Spanish Director Eugenio Mira Steps In Front Of The Camera As A Young De Niro In RED LIGHTS
There is a long history of directors who somehow wind up taking off the monocle, putting down the bullhorn, and stepping in front of the camera. Otto Preminger. Sydeny Pollak. Eugenio Mira. Wait...Eugenio Mira? That's right, the man behind last years amazing dark drama AGNOSIA dons the mole, and shares a role of Simon Silver with screen legend Robert De Niro.An outre piece, Buried director Rodrigo Cortes follows up his astounding single-set epic with the new film Red Lights. Starring the legendary Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver, Cillian Murphy, Elizabeth Olson, and of course, ScreenAnarchy pal Eugenio Mira. The plot follows:
In the film two paranormal fraud investigators, the veteran Dr. Margaret Matheson (Weaver) and her young assistant, Tom Buckley (Murphy), who study the diverse phenomena of metaphysics with the intention to demonstrate its fraudulent origin. Simon Silver (De Niro), a legendary psychic, perhaps the most famous gifted of all time, returns after thirty years of mysterious absence to become the world's greatest challenger to orthodox science and professional skeptics. Tom begins to develop a dense obsession to silver, whose magnetism is enhanced dangerously with each new manifestation of inexplicable dark phenomena.
Where does burgeoning director Eugenio Mira figure in? Get ready to smile readers, this is one hell of a story. In lieu of properly being able to convey the miraculous and Cinderella-like turn of events, I'll let Eugenio tell it himself - it's really quite a neat little tale, and couldn't have happened to a nicer (or more talented) person.
"Back in October, it was announced that Robert De Niro was gonna be incarnating a mentalist/psychic magician in Rodrigo Cortes' Red Lights. I've been stumbling upon Rodrigo over the last couple years, so I had the chance to read his script before he had the chance to make Buried. That's why I remembered there was a section of the story where a younger version of Robert De Niro's character was portrayed. I couldn't resist myself and, despite I never had in mind to have an acting career, I had one from the heart... so I just wrote Rodrigo saying "hey, I think I can pull it off!". He answered cautious and warmly with a "LOL".
Next time I had news from Red Lights, it was via Ronna Kress, the cast director!! Oh my God. No jokes here: it was ON!! I started to feel the challenge. Of course, they'd have to dub me... but even though, I had to get as close as I could to De Niro's voice and accent. So I started to practice. Keep in mind that all this happened while I was (and I'm still) in Thailand, shooting the 2nd unit of J.A. Bayona's The Impossible, starring Ewan McGreggor & Naomi Watts. So I grabbed a camera, I built a little set in my hotel room and I asked a friend to play "a 70's tv show presenter". I edited it and I sent it to Ronna.
She loved it. I was AMAZED. Now, I only had to wait until Christmas to know the decision. They had to check all the audition tapes. I suddenly was aware that I was competing with true professional actors from London & L.A. I kept the faith, but my brain was telling me "no way".
Adrian Guerra (the producer) calls me the first week of January and he literally says: "You're pretty close, man. Now there is only one more step: we have to show it to Mr. De Niro for his final approval".
"His final approval..."
It did happened. And I can't believe it, yet.
48 hours in Barcelona and back to Thailand. The Bobby-D day was the 4th. The day two guys play the same character. The day I made my debut as an actor. The day I met the myth, the icon and the man. So kind, warm... and shy! Unforgettable.
Special thanks a J.A. Bayona for (2 days off!!) allowing me to fulfill this mind-blowing date with destiny ! And to Rodrigo Cortes for putting together a fascinating character. Whew!!!"
If that ain't a cat in pajamas dancing with destiny, then I don't know what is. Again, a big congratulations to Mr. Mira. I was already looking forward to Red Lights in a massive way, being a huge fan of Rodrigo Cortes' Buried. Now having a chance to see one of my favorite modern directors have a chance to work as a first time actor with the man whose face he shares? This is the stuff I live for. It also reaffirms the philosophy that everything is connected. Stay tuned for more on Red Lights as news becomes available. Watch the link below for a report from TV3 Televisio de Catalunya to see De Niro and Mira discussing the film. Maybe some our Spanish readers can translate, eh?
Also, see HERE for my interview from Fantastic Fest 2010 with Mr. Mira and his male lead, star Eduardo Noriega, for last years AGNOSIA.