Gabriel Iglesias Talks 'The Fluffy Movie' and New Protégée Gina Brillon: Rising Stand-Up Comedian to Star in New NUVOtv Special
Still riding the wave from his first theatrical stand-up concert movie, comedian Gabriel Iglesias has found a protégée in up-and-coming stand-up comedian Gina Brillon and will bring her to NUVOtv on Sept. 27 with a special titled "Gabriel Iglesias presents Gina Brillon: Pacifically Speaking."
Since "The Fluffy Movie" hit theaters last month, Iglesias has been living the high life.
"I no longer pay for food at Denny's. I now eat for free, and I don't have to wait on line anymore," he said in an interview with Latin Post.
Besides some tasty perks, Iglesias has also seen his fan base rise dramatically since the film's release. He reports getting about 10,000 new followers every day on various social media sites. Even celebrities and long-lost "relatives" are giving the movie star a call.
"I've been getting texts from celebrities, which is something I never thought would happen," Iglesias said. "Even Floyd Mayweather [Jr.] contacted me -- one of the last people I thought would be fan of the Fluffy guy. I've got family coming out of the woodwork that I didn't know I had, and I think I'll be asked for a couple of loans in the future. Overall the attention is really great ... I now know what it's like to be the hot chick because I got everyone trying to do me."
"The Fluffy Movie" has also changed the life of Brillon, who was featured in the film.
"I don't think it really hit me that I was involved in the movie until I went to New York and saw my face on the big screen," the Bronx native told Latin Post. "It's been amazing to help the movie as well and get my friends to see it. It's been awesome; what he put together was a great project."
Brillon is not brand new to the limelight, however. She has been a stand-up comedian since the age of 17 and has already made appearances on "The View" and "Chelsea Lately," to name just a few of her memorable performances. Brillon was also the first and only Latina to be named winner of NBC's Stand-Up for Diversity Showcase. She took the crown alongside John Laster in 2012.
The comedian's turn in the spotlight is far from over. On Sept. 27, NUVOtv will air Brillon's Iglesias-produced special. Both comedians agreed that the cable network (which boasts superstar Jennifer Lopez as chief creative officer) allowed them a remarkable amount of creative freedom.
"Plus they have all the soda you can drink," Iglesias said, adding that Comedy Central's soda is too pricey.
"And all the cheese you want," Brillon added.
Pricey drinks or not, Comedy Central actually helped Iglesias meet Brillon. The two met through the channel's "Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-Up Revolution," where Iglesias admired Brillon's "animated" style. Now, Iglesias is helping the rising star build her career.
"There's so many things he's been through that I'm doing right now, and he talks me through them, tells me 'This is how you should handle it. This is how I handled it,'" Brillon explained.
Being mentored by Iglesias also means watching and learning.
"Just by hanging out and having her see what I'm working on is the best way to mentor," Iglesias said, adding that he always makes himself accessible for questions. "... She sees the writing on the wall and how I run my show, so hopefully she applies that to her future."
Although both comedians have Latino roots, they say they make their journey as comedians, not as Latino comedians, a feat especially impressive considering today's lack of diversity in roles for Latinos in television and movies, as recent studies by Columbia University and the University of Southern California revealed.
"I don't want to get someone on TV because of their ethnicity. I want them to be there because they're funny and deserve to be there, and that should be the goal," Iglesias said. "If they end up there because they're meeting a quota, it's stupid ..."
Brillon's dreams for "Gabriel Iglesias presents Gina Brillon: Pacifically Speaking" extend much further than just the Latino community. She hopes to make a friend out of everyone who watches the special, no matter their background.
"More than anything I like when people connect to my comedy because then they think, 'Oh that's Gina! I feel like she's my bestie. I can confide in her, and I would see her again,'" Brillon explained. "My goal is to have them love it so much so they can't wait to see a live show and eventually buy a Gina bobble head."
"Gabriel Iglesias presents Gina Brillon: Pacifically Speaking" premieres on NUVOtv on Sept. 27 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Follow Scharon Harding on Twitter: @ScharHar.