ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Audiences will soon know who Julian Alcaraz is.
With two new movies, “Red Dawn” and “Haywire” set for release later this year, the Kilgore, Ore.-native is on the fast track to being a heavy-hitting actor.
As his star is rising, Alcaraz says he won’t forget his experience in New Mexico while filming “Becoming Eduardo” — one of his first movies.
“We were shooting in Hillsboro for two weeks,” he explains during a recent interview from Los Angeles. “The entire time there it felt like I was with family. Everyone was great to work with and just very down to earth.”
“Becoming Eduardo” was shot in New Mexico in 2009 and is being released on DVD on March 11. It is being screened at the Durango Independent Film Festival in Durango, Colo., on March 4.
Brad Littlefield, a producer of the project, said after reading the script he really wanted to work on the film.
“The movie touches on fatherless families,” he says. “It’s a subject that too many people are familiar with.”
“Becoming Eduardo” chronicles the transformation of a young man, Eddie Corazón, as he finds his voice and learns to speak from his heart. It is set in rural New Mexico.
Littlefield said the film holds no punches.
“It examines real challenges facing Latino youth while shattering traditional stereotypes” he said.
For Alcaraz, playing the role of Eddie was a personal struggle at times.
He says while growing up in Oregon, many people judged him by the way he looked.
“I don’t have blond hair and blue eyes,” he said. “I’m Latino and I look it. When people would see me, they would see a little bit of a thug. I harnessed my feelings from those experiences to bring Eddie to life.”
Alcaraz says people are often quick to judge a person based on their appearance, and it happened to Eddie in the movie.
“Truth is, Eddie was inquisitive,” he says. “He wanted a better life and worked hard towards getting one.”
Alcaraz said he almost didn’t make it to audition for the role.
“I had another project I was working on and we wrapped early,” he explains. “I auditioned … and the rest is history.”
Alcaraz spent most of the past year pulling double duty on his coming movies.
“‘Red Dawn’ was an amazing movie to work in,” he says. “I would have never had the confidence to go for a role like this if it weren’t for having success with ‘Eduardo.'”
The film is presented by Open Range Pictures, in association with The Creative Media Institute at New Mexico State University.
It has won the Milagro Award, as well as the Tamalewood Award for Best Latin Film at the Santa Fe Film Festival, the Best New Mexico film award at the Albuquerque Film Festival, and the Audience Choice and Best New Mexico Film awards at the White Sands Film Festival.
“It’s all just beginning for us,” Littlefield says. “All of the hard work that we’ve done is starting to pay off. We have a quality product that touches on a universal subject.”