Jaime Gomez Steps
By Marcos Muniz
his upcoming performance as Mike in "Gabriela",
Jaime Gomez moves from his role on the TV series "Nash Bridges"
to his first leading role in a feature film. "Gabriela" is a passionate
love story that Power Point Point Films is releasing nationwide
early next year, with sneak previews on Valentine's Day in Los Angeles.
The buzz on the film is that it is going to be a hit, as Gomez puts
it: "A big home run." Juan Rodriguez Flores, Entertainment Editor
and film critic for La Opinión declared that Gabriela
is "the best love story since "Pretty Woman."
Jaime paid his dues by
doing small parts in hit TV shows such as "21 Jump Street, "Picket
Fences," and "Jag." Then came supporting parts in big studio movies
like "Clear and Present Danger" and "Crimson Tide." While his talent
was evident, the jobs were still not enough to really make ends
meet. That is, until Jaime got called to audition for Don Johnson's
new show "Nash Bridges." Jaime recalls that he barely had enough
money for the bus to get to the audition. Fortunately, Jaime nailed
the audition and got cast as Evan Cortez, a part he played for five
years. "Doing the show with Don and Cheech [Marin] was an absolute
blast" he recalls with pleasure. "But now it is time for me to move
on to features."
His part in "Nash Bridges"
brought him to the attention of Vincent Miller, the Writer, Director
of "Gabriela" who had been casting for close to a year looking for
the perfect actor to play Mike, the social worker whose love affair
with his colleague Gabriela forms the backbone of the picture. As
Miller recalls, "I had seen many good actors for the part but there
was something that was missing. It was three weeks before we had
planned on shooting and I was seriously beginning to consider changing
our start date when I got lucky enough to be introduced to Jaime's
work on "Nash Bridges." Fortunately, he had just finished shooting
the show and was able to come and audition for us." Miller was enthused
by Jaime's performance: "I always wanted the character to have that
extra little edge and intensity that a great actor could bring and
seeing Jaime read for us, I knew we had found our Mike."
The part of Mike was not
written specifically to be played by a Latino and Gomez was very
receptive to that: "It's exciting to be considered just an actor,
period, as opposed to being a Latino actor. I think that was one
of the most important things about making the decision to do this
film, the fact that the Latino characters were portrayed in such
a positive light, as real people, as opposed to being caricatures..."
Significantly, "Gabriela" is the first Hollywood love story to star
two Latinos and has inspired the creation of the Premiere Weekend
Club an organization dedicated to motivating Hollywood to produce
and distribute more films with realistic Latino characters. "The
film is a must see for anyone who loves romantic stories. People
will love Jaime and Seidy in "Gabriela," says Gil Botello, President
of the Premiere Weekend Club.
Jaime's finely honed performance
as Mike was helped by Miller's insistence on extensive rehearsals:
"The rehearsal time was really, really great. It turned out to be
such an advantage when we got to shooting, because we had already
done it. We already knew what we wanted to do, as opposed to trying
to find it on the set. I think it shows up on screen." Having Seidy
Lopez at his side playing Gabriela was another plus: "Seidy was
great. She was prepared and worked really hard. She helped me a
lot and we helped each other.
Now that "Gabriela" is
about to hit the screens, Gomez has reached his goal of being the
star of a feature film and expects a great audience response: "I
went to a few test screenings and the audience's response was amazing.
It was very gratifying to see the enthusiasm after the screening."
But success, while important, is not all for Gomez: "What is about
is doing the work, doing something important and passionate. That's
what "Gabriela" is and I'm excited to see it."
about the movie Gabriela
about life on the set of the movie Gabriela
Theater Listings & Showtimes
National Release Schedule
Gabriela Web Site