On October 1,1964, Japan introduced the world to the first high-speed rail system, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, just in time for the first Tokyo Olympics. The Shinkansen, colloquially known as the “bullet train” for the way it resembles a bullet and its high speed, is a network of high-speed railway trains that operate all over Japan.
In 2010, Japanese author Kōtarō Isaka wrote Mariabītoru about the worst-case scenario on board a bullet train: hitmen carrying out their missions. Mariabītoru was adapted for the Japanese stage in 2018. In 2022, the book inspired a Hollywood adaptation, Bullet Train, starring Brad Pitt.
The film boasts an all-star cast that includes Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon, Bad Bunny, Sandra Bullock, and many more. Among this dazzling cast is NYFA Acting for Film alum Andrea Muñoz, who spoke with NYFA about her work on Bullet Train, as well as her role in Hulu’s limited series Pam & Tommy.
Andrea Muñoz, NYFA Acting for Film Alum
Like with most actors, for Muñoz, the work begins way before the director yells “action” on set, it starts at the audition. An actor’s preparation and audition technique is part of their craft. Muñoz said during a conversation with NYFA, “I have an acting coach. One of the things I learnt from NYFA is that your training as an actor will never end. I have an ongoing coach and she helps me with all my acting preparation, whether auditioning or preparing for a role.”
Muñoz shared that the most difficult parts of filming during Bullet Train were the intimacy scenes and insisted that respect is at the heart of intimacy work. “You have to have a high level of respect for yourself and your scene partner to provide a safe space for both. You are jumping into someone’s personal space,” As of late, the work of intimacy directors has been ‘essential’ for its importance in preventing and deterring abuse on set. “It’s known that in this industry, many times those [intimate] moments have been violated.” Muñoz adds, “that was my first kiss on camera, and it was harder than you would think it would be. I promise you a one-minute monologue is easier than that.”
A still from Bullet Train. Courtesy of Vulture
A lesson the alum learned while at NYFA, she notes, was the business of acting.“NYFA taught me how to start my career on my own, how to start putting myself out there, look for an agent, a manager, and how to build material to present myself to this massive industry.” This knowledge gave her the upper hand in many situations, “I’ve met so many actors that don’t know where to start.”
Brad Pitt in Bullet Train. Courtesy of Vox
Andrea Muñoz also gave us the insider’s scoop on what it is like to work with a camera on set. “It’s trickier than we think,” she explains, “if there is a prop on set that you have to work with all the time and be aware of, but pretend that is not there, it’s the camera.” The camera is, in many ways, a scene partner. “The big productions cheat a lot in order to get better shots of actors or because of artistic reasons. In the real world, the camera is not static, it moves a lot, or it’s very close or very far, and you have to work with it. I love it.”
Bullet Train is now in theaters.
New York Film Academy congratulates Andrea Muñoz for all of her hard work!
Please note: NYFA does not represent that these are typical or guaranteed career outcomes. The success of our graduates in any chosen professional pathway depends on multiple factors, and the achievements of NYFA alumni are the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances.