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Lt. Castillo: Edward James Olmos

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Pink Flaming0    123
Pink Flaming0

From the book "The Making Of Miami Vice" by MacGregor and MacGregor (I recently purchased)Martin Castillo, the lieutenant in charge of the Vice squad, is a man of few words.His dark, penetrating eyes and his somber demeanor whisper of a mysterious past. He'sa tragic figure, a martial arts expertpart Samurai, a shade of Ninjaliving withsecrets from a distant part of the world.During the Vietnam War he worked in the mountains between Burma and Thailand,attempting to halt the opium and heroin trade at its source. His involvement anddedication were total. But in the end he was sold out by the two agencies behind theproject. He lost his family and his past. When he came to Miami, there were no recordson him; everything had been pulled."No one knows who Castillo is. That's part of the beauty of the character," explainsEddie Olmos one afternoon at his home on an island off Miami Beach.Like the character he plays, Eddie is a soft spoken, somewhat intense man. Butunlike the brooding Castillo, that intensity is broken by quick, radiant smiles. In fact,Olmos once did stand-up comedy in nightclubs. He's also been an emcee, a singer withrock bands, and served a long apprenticeship as an actor with experimental theaters inLos Angeles.In Zoot Suit, a hit play based on the true story of twenty-two Chicano childrenfalsely accused of murder, he played the legendary El Pachuco, a symbol of Latinmachismo. He stayed with the play for three years, including four months onBroadway. Zoot Suit brought him to the point where he no longer had to hold anoutside job to support himself and his family.He's also appeared in several movies, including Blade Runner, Wolfen, and AmazingGrace. But the film that has meant more to him than all the others is The Ballad ofGregorio Cortez, in which he played the lead role and was also co-producer.Like Olmos himself, Gregorio Cortez is a Mexican American, and like Castillo,Cortez is a tragic figure. The film is based on the true story of a Mexican farmer in SouthTexas at the turn of the century who became symbolic of the fear andmisunderstandings between Hispanic and Anglo cultures. Cortez was accused ofmurder after a mistranslated word led to the killing of a sheriff. The massive manhuntand eventual capture and trial of Cortez were avidly followed in Texas newspapers.Olmos talks passionately about Cortez. "It's the single most effective film I've everbeen a part of. Robert M. Young is an extraordinary filmmaker and he's done anextraordinary piece for the countryand the world.He's not the type of actor who watches himself on the screen over and over. He'sseen Wolfen and Blade Runner once or twice. But he's viewed Cortez more than 200 times.After it was shown on PBS as a movie made for television, he and co-star Tom Bowertook Cortez on the road, showing it at gatherings of community organizations, prisons,schools and colleges.It was while he was traveling the country with the movie that Michael Manncontacted Eddie and asked if he would take the role of the vice squad lieutenant. Hehad previously tried out for the role of Tubbs, and Mann had not forgotten him. But hefelt committed to continuing his work with Cortez. "I wanted the freedom to do otherprojects. At first, Michael said he couldn't do it, that the contract had to be exclusive, soI turned down the part." But Mann called back after checking with studio executives,and agreed to Olmos's condition. Five hours later, Eddie was on a plane to Miami. "I gotthe call on a Wednesday afternoon and by Thursday morning I was in front of thecamera." He joined the series, replacing actor Gregory Sierra, who had been the vicelieutenant for the pilot and first three episodes.His wife of eighteen years and their two sons moved to Miami from Los Angeleswithin six days. "That was a lot to ask, but they travel everywhere with me." He'sprotective about his family, and asks that the names of his wife and children not beused. "This is my thing, and they shouldn't be brought into it. It's just safer."Like Castillo, Eddie Olmos is a man whose life is centered around a sense of dutyand dedication. "Success hasn't changed Eddie at all," says his childhood friend BobWolf. "He's very loyal to his friends. No matter where he's been, he's always kept intouch."The two men have known each other since second grade in Boyle Heights, in EastLos Angeles, where Eddie, the son of Mexican immigrants, grew up. Wolf explains thatOlmos helped him through some rough times when he was diagnosed as havingmultiple sclerosis twenty years ago. "He's very much a humanitarian. Last year, forexample, Eddie sent me one thousand dollars to give to my doctor at UCLA for researchinto MS."Eddie could be driving a Porsche or Mercedes, or both. Instead, he drives a 1969 VWhe bought new, and his wife drives a late model station wagon. Their home, whichopens onto a sweeping view of the bay, is large and airy, but not pretentious. While hiswife works at a computer they recently bought and are both learning to use, Eddie talksabout his career, VICE, and at length about his ideas on life.There's a box of fan mail next to the computerall of which Olmos will answer."That's one of the reasons we got the computer," his wife explains. "You just wouldn'tbelieve some of the letters he receives." Like from the eighty-five-year-old woman whosaid she'd never written a fan letter before. "And the kids. So many kids write."Olmos's life goal, simply put, is to bring people more closely together through thearts.Olmos, who was chairman of the actors section of Hands Across America,frequently extends his humanitarian concerns beyond people he knows. The manbehind the brooding face of Lt. Castillo, in fact, is a social activist who makes frequentappearances without charge. In the farming community of Homestead, south of Miami,he works with Mexican migrants, helping their organizers raise funds. He frequentlyspeaks at prisons, juvenile detention centers, and inner city schools.Even when the Coca Cola Company asked him to speak to their Hispanic and blackbottlers in Atlanta, he refused to accept a fee. "His only condition for accepting theengagement was that the Coca-Cola people also line up several inner city schools wherehe could talk the same day," says Father Edward Olszewski, of St. Joseph parish inMiami Beach, who accompanied him. "He talked about his life, vocation, acting, aboutthe kids working hard in school and striving to succeed in whatever their endeavorswere."When he has accompanied Eddie to the VICE set, he's seen that same genuineness."He talks to everyonefrom the guy who sweeps the floor to the producer. No one'stoo big or too small." His admiration for Eddie includes his talents as an actor. "Hereally goes into depth with Castillo, trying to portray that individual. He lives with thatcharacter seven days a week."When he prepares for a script, Olmos doesn't simply memorize dialogue. He makessure that he fully understands the intent of the story. Keeping in mind the backgroundof his character, he builds on his part, attempting to make Castillo a deep person withthoughts and ideas.Before he falls asleep, he often programs his subconscious mind for the episode."And sometimes it works really well. I remember it all; it flows. From there, I just go inand be."His professional training, which has ranged from Stanislavsky to avant-gardetheater, has been instrumental in making choices about the portrayal of emotions oncehe's on the set. "You really can't make pre-judgments about feelings before you're on theset, doing certain things. You go through a billion choices. But yeah, I prepare."Olmos has known both of VICE's leading men for years. He met Don Johnson in1968 and Philip Michael Thomas three years later. He and Thomas, who also has aphilosophical bent, have had some rather lengthy and profound discussions. "We aredefinitely of two worlds. Philip is a very kind man, a strong man. We've talked aboutthe yin and yang a lot, about balance. I'll point out that men have to understand the yin,the feminine side, as completely as we understand the yang."He believes that to be the most understanding king that one can beking being theyangyou have to be king to the fullest. He feels that if you stop to think about thequeen, the yin, you slow down the process of understanding how to be the best you canbe as the king. I pointed out that without understanding of the queen, you can't reallycomprehend the role of the king. He pauses and smiles. "We differ in our beliefs, but itdoesn't stop our discussions."Pepe Serna, an actor and close friend, played Eddie's brother in The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, notes that Olmosturned down an offer from McDonald's Hamburgers to do commercials for them.Instead, he came back with a counter-offer for a book jacket called: "Hold Onto YourDreams." There's a photograph of Olmos in the upper right hand corner of the coverand a panoramic sweep of sky. On the back are tips Olmos wrote on turning dreamsinto goals and goals into achievements.Serna, who worked on an episode of VICE, says he'd like to see Eddie do moredirecting. "But it's like with everything else. He won't direct just anything. It has to havea message."A message, for instance, like that contained within an episode of VICE which Olmosdirected called "Bushido." In this story, Castillo's sense of duty is pitted against hisloyalty to a man with whom he worked undercover in Thailand. "One of the hardestthings men and women have to face is when their loyalty and duty are tested.That's what made 'Bushido' a basic roots story. I was fortunate to be able to direct it and towork with John Leeky, who wrote the script, in developing it."The episode opens with a routine drug bust that falls apart. Crockett and Tubbslearn from Castillo that the men who stole the 'buy' money is a renegade double agentand former associate of Castillo's. He's hoping to use the money in a game of hide andseek from the CIA and KGB. Castillo, to keep the man's family alive, falls back on hisknowledge of the ways of the Bushido, a secret warrior society. "In a lot of ways, theepisode was monumental for the character of Castillo, because we saw sides of him wehadn't seen before and learned something about his mysterious past."But more than what "Bushido" revealed about Castillo is what the episode revealedabout Olmos's range as an actor. In a particularly moving scene in a Thai temple, forinstance, Jack the renegade, played by Dean Stockwell, explains to Castillo how his wifeand son changed everything for him and all he wants is for them to be protected.Castillo, standing with his hands in his pockets and his eyes downcast, listens intently.When Jack finishes, Castillo looks up, pain etched in every line of his face. "I can't letyou walk. It's my duty. It's who I am."Jack says he knows, and moves away, toward a statue, his back to Castillo. When hespins around, he's armed and Castillo fires in self-defense, killing him. The echo ofthose words, IT'S MY DUTY. . . IT'S WHO I AM... seem to reverberate in the suddensilence. The stricken expression on Castillo's face speaks volumes about duty versusloyalty. Later, we discover that Jack was riddled with cancer, and we realize that heintentionally missed when he shot at his former partner. And Castillo, of course, acts onhis loyalty to Jack and their past friendship by taking his wife and son into hiding.There's a marvelous scene in the episode in which Castillo finds out Jack named hisson Marty, after him, and tells the boy a story about Bushido warriors which is aparable about Castillo's friendship with Jack. He presents the boy with a sword, butpresents it as one man to another, as an oblation of respect.In the end, as the boy and his mother are vanishing down the waterway on a boat,Tubbs makes a remark about Castillo not giving an inch. Crockett glances at him andsays, "He can't."And neither, apparently, can Eddie Olmos, not when it concerns a principle. PepeSerna points out that Olmos was offered any role he wanted in Scarface, except for thetwo leads. He turned them down, however, because he didn't agree with how Cubanswere depicted in the film. During the four years he dedicated to Cortez, he reputedlyturned down half million dollars' worth of film roles.

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cageyJG    100
cageyJG

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Super_Bowl_halftime_shows

I'll bet many people don't know that Lt. Castillo was a Super Bowl halftime performer.

Super Bowl Show details
XXXIV
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Matt5    1,919
Matt5
22 hours ago, cageyJG said:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Super_Bowl_halftime_shows

I'll bet many people don't know that Lt. Castillo was a Super Bowl halftime performer.

Super Bowl Show details
XXXIV

Wow ! So interesting thankyou for posting !

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Sonny-Burnett    611
Sonny-Burnett

Some excerpts from the interview with Olmos, referring to his character Castillo:

``He`s a lonely man, desperately so. He may be the loneliest, the most isolated character who has ever been on television. Castillo is an awkward man in some ways; he works hard, is very disciplined, works all the time."

``Somebody wrote that Castillo didn`t belong, that he looked like a guy from an Ingmar Bergman movie,`` Olmos said, laughing. ``I liked that, not pleasing everyone, adding a bit of confusion.``

'.... with the episode (`Prodigal Son`) where Crockett and Tubbs went to New York. They wanted Castillo to go. I told them, `Send anybody, but don`t send Castillo. He has to stay on the job in Miami. It`s what he would do.` ``

Edited by Sonny-Burnett
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