Watch American Masters: Raul Julia: The World's a Stage
- 1 hr 23 min
American Masters: Raul Julia: The World's a Stage is a documentary film from 2019 that tells the inspiring story of Puerto Rican actor Raul Julia. The film chronicles his life, from his childhood in Puerto Rico to his rise to fame in Hollywood. The documentary is directed by Ben DeJesus and includes interviews with a variety of people who knew and worked with Raul Julia throughout his career. These interviewees include his family members, fellow actors like Rita Moreno and Jimmy Smits, and directors he worked with like Joseph Papp. The film begins with a look at Raul Julia's childhood in Puerto Rico. It shows how he grew up in a close-knit family and how he was drawn to acting at an early age. From there, the movie moves on to his early struggles as an actor in New York City, where he frequently auditioned for roles but was rejected by casting directors who didn't believe he could play American characters due to his accent. Despite these early setbacks, Raul Julia persevered, and his big break came in 1964 when he was cast in the play "The Gumball Machine." This led to other theater roles and eventually to film and television roles in projects like "Sesame Street" and "The Addams Family." Throughout his career, Raul Julia was known not only for his talent as an actor but also for his philanthropy and social activism. The documentary explores his work with the Hunger Project, an organization that aims to end world hunger, and shows how he used his platform to bring attention to issues like discrimination and human rights abuses. One of the most interesting aspects of American Masters: Raul Julia: The World's a Stage is the exploration of Raul Julia's Puerto Rican heritage and how it informed his work as an actor. The documentary shows how he strove to represent Puerto Rican culture and history in his roles, even when those roles were not specifically written for Puerto Rican characters. Throughout the film, various interviewees offer their thoughts on Raul Julia and what made him such a remarkable actor and person. Rita Moreno, who starred with Julia in the film adaptation of "The King and I," talks about his generosity and kindness on set, while Jimmy Smits discusses the impact that Julia had on him as a fellow Puerto Rican actor. In addition to interviews, the film includes clips of Raul Julia's performances onstage and onscreen, including scenes from films like "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and "Presumed Innocent." These snippets showcase his range as an actor and help to illustrate the points made by the interviewees about his talent and dedication. Overall, American Masters: Raul Julia: The World's a Stage is a touching tribute to a remarkable actor and person. It celebrates Raul Julia's life and legacy while also offering insight into what made him such a special figure in the world of entertainment. Whether you're a fan of Raul Julia or simply interested in the history of Puerto Rican actors in Hollywood, this film is well worth a watch.