One minute Demián Bichir never heard of Weeds, the next minute he's filming love scenes for the series with star Mary-Louise Parker.
"My girlfriend, she's a great fan of Weeds," Bicher tells me in his thick Mexican accent. "When she heard that I had this audition for that, she told me, 'You know what? This is it. This is one of the greatest shows ever!' "
Bichir—so famous in Latin America that he's known as the George Clooney of Mexico—made his Weeds debut this season playing the mayor of Tijuana, who becomes intimately involved with Parker's pot-dealing suburban mom, Nancy Botwin.
"They told me that these characters might get involved with each other and get some relationship going on there," the 45-year-old Bichir says. "Then when I watched the past seasons, I realized how open it was."
The steamy scenes, however, came easily to Bichir. "I'm kind of used to it because every film I've done before, I'm always making love to a beautiful woman or running around naked," he says.
That's certainly a far cry from director Steven Soderbergh's Che, in which Bichir plays Fidel Castro opposite Benicio Del Toro's Che Guevara. The film chronicles Guevara's 1964 trip to New York City to address the United Nations.
Bichir chooses his words carefully when asked if he thinks Cuba's standing in international politics will ever improve. "It's really deeper than we know and deeper than we get to know," he says. "It's hard. All I can say is, they still have the best doctors working for no money and they still have great athletes. Take my word for this, they're going to get more medals from Beijing than Mexico, and Mexico is a quote/unquote democracy."
Now, let's get back to the Clooney comparisons. "You know," Bichir says, "it's fine with me, because I think George Clooney is one of the greatest actors."
He then adds with a laugh, "I guess it's better than being called the Homer Simpson of Mexico."