*Most people are bombarded daily with constant negativity spewing from the earth’s four corners in the current social climate. The need is more significant than ever for an uplifting film such as “Walking With Herb” starring Edward James Olmos (Academy Award® nominee, Golden Globe® and Emmy® winner, Blade Runner 2049) and comedian George Lopez (George Lopez Show), and Kathleen Quinlan (Academy Award® nominee, APOLLO 13).
This new faith-based film based on the 2015 book by Joe S. Bullock is the story of Joseph Amable-Amo (his last name translates to kind-love). Joe is a bank executive and former amateur golfer who experiences a tragic loss in his life and struggles with faith in himself and the Almighty. Amidst his grumblings, God unconventionally speaks to him by typing a divine message on his computer, telling Joe he’s been chosen to play in a world championship golf tournament that will inspire others. Understandably Joe resists, and God sends in reinforcement in the form of an eccentric and comical messenger named Herb, played masterfully by George Lopez.
Herb roars into Joe’s life on a Harley-Davidson sporting outlandish 60’s era drip most would consider reminiscent of Woodstock rather than being a sanctified emissary descending from the eternal pearly gates of heaven; clearly, God has a sense of humor.
Herb guides a reluctant Joe back to the golf course, and along the way, he gains a deeper appreciation for faith, family, and second chances. EURweb.com spoke with the legendary actor Edward Olmos to discuss Walking With Herb and why at this time, this feel-good movie is necessary.
EUR: Can you speak to the loss and the regaining of faith and how it impacts others?
Edward: In the movie and real life, the loss of faith is pretty straightforward. You don’t believe in God; you don’t believe in any spirituality, you don’t believe in anything, you lost your faith in yourself. Upon losing faith in yourself, what ends up happening is you have no ability to grow, no ability to move forward, you don’t have any desire, no passion; it completely cuts hope. Once hope is gone, it’s a long life, and that’s what happens in the story. The loss is faith is what many of us go through this throughout our lifetime, and it’s something trying to get it back and trying to understand it; it takes a great sense of self-worth, self-esteem, and self-respect; and a belief in not only yourself but in others and in God.
EUR: Would you characterize yourself as a man of faith?
Edward: Yes, I have a lot of faith, and it’s kept me going. I’m seventy-four going on seventy-five.
Through the years, you go through a lot, and faith is what keeps you going. I’m not a religious person. I believe that the day that the Catholic calls the Protestant, to make sure the Jehovah’s Witness, is not late to Bar Mitzvah, is the day that religion will understand its purpose and its place in bringing people together.
EUR: You are not a golfer, but you are an athlete. Could you describe the process of learning golf and how difficult it was for this role?
Edward: I played baseball when I was young, and that gave me the ability for eye-hand-ball contact. Golf is a difficult sport to do; it takes immense discipline, determination, perseverance, and patience. Baseball is hard, too, but for golf, I had to hit thousands of balls and thousands of puts to prepare for it because I don’t play.
EUR: George Lopez is an avid golfer. What tips did he give you?
Edward: George is a professional golfer, [he told me] how to swing, how to focus, and how to keep my body. He tells me in the movie. The movie was so real in respect to the fact that [my character Joe] hadn’t touched a golf club in thirty-five years who was destined to be a professional but couldn’t take the pressure.
EUR: Your character deals with unbelief and the courage to take a second chance. Sometimes it’s scary to take a second chance because of previous disappoints and doubt. What can someone draw from to have that strength to take a second chance?
Edward: That’s where faith comes in. You have to have faith in yourself and, hopefully, if you need a higher power, which we all do.
Faith is needed whether you believe in a higher power or you don’t. If you don’t have faith in yourself, it becomes difficult to have hope. To me, hope is the ultimate understanding of life.
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