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John Leguizamo says food is a ‘bait and a lure’ in ‘The Menu’ horror-comedy movie

Meals may be each irresistible and satisfying. The brand new horror-comedy “The Menu,” makes use of that attract to entice privileged diners at a high-end banquet, the actor John Leguizamo mentioned in an interview with NBC Information.

“I liked the intelligent writing, the gorgeous poetry about meals, after which clearly the gorgeous execution of the meals,” he mentioned. “However that’s only a bait and a lure to sucker the viewers in. After which it turns into this terrifying horror thriller about who’s going to perish and who’s not going to perish.” 

Leguizamo performs an actor who has fallen out of the highlight. And along with 10 different friends, he’ll put his palate, and in the end his life, within the palms of world-class chef Julian Slowik, performed by Ralph Fiennes. 

These friends are invited to an unique vacation spot restaurant on a distant island. However their high-dining expertise will come at a lethal value. And because the movie raises the stakes for these tremendous diners, viewers could also be prompted to ask: How a lot are you keen to pay for a very good meal?   

Whereas “The Menu” stresses how meals can join and disconnect individuals, Leguizamo says it additionally mocks class tensions between the haves (the friends) and the have-nots (the restaurant employees), pitting them in opposition to one another in a eating room. 

“The film is satirizing what’s happening on the planet and in America proper now,” Leguizamo mentioned, “the place the wealthy, the billionaires, firms are ruling and taking on our politics, our social media, controlling all the things, and we now have to struggle in opposition to it. We’ve got to return out as fact to energy.” 

Within the film, the friends have been handpicked by Slowik and are parodies of a ruling class: three tech bros, an out-of-touch rich couple, an elitist meals critic and her editor, a self-centered meals aficionado and his last-minute date, and a fading actor (Leguizamo) together with his assistant.

Past these ruling class stereotypes, nevertheless, Leguizamo mentioned he’s proud that “The Menu” places the highlight on Latino actors differently. 

“What I appreciated concerning the movie is that the Latin individuals weren’t within the kitchen as per common. We have been being served,” he mentioned. 

“The Menu” options 4 actors with connections to Hispanic tradition and heritage in starring roles which can be exterior of the kitchen. 

Leguizamo was born in Colombia and raised in Jackson Heights, New York. Aimee Carrero, who was born within the Dominican Republic and raised in Miami, performs his assistant. Arturo Castro, who was born in Guatemala and later moved to New York, performs one of many tech bros. And Anya Taylor-Pleasure, who performs the last-minute date for the meals aficionado (performed by Nicholas Hoult), is the daughter of an Argentine of English and Scottish descent, and her maternal grandmother is from Barcelona. 

When requested about horror motion pictures, Leguizamo mentioned that the style can open doorways to inform highly effective tales about Latino id. He identified that one of many grasp filmmakers within the style was Cuban — George Romero made the 1968 black-and-white zombie basic, “Evening of the Dwelling Lifeless.” 

Leguizamo additionally in contrast “The Menu” with “The Exterminating Angel,” a 1962 Mexican surrealist movie directed by award-winning Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel, wherein a bunch of prosperous friends are unable to go away an extravagant banquet. 

Exterior of the movie, meals is nurturing and empowering, Leguizamo mentioned. 

“Meals is all the things in a Latin household. And the extra individuals, the higher the meals tastes,” he mentioned. “My mother’s at all times over-serving after which she has the do-it-yourself Latin Tupperware, which is simply no matter plastic receptacle your meals got here in. She’s at all times sending individuals with luggage full of additional meals.” 

Over the past 4 many years, Leguizamo remembers household Christmas menus filled with Latino taste: arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon beans); pernil (slow-cooked roast pork); pollo al horno (baked hen); plátanos maduros (ripe plantains); ensalada de aguacate (avocado salad); habichuelas (beans); and tostones (inexperienced plantains). 

These days Leguizamo has been busy touring throughout the nation and doing a deep dive into the tradition — together with the long-lasting meals and eating places — of a number of U.S. cities as a part of his upcoming documentary sequence, “Leguizamo Does America.” The sequence takes viewers on a tour of the locations and those that make a number of American cities — like Miami, Chicago and L.A. — distinctly Latino.

The six-part sequence, produced by NBC Information studios, is scheduled for April 2023 on MSNBC. (NBC Information Studios and MSNBC together with NBCNews.com are a part of Comcast’s NBCUniversal.)

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