August 10, 2001

Paul Rodriguez Gets Caught Up in "Rat Race"

Noted comedian and actor Paul Rodriguez is in for a wild ride when he stumbles upon Cuba Gooding, Jr. in the new paramount Pictures' ensemble chase comedy "Rat Race."
Las Vegas casino tycoon Donald Sinclair is determined to keep his wealthiest high rollers happy, so he's concocted a new, quasi-legal sporting event for them to bet on: a human "rat race."

The Rat Racers are six ordinary people, selected at random: Sinclair has put six specially minted gold coins in six different slot machines. Anyone who wins a coin is invited to join the race. Once selected, each racer's odds of winning are one in six.

The "cheese" is two million dollars in cash. The money is in a duffel bag. The duffel bag is in a locker. The locker is in Silver City, New Mexico —700 miles away. The first one there keeps it all. "There's only one rule: there are no rules!" says Donald Sinclair.

What our Racers don't know is that Sinclair and his gambling-crazed High Rollers are tracking their every move —like a pack of lab rats— and betting on the outcome!

In this contest, anything goes. The Racers travel by plane... train.... helicopter... foot... bus.... ANYTHING that moves! They cheat. They lie. They sabotage each other. "Rat Race" doesn't ask: what would you do to win? It asks: what WOULDN'T you do?

In the film, Paul Rodriguez plays Gus, a cab driver who becomes hopelessly entangled with one of the fares that he casually picks up. His passenger happens to be a referee named Owen Templeton, played by Cuba Gooding, Jr.

After blowing a call in an important NFL game, Owen Templeton is drowning his sorrows and attempting to escape his newfound notoriety at a bar in the Venetian Hotel casino. When he wins the special gold coin and embarks on his dash for riches, his recent past soon comes back to haunt him in the form of Gus, a cab driver and big football fan who seeks revenge for Owen's ill-fated call.

Paul Rodriguez relishes his role as the flamboyant cab driver. "Gus is a pretty whacked out guy," admits Rodriguez. "He's a super Dallas fan who lost every nickel on the big Dallas game. He picks up Owen, the referee whom he blames for all of his ills."

Paul Rodriguez has brought his talents to a variety of film, television and stand-up comedy projects. His long list of films include "Tortilla Soup," "The Shipment" (with Matthew Modine), Michael Mann's "Ali" (with Will Smith), "Crocodile Dundee in LA," "Mambo Café," "Meltin Pot," "The Price of Glory," "Rough Magic," "Made in America," "Quicksilver," "Born in East L.A.," "Whoopie Boys," "Miracles" and "DC Cab."

On television, Rodriguez is best known for this ABC series "AKA Pablo." His other series include "Trial and Error" and "Hardball." Rodriguez has also starred in six HBO specials, four Showtime specials and literally countless television specials. For four years he hosted his own talk show, "El Show de Rodriguez," on Univision. The groundbreaking bilingual show was seen in over seventeen countries. He has also hosted the Alma Awards for the last three years.

More recently he has appeared in several episodes of Showtime's "Resurrection Blvd." He has also signed a deal with Showtime to host his own weekly series, "Mohito Nights," based on his real-life role as one of the owners of the hot LA-based salsa club, the Conga Room.

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