Johnny Ortiz – McFarland USA
Tommy2: How’s it going, it’s Tommy2 and joining us this afternoon we’ve got actor Johnny Ortiz from Walt Disney Pictures upcoming release McFarland USA starring Kevin Costner. So Johnny how are you doing today?
Johnny Ortiz: Great, great. And yourself?
Tommy2: I am doing well myself. And I’m curious, did you get out and run this morning?
Johnny Ortiz: I did actually… you know. Every morning I wake up at five in the morning and run.
Tommy2: That’s awesome! I definitely had to ask that since we’re here to talk about the film McFarland USA that opens on February 20th. First off, why don’t you give us the run down of what this new movie from Disney is all about?
Johnny Ortiz: Well, McFarland… it does star Kevin Costner and Maria Bello. It’s about seven runners that grow up in this port town called McFarland USA which is 30 minutes away fro Bakersfield and how these seven runners, before they become seven runners, they’re actually farmworkers that they work in the morning, they run to school, they run… basically they’re running everywhere, and how this coach comes into town, and he’s this white guy in this population of 3,000 people and he comes and sees that these kids have potential you know? And he starts teaching P.E. class in High School and in High School you know he sees that these kids have potential and he all brings them together and makes them into state champion runners. It’s based on a true story too.
Tommy2: I know you’re athletic obviously since you run. Did you have to do any extra training for the film?
Johnny Ortiz: Yes, we actually did. They put us through a month of training cross country.
Tommy2: What kind of workouts did you do?
Johnny Ortiz: Well, you know we did a lot of running in the morning. We would run like 20 minutes, we started off with simple warmups. It was 20 minutes and from 20 minutes it went to 30 minutes, from 30 minutes it went to an hour and then we started doing some cardio, working our bodies, and just working on that because being a runner it is a nice athletic sport you know, it takes a lot of dedication and motivation.
Tommy2: What’s one thing you enjoy about getting out and running.
Johnny Ortiz: What I enjoy about running? You know running, it helps you meditate your mind, it cures everything. Everything’s more smoother, you know you feel like you have know weight in your back soit’s a peaceful athletic sport to do, to be more inner relaxed.
Tommy2: Now I’m sure the most obvious question people want to know about being in the cast of McFarland USA is what was it like to get to work with Kevin Costner?
Johnny Ortiz: Well, Kevin Costner he is a great person you know. He’s a very experienced man, he’s been in the industry for a lot of years you know. He’s very sympathetic and he helps people in their roles cause there’s three new actors in the new Disney film that we did and he helps them out, he shows them, these kids are new to the film cause actually from all seven runners, three kids were actually from the town McFarland that were cast that were brought into the film that were brand new to the industry. So, Kevin Costner comes in and helps them out you know, and asks us as co-stars we help each other out and we help them build trust.
Tommy2: Right, sounds like there’s a very unique story behind the story there.
Johnny Ortiz: Of course.