Growing up the son of a jet-setting Venezuelan military attaché, Edgar Ramirez always wanted to go into international diplomacy. “My dream was to be United Nations Secretary General,” the 30-year-old says. It’s ironic, then, that his latest movie, the intricate Vantage Point, places him amidst an international incident involving the assassination of a U.S. president. “There aren’t bad guys or good guys,” Ramirez says of the shrouded-in-secrecy thriller. “That’s what’s characteristic about the human race-we’re dark and enlightened at the same time.”
Ramirez’s dreams of joining the dip set lasted through college and into his early twenties, when he won kudos acting in a friend’s experimental movie; at the time he was working as the director of Dale Al Voto (a Venezuelan version of Rock the Vote). “I didn’t feel like I was an actor,” he recalls. “I had gotten different offers to act, but I always turned them down. [Finally] I said, ’Well, what’s the worst that could happen?’” The worst was a star turn in the critically acclaimed Venezuelan flick Punto y Raya, which led to roles dropping bodies (and Keira Knightley’s panties) in his first American film, 2002’s Domino, and stalking Matt Damon in The Bourne Ultimatum. In 2007, Ramirez added the role of producer to his résumé, working on the romance Cyrano Fernandez.
Although he just wrapped filming on Steven Soderbergh’s pair of Che Guevara biopics (Guerrilla and The Argentine), Ramirez is quick to deny any political implications in his choice of roles. “I don’t pick my characters based on my political beliefs, [but] subconsciously, I’m probably trying to work something out,” he admits. “But it’d be fun to laugh more, of course.” Well, there’s always international politics.