Coming to theatres in time to tickle that bored funny bone from directors Manny Rodriguez and Jay Lavender is Mr. Fluffy himself and THE FLUFFY MOVIE.

Gabriel Iglesias has been known for his comedy for quite some time. Performing stand up he also has several shows on Comedy Central to add to his resume. In 2012 he debuted his television series HEY IT’S FLUFFY.

He has made his way to film as Tobias in the 2012 film MAGIC MIKE and will be return to the role in 2015 with MAGIC MIKE XXL. He had done animation with PLANES and THE NUT JOB as well and will be seen as Pepe Rodriguez in THE BOOK OF LIFE coming to theatres later this year. .

Born in San Diego, it’s like a return home today and a chance to wish him a belated birthday and chat about his new film THE FLUFFY MOVIE.

Hello Gabriel, it’s so nice to meet you.

Thanks, you too Jeri.

What made you decide to go into comedy thinking ‘this is what I want to do’?

I think it’s the whole acceptance thing, that’s part of it. I love the fact that when comedians on stage have control of a room, I’m a bit of a control freak. In the beginning I loved the fact that when I watched comics they had control of the room, they were making people laugh at a moments notice – boom – laughter! I saw RAW with Eddie Murphy in 1987 and I said I want to be that, that’s what I want; I want to be a comedian. I mean to be inspired at ten years old and here I was in a talent show two weeks later doing impressions of Eddie Murphy doing his show.

How did that go over being RAW was so – raw!

It actually went over very well because I didn’t use cuss words.

You did the PG version of Eddie.

Absolutely. I was something I enjoyed doing and I love doing it. In fact I’ve been doing this now for over 17 years and I always knew this was what I was meant to do. I didn’t know how I was going to do but I was going to make it happen.

How did your family react to hearing the news you wanted to be a comedian?

Depends on which part of the family you are talking about? {laughing}

The side that will praise you!

Oh okay, my son is cool with it. Granted I talk a lot about him in the show but I told him if he didn’t mess up and do the things he did I wouldn’t have to talk about him on stage. I’m not going to hit you or yell at you or waste my breath…

Just embarrass you!

Yep, I’m going to embarrass you. Told him we can play this my way or your way it’s up to you. Usually he likes it his way so here we go. I talk about him. It has changed a little as he’s about to turn 17 and we are relating a lot better now versus when he was 12 and 13.

I remember kids at 17, it’s an interesting age.

Right? I remember back then and I was a pain in the butt to my Mom when I think back to how I was.

But, were you funny about it?

Not at all, I was a little bit of a brat, yep, a little bit of a brat.

Really?

Yea, I think about it and now it’s a little bit of a payback for that with my son.

Karma huh?

Yep, you do it to your parents and your kids will do it to you for sure.

How about your parents?

My Mom was very excited about everything that I did after she realized it was working. She saw that I could have a career and successful at it. She’s no longer with us but she lived to see me become who I am now. My father on the other hand wasn’t in the picture until recently. He was basically gone 33/34 years and recently resurfaced. I talk a lot about that in the movie. There are issues and drama and yes it’s a stand up comedy film but there is drama in the show.

When you are deciding what material you are going to use, is there anything that’s off limits?

Yes there is! I don’t want to talk about politics. To voice an opinion about issues you need to be very informed and willing to see both sides to you can give the best opinion you can. At the side time you are always going to rub someone the wrong way. I leave it out all together that way you don’t offend anyone. I don’t talk about religion. What ever people want to believe is up to them. What ever makes them a good person I’m all for it but I’m not going to bring up anyone’s God. I especially don’t talk about sports.

That’s interesting, why not sports?

Because it will piss people off quicker than the other two subjects will. For example, if I’m at a show in San Diego and I say Padres of course a majority of the crowd will cheer but there will always be a Dodger fan in the crowd too, or Angels fan or whatever there team is. You can never please everybody when you make comments about sports. The only time I have worn something sports is when I was in San Antonio because I was performing in the same arena as the San Antonio Spurs play in and the shirt was a gift from the Spurs and I’m in their house. There was also no other competing basketball team for 200 miles and, more importantly, they were champions. So of course there was no issue walking out on stage like that and no one had any issues.

Not talking about politics and religion I get but not to talk about as a comedian but sports, I’ve never heard that one before.

It’s the quickest. I was in New York and proved it when I was in a room and said “Go Mets!” and someone yelled, “F**k the Mets! Go Yankees!” and I said, “See that!” I mean I was doing an experiment and the guy went right to it. Imagine if I had been serious? That’s why I don’t talk about sports. I’ll talk about relationships and I’ll talk about families.

Which you do very well by the way.

Oh yea, I mean I’ll talk about being a fish out of water. Anytime you talk about being the first person to do something whether it’s traveling or being the first person on the job, everyone can relate to being the new guy. So stories about having a crazy friend who gets you in trouble and you have to clean up the mess or maybe you are the mess. I tell stories about my kid; myself and people will relate to either my son or relate to being the parent or step-parent. So relateability is everything and you have to connect to that in some way, shape or form.

So you are putting every part of yourself out there.

I think the fact that I put myself out there telling real stories and situations is very important. Like in my special I open up about being diabetic, right out of the gate I talk about it and having to lose 100 lbs. so right away the audience is like ‘whoa, this is the fluffy guy and he’s 100 lbs. lighter, what’s going on?’ I have to explain myself.

So now you’re Fluffy-lite.

I still have a way to go. I have such a connection with my fans so I felt it was important to explain myself and why I had to lose the weight. It wasn’t a vanity thing at all. I was fine with it because I was confident in who I was. The realization is that my body couldn’t take it. I’m 38 years old and had to make changes. I mean I can’t go off and eat tacos with the eat-what-I-want mentality. I’m at a point where I have to take those words back. I had to have knee surgery and poor circulation and it was really bad and even having discoloration in my face. Everything was starting to suffer.

What an amazing different (he showed me a before photo).

I still have a way to go and I’ll get there. I’m going in the right direction.

Do you feel like because you are in the spotlight and people now know that it helps motivate you or hinders sometimes?

It does but yes there are certain times I wish it wasn’t. I know what I signed up for.

So you are one of the celebrities who understands that there is a light on you.

I get it; I know what I signed up for.

You don’t complain with ‘I want my privacy’.

No, not at all. If I want my privacy I won’t go outside. It’s that simple. If I’m not having a good day I just won’t go out in public. I don’t want to give anyone that moment. I’ve met celebrities before that aren’t having a good day and I thought ‘maybe they should have stayed home’. In my case I’ve already put it out there that I’m approachable so if somebody comes up to me I’m not going to say no. If they want a picture – no problem. If they want an autograph – no problem.

It has to be hard to say no to someone though.

It is. When I’m at the airport and I might miss my flight I’ll do a photo and try to compromise with them.

That’s pretty nice of you.

I just tell them ‘look, I don’t have time to sign things” and they get a little down so I’ll tell them lets just grab a picture together. Most of the time people are so generous and understand. Now and then there will be a knucklehead that doesn’t get it but I work with it the best I can. I mean you can’t please everyone.

How does it affect things when you are with your family?

I’ve had people come up to me in a restaurant and want pics, videos and such. My family will tell them hey, we are with him a limited time and you are kind of interrupting that.

That’s got to be hard for them.

Again, even then, if they want to take a quick picture I don’t mind. I don’t get upset about it, my family might! {laughing} My girl has no problem voicing her opinion with a ‘hey dude’. My friends just tell it saying, ‘Hey bro! Let him eat!’ I don’t mind it though, I understand.

So what prompted you to do THE FLUFFY MOVIE?

It wasn’t by choice really. I got approached by Gulfstream Pictures and they said Kevin Hart has put out two very successful comedy films. They cost much less to make as far as Hollywood films are concerned. They felt that like Kevin Hart, I was in the same social networks being Twitter and Facebook strong and my YouTube numbers were amazing. They know I have a loyal following and it’s right to do a comedy film. When they approached me I was two days away from finishing my last comedy special. I did ALOHA FLUFFY and a special for Comedy Central so it was a tight schedule. They didn’t understand the writing process that it takes a while to come up with 90 minutes worth of comedy.

They thought you just rolled out of bed funny.

Yes! For me it takes two to three years to come up with an hour of solid material that I feel that is good enough for television. Film, I have less than one year to crank out 90 minutes so fortunately when I put out the last special I still had a lot of stories and issues. So for THE FLUFFY MOVIE I still had things about my son and my Dad and Mom and all these different emotional situations. I tried it a couple of times getting up on stage and venting and the whole special came about and it’s like a one man show. It does get very dark and there are elements of my life that are extremely relatable. Again with being a step-parent or my father showing up after thirty years and my Mom passing.

It does catch up with you. It can be hard to find humor in those moments.

Yes, very much. I think we’ve done it with THE FLUFFY MOVIE and I hope fans like what I’ve done.

I have to say that Gabriel is one of the nicest and down-to-earth people you’d ever want to meet. Just a fact for the future, this man has the longest eyelashes ever! He isn’t afraid to talk about his life in a, yes, relatable way. Because of that it’s clear why so many people find him endearing – just as I did.

Go see Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias in THE FLUFFY MOVIE coming soon from Open Road! Take a gang of friends and have fun!

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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.