EXCLUSIVE: Carlos Pratts on ‘McFarland, USA,’ Faith & Working With Kevin Costner

Exclusive: Carlos Pratts on ‘McFarland, USA,’ Faith & Working With Kevin Costner
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Carlos Pratts is on the run—and he going directly towards Hollywood stardom. With the heartwarming true story of McFarland, USA (a California track coach molds a team of novice Latino runners into champions), hitting theatres today, Pratts delivers one of the film’s most poignant and real portrayals as Thomas Valles. Here, we speak with the 28-year-old actor about his favorite hashtags, religion, and more.

PLUS: 12 films by Latinos, for Latinos, starring Latinos

Tell us about the movie.

The movie is an incredible film and it’s a true story that’s obviously predominantly a Latino cast but it’s an American story. It’s something for everyone, and it’s just a film that I’m super passionate about. And not only myself but also all the actors, like Kevin Costner, our amazing director, put their heart in it. So I can’t wait to see it, man, because it’s just one of those American stories where the American dream comes to fruition. But you just have to put the work in and believe in yourself. 

Here’s a hashtag you used #PaAdelante.

#PaAdelante is just like looking forward to the future, and that was one of those New Year’s things. Everything you’ve done before for everyone, whatever you did last year is cool, that only helps contribute and define you, but whatever you do from now on this year and the years following, that’s who you are. You have the choice now to become who you want to be. 

How about #MomMightNeedBumpers?

Yeah, man! We were bowling and my mom is not that good. (Laughs)

And how about #AllInGod?

I’ve always believed in God but at some point in life you kind of stray away, but it wasn’t until I went back to God that my life started, both spiritually and personally, not just career-wise, unraveling the way that I always wanted it to, in a humble way and a positive way. And the people that have come into my life are probably better than anyone I’ve had in my life before. 

How do you view your sense of spirituality?

I’m a strong believer in God, and you have to understand that people have to believe in whatever they want to believe in. I just think that no matter what we have to understand that there’s something bigger than us out there—whatever you believe in, just know that and it will keep you grounded. 

How was it working with Kevin Costner?

KC, he’s the man. He’s all about humility. I mean, listen, having worked with him and others, they’re superstars for a reason and they treat people better than I’ve ever seen people treat others. And they’re role models and I’m thankful to have them in my life. It’s like going to play basketball with Michael Jordan–you’re just a rookie learning from the best, and these guys are schooling me but I’m loving it. 

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