Stand-up comedian Gabriel Iglesias has been comedy specials like “Gabriel Iglesias: Hot and Fluffy” and done some film work whether it is live-action like “Magic Mike” or voice work for animation like “The Nut Job,” but he has never had a film where he takes center stage until now. “The Fluffy Movie” is a stand-up concert movie featuring the Fluffy Guy himself as he tells funny and personal stories about himself. Examiner.com had the chance to speak with Iglesias about doing the press tour for this film, hanging out with his idol and upset family members.
How are you doing today?
Gabriel Iglesias: Very good. Everybody’s been giving me a lot of coffee and a lot of food. As soon as I got here last night, there was a mojito kit set up for me in my hotel room. It was cool and I made my first mojito. It didn’t out the way it should of, but it was my first one. I had my mojito, then they took me over to La Carreta in Little Havana. After that, we just came back to the hotel and I got some much-needed rest. I’ve been going non-stop in the last two weeks. I’ve been in a lot of states and in so many cities that it’s just been crazy. I travel a lot as it is. I am on the road 46 weeks out of the year, but I realize now my traveling is nothing compared to the way actors do when they got to do press junkets and have to go everywhere. It’s like this: I leave home on Thursdays, I meet my tour bus on the road, I’m on that tour bus 3-4 days and then I am back on Monday. This time around, we went from New York at the Puerto Rican Day Parade and then went all over Texas, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Laredo, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Chicago…
With that being said, would you see yourself doing this again?
Iglesias: I would be lying if I said I was enjoying myself. It is hard work. I give actors a lot of credit, especially when they promote their projects, but I am very passionate about this one. This is not a regular movie. This is what I’ve been doing for the last 17 years so I will everything and anything possible to get the word out.
If you could go on tour with any comedian, would you go with George Lopez or Paul Rodriguez?
Iglesias: Paul Rodriguez. I’ve known Paul for many, many years. Actually, I met Paul over 20 years ago. We had the same teacher in college. It was funny that I got to meet him. When I first met him, I said, “Hey man. I am a big fan. I want to follow in your footsteps” and he was like, “You know what? You’re your own guy. You make your own footsteps. You will be all right hombre. You keep doing the Fluffy thing.” Later on in life, I got to hook up with him again and now, I get to hang out with one of my idols. I’ve been to Paul’s house many times and he’s got a maid that makes amazing cornbread. He also has his own cornfield in his backyard. I’ve hung out at his pool and he would tell people, “Fluffy’s been here. He peed in there." He’s a good dude and we gotten to work together before.
Have any of your family members ever gotten upset because you included them in your set?
Iglesias: Oh yes. I’ve had many family members that have gotten upset. Some don’t talk to me anymore and I understand it, but at the time, they wounded up in my show because something happened. There’s been times when they needed help and Bank of America said no, but Banco de Fluffy said yes. If Banco de Fluffy is going to help you and you are not going to pay that money back, guess what? You will be in a skit, a story or something I might say.
Where did the idea to do your own stand-up concert film come from?
Iglesias: First of all, it was a dream of mine to want wanting to do a stand-up concert film. I saw Eddie Murphy’s “Raw” years ago and it was the first comedy show I’ve ever seen and it was a stand-up concert film. You can probably count on two hands on how many stand-up concert films there has been. Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Kings of Comedy, Kevin Hart and to be part of that small elite group, I was like, “Wow.” George Carlin and Robin Williams, two guys I totally look up to, never even got to do one. To be given the opportunity to take your show to the next level, why not take it if it gets offered to you. Because of my social media numbers and my YouTube numbers, it’s kind of a calculated bet that the company approached me and said, “Look…Kevin Hart did very well. It cost very little to make these movies and they gross millions. We see the potential in what you got.” I was like, “Let’s do it.” The only problem is that they approached me two weeks before I did my last special. I did my last special, which I thought would have been good movies, but I couldn’t do it because I had a contract with Comedy Central to put out there. Once I recorded it, I had less than one year to produce 90 new minutes. For anyone in comedy…there have been guys that have been working 20 years to come up with that one hour. To crank out 90 minutes for one show under a year was like, “Wow.” I had to dig deep and get very personal. I start out my special talking about my type-two diabetes and how I had to drop a hundred pounds. I had to establish that upfront because people know me as the Fluffy Guy. Now, I am the guy that is less fluffy. A hundred pounds is significant and you would notice it in the face. I’m telling people, “Look…I know I am the Fluffy Guy, but I am also a sick guy. If I don’t lose this weight, I am not going to be around.” I needed to establish that with my fans and let them know why I am losing weight. It’s not that I am going Hollywood or this or that. To answer your question, it was a dream of mine as a little kid. An opportunity presented itself and I took it. It something I always wanted to do. Fortunately, social media was the reason why it is where it is and why I got that opportunity.
How much of a toll does it take on your doing a tour like this? Do you get any down time?
Iglesias: The funny thing about my down time when I am doing press is actually show days, which normally would be consider work days. With how much I am traveling, with a regular show day, at least I get the day to myself and at night, I do the show. I’ve had a couple of days where I got to regroup, but there was sometime last week where I was so exhausted. In my head, I was like, “I don’t like this. This is not fun.” You go from one spot to another spot to another spot to another spot to another spot. Some of the questions makes you feel like your are having your own personal “Groundhog Day.”
Was there anything during the shooting of this concert film that you were skeptical about adding to the movie?
Iglesias: Everything in the film was very personal, but there was nothing that I felt that shouldn’t be in the movie. As a matter of fact, some of the stuff got cut out because the movie was a bit too long. Originally, my 90 minutes was two hours. That’s the best about telling stories instead setting up punch. If I did two hours of set up punch, it would take forever. With my stories, you could always elaborate more or take your time in telling them or blend a second story into that one and that’s how I am able to get more time out of it. The film company wanted my movie to be a certain length because anything that is longer than that doesn’t test well.
“The Fluffy Movie” is now playing in South Florida theaters.