Eugenio Derbez newest comedy has been seven years in the making.
The Valet was actually the first project he started working on after making the move from Mexico City to Los Angeles. "When I came to this country seven years ago, after I did Instructions Not Included, this was the first project that I got in L.A.," he tells A.frame.
His business partners showed him the 2006 French film The Valet, and it seemed like the "perfect mix" of a treat for his loyal fans and a way to further break into Hollywood. "This is a movie for everyone," says the Mexican actor. "It has a message in the background that you'll understand at the end of the movie, but first of all, it’s a fun comedy. So if you want to have fun, just watch The Valet!"
Derbez, who co-wrote, starred in and directed 2013’s Instructions Not Included — which is the most successful Spanish-language film ever in the United States — admits that the script for The Valet went through several revisions. The heartfelt comedy, which stars Derbez as a parking valet who is hired to date an actress (Samara Weaving) trying to cover up an affair, had a "good" first draft.
But soon after, the U.S. became a "very different country," Derbez recalls.
"We needed to rewrite part of the script to talk about immigrants, about Latinos, and to include another point of view," he explains. "It's still a very funny movie. It's a great comedy, but it's also a love letter for immigrants."
And being able to shine a light on the immigrant experience and bring Hispanic characters and stories to the forefront is a point of pride for Derbez. "We are having the opportunity of things being more inclusive in pictures and movies and TV," he says. "So I think finally, they're looking at all of it."
The Valet is available to stream now on Hulu.
Reporting by Elisa Osegueda