Families often fight with each other and are reluctant to see and understand their relatives’ point-of-views, as many people often yearn for a better, more glamorous lifestyle than what their brood can offer them. That’s certainly the case with the Calvo family in the new Columbian comedy ‘The Trip 2 (El Paseo 2),’ which premiered to American audiences on Monday, March 4, 2013 during the 30th Annual Miami International Film Festival. While director Harold Trompetero’s follow-up to his hit 2010 comedy, ‘The Trip,’ features a new cast and set of characters, the second installment in the series once again chronicles the struggles and stress families often experience, even during what is supposed to be a relaxing, calm vacation.
‘The Trip 2’ follows Lucho Calvo (John Leguiziamo), who has booked a family vacation at a seaside resort for his wife, Gloria (Karen Martinez), their daughter, Natalia (Maria Gabriela de Faria), their son and his ever critical mother-in-law. With lost hotel reservations, the revelation that Gloria’s rich ex-boyfriends runs the resort and snapping parasailing cords making debuts in the early going, the Calvos learn the importance of family sticking together, even when their personalities clash.
Leguiziamo, Martinez and Trompetero generously took the time to discuss shooting the comedy while at the film festival. The three answered questions from the audience after the movie’s screening at the Regal South Beach Stadium 18 theater. Among other things, the actors and helmer discussed how they became involved in the movie, their plans for two more sequels and comedic anecdotes from the shoot.
Question (Q): John, how did you become involved with the project?
John Leguiziamo (JL): Well, I did a one-man show on Broadway called ‘Ghetto Klown,’ and then translated it into Spanish, after a year of grammar classes and dictation and all kinds of study. I felt proficient in it.
Harold was directing the commercials, and I had a blast with this man. He was a funny dude and so accessible. He gave me the script, and I thought it was hilarious, and that’s how we started this relationship.
Q: Had you seen the first ‘Trip?’
JL: I saw the first one after he hired me. (laughs)
Q: Are you going to make a ‘Trip in Paris?’
Harold Trompetero (HT): We have secured distribution for ‘The Trip 2’ in South America. The production company has started plans for ‘The Trip 3’ and ‘The Trip 4,’ and the fourth will be in Miami.
Q: How was your experience on ‘The Trip 2’ different from your Hollywood films?
JL: (On ‘The Trip 2’) they would do anything, but there wasn’t any insurance. (laughs) If I was in danger, they didn’t care. (laughs) That’s the big difference with this film. When we were tied to the bus, this poor woman (points to Martinez) almost fell off. (laughs) I almost fell off of that mud volcano.
It was really great to be with this crew. With this crew, there was no wasted time. There was improvisation, and it was a great group of actors. The crew was just as good as anyone in Hollywood. I had a blast, and it was one of the best times of my life.
Q: John, you haven’t done physical comedy like this since ‘The Pest.’ Do you prefer the comedic roles over the dramatic roles?
JL: It’s not really a preference thing. As an artist, I like to do as many different things as possible. Dramas are different, because they come from your heart, and comedy’s from your brain. So I like to be well-rounded.
You’re right, I haven’t done a physical comedy in a long time. I haven’t found one that I’ve really liked, but this one’s special to me. It was in Columbia with this great crew. It really appealed to me to do a grown-up follow-up to ‘The Pest.’
Q: Was the whole film shot in Cartagena, Columbia?
HT: Only the external scenes were shot in Cartagena. The scenes shot on the beach and in the hotel weren’t (shot there).
JL: But it was very expensive (where we shot).
HT: Everything is expensive. (laughs)
Q: Were there any funny stories from the set?
Karen Martinez (KM): I was very surprised at John’s dancing skills. In the beginning, we were laughing our heads off, and by the end, we were crying.
HT: John actually did go into the mud and the parachute. Whatever I asked, John did.
JL: remember how they tell you not to work with children and dogs? That myth is true. (laughs) The dog looked cute in the movie, but was growling at me and biting me in the face. I told them to cut it out of the movie.
That was after I almost drowned while scuba-diving. I kept sinking too fast, and my ears were about to explode. When I was in the mud volcano, which was incredible, it was slippery when I tried to climb out, but they didn’t show that. I still have the bruises and pains in my back. There are a lot of crazy anecdotes, but you’ll have to see the DVD and the bonus features for all of them.
Q: Karen, what’s it like coming back to acting?
KM: It was four years between my last series (‘Sin retorno’) and this film, and I was honored to work with John and Harold and this crew.
Q: Are there any closing remarks?
HT: I want to acknowledge and thank the cast and crew for helping to make this a great film.