We’ve all lied on college and job applications. Somehow, we turned our three weeks working at a pet store into three years spent saving endangered bear cubs from mass extinction.
And that’s how we get True Memoirs of an International Assassin, a film starring Kevin James as an accountant who has tricked the wrong people into thinking he’s a dangerous man needing to be reckoned with. Also starring in the film include Andy Garcia, Zulay Henao, Kim Coastes, Maurice Compte, Daniel Zacapa, and more.
The film follows Kevin James’ character Sam after he writes a book that gets published with a few major details changed, like the fact the book was written under fictional contexts but the genre switches to nonfiction. After revolutionaries from another country find him, they decide to take advantage of his talents and set him up to assassinate the president– as well as others along the way.
With Jeff Wadlow (Kick Ass 2) directing and writing, and Jeff Morris (Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever) writing, the film offers great comedic twists and turns while poking fun at the genre and its actors. Set to come out on November 11, check out our exclusve interviews with the cast and crew below.
How was it like working on the movie?
It was just a joy. Honestly it was just so much fun because they’re so constantly professional. They’re professionals in the way that they elevated my game and we worked everything out and it was great. I can’t wait to do something else with them because this was great and so much fun I don’t want it to end. I’m sad that it’s over. We made this movie, I want to make another one with them.
Tell us about your character in the film.
I play sort of his antagonist in the movie. I play a revolutionary hero– not hero, well hero to some in the movie, or hero to himself in the movie. But I kidnap Kevin because I think he’s an international assassin of great notoriety so he can assassinate the president of my country, so I can take over. It’s like life imitates art.
What was it like working with Kevin?
Amazing. I felt very kinship with him. We had a little bit of a relationship prior to the movie so we were friends but I always looked forward to working with him as an actor and specifically a comedian.
You’re working on the film Geostorm— can you tell us about it?
It deals with catastrophic situations with the environment and how that is manipulated in the atmosphere. And we’re in post production with the movie– not sure when it’s going to come out but eventually it’ll hopefully see the light of day.
Do you think this film and films of its kind have some political message?
Well obviously the conceit– all these movies that take place in the future and sort of can happen, a lot of times these things are in the realm of possibility and manipulating weather and controlling it is happening already today. You can go into the eye of a storm and release some things to calm the storm down. But if you can imagine, and stretch the imagination a little; how could you through a series of satellites can you manipulate weather conditions and if you could, what kind of catastrophes could you create to use it as a weapon.
Tell us about your character.
She’s a badass DEA agent who finds out about this guy Sam who comes into Venezuela to save the day. Unbeknownst to me, he’s really not a killer, so I go out there and save him and we kind of form this friendship that eventually turns into us working together and saving the day. And it’s really fun, it’s family friendly and I really had a ball doing it because I had so much physical work for it. And it was the first time I had to do a movie that was an action movie and so much action involved.
Did you do any preparation for those action scenes?
Well I traveled to Atlanta a month prior to the film starting and there was a stunt team so it was a lot of work.
What was it like working with Kevin and Andy?
Being here, I know we shot the movie a little over a year ago and I’ve been seeing Kevin and seeing Andy since then but now tonight it’s like the coming out party and it’s so gratifying to see where my work has taken me and I am beyond grateful to God and these amazing people who believed in me.
What was it like working on the film?
After done such serious stuff on Narcos, it was kind of nice to take a role and make fun of yourself. And the seriousness– plus now we’re in such a charged political environment and everybody’s taking politics so seriously– it’s always been the same thing it feels like. And in one with the internet, it’s like everybody’s getting confused and we just need to take a step back, know that everything’s going to be ok, maybe laugh at ourselves and I think that this film is a good break for that. Narcos was so intense and people are like “Look at the way the world is now.” And this film is more of a relaxer.
What was it like working with Kevin and Andy?
They’re awesome. Andy’s like an old oak, he’s been in every situation that you can imagine in Hollywood. He’s met everyone and has at least one story with everyone. It was great. It was great waking up and doing scenes, with Andy Garcia and watching him do funny takes and not be like “Give the actor his room, he’s getting into character.” Which is more the mentality of Narcos when you have intense lines to do and you’re being procedural about stuff. Here it’s just like stay loose. So it was a whole different environment.
What was it like being director and writer?
It was fantastic, we made a great film that everyone worked really hard on. Kevin’s fantastic, Andy Garcia and Zulay Henao deliver really outstanding performances– I’m so grateful to Netflix for supporting the film and wanting to do something different with the movie. I’m just so proud of the final product. It’s rare in Hollywood to set out to do something and feel like when you’re done, you did the thing you wanted to do, and I feel like with this movie, we did.
So you wrote this draft eight years ago?
Yea it’s really weird. It was something I wasn’t sure it would ever get made, but when I wrote it, the Hollywood community embraced it and it was always something really special and close to my heart. I originally set it up at a finance company that ended up going bankrupt and I was able to pull it out of bankruptcy and find different producers who disappeared. And I ended up finding new producers and they got Kevin James aboard and that’s just Hollywood. Eight years is just kind of like how these things go and I feel very fortunate this got made.
Tell us about your character.
I play Detective Garcia and he is a Venezuelan police officer and Kevin’s character comes to me for some help and I end up just trying to help myself as all good corrupt cops do– most cops are not. But this was just a fun film to be involved with in every aspect. I’m a character actor who’s worked a lot but to work with Kevin and his genius and he’s such a comedic actor and to get to know him was just wonderful.
Leonard Earl Howze
What’s it like being on Kevin Can Wait?
First it’s a blessing. The cast is really awesome. Our dressing rooms are all lined up– it’s kind of like a college dorm. We interact with one another and interact after set. But watching Kevin and how he works from Monday to Friday and from how our script changes and moving the story along and by the time the audience comes in on Friday, we have a show that has them laughing from start to finish. It’s been a great time.
And now you have Rob Long after Bruce left.
Well we’re going to find out and we think with anything you pick up and you bow together and we keep pressing forward and we just want to keep having audiences to keep tuning in and great family time. That’s one of the things that we’re sharing that I have a lot of friends who have kids that are maybe two, three years old to ten, and for me it means the most that they’re able to sit down with their kids and watch the show together. That family time that you don’t need to cover their eyes and tell them to leave the room. It means a lot.