Pepe: I star and co-produce the upcoming feature Aguruphobia, a Safada Y Sano Production, written by Jade Puga and Richard Montes, the creative team behind the film. It's a spiritual dark comedy that takes place in Los Angeles and delves into the new age self-help world.
Q: What does Aguruphobia mean?
Pepe: Aguruphobia is the title of the film and play on words agoraphobia and guru both referencing the two main character. Crystal Luna (played by Jade Puga) is a victim of internet bullying, who becomes agoraphobic-afraid to leave her home whose life becomes intertwined with my character the guru Nanak thus A-Guru-Phobia.
Q: Tell us about your character?
Pepe: I play Nanak, an internet spiritual guru, who is a mix between Walter Mercado and Deepak Chopra. In the film I am a commercialized guru selling happiness and hope to help people through my teachings and of course I also sell products such as tea, autographed photos, mugs, posters and books of my teachings. In the film, my biggest fan and top Nanak merchandise seller is Crystal Luna, played by up and coming hyphenate Jade Puga who also co-wrote and Produced Aguruphobia.
Q: What attracted you to the role of Nanak in Aguruphobia?
Pepe: I was intrigued by the idea of "celebrity" and the idea of how a public persona can become all encompassing and overtake who the real person is. My character- the guru Nanak is a celebrity who teaches about love and happiness when the cameras are on and I wanted to see what was behind the mask. I was impressed with the way Jade and Richard dealt with this idea of celebrity and the last scene between Crystal Luna and Nanak is somewhat of a showdown where Nanak has an unveiling and we finally meet the man behind the make-up and cameras.
Q: Can you share something fun about the shoot?
Pepe: (laughing) I will never forgive Jade and Richard for sticking me in that black wig!
Q: Why Aguruphobia? Why now in your career would you take on an indie film?
Pepe: The script that Jade and Richard wrote is colorful dynamic, pulsating, funny and has a strong message of togetherness and hope for humanity. I have always strived to be part of projects that speak to me on a creative and personal level. When I first read the script I felt an instant connection to the themes of the piece and wanted to be involved. After talking to the director Richard Montes I knew that I would be in safe hands his giving spirit, stern leadership and creative instincts would take this script to the screen in a way I would be proud.
Q: What most excites you about Aguruphobia?
Pepe: Being able to share with audiences across the world a character like no other I have captured on camera and sharing with the world two new talents Director and Co-writer Richard Montes and Star, Co-Writer, Producer Jade Puga.