Fernanda Urrejola jumped at the opportunity to work on “Cry Macho.”
Not only did the story pique her interest, but legendary actor/director Clint Eastwood was at the helm.
“Working with Clint, I wanted to be there,” she says. “And the role was so great. My character was full of pain, and she’s on a journey of discovery in the film.”
Based on the book of the same name, “Cry Macho” stars Eastwood as a onetime rodeo star and washed up horse breeder who, in 1979, takes a job from an ex-boss to bring the man’s young son home and away from his alcoholic mom.
Crossing rural Mexico on their back way to Texas, the unlikely pair face an unexpectedly challenging journey, during which the world-weary horseman may find his own sense of redemption through teaching the boy what it means to be a good man.
But mostly, “Cry Macho” is a morality tale about two characters who help each other through tough transitions.
The film is in theaters nationwide beginning Friday, Sept. 17. It is also streaming on HBO Max.
According to the New Mexico Film Office, the production filmed in November and December in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Sierra, Socorro, and Valencia counties.
Urrejola says she enjoyed her time in New Mexico – although most of it was spent in a hotel room due to COVID-safe protocols on the production.
“I wasn’t able to see much, but what I saw traveling to set was beautiful,” she says. “One of my friends just moved to Santa Fe, so I’ll be visiting a lot.”
Urrejola was also drawn to the script because of its message and her character as Rafo’s mother, Leta.
“I loved that it’s a redefinition of what being a man is,” she says. “It’s understanding that it’s never too late to redeem yourself and learn how to love again. That was a beautiful journey, because the two characters came together and learned from each other.”
Urrejola’s character is on her own journey, battling physical, mental and alcohol abuse.
“This is a perfect time for the film, because we are rediscovering purpose and who we are because of COVID,” she says. “This film gives people an opportunity to be inspired and think about their own journeys.”
During her time in New Mexico, Urrejola found Eastwood an inspiration.
Her mind was blown when she would see the 90-year-old on set.
“Other people his age were hiding, and he was doing three jobs on this production,” she says. “He was the protagonist in the film, and for me, that was amazing. I wanted to get involved in that energy.”
Urrejola enjoyed her time on set and with the New Mexico crew.
“I felt connected to the bond, and I saw that the crew is like a family,” she says. “It was one of the most respectful sets I’ve been on, and I won’t forget that.”