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Bobby Soto Interview: The Tax Collector & Latino Stereotypes

By August 10, 2020 , ,

"The Tax Collector" is now available in theaters, On Demand and Digital. After screening the film, I highly recommend it for fans of fast pace action, buddy style of movies.

Note: I was invited as media to the movie screening and cast interview. Any views expressed are always 100% my own.

But besides the action and male bonding, there's a touching story of personal growth and aiming to be better then your circumstances.

At the heart (literally) of it all is David, played by Bobby Soto. Bobby gives us a multi layered man, who is trying to be a good husband and father, along with being a "gangster".

I had the chance to interview Bobby about his role, acting with Shia LaBeouf and if the film is just promoting the lifestyle for a Latino gangster.

Read on to see what he said. I even have video!

What appeal to you about this role in Tax Collector

Bobby Soto: When I heard that David Ayers was making a movie here in LA about a specific story, something that was genuine and authentic, it was easy to say yes. When he called me and asked me if I wanted to be in a movie with him, I said of course!

So the intimacy of it, the friendships between David and Creeper and the relationship between and David, his Wife and his kids, the way he feels about his religion.

I grew up in a lot of similar circumstances and background, so everything just really hit home for me.

Did you have to prepare for the role?

Bobby Soto: Nah. My research came in because I'm from LA and I live in a family where we came from a neighbor that was tough. I had family that has been in and out of prison. I was blessed that my mother wanted me to do something else.

She would drag me to a class in Hollywood and drop me off. She made me be in some kind of other sport. No one in my surrounding ever did anything called "acting" you know?

It was a place I was able to express myself, it was a place I was able to release whatever tension and frustrations I had as a kid growing up in LA.

Bobby Soto: There's a lot of traumas that are never spoke about because, you don't talk about it, you know what I mean? It's really easy for people to submit to their anger and violence reactions because that proves that you are a man.

When you living in the jungle of South LA, it's really territorial. If you show any kind of weakness or vulnerability, you get eaten alive.

So you have to really uphold what kind of person you are. It's all about who you are as a man and how you carry yourself. A lot of that hit home.

Bobby Soto: The thing I needed to stretch on was being the actor. There's a lot of technicalities and mechanics to the industry and the way that film making is. That was my stretch. Really being able to understand what this industry does and how it operates.

Does Tax Collector Show Stereotype of Latino Gangsters?

How was it acting with Tax Collector cast

Bobby Soto: I had the chance to work with everyone at the top of their game including David (Ayer), Shia (LaBeouf), George (Lopez), Cinthya (Carmona) and others. Everybody brought in their background, their authenticity, and their truth.

And working with people that are wise and have 20 something years in the industry, they can teach alot to the new comers, like myself. It's a really collaborative moment, that we can actually build a true relationship with. And we did. We all went home after the movie was done and we all became real friends.

Working and Friendship with Shia LaBeouf

Bobby Soto: Shia (LaBeouf) became my best friend. For real, for real. He and I opened up a theater company in South Central. After we wrapped up the movie, we continued collaborating with one another. We come from very similar circumstance and background. So him and I became really close. He became a big brother to me.

Working with Jose Conejo Martin and Final Fight Scene

Bobby Soto: Conejo (Jose Martin) is a relative of mine, so I've know him my whole life. But I haven't seen him in like over 25 years. He was amazing. It was his first acting role and he killed it. He's a really good guy.

But of course it's hard to play with that because in the film we're enemies. It's a good you have that trust with someone that your acting with, because then you can go as far as you need to with each other, and not take it personally.

The final fight scene took about two days. It was exhausting. There was a lot of water (laughing). You want to do the best job so you keep trying your best. It was really exhausting.

David (Bobby Soto) and Creeper (Shia LaBeouf) are "tax collectors" for criminal leader Wizard and are tasked with taking a share of the profits from the illicit activities of local gangs.

But when an old Wizard rival returns to Los Angeles from Mexico, the business takes a complete turn and David finds himself in a desperate situation to protect what matters to him above anything else: his family.

Cast: Bobby Soto, Cinthya Carmona, George López and Shia LaBeouf

DIRECTOR: David Ayer

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