His job took a various track– however metro conductor Kevin Rivera still has warm memories of his scene-stealing turn in the 2002 flick “Raising Victor Vargas,” which is commemorating its 20 th anniversary with a test viewing at the New York Latino Film Festival on Wednesday.
Rivera, currently 39, made headings in The Post previously this summer season when he endured an assault by an “unbalanced” straphanger harmful MTA employees– so he’s delighted to be reviewing a better memory currently.
He had no acting roles prior to his cult timeless and racked up just a few even more after its release– however he still counts his performance as Harold, the eponymous primary personality’s friend, amongst his “largest success.”
” I see it over and over once again. Over 2,000 to 3,000 times,” he informed The Post in advance of the 8 p.m. testing, which will certainly note 20 years since the motion picture was shot on the Lower East Side throughout the week of Sept. 11, 2001.
” Raising Victor Vargas” informs the tale of a young, swagger-filled Dominican American teenager (Victor Rasuk) maturing with his 2 brother or sisters and grandma on the Lower East Side.
The movie obtained near-universal honor upon release in2002 The Post’s Megan Lehmann at the time applauded it as “a love letter to a New York area that is swiftly vanishing– a tight-knit Dominican neighborhood of hen runs, private yards and social clubs.”
Rivera was a 21- year-old researching at Queensborough Community College when his relative connected regarding a possibility to check out for the role of Victor’s caring wingman. A lot of the actors, like him, had little to no acting experience.
” At very first I was reluctant. I was cast without a profile, without an image, without a resum é I simply entered there and acted energised. I never ever acted prior to in my life,” Rivera claimed.
In the movie, Rivera’s personality gives a comparison to the lead character’s weakness. While Victor efforts and falls short to thrill Judy “Juicy Judy” Ramirez for much of the movie, Harold swiftly wins the count on– and charming love– of her friend.
Director Peter Sollett (” Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”) urged the stars to play their roles as near their real selves as feasible.
” Everything was improvisated,” Rivera stated. “He provided us a script, yet it resembled, ‘How would certainly you claim it? What would certainly you perform in that circumstance?'”
” It was from the heart. It was so real,” he stated of the acting in the movie. “We simply managed. It was simply the appropriate individuals, the best stars. Most of us simply clicked.”
” The lesson of the film is just how Latino family members are raised in New York City, just how close they are,” he stated. “So numerous individuals can connect to the film– you recognize, the battles, the joy. Cash actually does not make you pleased. I believe it’s family. It’s individuals you socialize with, your good friends.”
The movie was shot throughout the week of 9/11– plain miles from the World Trade. The Twin Towers can be seen in the foreground in a minimum of round.
” It was an independent motion picture that really did not have an entire lot of cash to make it appear genuine,” Rivera stated. “To inform you the reality, I truly have not seen a film like ‘Raising Victor Vargas.’ ”
Other actors participants relocated to Hollywood to end up being full time stars. Rivera, who matured as the kid of Colombian immigrants in Kew Gardens, Queens, toenailed a couple of even more acting jobs– yet the job quickly ran out.
” I did a Coca Cola industrial, I did a film and ‘Law & Order,’ after that I had not been obtaining jobs. I was delighted. I was so pleased,” he claimed. “I had not been in it to be a star.”
Rivera signed up with the MTA a years earlier as a web traffic mosaic– “all-time low of all-time low,” he states– and has actually since gone up to the role of conductor on the metro’s 7 line. He obtained wed and currently has 2 children, ages one and 3.
” Every time mosting likely to college, I utilized to see transportation employees functioning. I resembled, ‘Wow, they obtained an excellent pension plan, they obtained an excellent task, it’s a truly excellent job, man,'” he stated. “I saw individuals able to deal with their households, and I desired that.”
His previous castmates, at the same time, tracked him down this summertime after discovering a Post post from May concerning a traumatic assault Rivera encountered on his means home from job.
He’s anxious for tonight’s get-together, when the movie will certainly be evaluated “drive-in” design in a parking area at Gerard Avenue and 151 st Street in the Bronx. Tickets are readily available on the New York Latino Film Festival site.
” I seemed like most of us had a whole lot alike, since all of us matured and was increased in New York,” he claimed. “I saw them a pair times after the motion picture, yet a lot of them mosted likely to LA and LA’s except me. I’m a New Yorker. I intend to be me.”