Chris Weitz didn't set out to make a political movie, but "A Better Life" has become one.
And Demian Bechir originally thought the director wanted him to play a vampire in "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" — but he ended up in an entirely different kind of movie, playing an undocumented immigrant gardener struggling to make a life for himself and his teenage son in Los Angeles.
Director Weitz and actor Bechir brought "A Better Life" to TheWrap Screening Series on Thursday night at the Arclight. Before the post-screening Q&A with Sharon Waxman, the two sat for a brief video interview in the theater's green room.
Bechir, who has become a dark-horse Oscar candidate for his indelible, world-weary performance, talked about gaining weight and climbing palm trees, while Weitz explained how inflammatory rhetoric from the Republican debates has deepened his commitment to immigrant issues.
And the director also tried to explain why he once promised me a shot of the world's best tequila, but never delivered.
TheWrap Screening Series continues next Monday with a screening of "Rampart," followed by a Q&A with director Oren Moverman, actor/producer Ben Foster, and stars Woody Harrelson and Brie Larson.