We caught up with Andy Garcia and his stunning daughter Dominik Garcia-Lorido in Florida while in town for the premiere of their movie, City Island, during the Miami International Film Festival. The film, a comedy about a dysfunctional family who live in a small enclave in the Bronx, is set to hit select theaters this Friday, March 19th.
In the movie, as in life, Andy plays Dominik's father, Vince Rizzo, a corrections officer who has a passion for acting, but is afraid to share his thespian tendencies with his family. Dominik's character, Vivian, is struggling with her own issues. Having recently been kicked out of school and losing her scholarship, Vivian begins to strip in the hopes that she can return to school and pay her tuition without her parents ever being the wiser. Complicating the situation is the fact that Vince has a secret love child from a previous relationship that happens to show up in the very jail he polices. Hilarity obviously ensues.
City Island provides a departure from the norm for Andy Garcia and a moment to really shine in a juicy supporting role for Dominik Garcia-Lorido. We spoke to both of them about the family's mutual love of acting, awkward moments on set and keeping secrets:
What drew you to the script?
ANDY: There was an inherent quality of writing in the material of charm and humanity. It was a character that people probably wouldn’t think of me for. I just loved the fact that the guy was a full of sort of hidden passions and dreams but also guilt and insecurities and embarrassments.
Is comedy harder than drama?
ANDY: In a way it’s harder. There’s an old cliché that comedy is a serious business. I enjoy comedy very much. I always have, it’s something I always been focused on. It’s a genre I’m very comfortable in; I used to do it on stage for many years. I’m glad I found a piece of material that gave me an opportunity to explore that genre.
Was it embarrassing to film that scene where the brother and dad start to talk about how the older daughter boobs have gotten bigger?
DOMINIK: It’s one of those things where you’re like, “OK, this is the reality of it and this is what you got to do” and you just find the humor of it. It’s kind of funny when you have stuff like that makes you fell awkward or uneasy, it’s nice to have some kind of genuine reaction.
Everyone in City Island has a secret. Have you ever kept a big secret from you parents?
DOMINIK: I haven’t ever held anything back like that, so that was the thing—for me it struck something and helped me bring a lot of weight to that character. If I had something big to hide from my family, it would give me a lot of anxiety. I’m a pretty revealing, open person.
Have you ever been to City Island before?
DOMINIK: No, I didn’t even know it existed! I loved it, it was so charming and it is so bizarre, a fishing village in the Bronx like that?!? You almost feel like you’re in New England and then you see the whole NY skyline from where we’re shooting—it was bizarre.
ANDY: NYC is one of my second or third exiles. I went one night when Tito Puente had his restaurant there. He took us and we had dinner and we had a little jam session: Tito, Cachao and Johnny Pacheco. It was fun.
How did you feel when your daughters followed in your footsteps?
ANDY: Well, they were attracted to it from a very young age. Dominik and Daniella (my middle daughter) are both actresses. They began acting school when they were five and really took it very seriously. I didn’t discourage them and I saw that they had a commitment to it, a long-term commitment. I encouraged them to learn the craft and study hard and prepare themselves as actresses in a very serious way. That was the important thing, because like any other professional, an actor or a doctor, you have to be prepared to deliver, you know?
How has your father influenced your career?
DOMINIK: I think that he always keeps himself very grounded and he’s not really caught up in the whole Hollywood thing. We just always had a very normal life. He still has the same friends from when he was young and we hang out with them. You never forget where your roots are, I’ve never gotten googly eyed for the whole fame thing.