The Academy continues “Seen,” a series of candid interviews on culture, identity and representation with some of today’s most influential filmmakers and artists.  Available now on the Academy’s YouTube, episode 2 features Edward James Olmos – nominated for a 1988 Best Actor Oscar® for his role as Jaime Escalante in “Stand and Deliver”– in conversation with journalist Nick Barili, the series host. 

Olmos invites Barili to meet him at Bell Gardens Intermediate School, a site of Olmos’s Youth Cinema Project, to see firsthand how the program empowers students to tell their stories on film.  Olmos reflects on growing up in the cultural diversity of East Los Angeles, his stints in baseball and rock ’n’ roll before he finally landed on acting, and the importance of collaboration and creative control.  He discusses what his roles in “Zoot Suit” and “Stand and Deliver” mean to him, as well as the larger culture, and why he regularly turns down work.

For more information on this episode of “Seen” and others in the series, please click here.

Edward James Olmos, Oscar-nominated actor (“Stand and Deliver”), director, producer
Nick Barili, journalist, director, writer, producer

Available now on YouTube:

“The story itself, the truth of the story itself, is powerful.  A hundred years from today, that movie will be seen and understood and be appreciated.  All we wanted to do is just document the behavior of this man.  And we did it, and I was very fortunate I was able to do it.” – Edward James Olmos on “Stand and Deliver”

“To me, trying to understand your life and then your culture, and your heritage, and the roots that make you the tree that you are, and the human being that you are, sharing it so that others can understand it, makes everybody stronger.” 

“Out of a necessity to stay alive in this industry, I had to learn the full usage of storytelling, whether it be in songwriting, filmmaking, or theater.  If we weren’t creating it, we weren’t gonna be able to do it, because nobody was creating it for us.” 

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