Wilmer Valderrama: Too Many Hollywood Films Have a ‘Secret Political Agenda’

By Nicholas Ballasy | June 1, 2010 | 5:35 PM EDT

Actor Wilmer Valderrama at the Sundance Film Festival for the premiere of "The Dry Land." (AP photo)

(CNSNews.com) – “The Dry Land,” a film about a soldier who returns home from the Iraq War and struggles with post-traumatic stress syndrome, premiered in Washington, D.C., last week. Wilmer Valderrama, one of the stars of the film, told CNSNews.com that unlike “The Dry Land,” too many feature films in Hollywood have what he called a “secret political agenda.”

“I think that Hollywood should embrace doing a lot more films like this one as opposed to always having a political agenda behind a feature film. All we’re doing is, we’re already in Iraq, we’re already in Afghanistan, you know, the political agenda behind any feature film is not going to really help or make us understand anything better,” he told CNSNews.com on the red carpet of the advanced screening sponsored by the Creative Coalition.
“I think that for me the biggest frustration in Hollywood is that there’s always a secret you know political agenda behind some of these films and we really should be focusing on the heroic stories between our men and women and the people that go out there unconditionally and fight this war. I think that’s really the future of film making and it’s about talking about, like I said, the human behind the soldier and not the soldier behind the cause.”

Valderrama, who appears in the film alongside America Ferrera of ABC’s now-cancelled “Ugly Betty,” said the focus of war-related films should be on the stories of how soldiers adapt to life at home after battle.
“We have a freedom of speech, you know. Everyone can make the film they want to make. My argument is that the focus today should be about the stories of these men and women and their adaptation coming home,” said Valderrama, who has visited U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq,
“This is one of those films that I’m really proud to say really captures the dynamic between a soldier, the dynamic between, you know, the family and the best friends and it further explains, you know, the bond that a soldier has with his army buddy -- the only person that can relate to the immediate obstacle at hand.”
Valderrama declined to mention any specific films that have a “secret” political agenda.
“I’m very driven to watch the right project, you know, and to read the right project and I’m not -- I don’t have a real opinion about anybody else’s work. I can only really speak on behalf of the things that I do,” he said.
He also said that visiting the troops overseas inspired him to play the role of Raymond Gonzales in the film.
“I’ve been to over nine countries,” Valderrama said. “I’ve been to Iraq and Afghanistan and I’ve visited the troops and I’ve met thousands of soldiers. I’ve heard hundreds of stories and I really quickly understood, you know, how serious this matter was, and it kind of fueled my passion for wanting to play one of these characters and specifically to try to play the human behind the soldier, not the soldier behind the cause, which was the most important thing for me,” he said.
“The Dry Land” opens in theaters July 30.