Q & A with Actor Carlos Ramzey Ramirez

Carlos Ramzey Ramirez on identity, acting, living with a transgender, and the upcoming indie feature "Aguruphobia"

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: June 25, 2013

Q & A with Actor Carlos Ramzey Ramirez

Q: Tell us about your next project?

Carlos: I play Sandra, a transgender, man to woman, best friend of Crystal Luna in the upcoming feature film "Aguruphobia." It's a spiritual dark comedy.

Q: Tell us about your character?

Carlos: Sandra is unbalanced and in conflict within herself and yet very much the caretaker with a honed motherly instinct. She attempts to live a balanced life in the midst of an identity crisis she is the source of strength of consciousness and influence to her best friend Crystal Luna.

Q: What attracted you to the role of Sandra in Aguruphobia?

Carlos: The script spoke to me from a moral point of view on how religion has an impact on people. I also was attracted to the creativity of fashion, in my mind I knew that the fashion would be key to unlocking Sandra within me and I always admired the debonair actresses of the 1940's which I drew as a source of inspiration when sculpting Sandra. I looked at such classic transgender films such as Too Wong Foo and couldn't help to compare Sandra to the ladies Patrick Swayze and Wesley Snipes embodied in "To Wong Foo" - I knew that Sandra was a woman trapped in a man's body.

Q: What was it like for Carlos the man to become the woman Sandra?

Carlos: I lost the essence of masculinity when I shaved my legs and made an instant connection to Sandra. I spent a lot time in West Hollywood understanding the social world of a transgender and was intrigued by the attraction between men with other men who dress like women. I frequented the Abbey and Rage in West Hollywood. Being creatures of habit what better way to further discover the art of being a woman than sleeping in their clothes.

Q: How much of Sandra is Carlos?

Carlos: In the past five years while understanding human behavior through study and examination and simply through living I have came to understand that, regardless of sex, human behavior has mannerisms, values and ethics that apply to both sex. In the case of Sandra this is where I drew a parallel between myself the actor and the character. Both Carlos and Sandra are in search of their identity. In this new modern day men and women are not restricted by the old gender rules.

Q: Who is Carlos Ramzey Ramirez?

Carlos: A man with a severe identity crisis who has been in search of himself for the past three decades. The first ten years of my life were engulfed with the stage and theater. I joined the military when I was seventeen and in the absence of my parents I have been attempting to discover who I am as a person. The search for myself led me to take the journey as a military solider. I've been in two wars and traveled to over forty countries which has greatly influenced my work as an actor being able to bring authenticity to a multitude of film roles in Los Angeles and New York and this journey serves as the missing link to who I am. The journey has been most telling in showing that the result of who I am is not the pinnacle point of discovery but the continuous process of understanding human behavior and depicting them on film.

Q: What is it like always being mistaken for Pedro from the film "Napoleon Dynamite" which your identical twin brother Efren Ramirez played?

Carlos: For the first three years upon the initial release of "Napoleon Dynamite" I was in shock and overwhelmed by the amount of freedom and accessibility I had with fame. After the third day back in Los Angeles from my military travels I went to the Academy Awards with my twin brother. Neither of us had any idea about how our lives would completely change. With all that fame without the fortune on my behalf it became a mental block and drove me to search for myself.

Q: Why "Aguruphobia?"

Carlos: I strongly believe in independent films. They have no limits. Each character in "Aguruphobia" breaks through to a better understanding of the nature of their existence. Crystal, with her phobia; Sandra with her relationships and trying to build relationships working past her trust issues and it's her best friend Crystal's phobia of not leaving the house that gives Sandra the strength to embrace who she is, be bold and not be apologetic.

Q: What is the importance of capturing a Sandra on film?

Carlos: In the film Sandra is the essence of hope and I like to think of it as hope for the equal rights movement.

Stay abreast with Aguruphobia online by 'LIKING' our facebook page
http://www.facebook.com/aguruphobia and visiting our site www.AGURUPHOBIA.com

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