“I do movies for personal reasons,” Édgar Ramírez tells us. Before he was in Hollywood movies, the Venezuelan actor was a journalist, and spent much of his life traveling the globe with his father, a soldier. He even considered becoming a diplomat. When he started appearing in films, like “Domino,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Joy” and especially “Carlos,” he always did so because he connected with them on a deep level.
As such, he sees a lot in “The Girl in the Train,” the splashy film version of Paula Hawkins’ mega-bestseller about a lonely woman (Emily Blunt) who gets involved in the case of a missing woman (Haley Bennett). Ramírez, 39, only has a small role in the film: He plays the therapist to the AWOL girl, who becomes one of the possible suspects. But that doesn’t stop him from waxing on what it says about society, the dangers of technology and, of course, Trump.
What was your big connection to “The Girl on the Train”?
It’s been a long time since Hollywood did a movie like this. We’ve seen strong and complex adult dramas in the independent world and overseas, but this movie reminds me of the great adult dramas from the ’80s and early ’90s: “Basic Instinct,” “Fatal Attraction” — films with messiness and complexity.
I’m old enough to remember that era.
They were the movies our parents didn’t want us to see. You would watch it on Betamax. [Laughs] I’m very excited because I think Hollywood tells those stories very well. American cinema is fantastic. If this movie performs the way we expect, it could open the doors to these types of films coming back on a big scale. Then we have options other than horror films and superhero films. We’ll that collective experience of moviegoing.
“The Girl on the Train” is a very empathetic portrayal of a troubled woman who’s been cast out of society — someone we’d probably ignore if we ran into her.
The movie holds a mirror for us to recognize ourselves in the brokenness, so to speak, of the three main, female characters. That’s very refreshing. Because female complexity is so interesting to watch onscreen. We all deal with burdens and guilt and unfinished business. We all want to move on from something. We all want to detach from something that causes us pain.