Destiny Entertainment Hector Echavarria, left, takes a break from filming with Steven Bauer, who plays his on-screen brother.
Hector Echavarria is a former world-champion kickboxer who as a teen cut his teeth on street fights, sent opponents to the hospital and dodged death several times over. He's a star in Latin America for both his athletic prowess and entertainment credits, from roles in movies and television series to a comic book, and his very own action figure.
But on a recent morning in Los Angeles, he was tucked into a restaurant booth sporting cowboy boots, a crisp button-down, and carefully combed-back hair. He looked more like a mogul than a gladiator.
"This is like the last meal we'll ever have," he joked as we beheld our plates, laden with buffet breakfasts.
Known as the "Hispanic Tyler Perry" for his myriad endeavors, the Argentina native embraces being both artist and warrior, forging new ground on each front with the same confidence that brought him big wins on the mat. His latest film Chavez: Cage of Glory, which he wrote, directed and starred in, began a multi-city roll-out in Los Angeles September 13, and is poised to expose a bigger audience to his particular brand of drama, where morality has zero shades of gray. People are good, or people are bad. And the idea of doing bad as a means to an end, he said, is "insane."More »