Adrian Martinez as Farhad in Focus. (Warner Bros. Pictures)
From time to time, we come to those instances where we are fans of certain entities and then one day, we are suddenly working alongside these entities. Such was the case with actor Adrian Martinez and the writer/director duo of John Requa and Glenn Ficarra in Warner Bros. Pictures’ Focus.
Think of it as one of those things that’s probably meant to be.
“I saw the breakdown for the movie and I just was really drawn to the fact of this film being done by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra,” Martinez says. He added that he loved Crazy Stupid Love and I Love You Phillip Morris; Requa and Ficarra directed both flicks.
“I thought, ‘these guys are special’,” adds Martinez, who also writes and produces. Martinez did not shy away from admitting that as soon as he learned of Focus, he immediately wanted to be involved with this film project. He then went in for an audition and he was on board.
“I was cracking them up with some madness I was putting up there,” Martinez says while recalling his audition. “And it was good to know that people that successful are as demented as I am.”
“I was doing some pretty crazy stuff and they loved it,” Martinez adds before briefly laughing. And before he knew it, he was in Buenos Aires, Argentina shooting Focus. Production also took place in New Orleans.
“It’s a very exciting place,” Martinez says of Buenos Aires. “It’s an amazing city. The energy is great. The people there were very receptive to Focus being there…there’s a scene in the movie that’s gonna make you wanna go there.”
In Focus, which also stars Will Smith and Margot Robbie, Martinez plays a hilarious con artist named Farhad. He appears to be quite experienced in conning people through his professional con work over the years with Nicky (played by Smith). And Martinez playing Farhad is actually a darn good treat.
But there’s more to it than that, according to Martinez.
“He’s the character that Nicky kinda tends to rely on,” he says of Farhad. “He’s got Nicky’s back and really wants to be there for him. And that’s something that we really connected to.”
Not only does Martinez deliver a fabulous performance, but he also manages to do it in style – his own style: as comical as one can be. And his on-screen chemistry with Jess (played by Robbie) is absolutely funny.
“To me the main thing is the script; it all starts there,” says Martinez. “You look at the script, you figure out the tone of it, you figure out where you can add your contribution without upstaging the script. It needs to work hand in hand. And I saw the script and I would come up with things my character would say.”
On set, Requa and Ficarra allowed Martinez to improvise. Outcome? Magic! “It was really an opportunity to do something really special,” Martinez admits.
But why should moviegoers see Focus?
“You’re just gonna have a good time. It’s really funny. It’s really cool. It’s kind of Ocean’s Eleven, but with a love story. So, you get the best of both worlds,” Martinez says.
“It’s not a movie that you see everyday. You’re not gonna be able to figure out what’s happening.”
Focus is now in theaters.