Land of the Dead (2005) is the fourth film in George A. Romero's Living Dead series. Romero is also known as the "godfather of the dead," and Pedro Miguel Arce was very excited to be a part of this project. Arce plays Pillsbury, a member of the living, as muscle to assist in a hostile takeover.
Arce's physical presence is imposing, and has led to him being somewhat typecast as a thug. In the second season of True Detective, he plays Danny Santos, a tough guy who fatally underestimates Frank Semyon's (Vince Vaughn) willingness to use torture as a means of enforcement. Additional roles listed on his IMDB filmography include descriptors such as "bodyguard," "bouncer," and "henchman."
Behind the menacing appearance, though, is a humble and passionate mind. Arce seeks knowledge, he aches to learn, and to better himself and his craft. Full of stories, he is on a continuous quest to perfect the method in which to tell them. He is successfully utilizing his marketable assets - his bulk, his physical agility, his ability to act - as a means of exploring the world and honing his story telling skills.
Arce is a watcher - he watches what is going on around him, and uses it all as an opportunity to learn. He recently had a role on Ricky Gervais's upcoming Special Correspondents, a Netflix feature film. Describing Gervais as being involved in everything, Arce observed the efficiency in which the production was brought together.
Gervais appeared to have the film already completed in his head, and was simply recreating it externally. He knew what he wanted, he knew how to get it, and that is what he did. Arce took this all in, filing it away in his mental catalog of how to get things done. Similarly, Arce used his work on Land of the Dead as an opportunity to learn.
Unlike his experience on Special Correspondents, though, Arce was able to spend time with Land of the Dead's writer and director, George A. Romero. After reading a script written by Arce, Romero began his evaluation with, "I really wanted to like it...and I did." Romero then advised Arce on ways to improve his writing, such as how to make a good first impression with a script.
Arce is hesitant to refer to Romero as a mentor, but only because he does not want to be presumptuous of Romero's perception of the relationship. Arce does refer to Land of the Dead as the movie that keeps on giving. His experience with that particular project has had multiple residual positive effects on his life, and has genuinely and significantly inspired him to pursue his aspirations of film making.
Among Arce's current projects are a comic book about a fallen angel working as a hit-man for the Vatican, and a web series about a driver for an escort service. He is also working on a script that includes a paranormal element as a way of confronting his fear of ghosts. Having worked with Guillermo del Toro on The Strain, Arce is working up the courage to see Crimson Peak, del Toro's recent haunted noir romance.
Pedro Miguel Arce is a man with a mission, fueled by a purity of heart rarely found in the film industry. You can learn more about him on his website, www.pedromiguelarce.com, and more about his projects on www.funwithpedro.com. Regardless of genre and medium, Arce is a certain bet on entertainment.
Image of Ricky Gervais taken from schmoesknow.com; title image taken from aveleyman.com.