“My grandmother used to say, ‘You want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.’"
That’s the first line of “Bella,” a film that won the Toronto Film Festival, will be available on DVD in May and stars the ever so gorgeous Eduardo Verastegui.
Some of the staff at OK! and I had the privilege of a private screening of Bella the other night in an intimate room at the Tribeca Grand Hotel in NYC. Above that- the star, Eduardo, joined us and watched from the back of the theater.
I met Eduardo at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah only a few weeks ago. Since I’ve seen him with Tony Bennett at an event at the Bowery Hotel in NYC, a dinner for Kate Hudson in Scottsdale during Super Bowl weekend, at the Sony/BMG party after the Grammy’s in LA and then back in NYC again this week.
My initial reaction when I met him, following being told, ‘He’s the Brad Pitt of Mexico,’ was ‘Wow, this is what they mean by hot Latin men.’ As sappy as it sounds, and it could give you a cavity, getting to know him I’ve realized that he’s such an amazing person, constantly surprising you at being just so smart, generous and passionate about everything he does, that his looks only compliment his character. And, no, I Don’t like him like that, I merely respect him. It’s so hard to gush about someone without people construing it the wrong way.
What really got me after drinks after the movie was Eduardo’s heartfelt monologues to the group about his original plan and current path. He said so many quotable things that I should have been writing down, but the gist of it was that when he set out as an actor making movies in a foreign country and language (he’s from Mexico), he’d taken many stereotypical Latin parts. One day he said he realized that once he got the things he thought he wanted, he realized they weren’t satisfying and he changed the direction of his career and his lifestyle, turning down lucrative parts and often holding out for long stretches until he found roles that fit his ideals – while still be entertaining. He now only takes roles that he believes do his culture proud and like Bella show the values of family, camaraderie, food and love in Latin culture.
He said a lot more, much more inspiring things than what I’ve managed to relay here so far, but the process of moving has made my mind mush and they’re escaping me now.
But, when it’s out in May, watch Bella. I’ll remind you. Eduardo grew a ridiculously long and bushy beard for the part in a failed attempt to mask his beauty (didn’t really work, but got where they were going) for the part. Funny, he said he grew out the beard and six months before filming started he got a call and had to shave it for a role that would take one day! But, that role was an ad for Jennifer Lopez, so he obliged and grew it out all over again. Ok, I’m done. Goodnight.