Andy Garcia doesn’t mind playing a mobster

Andy Garcia appears in “The Air That I Breathe,” the feature debut by Korean-American writer-director Jieho Lee. The movie, which also stars Brendan Frasier, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Forest Whitaker and Kevin Bacon, comes to DVD on Tuesday.

You play a mean character in the movie, a guy who cuts off people’s fingers. What was that like? Kind of like cutting through a tree branch … did you see the disclaimer at the end, “No real fingers were harmed in the making of this movie”?

Seriously, though, you have appeared as a mobster a lot. Why? Sometimes you do one thing and they come to you with more. But, though the characters share a similar profession, that profession isn’t the primary source of the role for me. The characters are different in each film.

How did you come to work on this project? I was approached by producers; I was intrigued by it. I knew some of the people — Brendan, Sarah. When I heard about Forest, I knew it would be fantastic. … And Kevin Bacon. … It was a good cast coming together.

Do you have plans to direct another movie? I’d like to, but have nothing now that has been financed.

What do you do in your spare time? I play music. I play golf. Those are my vices.

They’re kind of tame, no?</strong> Depends on how my golf game is.

What’s going on with your music? I play percussion and piano in my band, the Cineson All-Stars. We like to get a chance to do our thing, play music of our culture, traditional Cuban music.

Are there roles you’d like to play that you haven’t? Many. I’d like to do more comedy; my training was in that. I just finished working on a new “Pink Panther” movie with Steve Martin.

What about romantic comedy? “Just the Ticket” was a romantic dramedy.

I know a lot of people who’d love to see you in a romantic comedy. Great! Spread the word.

lkatz@sfexaminer.com

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