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Garcia brings a light touch to City Island

Though primarily known as an actor, Andy Garcia has begun working behind the camera in recent years.

Though primarily known as an actor, Andy Garcia has begun working behind the camera in recent years.

The star of such beloved movies as The Untouchables now takes a more active role in his productions, even making his directorial debut with The Lost City in 2005.

When speaking recently with Metro, Garcia admitted that this was always his primary goal, stating, “the reason why I got involved as a film actor was because I always had a romantic vision of being an independent filmmaker.”

Aside from a few notable Hollywood roles such as Terry Benedict in Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven series, Garcia now spends most of his time working on independent productions, finding it to be an infinitely more stimulating environment.

“You have a lot more creative freedom,” claims Garcia. “There are strict financial parameters, but the creative parameters are much more liberating. No one is looking over your shoulder and if you want to stand on your head and deliver your lines, then that’s fine.”

Garcia’s latest independent venture is the charming comedy, City Island, which he worked on as a producer in addition to playing the lead role. Garcia stars as a prison guard and lifelong aspiring actor who heads up a dysfunctional family overflowing with secrets.

For Garcia, the film was a rare opportunity to explore his lighter side as an actor. “I love comedy and my first experiences on stage were always in comedy in a lot of the improvisational theatres around Los Angeles in the late ’70s,” he reveals.

“Comedy was dormant for me for a long time because people saw me more as a darker character. I’m happy they did and enjoyed playing those roles, but it tends to typecast you a little bit.”

City Island originally came to Garcia as an acting opportunity, but he was so impressed by the screenplay that he decided to become more intimately involved in bringing the project to the screen.

“The script made me laugh, made me cry, and charmed me completely,” says Garcia.

“It pushed some buttons that made me realize that the movie was operating on a different level than just a human comedy.”