Celebrity Corner: Alex Ruiz of “Touch” Pops In

10 04 2013

TOUCH fans will recognize him from the episode “Enemy of My Enemy” as Vicente Corliss. He took the time to talk to the fans about TOUCH on Fox and other exciting events occurring in his life.

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Courtesy of Alex Ruiz

Your resume mentioned that you started acting at a very young age. Do you remember your first role?

Yes. Well, professionally, it was a Best Buy commercial. I remember I had to read for the employee part but I had grown a thick mustache for a play I was in called The Bald Soprano so they asked me to read for the father instead. It was until afterwards, shooting the commercial, where I found out that one of the main reasons I got the part was because they found my look hilarious with my mustache.

You have been in commercials, on stage and on television shows. Do you have a preference? And if so, why?

Well, it’s a tricky question for me because they’re all different. It’s a whole different atmosphere and work ethic for each one. I love being on camera, that’s what I really really enjoy and I know how difficult and fun and exciting and thrilling and rewarding being on stage can be but when it comes down to it, being on camera in a show or movie is what I really love and embrace.

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Courtesy of Alex Ruiz

Within the world of acting, do you have a preference as to drama or comedy that you think enhances your talents best?

Another tricky one. Well, I love comedy and I thought that comedy was what I would excel at. And it has, in a way; certainly in the commercial world. But, throughout the years, I learned how acting, in truth, is really feeling and living and I very much enjoy that. I’m a very private person and it seems that I open up completely when I’m acting, and I do that more often with dramatic parts. I’m not scared of comedy at all and I’m not scared to jump around and go toe-to-toe with comedy because that’s what I do most anyway. It’s like a defense mechanism for me and I use it instinctively in a lot of situations so I’m kinda used to it. But drama is something that really pushes me and makes me discover a lot of things in myself that I wouldn’t’ve noticed before. It’s weird, I know, but I guess other actors might know what I’m talking about.

The role of Vicente Corliss on Touch. Was this an open audition or a part for which you were recommended?

Both, kinda. I was called in after being submitted by my agent and fit the description. I came in, read, and immediately was asked to come in later that day to read for the director. I went to Fox Studios a few hours later and read for the main guys. Apparently, they loved it and offered me the part immediately.

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Alex Ruiz as Vicente Corliss on TOUCH

Had you watched the show before you got the part? If not, did you go back and watch season 1, or did you want to approach the role without that knowledge?

Yeah, I was told to watch the show before I came to read for the part to have knowledge of the premise. I don’t ever watch shows or movies or plays before or afterwards because I want to give my own interpretation, unless, of course, I’m asked to. I feel it’s best if you come with your own idea and choice for the part without any prior knowledge. Only if you have pure understanding of what’s being asked of you. But yeah, I watched two episodes and once I got the idea I stopped. I liked it though. But then again, I pretty much like anything Kiefer Sutherland’s in.  [Editor’s note:  ME TOO!]

What were some unique things that happened on this set that you have not encountered on other sets before?

Professionalism. In every way. I’ve been in a lot of sets and worked with a lot of people and the way everything was handled was so professional. From the way they treated David [Mazouz] to how Maria [Bello] came in and rocked her scene to how I was directed. It was a very boom-boom-boom-check the gate process and before I knew it the scenes were done and ready to go. We rehearsed once on a closed set and once we nailed it everyone was brought in to shoot it and bam, the scene was done. They expect you to come prepared and you appreciate that level of professionalism because everyone respects everyone else’s work and time.

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Maria Bello, David Mazouz, and Alex Ruiz’s scene in TOUCH

I like to think of every experience as a learning moment. Did you learn anything on the set (as an actor or on a more personal level) that you can share with us?

I feel like I learn something on every set that I’m a part of. I’m not sure if I can pinpoint exactly what that is but I know it and utilize it the moment I’m there. I think it’s really just listening. Not only to the director but to everyone around you. Literally everyone. The sound guy putting the mic on you has heard a billion things about everything that’s happened on every set he’s worked with so I listen to what (s)he says. On break I’m drinking coffee and the lighting guys talk about work and I infiltrate their conversation and just listen. I try to learn every facet of my job as possible by listening and being aware of how everything works. From the director, they’re all astronomically different and if you listen carefully and adapt to his world then you’ve got another little safe of knowledge stored in your brain that you can open up and use in another situation. The entire process is learning so I can’t really give something specific when it’s there from beginning to end.

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Maria Bello and Alex Ruiz in TOUCH

You know I have to ask…have you had a Touch-like moment in your life, something you felt was more than coincidence?

Of course! My family and I have an apartment that we stay at in Mexico that used to belong to my grandma who’s been deceased for about 15 years. I slept in her bed one night, which we do every time we’re there anyway, and I had a very strong dream about her. My brother was going through some tough times and I vividly saw her in my dream. I won’t go into specifics but it ended with her saying “he’ll be okay, he’ll be okay,” and I woke up screaming and crying. I’ve never had a dream like that before nor since and I’m totally convinced that it was my grandma talking to me directly. It was definitely Touch-like in the sense that my brother is completely happy and somehow my grandma calmed me by knowing it would be so.

Do you have any current projects on the horizon?

I do. I’m doing a Mexican novela called Dama Y Obrero in Miami right now. It’s a remake from a Chilean novela of the same name which had enormous success in Chile. The anticipation for it is quite big and I have one of the starring roles so I’m very excited for that. It’ll air on Telemundo later this year. I’m also in negotiations to star in a film which might have some big distribution but hopefully I’ll be able to film it after the novela. I also did a short called Best of Both Worlds directed by amazing director Michael Dunker a little less than a year ago which has made a big splash in the festival circuit and it’s getting financed to be made as a feature where I’ll be playing the same character. So yeah, lots of stuff this year, thankfully.

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Courtesy of Alex Ruiz

RAPID-FIRE QUESTIONS

What is the most played song on your IPod or MP3 player?

I just looked it up and it’s Cruel Summer by Bananarama. Imagine that. I’m a huge 80’s guy so I guess it doesn’t surprise me.

What is the last book you have read?

I read “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs. It’s creepy as all hell because photographs visualize the narrative. Not a bad book. Right now I’m trying to finish “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. A friend of mine recommended it and it’s pretty damn good so far.

Best advice that was ever given to you?

Lots of good advice throughout the years. But the most basic and impactful was my mom saying “oye, ve, y calla,” which means “listen, watch, and don’t say a word.” Works in every situation you’re in if you really think about it.

Sunrises or sunsets?

Definitely sunsets.

Favorite sport to watch?

Basketball. Been a Pistons fan all of my life.

Singing or dancing?

I do a lot of karaoke but my voice is terrible (to me, at least). Dancing I like. I’m talking salsa or mambo or anything that moves your hips without you knowing they’re moving.

Favorite TV show (besides Touch, of course 🙂

The British Office is absolute genius. Anything Gervais, really. I’m also a big fan of Forensic Files and crime shows of that sort.

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Courtesy of Alex Ruiz

Thank you so much, Alex, for the generosity of your time and your thoughtful answers. TOUCH fans: Help support Alex by liking his Facebook page and following him on Twitter.

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1991503/?ref_=fn_al_nm_2

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alex-Ruiz/159956814141798?ref=hl

Twitter: @alex54ruiz





TOUCH (S2E4) Enemy of My Enemy Recap

23 02 2013

TouchLogo4“For the purpose of travels, both inward and outward, is not merely to see the unseen but to bring those wishes home, to share with those we love.” The magic number tonight is 1075! Stars and the color red are embedded heavily throughout the episode.  Some of my commentary is embedded in bold italics within the recap.

Lucy (Maria Bello) gets boxes from her husband sent to PO Box 457, tracking number 1Z14785, NJ–1075–CA. [I tried the QR code but it was not valid (sad face). What would have been infinitely MORE interesting would have been for it to lead to fox.com/touch or something else really cool like hidden bonus features for the episode.]

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Lucy encourages Martin (Kiefer Sutherland) to send Jake (David Mazouz) to school where Soleil Friedman (Isabella Acres) goes. Jake pulls out a picture of a birthday party with Lucy and Amelia (Saxon Sharbino). Guillermo (Said Taghmaoui) is lurking in the background, but they don’t know who this man really is yet.

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Martin gets a text to meet at Lebanon Street off 6th, at 10 a.m. with presumably Calvin. Martin meets with Trevor (Greg Ellis). He wants Calvin (Lukas Haas) to think he is a reporter. Martin needs a cover backstory and Trevor needs a reporter of Martin’s caliber. Martin accepts.

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At the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan, it is 64.9 km to Peer Kalay, 207 to Kabul and 568 to Kandahar. Mallory Cane (Audrey Marie Anderson) tells her husband (Mackenzie Astin) on the phone that she thinks her hotel room phone has been tapped. The border guards take her into custody as her husband listens. The green flag is shown [it has a star on it]. The guard has a red circle that looks like the pattern Jake sees also like the QR code on Lucy’s package.

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The color red is back! Jake has a red and gray striped shirt. Lucy’s tablet is red. Jake is drawing a pattern on a napkin of an oval with a circle in the middle, actually looks like a spaceship. There is a woman walking in the background with a red dress. [I know the picture I’m clipping looks like the umbrellas are orange, but I think that is just the quality of my picture; it was red when it aired.]

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Jake hands it to a woman sitting near them (Patricia Rae). It makes the woman upset and she tries to give it back to Jake. Lucy asks her if she knows Amelia. The woman does not respond to the question and Jake hands her purse to her, not before lifting an envelope from it. It is addressed to Seaman Vicente Corliss, Bldg 1075 Port Hueneme Naval Base, Port Hueneme, CA. When Lucy sees the number matches her box, she opens it. It contains cash and a picture of a man who looks like Guillermo. The letter says, “You must find him. I no longer can.” The note looks like a suicide letter from someone to Vicente. Lucy is boiling water in a red kettle to open the envelope with the steam.

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A limo pulls up for Martin and he gets in.

Jake narrates: “From the smallest amoeba to the grandest of galaxies, we define ourselves by our borders. I am me; therefore I am not you. We are safe within our territory, but borders can be places of instability, of danger. Cold fronts collide with warm; dynamic energy explodes. Yet it’s at the edges, the frontiers between us, where ideas are exchanged, where knowledge is gained. I am me but I must push past my borders if I am ever truly to know you.”

The woman looks for something on a map. Amelia draws tides in the Arabian Sea and labels Pakistan. There are red numbers on the map. She has a box decorated with butterflies [a few of them red].

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Martin meets Calvin who is firing a gun at a range. He remembers Martin from the elevator. Martin says he believes Aster Corps is involved with criminal activity such as murder and kidnapping. Calvin says that the average person is lied to up to 200 times per day. Despite hating guns, Martin has some pretty awesome aim. Calvin approves.

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Mallory is wearing a red scarf as she is escorted to prison. The guard thinks she is a spy but she tells him she is in sales.

The book at Amelia’s house is “To Kill A Mockingbird”. Frances (Linda Gehringer) says, “Today won’t be a workday; it’s a chance to get to know each other.” Amelia is speed reading.

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Back in the limo, Calvin directs Martin to building “J” , top floor, room 1075. He will need a red-level pass card. Mallory Cane has one. Calvin wants Martin to find her. He believes she can be persuaded to give him her card. Apparently Calvin wants his research back [or so he says].

At the naval base, Lucy and Jake meet with Vicente (Alex Ruiz). His aunt wrote the note. “So you’ve been out of touch?”. [Cute line]. The portrait is of the man who killed Vicente’s mother 4 years ago by slicing her throat. [Yep. That sounds like our Guillermo.] Aunt Sofia and his mom, Claudia Corliss, were identical twins. His mother was a savant astronomer with amazing insight who did not talk much either. [Star reference there.] She predicted the trajectory of the Corliss Comet. The picture that Jake drew was the path of the comet. He asks them to find his aunt. The Corliss Comet has a cycle of 122 years but it can be viewed that evening. Lucy theorizes that Sofia will wait to see that before she tries to kill herself.

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Frances gets out a red board game called Tokeekol [not a real game name]. Amelia talks about the book, about “not understanding a person until you see their point of view.” It’s on page 177, 12 lines from the bottom. Amelia moves her piece then rolls the red dice (which match, number 9). The woman asks her if she knows what she’ll roll next. Amelia moves the woman’s piece 2 moves; the woman rolls snake eyes. Amelia sees herself winning the entire game.

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Mallory meets with a man who threatens she’ll be sent to Bannu prison if she is not honest.

Martin goes to Mallory’s house. Her husband tries to choke him. She has been working on a program called T1 security program that Aster Corps sold to Pakistan. She found a flaw. Innocent people would be hurt. She threatened to go public when her supervisor did not act. Martin finds a file called the Fibonacci Project. He also finds a file for a bill to Stanford House on patient Adeline Danvers. And something called The Danvers Project. There is an expense memo for August 25-28 for meals, hotel and transport for a total of 800.27. He sees a dental bill for a “cavity fill with cap”. [I wonder if she has some kind of implant.] That was the cover name for Amelia. Martin thinks she is being hidden, that Aster Corps does not know where she is because the money trail ends 3 weeks prior.

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At BreakWire, Jake is trying to call locally 1-323-78 to 1-310-64. The principal of Soleil’s school (Patricia Bethune) calls Martin. Jake made the connection between the two of them. School starts at 8:50 and Jake wants to go.

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T1’s sole purpose was to profile terrorists. The web says too many innocent people are being snagged. Calvin helped design it. Aster Corps is using it to set her up. Calvin is going to jam the program to give them time for her to be released but he needs a connection in Pakistan and Martin can help there–a man in LA named Nazim Farzat (Sanjay Chandani). It is the man who picks up Lucy and Sofia on the highway to bring them back to Lucy’s car in a later scene.

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Lucy goes to the Astraeus Society’s observatory. The comet viewing was cancelled because of cloud cover.

Jake is typing 1075 repetitively on the laptop. Amelia is writing the same number on her map. Lucy knocks Sofia out of the way at mile marker 1075. She says she should have been killed not her sister [which makes me immediately think she is Claudia and not Sofia since they were identical.]

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[Nope I was wrong.] Sofia met Guillermo at her bar and invited him home. Guillermo became violent and tried to kill her. Sofia stuck him in the side of the neck with sewing scissors, but he killed Claudia and walked out the door with the scissors still stuck in his neck. Lucy explains that this guy thought Sofia was Claudia.

The guards throw Mallory out with her Aster Corps ID badge and bags.

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When dropping Jake off, he goes into the lengthy detail about what Jake likes and does not. Soleil is very excited to see Jake.

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“We cross borders; we explore new frontiers, frontiers of the heart, frontiers of the soul. And if we’re lucky, we go home again having learned great lessons of our shared destiny. For the purpose of travels, both inward and outward, is not merely to see the unseen but to bring those wishes home, to share with those we love.”

Mallory goes home.

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Sofia reunites with Vicente.

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Lucy asks Martin if he can trust Calvin. Calvin confirms Mallory is home. He uses an access code pad and thumb-print scanner [Really? No retinal scanner?] to get into the house where he has Amelia. The code is 500# [a star instead of a pound sign would have been really cool here]. Amelia’s caregiver is Calvin’s mother! So that is what she meant about having to “go underground” in the episode “Closer”. He asks Amelia if she is ready to do some work and says, “How’s my girl today?” [I am thoroughly creeped out by this.]

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Back at the house, Lucy recognizes Guillermo in the picture from 3-1/2 years ago at a park in New Jersey. She shows Martin the scar. She wants to know why he’s standing behind her daughter 6 months after he killed someone just like Amelia. Which leads us to episode 4 of season 2.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

See my individual comments to scenes in brackets above. The color red returns. Why red? In Chinese culture, it signifies good fortune and joy. Stars take on more significance. “To Kill A Mockingbird” was the perfect choice for a book. The symbolism in the book of the mockingbird is someone who is innocent and kind but is persecuted. I did an English paper back in grade school on this topic. Clearly, the mockingbirds in TOUCH are the 36 Righteous Ones. It is still unclear if Calvin is a good guy or bad guy or somewhere in between. Why did Guillermo not kill Amelia? Was she still on the path of righteousness and he moved on to another person?