Nerds and Beyond recently had the chance to sit down with Andrea Muñoz, an actress set to star across the likes of Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, and Bad Bunny as Mrs. Wolf in the upcoming film Bullet Train. Muñoz was most recently seen on Hulu’s Pam & Tommy. Check out what Andrea had to say below!
This interview has been edited for clarity
Nerds and Beyond: Bullet Train is a star-studded film, with both big and still up-and-coming names like Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Bad Bunny, Karen Fukuhara, Logan Lerman, and more. What was your favorite part about working with such a talented cast and what would you say was your biggest takeaway acting-wise?
Muñoz: My favorite thing about working with a big cast was when I got on set, I felt like I was just — I’m not gonna say that I was at the same level that they were, but they made me feel like I was as a professional actor as they were. Especially the relationship with David. He was very welcoming and he was very trusting of me. So that made me feel like I was one of them in some sense if you know what I mean. Like it never made me feel like I wasn’t part of the team or that I wasn’t valuable for that for the film. Because it’s a big cast you know, you can get lost in all those big names. But they never made me feel that way on set.
My biggest takeaway is that there’s a lot of improv going on set [laughs]. So yeah, there’s a lot of things that you don’t know they’re gonna happen and the decision of making it happen, it’s right there on set. So you always have to be ready and open to any change to anything. And yeah, you have to keep your mind creative and be open to all those changes without being like, “oh, but that wasn’t the script. Nobody told me that was gonna happen,” you know? It’s like you’re in a playground. So you have to be open to all the new stuff that they’re gonna come up with and say.
Nerds and Beyond: While this thriller deals with serious subject matters like death and revenge, Bullet Train is also inexorably zany and fun — coming from the mind of David Leitch, who’s infamous for directing Deadpool 2, we expect nothing less. How did your creative or preparative process differ for a project that’s a little more laid back in terms of having such a fun storyline as compared to something with a more heavy tone?
Muñoz: Can you clarify what you mean by more laid back?
Nerds and Beyond: Yeah! This seems like a title where you have you have a lot of kind of creative leeway with the fun storyline, you know, something that’s not super, super serious and heavy. It’s crazy, it’s fun, it’s funny. There’s lots of comedic moments, stuff like that.
Muñoz: Okay. I mean, I feel like — this is one of the things that I learned like during my acting, training — there’s no such thing as low stakes when it’s comedy, you know? The same high stakes that you use in drama you use in a comedy. You learn to manage your high stakes with comedy. It’s not as easy as people think it is. You know what I mean? Making people laugh is harder than making people cry, trust me [laughs]. I can make you cry with a sentence. To make you laugh, it requires more. So I feel like drama and comedy and all these different things, I feel like it’s just about you being open and centered and knowing what your objective is.
I haven’t had the opportunity to prepare a character that is very dense, and when the opportunity comes, I might be able to give you a better answer to that. But for now, I feel like you still need the work ethic to be on set to make something like this in the same way you need to use it for something with a more heavy tone. You know, it’s gonna require something different but I’d say the commitment has to be the same.
Nerds and Beyond: A lot of the details concerning your role as Mrs. Wolf in this film have been kept under wraps. With what you can tell us, what aspects of Bullet Train drew you in when you caught wind of the script, the production team, etc.?
Muñoz: Yeah, I mean, when I auditioned for this, and I Googled — like I went to IMDb and searched for the project — the first person cast was Brad Pitt. So that was definitely like a big wow. It made me feel like I wasn’t gonna get it, you know? Back then, I was a non-union actor when I auditioned for this, so I was like “It’s not gonna happen.” So definitely the cast, knowing that Brad Pitt is behind this. I knew it was going to be a big production and we know his work is very unique and interesting. So I knew that the project behind him was going to be amazing. And I saw that it was David Leitch who did Deadpool, so I knew it was going to be action. I love action films! A good action film is always a breeze because there are too many that are bad [laughs]. So I knew it was going to be a good thing. I mean many things, the production team, makeup hair, all these things. I started to know like all these people worked on The Avengers and stuff like that. So I was like, “Okay, this is the big stuff.” [laughs]
Nerds and Beyond: What’s your favorite action movie?
Muñoz: What’s my favorite? Oh my god. I have so many because I used to watch actually with with my dad. I don’t know if I don’t know the name in English of this film, but I love it. It was with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 90s. Something with lies… in Spanish it’s called Mentiras Arriesgadas. And it’s about him being an undercover agent and his wife starts getting involved in it. I don’t know if you remember this movie. Well, I liked that movie. True Lies! I like — this is like action and also sci-fi — The Fifth Element. I love that movie. Recently, I just watched Top Gun, amazing movie. There’s so many. What’s your favorite action movie?
Nerds and Beyond: Oh gosh, the pressure’s on me now [laughs]. It’s hard to choose and narrow it down like you said.
Muñoz: It is! I’m talking about old movies because I used to watch these movies with my dad. Now that I’m making my own decisions on what movies to watch, I don’t pick much action. If it is, it has to be a good one.
Nerds and Beyond: Before pursuing a career in acting, you graduated with a degree in psychology. What prompted that switch and how has that non-traditional experience given you a unique perspective as an actor? Do you feel as if you have an increased ability to delve deeper into a character’s motivations than if you didn’t have that psychology background?
Muñoz: Yes. So this is a very interesting question because it does help me a lot. When I read a script and when I think of a character, I just try to create this whole biography about that character that it makes me feel under the skin. Knowing because of what I did when I went to college, how your life story is so important for the person that you are in the present, and knowing how is it you can change all those things by just making decisions, you know what I mean? So, yes, it is definitely different. I remember when I went to school here for acting, I could tell that I read more into the characters and what they were feeling and more in the subtext of the lines. And I would talk to my to my teachers about it and it definitely like sharpens your eye in your mind to go deeper and understand what motivates a person to do or not to do something. So it makes them it makes it more interesting. Yeah. Also more personal.
I love psychology; it’s a beautiful profession, and I wouldn’t change anything about it. But when I was working on it, I realized that I was a creative person. And in that field, I wasn’t creating that much — even though as a psychologist, you can be very creative, develop a lot of programs to help people, communities or individuals. But I feel like I wasn’t… I always had a big imagination and I wasn’t using that. It was kind of killing me, you know what I mean? When you’re an artist and you’re not creating or being creative, you start feeling like a part of you… it starts dying, [you get] depressed! I was an actress when I was a kid and all the way to high school. I wasn’t doing that anymore, and I sat down with my thoughts and myself and was like, “What do you want to do, Andrea? This is this is what I want to do.” I always watch movies all the time, so I was like “You know what to do.” It’d been in front of my face the whole time and I hadn’t gone for it because you don’t dream that big. You know, it’s a tough industry. So it’s hard for you to think of yourself in something like that. But I did.
Nerds and Beyond: As a relatively green actor, what would you say is your biggest piece of advice to people trying to break into the industry?
Muñoz: It takes a lot of discipline and takes a lot of patience and you have to wait a lot. That’s the big job of the actors that are just starting. We do a lot of waiting. And it seems like you’re wasting your life and your time, but it’s not like that. If you do your job well, you do your dishes, your training… you just have to wait. Sometimes it doesn’t depend on… there’s so many reasons why you don’t get picked for a role. So, you just have to keep going and you also need a lot of discipline. I, sadly, have seen many actors lose their way in this city. For so many reasons. You fall into many temptations, we’ll call them, [laughs] or distractions, more like distractions. And if you let yourself go there, it’s not good for you. So you have to be very focused and disciplined and know that if this is what you want, and you wait and you work for it, it might happen for you. It will happen for you.
Nerds and Beyond: Is there any other sector of the entertainment industry that you’d eventually like to break into and why?
Muñoz: I would love to do theater. Oh my god. Yes. That would be amazing. Being on stage is what… oh, the rush that you feel when you’re in a stage is just amazing. I love theater. So yes, I would love to do theater in time here, in Colombia, or at any place. I also like writing, and I would love to tell stories. I feel like I have a lot of stories to tell. One day I want to make my own movie and I would love to write it and I would love to direct it. So yeah!
Nerds and Beyond: And lastly, here at Nerds and Beyond, we’re all about letting your nerd flag fly, no matter the subject. So we love to end our interviews by asking what’s one thing that you consider yourself to be nerdy or passionate about? A little birdy told me you’re a fan of Marvel among some other things?
Muñoz: I’m a big nerd. This is so funny because I’m all the time watching this movie and my boyfriend’s like, “Dude, you’re such a freakin’ nerd.” But yeah, I’m a big nerd. I love fantasy — that’s one of my favorites — adventure and all this stuff. So I’m very into mythology and stories that are around that. So yeah, Marvel is one of the worlds that they inspire their comics on a little mythology. So a lot of the characters, their ideas come from them. But I love so many worlds.
I love Harry Potter. That was my first love. As a kid, I grew up with them and I was like, “When is my my letter coming?” There was actually a point in my life that I was actually — this is embarrassing to say out loud — but I was waiting for it! But then you grow up to realize that it’s not true [laughs]. But I will follow Harry Potter till the end. I will watch the movies over and over again. My favorite is the Prisoner of Azkaban. That’s the best. I love it. I’ve seen that movie so many times, you have no idea.
I love Star Wars of course. Who doesn’t? Come on, it’s a beautiful world. It’s just the idea of the heroes and all these things, I’m a big fan of that. So I love DC too. I like Marvel. I feel like Marvel is very diverse. You have so many superheroes. So it’s been easier for me to identify with more superheores in Marvel, that’s why I like it so much. But DC is great. I feel like DC is amazing. I feel like their comics can… be oh my God, I don’t know if I should say this [laughs]… their comics can be better like in the comic itself. You know what I mean? But the movies are great. I love Wonder Woman. I’ve watched The Snyder Cut like five times.
Nerds and Beyond: Oh wow, that’s a long one.
Muñoz: That’s too many times for a four hour long movie [laughs]. But yeah, like I’ll watch The Avengers in the morning while making breakfast and that’s in the background, always. So yeah, I love all those kinds of things and I know all the details and I know the things that nobody knows. I’m annoying [laughs].
Nerds and Beyond: You’re in good company [laughs].
Thank you to Andrea Muñoz for taking the time to sit down with us! Bullet Train premieres in theaters on August 5. As always, stay tuned for more updates.