When I was told I was doing an interview with Luis Pizarro, star of Operation Repo on TruTV and and comedy film Lou Goes Back to Boot Camp (which starts filming early next year), my assumption was that he would be a classic brainless tough-guy, because my only experience with repo-men was them taking away my stuff followed by kicking the shit out of me. I could not have been more wrong.
In the shot time I had with Luis, I discovered a sensitive, intelligent man who just happened to kick the shit out of deadbeats for money. Come with me on this journey with an individual you have no doubt sold short.
Zack S. West: What is so funny about being a Repo man?
Luis Pizarro: Well, I gotta say the funniest thing about being a Repo man is all the different excuses that you get. People 'made their payments', or 'checks in the mail'… a lot of funny stories…
ZSW: You tend to see people at their absolute lowest, usually at their angriest. How has that effected your outlook on life?
LP: Yeah, you're right. I do see people at their worst. But the greatest thing about it is that it gives me the chance to lift them up and brighten their day a little… very few people can laugh about it, but, you know… but there are more important things, and tomorrow's another day.
ZSW: That's very optimistic. On a lighter note, what's your favorite pre-repo meal?
LP: SUSHI! Well, no, that's more of a celebration meal. Actually, before a meal, I go for a bowl of cereal. Yeah, Quaker Oats. But afterward, after a good job? Sushi.
ZSW: Sounds delicious. You're obviously aware that you share a name with Francisco Pizarro, famous explorer and Incan boogie man. Is there any relation? If so, do you bear the guilt of the wholesale slaughter of the Incan civilization?
LP: Let me tell you something, I'm glad you brought that up… yes, we are related to Francisco Pizarro. In fact, our family comes from Trujillo in Spain, who migrated to Puerto Rico, where my father's father's father was born. Now, if you talk about Francisco Pizarro, one of the things you have to remember is that he was under orders. People don't get that. It only takes one person to pervert that. Whether he was a tyrant, or an explorer, or a hero, however you want to think about him, he founded Lima, Peru. As far as the Incas being slaughtered… how many different wars have we had, because of religion, because of money. We have to look at the positives. No one looks at the positives. …Sorry to talk your ear off about it, but when you're in the military, you take your orders.
ZSW: Very interesting. Your job seems very exciting. What could you possibly do on your day off to top it?
LP: I gotta tell ya, there are different parts of my life. I do fundraisers, I do a lot of comedy tours for the military. I'm a big fan of Bob Hope. In 1957, when Bob Hope was performing for the troops on the USS Ranger, I was being born. So I've always felt like I had a connection with Bob Hope. And I love his style of comedy. But really, love the troops. Actually, just the other day, I was doing a run for something called No More Homeless Vets. There is no more satisfying feeling then supporting the troops of our country. That's where my heart lies, ultimately, and that's the best rush anyone can have.
ZSW: You have very elegant, intellectual answers for someone who is famous for being great at what many consider to be an uneducated man's job.
LP: The sterotypes, from the 70's, you know, the bad guy, the tough guy the muscle guy… you have to have intelligence to run a repossession agency. You have to be smart. You've gotta be seven steps ahead of that guy to get the car.
ZSW: I can see that. Let's look at some hypothetical scenarios. Let's say you're about to repossess a car, and the guy runs out of the house and slashes all his tires. What do you do?
LP: I would still take the car. He popped his own tires, he's gonna get the bill for it. I'll tell him all the damage that's gonna happen to the car, he's gotta pay for it, but I'll still take the car.
ZSW: That's spectacular. What if you got the car back to your place, opened the trunk, and found a kidnapped woman?
LP: Oh man… I would be calling 911, and depending on how she looks like, I'd give her CPR. It'd be a total surprise, but I'll tell ya, it'd be on camera, cause everything is with me. …and I would watch out for [the guy who's car it was]. If I run into the guy, I'd probably duct tape him myself and bring him to the cops, just to give him a taste of his own medicine.
ZSW: Nice. Repoman… man. I like it. On that note, what about the Batmobile?
LP: Oh, that's not gonna happen. In fact, I won't even let nobody repossess the Batmobile. I love Batman.
ZSW: What about Wonder Woman's Invisible Jet?
LP: Oh, I would take that… take me to that beautiful island with those beautiful Amazonian women… I'd be the only man on that island and I'd be in heaven.
ZSW: Okay, what if you repo the car and it turns out it's a transformer?
LP: I'm a big Transformers fan. In fact, I've got a video on youtube where my truck is a Transformer and it leaves me. It's pretty funny. But I'd be so excited. I'd call Michael Bay and be like "Dude. I am in the next movie."
ZSW: All right, last one. Some guy sees you coming, so he gets naked, gets into the drivers seat, licks the stick shift and the wheel so you don't want to touch it, then starts masturbating furiously.
LP: I would get my sister [Sonia Pizarro] to do it.
ZSW: Fantastic choice. Thank you so much for the interview.
Luis Pizarro can be found on Facebook, his TV show Operation Repo on TruTV, and next year's sendup of Full Metal Jacket 'Lou Goes Back To Boot Camp'. He is performing stand-up comedy this weekend at the Desert Diamond Casino in Tuscon, AZ on Saturday and the San Jose Improv on Sunday.