Hollywood movies and food: when a movie director becomes a trusted foodie.
Hollywood is Hollywood.
I lived there back in 2014, and I fell in love with Los Angeles even more.
During COVID-19 times, the urge to keep on producing dreams through the art of cinematography was immense.
The pandemic has pushed actors, directors, producers, writers, and all the people working in productions to find a proper and safe way to keep up the busy industry of Hollywood.
A paradise for foodies.
Los Angeles is pure glamour, but also it has some of the best restaurants in the world.
In my first month living there, I ate healthy food and tacos for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Mexican food was my friend.
As you may understand, from the side of the world I come from, Mexican food is hard to find.
Until I met with the movie producer and director Alexander Hugo.
Argentinian by origins, Angeleno by choice, Alexander is really passionate about food, and it shows on his social media.
He is one of those people you can rely on when it comes to having lunch or dinner.
And, he is also one of the Hollywood experts on the Golden Era of Hollywood.
We took a virtual coffee together and had an inspiring interview I would like to share with my beloved readers.
The Pandemic and Hollywood.
Alex, you are a movie producer and director, and writer. How did this pandemic affect your business?
The pandemic entirely paralyzed the industry.
It closed theaters as well, transferred power from the studios to streaming services.
It created the video audition preference versus the in-person one.
I hate that since I like to meet aspiring actors on a live basis, you see so much more of them that way: video auditions are dry and empty.
It also increased the cost of production by the obligation to have a COVID-19 certified agent on set.
Everyone has to take a covid test, and craft services went from a buffet-style to a packaged lunch.
Also, insurance went up in cost.
How did you arrive in Hollywood? Could you tell us a bit of your story?
I arrived in Hollywood thanks to my ex-girlfriend while living in Las Vegas.
People think that Las Vegas is an exciting town.
But in reality, it is very boring to live there.
All you got is the casinos.
At that point, I was buying and selling properties, but it was a slow process.
So one day, she got a flyer to sign up to work as an extra in a movie.
I listened to her and went to the audition.
Where to eat in Los Angeles.
I have known you for a few years now, almost a decade.
So I know you are a dedicated foodie.
You are a man searching for new spots where you can have a culinary experience. How do you find them in a big city like Los Angeles?
Regarding food, I’m very picky: I eat blandly, hate all the sauces and flavorings. I hit spots that when I drive by, and I see a lot of people there.
It does not mean the food is good because people are sheep sometimes, and they summit to fads. I like sushi but not fusion.
I like Persian, Shamshiri Grill is my favorite.
It is on Westwood Boulevard, and it has been open since 1981.
I love Thai cuisine, but my favorite Chinda Barbeque & Restaurant closed its doors about a year and a half ago, and I have not found a replacement for it.
It was located in Glendale.
Your nickname Mr. Cool and your black sunglasses became a sort of branding in your foodie photos. What is the story behind them?
The name Mr. Cool came from the wife of a good friend of mine on the East Coast years back.
She looked at a black and white pic of me wearing a suit and hat and said
Look at you, Mr.cool.
Your Latin origins and your passion for the golden era of Hollywood. How much does your background influence your productions?
My style is based on great directors from the past, especially those in the late ’50s and early ’60s.
I love to work with what is known as the new wave cinema.
Among my favorites, Jean Luc Godard, Michelangelo Antonioni, and François Truffaut.
My style has a splash of Woody Allen, Roger Corman, and early Scorsese.
I have seen that you are back at work from your Facebook. Can you tell us something about your forthcoming movie?
I just finished a television pilot about two low-level mafia guys who come to Hollywood to collect a debt and stay.
The next project is a festival short film called 10 1/2 dates, followed by a feature that I wrote with an upcoming actress named Amanda Pierson called 7 days for this girl.
As you can see, the industry never stopped, and now you have a few great spots where to go and enjoy great food and Hollywood stories.