| January 29, 2001
© Invisible America
Steven Speilberg's company Dreamworks is beginning to promote their upcoming feature film, 'The Mexican.' The film is a caper in which Brad Pitt goes to Mexico against the wishes of his girlfriend, played by Julia Roberts. 'The Mexican,' it turns out is not actually a Mexican, but a pistol that Pitt's character needs to smuggle across the border (*).
Studio executives explained the tough decisions they faced, stating "We knew the film would be about Brad Pitt smuggling 'The Mexican' across the border. We weren't sure if 'The Mexican' would be a pistol, a pound of cocaine or a truckload of sombreros. We considered all the options, and originally planned on going with the bag of coke, but it was occupied in Steven Soderbergh's 'Traffic', so we settled on the pistol."
The decision to represent 'The Mexican' as a pistol, and not a bag of coke, upset Brad Pitt. Pitt, who starred in 'Seven Years in Tibet,' complained "I was originally told the film was called 'Seven Years in Tijuana,' and I signed on immediately. I did a couple test scenes with the cocaine...it was a little slow, but smooth, real smooth."
Julia Roberts, who is dating Peruvian super-hunk Benjamin Bratt, had a different vision. "I wanted the film to be called 'The Peruvian,' and to co-star Benjamin as my llama herding, pistol toting, cocaine smuggling, boyfriend...but it's really hard for latinos to get good roles in Hollywood."
Dreamworks has experience making difficult casting decisions in their productions that take place south of the border. In 1998 they released their animated conquest musical, 'The Road to El Dorado,' which took place entirely in Mexico, but starred not a single Mexican. According to studio executives "Elton John singing a love song for Cortez was weird enough."
When pressed on whether or not they ever considered actually having a Mexican star in 'The Mexican,' the Dreamworks executive answered "Where would we find a Mexican in Los Angeles?"