Gabriel Iglesias has featured his voice and face in multiple motion pictures over the past couple of years — Magic Mike and its sequel, Magic Mike XXL, now filming, plus Planes, The Nut Job and A Haunted House 2. But Fluffy didn’t expect to see himself on the big screen playing himself, as he did this summer in the stand-up concert film, The Fluffy Movie.
“I didn’t even want to do a movie,” Iglesias told The Comic’s Comic in a phone interview earlier this fall. “The opportunity to do a stand-up film was presented to me…I was perfectly content to do specials on Comedy Central, and in the future with Netflix.”
But how many comedians can say they’ve premiered their stand-up in cineplexes nationwide?
“Only a few guys have done it,” Iglesias said. “For me to do that is the pinnacle.”
He cited Eddie Murphy as an example, and The Fluffy Movie opens in flashback to Tijuana 1975-ish, re-enacting the night his parents met, then fast-forwarding nine months later to his birth, then again to Iglesias as a 12-year-old renting a VHS tape of Eddie Murphy’s Raw, before cutting to his own introduction onstage. Ron White, Tommy Chong and Gina Brillon all make cameos in his autobiographical montage.
The Fluffy Movie might not have made Raw money at the box office. And the jorts Iglesias sports may never be as iconic as Murphy’s red leather suit. But the film, which opened in late July just after Iglesias turned 38, grossed upward of $2.83 million in cinemas, squeaking past Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedian to rank 10th all-time among stand-up concert films.
And yet, Iglesias told The Comic’s Comic: “I will literally not see any money from this film,” adding: “I think it’s the best work I’ve ever done. And I don’t feel that an artist should be paid for his best work. Wait until he’s dead.”
Don’t worry about Fluffy’s finances just yet, though. He’s doing fine. And he’ll be doing better now that The Fluffy Movie is out today on DVD and Blu-ray.
Instead, perhaps worry about Frankie, his teen-aged stepson.
Frankie can’t seem to catch a break, or learn his lesson that he should obey his new dad or risk being made fun of in yet another special. Iglesias notes that after making Frankie’s lack of deodorant use an issue in “Aloha Fluffy,” Frankie has started to observe at least basic hygiene. But he’s still not thinking about how famous Iglesias is, which becomes an issue for Frankie at school. “Don’t get mad at me because I’m more popular than you at your school,” Iglesias jokes.
Roll the clip!
And here’s a trailer for the movie, in which Iglesias jokes about the slight differences in head movements that shows the cultural differences between Indians and Mexicans.
Despite playing up those differences, The Fluffy Movie‘s theme screams “Unity Through Laughter,” with the movie’s subtitle appearing onstage behind Iglesias as an exit sign amid a skyline backdrop that also features the Golden Gate Bridge. There’s also a cutout of Fluffy holding a microphone in the moon? See for yourself.
But know this: The elephant in the room is not going to be him.
Iglesias talks at length about how he dropped 100 pounds because he had to, having been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at the age of 35 and doctors telling him he’d only live two more years at his then-weight of 445 pounds. “That’s borderline Discovery Channel fat,” he said.
The first half of the film finds him trying different diets, even yoga. No gastric bypass for him, though? Comfort food is comforting, Iglesias noted, making happy burger noises, and reconciling himself with this realization: “Cholesterol is going to kill me in 10 years, diabetes will kill me in 2, I’m ahead by 8!” Even at his heaviest, though, he jokes about how both women and men would throw themselves at him sexually — which led to one problematic night after he’d taken 16 tequila shots.
Iglesias promises his audience he’ll continue to have funny stories to tell, even if he keeps losing weight and getting healthy.
Going global as a comedian over the past couple of years has given him stories about visiting India for the first time, which leads to plenty of observations (as in the trailer above.
But his most popular protagonist in his jokes remains Frankie. Here, it’s trying to give him pep talks so the teen can talk to girls, or anyone, really, in person instead of via text message. He knows he spoils Frankie, and that leads to some of the unrest and discipline issues. And he also knows that he has his own unresolved issues with his own father — as depicted in the beginning of the film, his father was absent. Was being the key word, as this performance culminates with Jesus Iglesias showing up unexpectedly to say hello to Gabriel at the Comedy & Magic Club after a span of 30+ years. “Do I hug him or do I hit him?” That’s the question on Fluffy’s mind, and in his heart.
The answer may not surprise you as much as it surprised him.
The movie may not surprise you, either.
But it will take you further inside Iglesias’ world, and give you something to talk about should you ever meet him or Frankie.
Gabriel Iglesias, The Fluffy Movie, is out today in regular and extended DVD, Blu-Ray and digital editions.