdue: "Robert and I have been trying to work together for a long time, ever since From Dusk 'Til Dawn", Sheen says. Their long-conflicting schedules finally made room for Sheen to make a brief trip to the Austin, Texas set. "Robert said, 'I want you to play the President. I'm like, 'Far out. Let's do this". Sheen was fond of Machete from its earliest screen incarnation. "I'm a Grindhouse fan", Sheen says of the Tarantino-Rodriguez collaboration. "There's just something about it. From the opening trailer, I thought it was a masterpiece".
Oscar-nominee Demian Bichir plays Mendez, a ticking time-bomb with a split personality. "He's an avenger and he's clever and tough. Tragic things happen in his life that change everything and turn him into this crazy character with many different personalities", Bichir says. "As an actor, you are looking for characters that can go in so many different directions in the same film", Bichir adds, noting that perhaps he should be careful what he wishes for. "I joke with Robert about me going to therapy after this. I think I will spend a lot of money on that, maybe".
Sofia Vergara, who plays Madame Desdemona, was intrigued by the opportunity to take on one of Rodriguez's female characters. "His characters for women are always so strong and a lot of fun. I wanted to be one of those characters. When he approached me, he told me that if I wanted to do very crazy, I was able to do very crazy. I've been wanting to do a character like that for a long time", Vergara comments.
Vergara is quick to note that this character bears no resemblance to her sunny role as Gloria on the hit series "Modern Family". "The character is fantastic for me because it's something very different from what I've been doing. She's very crazy and not very stable. And she's an assassin. It's all fun to be in a movie where you get to do action and shoot guns and shoot people with your metal bra", Vergara says.
Vanessa Hudgens plays Vergara's daughter, Cereza, which means "Cherry" in Spanish. Machete Kills is the latest in of an increasingly diverse body of work for the actress, who recently segued from "High School Musical" to her very grown-up turn in Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers.
Jessica Alba, who worked with Rodriguez on Sin City and Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, reprises her role as Sartana in Machete Kills. "I haven't played a character this rebellious since Sin City. Being in a hardcore Robert Rodriguez movie gives you a certain kind of street cred, the same way being a part of Spy Kids comes with kid cred", Alba says. There was an added impetus for Alba, too: "There's nothing better than seeing Danny Trejo as a superhero".
Perhaps the most unusual role in Machete Kills is El Camaleon, played by Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lady Gaga and Walt Goggins. Banderas was happy to travel to Austin to team up with Rodriguez again: "I've done six movies with him: two Desperados, three Spy Kids and Four Rooms. We grew up together in Hollywood. We started with Desperado, which took us on a path of almost eleven years working together", Banderas says.
Banderas jumped at the chance to share a role with three other actors. Banderas comments: "I'm trying to think if I have seen anything like that before. No, we have seen costumes and disguises, but never a character played by four different actors".
Cuba Gooding Jr. had one big reason to join Banderas, namely winning the admiration of his sons. "I'll be cool with my sons for all of two days: the day before they see the movie, the day after they see the movie. Then they'll move on", Gooding jokes.
Gooding also had an additional challenge when preparing for the role: "Am I fluent in Spanish? No, but embarrassingly so, because my name is Cuba. Everybody says, 'Hey, Cuba, como estas?' I'm like, 'Slow down, brother.'"
Lady Gaga took time out from a packed schedule to play El Camaleon's one female incarnation-La Camaleon. "I was a fan of Machete when it came out. It was the first time in a while that I had gone to the movie theater", Gaga remembers. "I went out and I bought some tequila and put on my leather jacket and I watched the film and I laughed the whole time. I am a really big fan and all of the stars aligned and I'm really happy to be here".
Gaga found that her screen debut wasn't too different from her experiences on the stage. "In a way, the preparation was exactly the same as what I do for my stage shows, except I have lines and there's a character that's a little bit different from myself. But I applied what I do in my own work to my work with Robert".
The fashion icon also had some thoughts about how her version of La Camaleon should look. "When I first spoke to Robert about the part, La Camaleon, I told him that I had some very specific ideas about her outfit. I told him about her wolf coat and I spoke to him about having a machete tattoo and tangerine hair. He really liked my ideas and I love his ideas, so together we created this little moment in the film and it's very nice", Gaga says.
Walt Goggins rounds out the impressive roster of actors who make up El Camaleon. Goggins and Rodriguez had collaborated previously on Predators, which was produced by Rodriguez. "I was in New Orleans and Robert reached out to me", Goggins recalls. "We started talking about it and he told me how he wanted four people to play the same person. I thought he was nuts. But then he explained to me what he wanted to do. I'd never seen it done quite like that. I was kind of blown away by the concept".
Amber Heard read the first few pages of the script for Machete Kills while sitting in a casting office in Los Angeles. The script's space-themed opening scene threw her for a loop. "I remember I was on page two of the script and I looked at it and went back to page one and thought, 'Am I reading Machete Kills?' I guess, for me, that's what I needed to think. That sets the tone for the rest of the script. It was a '70s space mission movie in the first two pages, but it's a good set-up for the rest of the hundred pages that follow", Heard comments.
As she read further, Heard was introduced to her character, Miss San Antonio. "When I find a good character, one that I feel like I haven't seen before, it's special to me. It's rare", Heard says. "And Miss San Antonio is just that. She's certainly unlike most characters I see. She is Miss San Antonio, but she's not your average pageant girl, that's for sure".
"She's smart, she's powerful, she's in control, she's a badass in heels and I like that". Heard continues. "She's the real match for Machete. You get the feeling that she's going to put up the fight that Machete ultimately deserves".
Michelle Rodriguez has a similar affinity for Luz, who returns from Machete. Michelle Rodriguez appreciates not only Luz, but all of the female characters in the film. "I think that it's cool that you can have a girl who is incredible sexy and meant to be eye candy for the guys, but her attitude has changed. It's more about, 'This is what I want and I'm going to get it no matter what.' And you see that in Machete Kills. I think the women are going to have a good laugh with this one", Michelle Rodriguez says.
In Machete Kills, Luz has graduated from her trademark taco truck to a more advanced operation. "Luz basically evolved to a place where she's not running a more sophisticated network because there are more people involved", Michelle Rodriguez says. "There's computer data coming in, there's registry, there's a tracking system, there are guys with guns outside of a warehouse protecting the place so she doesn't get her other eye shot out".
Alexa Vega, who Rodriguez fans might recognize from the Spy Kids series, makes a very grown-up turn as Killjoy. "Killjoy's such a badass, out-there character. I've never played anything like her. I was pretty quick to jump on when Robert mentioned it", Vega says.
Vega, who has known Rodriguez since she was eleven, has a theory about the female characters in his films. Vega explains: "The women in Robert's life have all been strong women. When his sisters come into a room, they command the room. I think because he grew up with these women in his life, he's able to really put that on the screen, especially when you have somebody like Salma Hayek".
"It's always been that way and it's never anything planned", Rodriguez comments. "I grew up with five sisters. When you understand a woman's strength, that comes across in a movie. I go for that feeling of just seeing their true, strong selves coming through and letting that be a highlight of the movie. Michelle Rodriguez and Amber Heard were going at it and they were just so amazing and so fun. You can make a whole movie just about them".
Tom Savini and William Sadler round out the cast. Rodriguez and William Sadler had worked together on Rodriguez's 1994 film Roadracers. Sadler comments on his character, Sheriff Doakes: "He's got a real bias against Latinos, which he doesn't hide. It just falls right out of his face and it's scary how it rolls off the tongue. Doakes is crooked to the core".
Despite the all-star talent, Machete Kills was shot on a limited budget and at a breakneck pace. "The choice was to shoot like we're twenty years old or don't make the movie", Rodriguez says. "We shot fast and furious. What's great about that is that you fly so free at that moment. You get out of the way because you have to just let it flow and go with the moment and go with what's happening. Everybody just had a blast because of that. I think it was the most fun I've had making a movie".
Part of Rodriguez's technique involved shooting the cast when they rehearsed: "We shoot the rehearsal because you never want to feel like we're actually doing it. We don't want to make it that official. I think that helps", Rodriguez says.
Michelle Rodriguez notes that there is something relaxed and playful about filming at Troublemaker, Rodriguez's Austin studio. "It's free. I like to be free. I like to not have to worry about what I say, or worry about how I'm acting, or worry how people are going to receive me as a person, which is something that you encounter a lot in Hollywood. When you come down to Austin, you're working at Troublemaker, you don't have to worry about that. No bleeps necessary".
The structure of the screenplay, coupled with actor availability, often made each twelve-hour workday feel like its own complete film shoot. Rodriguez explains: "Lady Gaga showed up and we're picking her costumes and I'm giving her new lines. She comes in and she nails them and goes from one part to the next and I'm adding more stuff for her to do and she leaves with a finished poster of her character at the end of that day. And it feels very surreal".
Although unusual, the tight, staggered production schedule allowed for Rodriguez to focus on each character's journey in Machete Kills. "You really concentrate on one actor at a time. When Amber showed up the first week, it was 'Amber Heard Week.' And then Michelle Rodriguez overlapped with her and that led into Sofia Vergara for two days of 'Sofia World.' Cuba Gooding Jr. is there for a day, Antonio is there for a day, Lady Gaga is there for one day, Charlie Sheen is there for one day. You get to concentrate on each person and make the arc of their character work within those days", Rodriguez explains.
Part of Michelle Rodriguez and Amber Heard's overlapping schedules involved one of the film's biggest fight sequences. "One of my favourite scenes is the fight with Michelle Rodriguez because it is in many ways a dance. You have to learn a choreography, you have to learn your steps", Heard says.
In addition to fight choreography, Heard had to learn how to handle a weapon. "They're not your everyday shooting range, let's-go-shoot-skeet-with-your-dad type of weapons", Heard notes. "It's not easy, especially with nails and the whole gig. But I didn't do this job so it would be easy, that's for sure".
Rodriguez's familiarity with Trejo allowed him to focus on the rest of the ensemble without worrying about slighting the production. "It's hard to remember a time I didn't work with Danny Trejo", Rodriguez explains. "I had so many other actors to deal with that I just kept thinking, 'We'll just save Danny. I'll shoot him at the end of the day.' Danny would get very little time. And there was something magic about that because he didn't even need any time. I could turn to him and I would get it in one take".
One of Trejo's most memorable moments involved facing off with the one and only Mel Gibson: "I threw down my sword and Robert said, 'Why are you throwing down your sword, Danny?' I said, "I'm not fighting William Wallace. What, are you kidding? He saved Scotland.' We have this unbelievable sword fight. I loved working with Mel. He was amazing".
The appreciation is mutual. Gibson was glad to learn that Trejo is nothing like Machete. "He's just your ordinary guy, but on screen he comes across like this really mean, tough guy. But he's a pussycat", Gibson says of Trejo.
Goggins agrees that to see Danny Trejo is very different than to know him. "I think he really is Machete. He scared the shit out of me the first time I saw him. And then he started talking and I was like, 'You're a softie, man. You're just a sweetheart is what you are.'"
Sadler notes that Trejo's talent shines in Machete's silences. "Machete doesn't talk a lot, but he stood there with this noose around his neck and he gave it all back. I have a four-page monologue with him and he has nothing to say in return. But he was there. He was feeding me back plenty, as if there was another person in the conversation with me, even though he had nothing to say", Sadler says.
Similarly, Vega loved watching Vergara take her take-no-prisoners character to the next level: "Working with her on this set, she plays a mad woman. She has a twisted mind in this film and I think it's great to see her portrayed that way in such a different light is. It's outrageous and she's owning it", Vega comments.
Machete costume designer Nina Procter returns for Machete Kills -- and she brought a machine gun bra with her. "When you put that outfit on, you really start feeling the essence of the character. That happens to me personally", Vergara says. "It's amazing. This bra that my character has to wear -- when I put it on, I feel like I can do anything, or kill anyone and be crazy with it".
Despite the production's playful, relaxed demeanour, Rodriguez always strived to bring the most out of his actors: "Robert is still very soft spoken. Between takes he'll come up to you and tell you what he wants. He doesn't yell it in front of everybody. And he really wants to get it exactly the way he wants it", Tom Savini says.
"[Robert] really is an artist", Heard agrees. "I looked at him once when he was filming a take and he was just strumming a guitar and I thought it kind of summed up Robert Rodriguez. He's a creative person. He's just in it to create and he does exactly what he wants to do and that's unusual".
"What you get with Robert is this child-like enthusiasm for film making and it's infectious. You know you're taken along on this ride with him and he's bold and he's not afraid to not have all the answers", Goggins adds.
When the cast wasn't shooting at Troublemaker, they ventured out into the city of Austin. Sadler shot The Hot Spot with Don Johnson and Virginia Madsen in Austin in 1990, but had not worked there in the years since. "I remember my fondest memories of Austin back then were of walking down the street. There was music coming out of every doorway", Sadler recalls. "There's a band on the first floor and there's a band on the second floor and there's a band in the alley playing and it was just like the place was percolating music. It oozed music and it still does".
For Rodriguez, Machete Kills offered a chance to be as creative and inventive as humanly possible. "The whole series is completely wacky. There are no rules. There's something really exciting about that", Rodriguez says. "I think that's why it attracts a lot of actors: anything goes. There's nothing that an actor, or performer, or creator, or a filmmaker likes more than creative freedom. If you have a project where the job is to be completely free creatively, well that's no job at all. That's easy. That's fun. That's play".
Danny Trejo (Machete) has developed a prolific career in the entertainment industry, yet his road to success has been hard earned and anything but typical. From imprisonment to helping young people battle drug addiction, acting to producing, the name, face and achievements of Danny Trejo are well recognized in Hollywood.
Danny Trejo grew up on the streets of Los Angeles. Despite spending the latter part of his youth and early adulthood incarcerated, he has risen to become a great actor and a better person. Upon his release from Soledad Prison, Danny became involved in programs aimed at helping those who, like him, battled or are battling drug and alcohol addictions.
Years later, Danny went to the set of Runaway Train to offer support to a man he'd been counselling. He was immediately offered a role as a convict. Danny has since gone on to star in dozens of films including: Desperado, the From Dusk'Til Dawn film series, Heat (Robert De Niro, Al Pacino), Con Air (Nicolas Cage), Once Upon A Time In Mexico (Johnny Depp) and the series of Spy Kids movies. Trejo can also be seen in the independent films Sherry Baby (Maggie Gyllenhaal), A Very Harold & Kumarr: Christmas In 3D (John Cho, Kal Penn, Neil Patrick Harris) and Rob Zombie films The Devil's Rejects and Halloween. He was seen in Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's Grind House which led to a spin-off movie from the original trailers called Machete, in which Danny plays the anti-hero of the story, an ex-federale with a gift for wielding a blade who hides out as a day-labourer and is double-crossed by a corrupt state senator.
Danny reprised his role in Machete Kills, the second in the Machete trilogy that will be released in October 11, 2013 with Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen and Amber Heard. In addition, he has finished shooting Dead In Tombstone alongside Anthony Michael Hall and Mickey Rourke with Universal Pictures which is scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2013.
Danny plays Guerrero Hernandez, who, faced with death after being double-crossed by his half-brother, makes a deal with the devil to come back from the dead to seek his revenge. A number of Danny's films were recently released on DVD, including Bad Ass, in which he stars as a Vietnam War veteran who sets out to find the murderer of his best friend. Death Race: Inferno; the third installment in the Death Race where Danny reprises Goldberg from Death Race 2. Most recently, Trejo starred in Bullet with Jonathan Banks, the story of a cop who takes the law into his own hands when his grandson is kidnapped. He recently wrapped Disney's Muppets. Again with Tina Fey and Ray Liotta set to be released in 2014. In addition, Danny reprised his role of Frank Vega in the recently wrapped film Bad Ass 2, in which he stars alongside Danny Glover.
Danny has appeared in numerous television shows. Danny has had a recurring role on the FX show Sons of Anarchy, which he has been a part of for two seasons. He also had a recurring role on the series King of the Hill. Trejo played a part in the Warner Bros. animated series Young Justice, which aired on Cartoon Network, voicing the character of Bane, Batman's Nemesis. Trejo's other credits include roles on shows such as Cartoon Network's The Annoying Orange, Fox's Bones, Modern Family, Breaking Bad, starring Bryan Cranston and TNT's Franklin and Bash, starring Breckin Meyer. Danny has recently signed on as a series regular on the FX show Saint George which focuses on a divorced George Lopez and his attempt at balancing his new found success as a businessman and his hectic family life. In his first series regular role, Danny plays the character Tio, George's uncle, a competitive but loveable man who always lives life to the fullest.
In addition to acting, Danny works as a producer and formed his production company "Starburst" where his first endeavours into producing were the award winning short An Eye For Talent followed by The Animal Factory, directed by Steve Buscemi. Danny went on to create "Trejo 4.0 Productions" which produced the film High Hopes and was acquired by Maple Pictures/Lionsgate Canada. The company is currently developing Little Boy Blue based on Edward Bunker's novel.
Despite his impressive list of credits, it's his continual role as a devoted father of three and as an intervention counsellor that bring him the most satisfaction.
Michelle Rodriguez (Luz / Shé) is a versatile actress known for her ability to combine physicality with natural beauty and sex appeal. She was recently named one of the hottest Latina Actresses in Hollywood by the Huffington Post.
Rodriguez was most recently seen reprising her roll of Letty in the latest installment of the Fast & Furious franchise, Fast & Furious 6. Starring opposite Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Paul Walker, the Universal Pictures film opened to $120 million, the fourth-highest debut in history for a Memorial Day weekend movie and to date has amassed over $785 million dollars worldwide in box office grosses.
This summer Rodriguez co-starred alongside Ryan Reynolds, Michael Peña and Paul Giamatti in David Soren's animated feature for Dreamworks. Turbo, a high velocity 3D comedy, tells the story about an underdog snail who kicks into overdrive when he miraculously attains the power of super-speed.
Also upcoming, Rodriguez will reprise her role as Shé in Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills, the sequel to the 2010 action feature Machete. Open Road Films is set to release on October 11, 2013. Additional credits include James Cameron's Academy Award® nominated film Avatar, Emmy® and Golden Globe® winning series Lost, as well as Battle: Los Angeles, Blue Crush and S.W.A.T.
Rodriguez worked as an extra for two years before landing her breakout role in Karyn Kusama's Girlfight. Her portrayal of Diana Guzman garnered her awards such as an Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance, as well as an NBR award for Breakthrough Performance. An avid video game fan, Rodriguez has also lent her voice to various popular games including Call of Duty: Black Ops II, True Crime: Streets of LA, Driver3 and Halo 2.
Sofia Vergara (Madame Desdemona) is one of the funniest and sexiest stars today and the only Hispanic actress who started her career in a U.S. Hispanic Network and successfully crossed over to the general market. The Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG nominated actress can currently be seen as 'Gloria Pritchett-Delgado' in the #1 comedy in America, Modern Family.
This year, Vergara is taking on the role of executive producer this year for the upcoming ABC television show Killer Women, which follows Molly Parker, the only female Texas Ranger. This summer, Vergara filmed two other star-studded movies slated for release in 2014, Heat with Jason Statham and Stanley Tucci and Chef with Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr.
Additionally, Vergara is slated to produce and star in the upcoming buddy comedy Don't Mess With Texas opposite Reese Witherspoon for Universal Pictures. The film will begin production in 2014.
On the big screen Vergara got her break on Disney's comedy Big Trouble and since then has starred in films such as Smurfs, The Three Stooges, New Year's Eve, The 24th Day, Four Brothers, Lords of Dogtown and Tyler Perry's box office sensations Meet The Browns and Madea Goes To Jail. Vergara recently lent her voice to the Weinstein animated film Escape From Planet Earth and Happy Feet 2. Her past appearances on prime-time TV include Dirty Sexy Money, Entourage, Hot Properties and The Knights of Prosperity, among many others.
In the Hispanic market some of her past TV credits include Fuera de Serie and A Que No Te Atreves as well as her special guest appearance on 2008's highest rated Spanish language soap opera Fuego en la Sangre on Univision (#1 U.S. Hispanic network). Additionally she executive produced the Spanish version of Desperate Housewives. The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard have also named her one of the most talented and powerful women in Hispanic entertainment.
When she's not acting, Vergara can be found designing her line for Kmart. The line, 'Sofia by Sofia Vergara' includes women's clothing, accessories, shapewear, swimwear, jewellery, luggage and home goods and is available exclusively for Kmart. Vergara is also the face of CoverGirl and Diet Pepsi. This will be her third year working with both brands. This fall Vergara will launch the Sofia Vergara Collection in furniture retailer Rooms To Go. The collection will initially be comprised of living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms and accessories.
In 2001, Vergara created "Peace and Hope for the Children of Colombia", a charity foundation that has helped thousands of children in her country and has donated a paediatric cancer pavilion in her native Barranquilla. She currently dedicates her time giving back to this charity in her home of Colombia.
Amber Heard (Miss San Antonio) is as stunning as she is talented and is making waves with her captivating performances on the big screen.
Heard will next star in Robert Luketic's Paranoia opposite Harrison Ford, Liam Hemsworth and Gary Oldman. The film will be released by Relativity Media on August 16th. She also will star in McG's Three Days to Kill opposite Kevin Costner and Hailee Steinfeld, which will be released on February 14, 2014.
Additionally, her film All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, which premiered at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival, will be released by The Weinstein Company in theatres this fall. She will soon begin production on Eran Creevy's Autobahn opposite Zac Efron.
She was last seen starring in Bruce Robinson's The Rum Diary opposite Johnny Depp and John Carpenter's The Ward, which premiered at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival. She also starred in the independent film, And Soon The Darkness, in which she additionally served as a co-producer.
In 2009, Heard starred in the box office hit, Zombieland opposite Woody Harrelson, Bill Murray and Jesse Eisenberg. She also starred in the suspense thriller, The Stepfather, with Sela Ward, Dylan Walsh and Penn Badgley. In 2008 she garnered attention for her role in the comedic hit, Pineapple Express with Seth Rogen and James Franco. Heard received a 2008 Young Hollywood Award for her breakthrough performance in the film.
She was also seen in the Academy Award-nominated film North Country, in which she played Charlize Theron's character in flashbacks. Her other film credits include: Syrup, Drive Angry 3D, The Joneses, Never Back Down, Alpha Dog and Friday Night Lights. On television, Heard starred on The CW drama Hidden Palms and had guest starring roles on Showtime's Californication and CBS's Criminal Minds.
Antonio Banderas (El Camaleon) is irrefutably one of the leading international actors of his generation, since his introduction to American cinema in the highly acclaimed Mambo Kings. He has received critical praise for his performances in film, television and theatre, as well as behind the scenes as a feature film director. In 2005, he was honoured with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
His second directorial feature is the Spanish film El Camino De Los Ingleses (titled Summer Rain in the U.S.). A coming of age story, the film follows the first loves, lusts and obsessions of friends on vacation at the end of the 1970s. He made his directorial debut with Crazy in Alabama starring his wife Melanie Griffith.
Banderas stole the show in the 2004 blockbuster animated film Shrek 2 as the voice of "Puss in Boots". He reprised this role in the widely anticipated sequel Shrek the Third, the ABC Christmas special Shrek The Halls and the fourth installment of the franchise Shrek Forever After.
In 2003, Banderas earned a Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical for his Broadway debut in the Roundabout Theater Company production of Nine, a musical inspired by Fellini's 8 ½. He also received a Best Actor Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama League Award and Theatre World Award. Nine, directed by David Leveaux, also starred Chita Rivera.
Banderas has worked with some of Hollywood's best directors and leading actors including Robert Rodriquez's Desperado opposite Salma Hayek and the sequel Once Upon a Time in Mexico opposite Johnny Depp; riginal Sin opposite Angelina Jolie; Alan Parker's Evita opposite Madonna, in which he received his first Best Actor Golden Globe nomination; Martin Campbell's The Mask of Zorro opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones, in which he received his second Best Actor Golden Globe nomination and the sequel he Legend of Zorro; Neil Jordan's Interview with a Vampire with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt; Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia opposite Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington; Bille August's House of the Spirits with Meryl Streep and Glenn Close; and Brian de Palma's Femme Fatale.
Other film credits include the Take the Lead, Spy Kids trilogy, Miami Rhapsody, Four Rooms, Assassins, Never Talk to Strangers, Two Much, The 13th Warrior, Lay it to the Bone and Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. He was nominated for his third Best Actor Golden Globe for his performance as the infamous Pancho Villa in HBO's 2003 release of And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself.
Born in Malaga, Spain, Banderas attended the School of Dramatic Arts in his hometown and upon graduation he began his acting career working in a small theatre company based there. He later moved to Madrid and became an ensemble member of the prestigious National Theater of Spain.
In 1982, Banderas was cast by writer/director Pedro Almodovar in Labyrinth of Passion. It was the first of five films Banderas would do with Almodovar, the others being Matador, Law of Desire, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! The international success of these films introduced to him to Hollywood. Banderas is now set to appear in La Piel Que Habito (The Skin That I Inhabit), written and directed by Almodovar - reuniting with him after 21 years.
He can most recently be seen in Woody Allen's You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger for Sony Classics, in which he is a part of an all star cast that includes Naomi Watts, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Brolin and Freida Pinto. He also stars in the action thriller The Big Bang, directed by Tony Krantz and will appear alongside Channing Tatum and Ewan McGregor in Steven Soderbergh's Knockout for Lionsgate. He recently starred with Laura Linney and Liam Neeson in The Other Man, directed by Richard Eyre.
Banderas can be seen in the film Black Gold, directed by Jean Jacques Annoud, opposite Freida Pinto, Mark Strong and Tahar Rahim. He was also the voice lead for the animated film Puss in Boots, alongside Salma Hayek. Banderas was last seen in Ruby Sparks opposite Annette Bening and Paul Dano.
Antonio will next be seen in the upcoming project, I'm So Excited, directed by Pedro Almodovar, starring alongside Paz Vega and Penelope Cruz. With an October 4th release date, Banderas will be seen in Machete Kills, directed by Robert Rodriguez starring alongside Mel Gibson, Amber Heard and Jessica Alba. Banderas will also play the voice of Sir Clorex in the upcoming animated film Justin and The Knights of Valour starring alongside Mark Strong and Julie Walters. Banderas has also signed on to play Jacq Vaucan in Gabe Ibanez Sci-Fi Thriller Automata alongside Dylan McDermott and Melanie Griffith.
Cuba Gooding, JR. (El Camaleon) is best known for his Oscar winning portrayal of the charmingly arrogant pro football player Rod Tidwell in Cameron Crowe's Jerry Maguire. Gooding was born in the Bronx and moved to Los Angeles at the age of 4.
In 1991, he received critical acclaim his portrayal of Tré Styles in John Singleton's coming-of-age classic Boyz in the Hood, which earned him ShoWest's Newcomer Award. He followed this success with roles in numerous critically acclaimed major films, such as As Good as It Gets, What Dreams May Come and the Oscar-nominated A Few Good Men.
In 1997, Gooding was honoured with the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in Jerry Maguire. In addition to the Academy Award, Gooding was presented with the Screen Actors Guild Award, the Broadcasters Film Critics Award, the Critics Choice Award and the Chicago Film Critics Award.
Gooding's versatility as an actor is exemplified by the diversity of the roles he has played. His repertoire has grown to include major roles in numerous critically acclaimed films including Men of Honor, Pearl Harbor, Radio, American Gangster, Shadowboxer and this year's George Lucas-helmed Red Tails. He has also appeared in award-winning movies for television including Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story and this year's Firelight - the highest-rated Hallmark Hall of Fame movie ever.
Gooding will next be seen on the big screen in Joseph Gordon Levitt's directorial debut, Don Jon's Addiction, Robert Rodriquez's sequel to Machete, Machete Kills and Lee Daniels' highly anticipated film, The Butler. Gooding has also explored other aspects of film making - in 1993 he co-produced and starred in the well-received thriller A Murder of Crows. His film company, Dudley Pictures, is currently involved in several projects in development for film and television.
Walt Goggins (El Camaleon) is an Emmy-nominee for his pivotal role as 'Boyd Crowder' on FX's Peabody Award-winning Drama series, "Justified". He was also nominated by The Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) for their inaugural Critics' Choice Television Awards, in the category of "Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series".
Goggins recently had a stellar role in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, playing the ultimate Bad Guy and nemesis to Jamie Foxx's slave-turned-bounty hunter 'Django' and the vicious underling of Leonardo DiCaprio's brutal Mississippi plantation owner 'Calvin Candie.' Goggins had already been cast in the film and he ended up assuming the 'Ace Woody' role that was first to be played by Kevin Costner, then Kurt Russell. The Weinstein Co released the film on Christmas Day '12.
In stark contrast to his role in Django Unchained, Walton played the diametrically opposed Ohio Congressman 'Clay Hawkins,' a progressive Democrat who ultimately goes against his party and votes in favour of the Thirteenth Amendment to abolish slavery in Steven Spielberg's critically acclaimed feature Lincoln. The historical drama produced by DreamWorks and released by Disney focuses on the political collision of Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day Lewis) and the powerful men of his cabinet on the road to abolition and the end of the Civil War. The stellar ensemble cast also includes Sally Field, David Strathairn, Tommy Lee Jones, Hal Halbrook, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and James Spader.
Goggins can currently be seen in Paramount's action feature, G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation, directed by Jon M. Chu and starring Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum and Dwayne Johnson.
In Justified, which just completed its fourth season, Goggins' 'Boyd,' is the long time friend, yet ultimate nemesis to 'U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens' (Timothy Olyphant). Jeremy Egner of The New York Times writes, "Olyphant may embody the steely-eyed, white-hatted hero on 'Justified,' but Walton Goggins supplies the show's tortured soul".
Elmore Leonard, executive producer and writer of the short story Fire in the Hole on which the show is based, says of 'Boyd,' "There has never been a more poetic bad guy on television in the way that he sees the world". Goggins received an Emmy nomination for his performance in the show's second season. This past year, Goggins made a riveting, surprise guest-appearance on the highly-rated FX drama series, Sons of Anarchy, playing a transgender escort named 'Venus Van Dam' (a play on his character Shane's alias of 'Cletus Van Damme' on The Shield) who was hired by 'Jax' (Charlie Hunnam) to help blackmail a city councilman with incriminating photos. The role has generated much buzz in Hollywood and, according to Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter (who also wrote on The Shield), is the most disturbing sex scene he has ever written.
Goggins previously garnered much acclaim for his riveting portrayal of 'Detective Shane Vendrell' on FX's gritty, award-winning drama series, "The Shield". In 2009 he was personally nominated for a Television Critics Association (TCA) Award in the category of "Individual Achievement in Drama". In addition, New York magazine singled out his performance as one of the highlights of television. Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter all consistently listed Goggins as their choice for an Emmy nomination. In the fall of 2008, The Shield ended its successful seven-season run, earning the honour of #1 in Time magazine's Top 10 Television Series, as well as being named one of AFI's Top Television Programs of the Year for 2008.
In the summer of 2011, Goggins starred in director Jon Favreau's action feature Cowboys & Aliens, alongside Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. The story is set in 1873, when a spaceship arrives to take over Earth, starting with the Wild West. All that stands in their way is a posse of cowboys. Goggins also appeared in Rod Lurie's adaptation of the controversial Sam Peckinpaw film Straw Dogs, alongside James Marsden and Kate Bosworth. Screen Gems released.
Previously, Goggins starred in writer/producer Robert Rodriguez's feature Predators, for Twentieth Century Fox. Predators, the sequel to the 1987 blockbuster Predator, revolved around a group of humans who were abducted by creatures known as 'Predators' and set loose on their alien planet to be hunted and killed for sport. Goggins played the multi-dimensional role of notorious serial killer 'Walter Stans,' who comes full circle as the group fights for survival and in the end, makes the ultimate sacrifice for his team.
Goggins has been working in front of the camera for well over fifteen years, starring in countless television shows and feature films. He had the distinct honour of playing 'Sammy,' Robert Duvall's trustworthy friend, in The Apostle. Additional film credits include Spike Lee's Miracle at St. Anna, Fragments with Kate Beckinsale and Guy Pierce, The World's Fastest Indian opposite Anthony Hopkins, The Bourne Identity, Shanghai Noon opposite Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson, Major League III and Billy Bob Thornton's Daddy and Them.
Taking his turn behind the camera, Goggins and his partners at Ginny Mule Pictures, won an Academy Award for their short film, The Accountant, which he produced and starred in. The Academy Award-winning team produced, directed and starred in their first feature, Chrystal, starring Billy Bob Thornton, which was accepted into the 2005 Sundance Film Festival's Dramatic Competition. For their third collaboration, Goggins produced and starred in the feature Randy and the Mob, which won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the 2007 Nashville Film Festival.
Goggins and his Ginny Mule partners completed their fourth feature, That Evening Sun, starring Hal Holbrook and Goggins, who also produced. The film made its world premiere at the South By Southwest (SXWS) Film Festival in Austin, TX in March 2009, where it won the Narrative Feature Audience Award and received the Special Jury Award for "Best Ensemble Cast". The film continued its run winning awards at over 14 film festivals, culminating with the honour of the "Wyatt Award" from the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and two Independent Spirit Award nominations.
Goggins also takes time to lend a hand to various non-profit organizations, including Global Green USA, which is committed to sustainable development and the legislation to support it. He often participates in the organization's activities and events, mostly recently hosting a special screening of the film That Evening Sun to raise funds for Global Green's international efforts to aid Haitian earthquake victims.
William Sadler (Sheriff Doakes) has had an extraordinary acting career in motion pictures, television and on Broadway, but perhaps is best recognized for his roles in feature films such as The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Mist and Die Hard 2.
Sadler has recently been seen in Iron Man 3, Man On A Ledge and will appear in the upcoming season of Homeland. Recently completed indie films include, Future Weather with Amy Madigan, Greetings From Tim Buckley and Frank The Bastard. William Sadler's other film credits include: August Rush, Eagle Eye, Kinsey, The Last Day Of Summer, The Hills Run Red, Rush, Hard To Kill, Bill And Teds Bogus Journey, The Hot Spot, Rocket Man, Trespass, Disturbing Behavior, Witness Protection and Battle Of Shaker Heights.
Sadler's wide range of Tv credits include the famous Marine Col. Chesty Puller in the award winning HBO mini-series The Pacific, the inimitable Gino Fish in Tom Selleck's Jesse Stone series of TV movies as well as John McGarrett (Steve's dad) in the hit CBS series Hawaii Five O. He starred for three years as Sheriff Jim Valenti in the WB series Roswell and over the years has also appeared in Fringe, White Collar, Chase, Deep Space Nine, Three Rivers, Mercy, Criminal Minds, Medium, Traveller, Wonderfalls,CSI and Law And Order.
William Sadler started his acting career on the stage in New York and has returned to his first love, the theater, again and again. He created the role of Sgt. Toomey in the original Broadway cast of Biluxi Blues. Sadler created the role of Samuel Clemens in the world premiere of John Guare's A Few Stout IndividualS. He appeared with Al Pacino in Arturo Ui and also played Caesar opposite Denzel Washington on Broadway in Shakespear's Julius Ceasar. Sadler's most recent outing on Broadway was in 2009 opposite Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon in the critically acclaimed, Tony Award winning play by Eugene Ionesco, Exit The King.
Demian Bichir (Mendez) is one of the most well-known and well-respected actors in his home of Mexico and the U.S. He received a 2012 Academy Award, SAG Award and Independent Spirit Award nomination for his portrayal of an undocumented gardener trying to connect with his estranged teenage son in Chris Weitz's feature A Better Life.
Bichir recently appeared in Paul Feig's comedy The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. His FX original series The Bridge premiered to rave reviews in July. From Executive Producers Meredith Stiehm (Homeland) and Elwood Reid, the series centres on two detectives (Demian Bichir and Diane Kruger) who must work together to hunt down a serial killer operating on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Bichir will make his directorial debut with the film he wrote, Refugio, which will shoot in Mexico and the U.S. in the fall.
Bichir became known to U.S. television audiences for his portrayal of Esteban Reyes opposite Mary-Louise Parker in the hit Showtime series Weeds. He also portrayed a powerful young Fidel Castro in Steven Soderbergh's Che opposite Benicio Del Toro. In 2012 he starred in Oliver Stone's Savages and the independent film The Runway for director Ian Power. He recently wrapped production on the independent film Dom Hemingway, starring opposite Jude Law, as well as the lead role in the independent film Death in Buenos Aires.
In Mexico, Bichir is an Ariel Award winner for Best Actor, given by the Mexican Academy of Cinematography and has received numerous other nominations and prestigious honours including a Medal of Honor for Merit in the Fine Arts, given by the Legislative Assembly of Mexico City.
Bichir comes from a well-known and highly respected theatrical family. He is the son of famed theatre director Alejandro Bichir and acclaimed actress Maricruz Nájera. His brothers Odiseo and Bruno are also two of the most talented actors of their generation. Bichir has amassed an impressive resume of theatre credits in Mexico and recently completed the starring role in the theatre adaptation of the film Swimming with Sharks in Mexico City, directed by his brother Bruno Bichir. Bichir's work in theatre includes Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Richard The III, Strindberg's The Ghost Sonata, Peter Shaffer's Equus, Eugene O'Neill's Ah! Wilderness, Neil Simon's Broadway Bound and The Odd Couple, David Halliwell's Little Malcolm and his Struggle Against the Eunuchs and Sabina Berman's "Extras". Bichir also impressed U.S. audiences in 2008, starring in the play By the Waters of Babylon, which opened at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.
Bichir is also starring in Guillermo Arriaga's upcoming collaboration of short films titled "Words With Gods". His most memorable Latin American credits include Rojo Amanecer (winner of the Grand Jury Prize in the San Sebastian Film Festival), Alex de la Iglesia's Perdita Durango with Javier Bardem, Hasta Morir (Best Actor Ariel winner, the Mexican Academy of Cinematography), Sin Noticias de Dios with Victoria Abril and Penélope Cruz, the Showtime feature film In the Time of the Butterflies in which he starred opposite Salma Hayek, Sex, Shame and Tears (Ariel Best Actor nominee), American Visa (Best Foreign Film nominee at the Goyas in Spain), Fuera del Cielo, Enemigos Intimos and Hidalgo, The Untold Story (Ariel Award nominee and winner of the Best Actor award at the Huelva Film Festival in Spain).
Mel Gibson (Luther Voz) was born in up-state New York and moved with his family to Australia when he was 12 years old. Gibson attended the National Institute of Dramatic Arts at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. His stage appearances include Death of a Salesman.
Gibson was eventually brought to the attention of director George Miller who cast him in Mad Max, the film that first brought him worldwide recognition. This was followed by the title role in Tim. Gibson's portrayal of a handicapped young man won him an Australian Film Institute Best Actor Award.
He was further established as an international star by the two hit sequels to Mad Max - The Road Warrior and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome - along with Peter Weir's Gallipoli, which brought Gibson a second Australian Best Actor Award. A few years later, Weir and Gibson again collaborated on The Year of Living Dangerously.
Gibson made his American film debut in The River. Also, he starred in the worldwide record breaking Lethal Weapon (1, 2, 3 and 4) franchise. Gibson's other films include The Bounty, Mrs. Soffel, Tequila Sunrise, Bird on a Wire, Air America and Hamlet. Hamlet, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, was the first film produced by Gibson's production company, Icon Productions. The role brought him the William Shakespeare Award from the Folger Theatre in Washington, DC. Also, he starred in the Icon produced Forever Young and Maverick. Gibson made his directorial debut and starred in The Man Without A Face, another Icon production. The company has also produced Immortal Beloved and Airborne, among others.
In 1995, Gibson produced, directed and starred in the critical and box office success Braveheart, which was the recipient of five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, after receiving a leading 10 nominations. Gibson received a Golden Globe Award for Best Director as well. Also, he received a Special Achievement in Filmmaking Award given by the National Board of Review and was honoured as the 1996 NATO/ShoWest Director of the Year, as well as being the recipient of the Best Director Award given by the Broadcast Film Critics Association.
In 1996, Gibson starred in Ransom, directed by Ron Howard for Disney's Touchstone Pictures. A remake of the 1956 MGM picture tells the story of a New York millionaire who must employ daring tactics to retrieve his kidnapped son. He received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama), as well as winning the People's Choice Award for Favourite Motion Picture Actor.
In August of 1997, Gibson starred in the romantic-thriller Conspiracy Theory, co-starring Julia Roberts and directed by Richard Donner for Warner Bros. In July of 1998, Gibson starred in Lethal Weapon 4, grossing close to $300 million worldwide.
In February of 1999, he starred in the hard-edge thriller Payback, an Icon Production based on Donald F. Westlake's (writing as Richard Stark) novel The Hunter. Payback was distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Paramount Pictures and internationally by Warner Bros.
In 2000, Gibson became the first actor in history to star in three $100 million films (domestic gross) during the same year. In the summer, Gibson starred in the emotionally charged adventure The Patriot as Benjamin Martin, a reluctant hero who is swept into the American Revolution when war reaches his home and threatens his family. The Columbia Pictures release was written by Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan) and directed by Roland Emmerich. Also, Mel lent his voice as the all-American rooster named Rocky; in the critically acclaimed DreamWorks SKG animated adventure comedy, Chicken Run.
Later that year, he starred as Nick Marshall, the chauvinistic advertising executive who gets in touch with his feminine side in the Paramount Pictures/Icon Productions, smash hit What Women Want. The romantic comedy, directed by Nancy Meyers and co-starring Helen Hunt opened at $33.6 million, that December. For his portrayal, he was nominated for a Golden Globe as "Best Actor, Motion Picture Comedy".
In 2002, Gibson starred in We Were Soldiers, a film based on the book We Were Soldiers Once... And Young, telling the story of the first battle between U.S. and Viet Cong troops, in which 400 soldiers were helicoptered in and surrounded by 2000 enemy troops, as told from the vantage point of Harold Moore, commander of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry and Joseph Galloway, a reporter who was on the scene for the 34-day battle. It was directed and written by Randall Wallace, who was nominated for an Academy Award for writing Braveheart.
Later that year, he starred in M. Night Shyamalan's thriller, Signs, for Disney, setting Gibson's opening weekend box office record of $60 million and grossed an all-time individual record of over $400 million.
In 2004, Gibson produced, co-wrote and directed The Passion of The Christ starring Jim Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern and Monica Bellucci. The Ash Wednesday release on February 25 grossed an industry-record average of $41,295 per screen (3043 theatres) totalling a five-day gross of $125.2 million; giving it the best five-day opening ever, at that time, for a film with a Wednesday opening. The previous record-holder had been The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($124.1 million). The opening three-day weekend numbers totalled $83,848, 082 (Fri. - $22.9 million, Sat. $33 million, Sun. $27.8 million), making it number eight on the all-time opening weekend box-office chart at the time. The Passion of The Christ had a worldwide box-office gross of $610 million, making it the highest-grossing R-rated film and highest grossing independent film in film history. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards.
In 2006, Gibson brought to life his latest epic, visceral action thriller, Apocalypto. Gibson produced, co-wrote and directed the thriller that follows one man's heart-pounding race through primeval jungles to rescue his family during the fading days of the mysterious, ancient Mayan civilization. Apocalypto opened at number one in its opening weekend grossing $15.2 million and garnered three Academy Award nominations.
Gibson returned to acting in 2009 with GK Films' Edge of Darkness, where he starred as Thomas Craven, a Boston detective who uncovers sinister government conspiracies when he investigates the brutal shooting death of his only daughter. The psychological action thriller was directed by Martin Campbell.
Gibson was in The Beaver, directed by Jodie Foster, about a man who finds unusual solace in his beaver hand-puppet.
Gibson produced, co-wrote and starred in the Icon Production Get The Gringo, which centers on a career criminal who gets caught by Mexican authorities and is sent to a drug and crime filled prison where he learns how to survive with the help of a 9-year-old boy. Icon Productions teamed with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on a domestic direct-to-consumer release in partnership with DIRECTV in May 2012.
Carlos Estevez / Charlie Sheen (US President), who has starred in more than forty feature films, catapulted to fame in such critical and commercial hits as Platoon and Wall Street. His other feature film credits include Red Dawn, Lucas, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Eight Men Out, Young Guns, Major League, Hot Shots!, Hot Shots! Part Deux, The Three Musketeers, The Chase, Money Talks, Being John Malkovich, Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie 4, Scary Movie 5 and The Big Bounce. He also appeared in the television movies Rated X and Good Advice.
Sheen became known to television audiences through his Golden Globe Award-winning lead role in Spin City. In 2003, Sheen was cast as Charlie Harper in the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, which was loosely based on Sheen's bad boy image. The role garnered him an ALMA Award and three Emmy Awards, as well as two Golden Globe Award nominations for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series.
In 2011, Sheen set a new Guinness World Record for Twitter as the "Fastest Time to Reach 1 Million Followers", adding an average of 129,000 new followers per day. Later in the year, Charlie kicked off his North American My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not An Option tour, which sold out in 18 minutes to set a Ticketmaster record.
In September of 2011, Comedy Central's Roast of Charlie Sheen was watched by 6.4 million people, making it the highest-rated roast in the history of the network. Sheen finished the year starring in the upcoming Roman Coppola movie, A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charlie Swan III. On June 28th, 2012, Sheen's new sitcom, Anger Management, debuted.
Jessica Alba's (Sartana) acting career began at a very early age, as she fell in love with the craft and became active professionally at the age of 12. After studying at the Atlantic Theatre Company with founders William H. Macy and David Mamet, she went on to star in James Cameron's Dark Angel, gaining worldwide recognition. Her first starring role in a major studio film was the 2003 release, Honey, Universal Pictures' contemporary urban drama that grossed over $60 million worldwide.
In 2005, she starred opposite Bruce Willis and an all-star cast in the provocative and critically acclaimed Sin City, directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller. She next starred as Sue Storm "The Invisible Girl" in Marvel Comics' action-franchise blockbuster Fantastic Four, which was released by 20th Century Fox in July 2005 and became a worldwide box-office success with over $300 million in revenue.
Jessica was part of Garry Marshall's all-star ensemble romantic comedy, Valentine's Day, which broke box office records with the largest opening on a four-day President's Day weekend in history. She starred opposite Casey Affleck and Kate Hudson in director Michael Winterbottom's controversial screen adaptation of Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me, as well as Robert Rodriquez's Machete. She co-starred in the third installment of the hit Meet the Parents franchise, Little Fockers, as well as the 4D family adventure, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, marking her third collaboration with Robert Rodriguez. Her films have earned a combined box office total of over $800 million.
Jessica was part of an all-star voice cast for The Weinstein Company's 2013 hit animated adventure, Escape From Planet Earth, also featuring Sarah Jessica Parker, Brendan Fraser and James Gandolfini. She will be seen later this year in the comedy A.C.O.D, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and stars Adam Scott, Jane Lynch and Amy Poehler. This fall, she co-stars in Robert Rodriquez's star-studded sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
Jessica showcased her comedic talents as host of the 2006 MTV Movie Awards. She has appeared in a several iconic endorsement campaigns, including the famous Got Milk? "milk mustache" campaign, a star-studded 30th Anniversary campaign for The Gap and other prestigious campaigns in the U.S. and internationally. She has been featured in global endorsement campaigns for such companies as L'Oreal and Revlon and she has appeared on countless prestigious magazine covers in the United States and throughout the world.
While known throughout the world for her acting career, it is her role as a mother of two girls that inspired the launch of The Honest Company in January 2012. The Honest Company is a B Corp and provides families with education and essentials to keep their families and homes healthy, safe and happy. Through Honest.com, families purchase the highest quality/performance, beautifully designed and affordable products on the market. The Honest Company is very passionate about their "green" efforts and provides direct to customer fulfillment, thereby eliminating much of the supply chain waste and instead investing this money in development and use of all plant-based non-toxic ingredients that will never harm the planet. Additionally, all Honest Company packaging is made from 100% renewable or recycled materials. Jessica is not only committed to creating a safer and more sustainable future for generations to come, but every purchase allows The Honest Company to donate time, money and product to Baby2Baby.org and other organizations that advocate for and provide essentials to babies in need.
Ranging from diapers and wipes to household cleaning detergents and a full line of body care products, in just eight short months, the products have been recognized by top parenting and eco-friendly proponents, have been listed on the Environmental Working Group's Sunscreen Guide and have been recognized with numerous awards and honours, including the National Parenting Publication Awards and the Natural Child World Eco-Excellence Awards.
This March, she released her first book, "The Honest Life", a how-to handbook based on her mission of creating a natural, authentic and non-toxic life for her family, which became an instant New York Times Bestseller. "The Honest Life" recounts her personal journey of discovery and reveals her tips for making healthy living fun, real and stylish, while offering a candid look inside her home and daily life. She shares strategies for maintaining a clean diet (with favourite family-friendly recipes) and embraces non-toxic choices at home and provides eco-friendly decor tips to fit any budget. Jessica also discusses cultivating a daily eco beauty routine, finding one's personal style without resorting to yoga pants and engaging in fun, hands-on activities with kids.
Jessica's activism endeavours are extensive. She is the spokesperson for the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition, joining leading public health experts and demanding that government leadership increase protections against toxic chemicals. In 2010, she was the global ambassador and co-chair for 1Goal with Queen Rania Abdullah of Jordan and Bono, an international campaign tied to the World Cup to provide education for all. She has been an avid supporter of several other non-profits including V-Day, Healthy Child Healthy World, Step Up Women's Network, The Children's Defence Fund, Declare Yourself and Voto Latino. Her passion for social justice, particularly for women and children, has led to several trips to Capitol Hill. She is on the board of directors of Baby2Baby.org and was among Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business 2012 (#17), Vanity Fair's Next Establishment, chosen as Entrepreneur of the Year at the UK Glamour Women of the Year 2012 Awards, selected as one of Fortune Magazine's 10 Most Powerful Entrepreneurs and received the Entertainment Media Association's inaugural "Green Parent" Award.
Jessica has also received Golden Globe and People's Choice Award nominations and was voted TV Guide readers' Breakout Star of the Year and won Favourite TV Actress at the 2001 Teen Choice Awards for Dark Angel. She won the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award for Favourite Female Actress for her performance in Fantastic Four and an MTV Movie Award for Sexiest Performance in Sin City. She received another Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actress in a Horror/Thriller for The Eye and was honoured by the Young Hollywood Awards as Superstar of Tomorrow in 2005. She has received ALMA Awards for her performances in Dark Angel and Machete, as well as a Fashion Icon in 2009.
Jessica was raised in a traditional American family in Southern California. Her mother's family has a French-Danish heritage, while her father is from Mexican-Indian and Spanish lineage
Lady Gaga (La Camaleon) feature film debut is in Machete Kills. This fall, Lady Gaga will release her fourth studio album, Artpop. In a first for the music industry, Artpop. will be released simultaneously with an accompanying app that combines music, art, fashion and technology for a new interactive worldwide community. Both the Artpop and the Artpop app will be released on November 11, 2013.
Lady Gaga came to prominence following the release of her debut studio album The Fame (2008), which included the hits "Just Dance", "Poker Face" and sold over 15 million copies worldwide. The album earned her six Grammy nominations and two wins as well as a record-setting thirteen MTV Video Music Award nominations. Gaga is the first artist in history to claim four #1 hits from a debut album ("Just Dance", "Poker Face", "LoveGame" and "Paparazzi").
She is also the only artist in the digital era to top the five-million sales mark with her first two hits, "Just Dance" and "Poker Face". She has over 1.3 billion combined views of all her videos on-line. She is also a staple in the social networking world, with over fifty-eight million 'likes' on Facebook and thirty-nine million followers on Twitter.
In 2009, Lady Gaga followed "The Fame" with an EP, "The Fame Monster". The album was a critical and commercial success, spawning the hit singles "Bad Romance", "Alejandro" and "Telephone". "The Fame Monster" garnered Grammys for best Pop Vocal Album, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (for "Bad Romance") and Best Short From Video (for "Bad Romance"). Directed by Francis Lawrence, the eye-popping video for "Bad Romance" went on to win seven MTV Video Music Awards, including the award for "Video of the Year".
Her third studio album, Born This Way, was released on May 23, 2011 and broke the iTunes record for the fastest rise to number one on release day. The album hit number one in twenty-two of twenty-three iTunes stores worldwide. The first single from the album, title track "Born This Way", set a music industry record by becoming the fastest single in history to sell a million copies, only five days after its February 11th release. On iTunes, the song debuted at the top spot in 14 countries, including the U.S. and hit number one in all twenty-three iTunes stores worldwide its first week out. "Born This Way" was Gaga's seventh single to hit #1 at Top 40. The singles from the album, including "Born This Way", "Judas", "The Edge of Glory" and "You & I" have sold a combined total of more than six million copies in the US alone.
Gaga is well recognized for her outré sense of style as a recording artist, in fashion, in performance and in her music videos. Her contributions to the music industry have garnered her numerous achievements including five Grammy Awards amongst twelve nominations, two Guinness World Records and the estimated sale of 15 million albums and 51 million singles worldwide. Billboard named her both the "2010 Artist of the Year" and the top selling artist of 2010. Gaga has been included in Time's annual "The 2010 Time 100" list of the most influential people in the world as well as Forbes' list of the "The World's Most Powerful Celebrities" in the world. Forbes also placed her at number seven on their annual list of the world's "100 Most Powerful Women".
Vanessa Hudgens (Cereza) began her career in the world of musical theatre at the tender age of 8. Immediately realizing the incredible future that lay before her, she has tirelessly pursued her dream with much success. These early roles in such productions as "Evita", "Carousel", "The Wizard of Oz", "The King & I", "The Music Man", "Cinderella" and "Damn Yankees" gave Vanessa the opportunity to showcase her impressive singing and acting skills.
The recognition Vanessa received quickly brought her to the big screen. She made her feature film debut in Catherine Hardwicke's controversial Thirteen starring Holly Hunter and Evan Rachel Wood. Soon thereafter, she co-starred in the action-adventure film Thunderbirds.
It was however Vanessa's role in Disney Channel's breakaway sensation High School Musical that has garnered her much praise and attention. With critics and fans clamoring for more, Vanessa was also seen in the films' highly successful follow ups High School Musical 2 and the theatrical release of High School Musical 3: Senior Year. Vanessa followed up her High School Musical hits by starring in the critically acclaimed Bandslam as well Beastly and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. In 2010, Hudgens won the ShoWest Award for 'Female Star of Tomorrow.'
Looking to branch out and take on some darker roles Hudgens filmed a series of films that have surprised audiences. Most recently, Vanessa starred opposite James Franco and Selena Gomez in one of the most talked about films of 2013 Spring Breakers. The film directed by the controversial director Harmony Korine premiered at The Venice Film and Toronto Film Festivals. In the drama, Gimme Shelter, directed by Ron Krauss, Hudgens plays a pregnant, homeless teenager. For this film based on a true story Vanessa spent two weeks living in a homeless shelter doing research for her character.
In The Frozen Ground directed by Scott Walker, Hudgens portrays the real life victim who helps solves the case of a serial murderer in Alaska. On the heels of this, she will make a cameo in Robert Rodriguez's highly anticipated Machete Kills due out this fall.
Alexa Vega (Kill Joy) has been acting since the age of four when she landed the role of Burt Reynolds's daughter in the acclaimed television series, Evening Shade. She became known worldwide in 2001 with her role as Carmen Cortez in Spy Kids and was last seen in the most recent installment, Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World, alongside Jessica Alba, Jeremy Piven and Antonio Banderas. She narrated the Mary Kay documentary series, Mary Kay Inspiring Stories, which raises awareness and works to eliminate domestic violence and most recently starred as Gaby Rodriguez in the Lifetime movie, The Pregnancy Project.
Alexa also starred From Prada to Nada alongside Camilla Belle and Wilmer Valderrama, for which she won a 2011 Alma Award for "Favourite Film Actress in a Comedy", a 2011 MTV Movie Award for "Favourite Latino Actor" and she also received a 2011 Imagen Award nomination. From Prada to Nada is a Latina spin on Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, where two spoiled sisters who have been left penniless after their father's sudden death are forced to move in with their estranged aunt in East Los Angeles.
Vega made her Broadway debut in 2007 when she played Penny Pingleton in the Tony Award winning Broadway version of Hairspray. She was last seen in the rock musical movie Repo! The Genetic Opera.
Alexa has appeared in the films Twister, as the young Helen Hunt, Little Giants, Nine Months, Ghosts of Mississippi, Deep End of the Ocean, Sleepover, State's Evidence, Walkout, Remember the Daze. Her television credits include Ladies Man, opposite Alfred Molina, ER, Chicago Hope and as the lead in the Lifetime feature, Odd Girl Out and ABC's Ruby & the Rockits. Vega currently resides in Los Angeles.
Marko Zaror (Zaror) is a Chilean martial arts action star and fight choreographer, currently residing in Los Angeles, California and Santiago, Chile. His career began as a young boy with a passion for martial arts and fighting, inspired by Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jean Claude Van Damme. At the age of six he started training himself and by the age of 18 Marko had become an exceptional kick-boxer and Tae Kwan Do scholar.
Marko moved to Mexico and quickly found success in modelling by doing fashion shows and print work for major brands. Despite this success, he never lost his passion for martial arts. In Zaror's early career, he starred in Spanish language action films including Hard as Nails and Into the Flames. He landed his big break in 2003 where he acted as stuntman and martial arts double for Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, in the film The Rundown. Zaror then gained international notoriety as lead in indie action favourites Kiltro, Mirageman and Mandrill. In 2010, he acted as a Colombian prisoner/fighter in the film Undisputed 3.
Zaror is now working on the highly anticipated Violent Rider, with writer/director Ernesto Diaz Espinoza and entrepreneur/manager Derek Rundell at RONNOC Entertainment.
Samuel Davis (Clebourne) is a native of Houston and a sixth-generation Texan. He is the son of a roofer/current state representative and a school teacher. Davis participated in Football and Track & Field until landing a role in the high school production of Julius Caesar. After that, Davis dropped all other extracurricular activities and focused on his acting.
Davis attended the University of Texas at Austin studying in the prestigious Radio-Television-Film Department. Even though he graduated a year early, Davis still found the time to shoot supporting and leading roles in four feature films. Davis can next be seen in the Tom Hanks produced Parkland and the Eduardo Sanchez directed Exists.