Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez, 38, was on a political communications track when a friend enlisted him for an experimental short film in the ’90s. He went on to score a Golden Globe nom for portraying a Latin Revolutionary in 2010 miniseries “Carlos,” and he also tackled terrorism as a CIA operative in 2012’s “Zero Dark Thirty.” In 2016, he’ll play pugilist Roberto Duran (with Robert De Niro in his corner) in “Hands of Stone” and a therapist in thriller “The Girl on the Train.” But first, he’ll grace the screen in two Christmas Day releases: “Point Break” and “Joy.”
What did you love about the original “Point Break”?
I belonged to the “Point Break” generation — I watched the original when I was 13 years old. It’s basically the story of the rescue of the human spirit, and we continue to fight that same spiritual battle, but with a political expression.
How is this film different than the original?
In the first movie, they were more hedonistic. My character Bodhi, he’s more like a monk. … There’s an FBI infiltration (of a surfing team), there are events happening around the world that need to be investigated, and that’s what triggers the journey of the movie.
What attracted you to “Joy”?
This is a movie that’s surprising, intense, funny and heartbreaking, as are all (David O. Russell) movies. He’s such a sensitive man, and he really feels things so deeply. It’s basically a movie about success, and the struggle that comes after success.
Why is the “Joy” cast such a great team?
When you walk onto one of (Russell’s) sets, you can totally see that they’re a family. There’s a word that David always uses to describe the interaction with his actors — he calls his actors “collaborators.” There’s a very deep connection and a lot of compassion in his family.