Magazine article Variety

I'm Interested in Making Human Connections through Comedy

Magazine article Variety

I'm Interested in Making Human Connections through Comedy

Article excerpt

Award-winning multi-hyphenate Phil Burgers spent half his life traveling the world, living abroad in South America and Europe before training at the prestigious French clown school, Ecole Philippe Gaulier, where Sacha Baron Cohen and Roberto Benigni have also trained. Acclaimed filmmaker Carlos Reygadas ("Silent Light," "Post Tenebras Lux") took note of Burgers' work, and cast him in his latest opus, "Nuestro Tiempo," which focuses on a Mexican family living in the country raising fighting bulls. The pic debuts at Venice. Burgers spoke with Variety about stepping in front of cameras for Reygadas, his background in comedy and what he has in store for the future. nick clement

How did you get involved with "Nuestro Tiempo"?

Carlos had seen a television special I did in the U.K. with Channel 4, and because I'm not a classically trained actor, and that's what Carlos looks for when he does his casting - he never works with professional actors - he sparked to my work and asked me to be a part of his world. He was looking for an American cowboy, and at first I was a little hesitant, but then I watched four of his films, and I said that I absolutely had to be a part of whatever he was doing. He's not driven by the traditional three-act structure and there's nothing Hollywoodesque about him.

What was it like collaborating with an auteur like Reygadas?

Watching Carlos work was amazing because he's entirely doing his own thing, and never trying to appease anyone or fit any molds. …

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