Fez of ‘That ’70s Show’ dons superhero garb
By Marty Graham
SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – Actor Wilmer Valderrama, best known
as Fez on Fox television’s “That ’70s Show,” says he needed a
special swagger to become Hollywood’s first Latino superhero,
but he insists it’s all in the suit.
The 25-year-old Miami native recently wrapped production on
the independent film “El Muerto,” based on a graphic novel by
Javier Hernandez, and he appeared in costume this week at the
comic book convention Comic-con to preview a trailer for the
“They really wanted to up the hunk factor, so they came up
with these amazing pants,” Valderrama said, referring to the
costume’s tight-fitting black leather pants. “Wearing that suit
really changed my walk.”
Valderrama demonstrated a lean, lithe, shadowy movement far
from his portrayal of Fez, the adorably goofy foreign exchange
student he has played on “That ’70s Show” since its debut in
“El Muerto,” which co-stars Joel David Moore, Tony Plana
and Angie Cepeda, is a production of the independent Los
Angeles film company Dream Entertainment and is expected in
theaters later this year.
Valderrama plays a young man in East Los Angeles who is
abducted by Aztec gods when his car crashes on the way to a
festival celebrating the Mexican holiday known as the Day of
the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos).
Transformed into El Muerto, the Aztec Zombie, he struggles
with the world between life and death, using his supernatural
powers to protect his loved ones from evil.
“Our goal was to make a beautiful drama of this awesome
world that Javier created,” Valderrama said. “It’s the first
movie based on a graphic novel about Latinos set in East L.A.”
Valderrama said he also was involved in developing a
reality television show with MTV, tentatively called “Yo Mama,”
inspired by rapper Eminem’s 2002 movie “8 Mile.”
“It’s street kids going against each other on ‘yo’ mama’
jokes,” he said. “I’m hosting and creating the show.”
Other projects include an upcoming film, “The Darwin
Awards,” with Joseph Fiennes and Winona Ryder, and Valderrama
plans to return to “That ’70s Show” for an eighth and presumed
final season of the show.
He said producers plan to revive the use of dream sequences
in the final episodes and may introduce Fez’s parents to reveal
the answer to one of the show’s long-standing mysteries — his
character’s exact country of origin.
“We are going to leave with a bang, we are going to get in
as much trouble as possible,” Valderrama promised.
Fez is a part not far from his own experience. Valderrama
was born in Miami but moved to Venezuela when he was three
years old. When his family returned to the United States when
he was 13, he did not speak a word of English.
As well as his comic role in “That ’70s Show,” Valderrama
is a regular in U.S. gossip columns as a ladies man, with past
girlfriends including Lindsay Lohan and Mandy Moore.