BY DONNA FREYDKIN
In the surreal western "The Hateful Eight," it's Demian Bichir's absurdist Bob who provides the comic relief.
Yes, the same Bichir who earned an Oscar nomination for playing a resolutely and quietly optimistic gardener in 2011's heartbreaking illegal immigrant drama "A Better Life." You can thank director/writer Quentin Tarantino, who formed a one-man Bichir fanclub before casting him in his film, for Bichir's rise.
"The funny thing about landing a role, most of the time you have to convince people you are the right person for the role. Very few times, you find directors jumping into your own stuff and getting to know what you've done in the past. Quentin did that. He told me he'd been through a Demian Bichir marathon. That's what you want," says Bichir.
As for his playful side, on full display in "Eight," those close to him are very familiar with it. "I'm like that. I've done a lot of comedy back in Mexico. I'm very goofy. Only the people close to me know that," he says.
Being nominated for an Academy Award led to a richer variety of roles for Bichir, including a part in the 2013 Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy comedy "The Heat" and the dreamy, highly sexual 2012 Blake Lively thriller "Savages."
"A lot more people know who you are and know your name. It is what you want. A lot of offers came directly to us," says Bichir.
He's got high hopes after working with Tarantino. And why not, given that the film has a 93 percent approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes?
"I hope it will change my life. I hope better things will come to my (career) after people see this work. What I take from this experience is the confirmation that geniuses are the nicest people. I'm not a genius at all. Quentin is a genius. He's a loving, caring human being. Life is good. Life is generous. And Quentin is incredibly generous too," says Bichir.
Cheers to that.
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