Erik Estrada on Life, Culture & Planes: Fire and Rescue

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Erik Estrada Interview


You never know what you are going to get when you interview a celebrity.   There are those with canned answers and those who will extrapolate.  Then there are those that will enjoy the moment just as much, if not more than you.  Erik Estrada is one of those celebrities!

With a soda in hand, dark wash jeans, blue-plaid button down and velvet vest, Estrada strolled into the interview on time and ready to share.  Well, share would be an understatement, he was ready to story tell.  Estrada took us down the road of his life from childhood to now and shined light on his motivation – his mother.  He didn’t hold back as he discussed the realities behind Hollywood, dished on the secrets of telenovelas and shared insight into Disney’s latest animated film Planes: Fire and Rescue.

Estrada voices the character of Nick “Loopin” Lopez in the second installment of the Planes series.  (Scroll down to the bottom of the interview to see my review of Planes: Fire and Rescue.)

Erik Estrada on His Role in Planes: Fire and Rescue:

“They created that segment for the movie and then they called to see if I would do it.  Of course I did!  Who else would do it?  There’s only one. No hay mas que uno!  My character is basically the same thing as Ponch –  a cop who can do almost impossible turns and un poquito womanizer!  I saw the film at Disney Toons studio and when it came on it was like a flashback.  It hit me then the impact that the show had.”


Erik Estrada on How He Started Acting:

“My mom dated this cop who worked for CSI New York and I used to go through his brief case.  I was a little kid looking at all of these pictures of dead bodies.  It made me want to be a cop.  But then, at the age of 17, there was a pretty girl and I wanted to meet her.  She never would come out of school at 2:45 so  I followed her.  She was going to drama club.  So I said, ‘I grew up in Harlem.  I know how to act!’  I auditioned and was caught with the acting bug. ”

Erik Estrada on Learning Spanish:

“I was in Mexico doing a movie.  On the set, I was approached to do a soap opera.  I get sent a script a few weeks later.  It’s completely in Spanish.  I didn’t speak Spanish and I didn’t know Spanish.  So, I tell my manager, go back and tell them I want half a million dollar salary.  I figure right away they are going to say, ‘Esta loco!’ But no, they came back.  I kept making more demands and they kept meeting them.  So, I went to Berlitz and got a beautiful woman teacher and we worked seven days a week for three weeks. ”

Erik Estrada on the Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of Telenovelas:

“I’m in the first love scene of the telenovela.  It’s supposed to be emotional and tears are supposed to flow.  So, we’re in character and she’s professing her love to me and then all of a sudden she has a blank face and yells, ‘Vic!’   So I’m thinking, who’s Vic and why is he here?  A woman runs up with a little metal tup and a Q-tip and rubs Vicks under her eyes to make her cry.  The entire novela culture just blew my mind. ”

Erik Estrada on Why Culture Is Important for Latino Tweens:

It’s so important for children to know where they are from, to know the language and learn the culture.  It roots them and gives them a foundation to fall back on.

Katherine Doble and Erik Estrada

Review of Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue

Planes: Fire and Rescue picks up where the last film left off but with a new twist – Dusty, the now famous crop duster, has a broken gear box and can no longer fly at max speeds.  In an attempt to help his friends and find second chances, he begins training as a fire fighter.  But, as Dusty finds out, second chances aren’t easy especially when you haven’t fully embraced them.

The movie is a fun ride for children and parents.  I highly recommend seeing it in IMAX 3-D because seeing planes soar through the air is just that much cooler that way.  The plot is very similar to the Cars films and those of the first Planes installment but the movie delights with it’s characters.

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