Chupa Cast on Their Characters in Netflix’s New Fantasy Adventure Movie

Apr 6, 2023

The cast of Chupa was all smiles when we spoke with them about their new fantasy adventure film on Netflix. Chupa follows Alex, a young teen visiting San Javier for the first time, as he reconnects with his grandfather Chava and his cousins, and even becomes a believer in chupacabras over the course of his trip.

But, he isn’t just believing in mythical creatures. He is also befriending and protecting one from Richard Quinn, a scientist sent by a corporation to capture the chupacabra so that they can study it and its abilities. Alex learns more about his culture, his family, and what he is willing to do to reunite a baby chupacabra with its family.

We caught up with the three stars of Chupa, Evan Whitten (Alex), Demián Bichir (Chava), and Christian Slater (Richard Quinn), to hear about their characters’ journeys, the lifelong dreams they fulfilled as actors, and what they could see their characters doing next.

Demián Bichir on Playing a Luchador


Bichir is Chava, Alex’s grandfather that was a luchador earlier in his life. Audiences can see Chava break out the suit once again as he helps his grandchildren protect the baby chupacabra from Slater’s Richard Quinn. Part of what drew the actor to the role was getting to play a luchador on screen, but the notion of working with director Jonás Cuarón was also a big selling point.

“Of course, the fact that I knew Jonas when he was a boy, when he was a little kid, and now meeting him now, becoming such a great director, so precise and so particular and very, very patient and loving with the kids […] I’ve never seen a director with such love and care for the young actors.”

Related: Exclusive: Jonás Cuarón on Creating a Family-Friendly Adventure

Playing a luchador hit a bit closer to home for Bichir, who grew up going to luchador matches and watching movies featuring them. He grew up with the dream of being a professional luchador one day, and Chupa has let him fulfill that dream, even if it was only for a short time.

“I trained very deeply and toughly, and I just remember everything about it because I grew up with this specific icon in our culture, watching films and actually going to la arena to watch las luchas, and I wanted to become a professional luchador and I did now. So, how cool is that?”

However, it did require a bit of training on his part, especially because of the action sequences he carries out in character. He does joke that, because his character is a grandfather, there wasn’t as much pressure on how he looked in the suits.

“You need to train, of course. You want to fit into that suit the best way possible. Lucky me, I’m playing a grandfather so I don’t have to be extra fully fit, but it was great. It was a lot of fun. There was some really heavy action between these three in my luchador stuff.”

Christian Slater on Richard Quinn


Slater plays Richard Quinn, a scientist sent by a corporation to capture the chupacabra in the hopes of studying it and understanding, and potentially even using, the power the creature has. The story and chance to play an “Indiana Jones type” character are what drew the actor to the role. He even has an idea of what cryptid he’d like to see Quinn search next time.

“It was an exciting story. I like this Indiana Jones type of character […] It was a fun character to take on. This guy investigating a myth, a legend, a fairy tale, a fantasy. I thought the whole concept of that was very exciting. I look forward to this guy looking for Bigfoot next.”

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Despite being the “villain” of the film, the character speaks of not wanting to hurt the creature and is very gentle when handling the chupacabra. Slater gave us some insight into how he viewed the character, which wasn’t “necessarily a bad guy.” Rather, Quinn “had fallen in with a bad crowd” and was acting on their orders. The actor even gave us the inside scoop that there is a scene out there that shows Quinn sticking it to the corporation. Ultimately, it didn’t fit for time and the story that the team was trying to tell.

“Just know that there is a scene out there that we did shoot where I did tell this corporation to take a hike, but it just didn’t fit. But just know, in an alternate universe, there is that scene, and it does exist, and it was pretty hilarious.”

Evan Whitten on Alex’s Personal Journey


When audiences meet Alex, he is going through a difficult time. The recent death of his father in combination with the bullying he faces at school because of his culture makes him apathetic to visiting Mexico and his grandfather. Whitten described Alex’s journey and how he rediscovers the true meaning of family.

“At first, of course, Alex is going through a rough time. I mean, his dad just recently passed away, and he’s getting bullied for who he is, and so all that stuff together just kind of eventually just means to Alex don’t be who you are and so he just kind of locks that away. He just decides to lock away his emotions for his family and just forget about how much they care about him. But then towards the end of the movie, like how Chupa kind of connects with him, he kind of gets reenacted and he gets more of a meaning for family.”

You can watch Alex go on this journey with his grandfather, cousins, and the baby chupacabra in Chupa, which is available on Netflix starting April 7.

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