Operacion Repo Interview
I’m a big fan of this TV show and I recently had the opportunity to email the producer and creator, Lou Pizarro, a few questions. As you can see, he’s a real good sport. Not to mention, a very protective brother. I disagree with him about Lauren Sanchez and was disappointed that he didn’t green-light drug-testing for NFL head coaches, but I appreciate the time he took out to answer my questions. Someone probably got to keep their car for an extra fifteen minutes. Here goes:
When you initially emailed me and asked me to contact you with any questions, I have to admit, I was a little worried. Since I had written some less than flattering things about Sonia on my page, I was thinking that I would call you guys up, Vanessa would trace the call and Sonia and Matt would arrive at my house, tow my Prelude and bitch-slap me in front of the neighbors. Was that the original the plan?
First and foremost to let you know the comments about my sister did not bother her one bit, for she just shrugs it off and laughs. And as far as Sonia and Matt showing up at your doorstep, it would be to say thanks for at least taking the time to watch the show, whether your opinions are good or bad..hehehe..so relax and don’t worry.
How’s your head? I saw you take that beer bottle “to the dome.”
My head is fine, I have had worse.
When you went to the hospital to get the stitches (I assume down the block on Reseda and Roscoe) did any doctors recognize you and put you in front of other people in the emergency room?
Actually I was treated like the all the normal people, no more important than the next sick individual. Some people did recognize me and that is flattering and appreciated enough.
You guys have balls. Ever had guns or knives pulled on you? What about karate? Anybody try and drop some martial arts while their car was being towed?
Yes, the situation gets handled accordingly.
How long have you been in this type of business?
Over 8 years.
Did you come up with the idea for the show? If not, who did? And was it directly inspired by the “Repo Man” TV show? I thought there was a Repo Man TV show a couple years ago.
Actually the idea was mine and I have had it on the back burner forever, I am aware that there was a repo movie and shows, but the inspiration for [Operacion Repo]
was my own.
I did some MySpace research and noticed you’re from the Bronx. Anytime I bump into any (Last of the Mo’) Ricans out here in LA I’m surprised. I’m from Jersey and y’all are thick back east. But, just like a lot of caucasians, Puerto Ricans seem to often be transplants to Southern California. Why did you move out to L.A.?
Not really recently, I moved out here because my parents moved out here. Been here ever since.
I turned on a couple of friends to the show. Some of them, however, think the show is “ghetto.” They contend that the show emphasizes the worst aspects of the personalities of the people whose cars are being repossessed. They think the show exploits people who humiliate themselves on camera. I disagree, though. I think the show is more like Cops than Jerry Springer. How do you address the haters?
Well, our intention is not to focus on [the] humiliation of others. That is not our objective. But unfortunately opinions are like assholes everybody has one and everybody is entitled to their opinions, so, in conclusion, whether some people say it looks ghetto and some do not, they’re entitled to their feelings on the show.
As you well know, we have no control over that. And we will have [an English] version as well. As far as repoeing is concerned, everyone–hispanic, asian, white, black, anyone can get into this situation where their vehicle gets repoed not only because they ignored their note but it may well be because of another priority emergency, lack of insurance coverage, loss of job. It can be an array of things, not just because they forgot to pay their note.
People, it seems, will do whatever it takes to be televised these days. And I believe “Operacion Repo” succeeds partly due to this phenomenon. Do people ever refuse to sign waivers allowing you to air their episode?
Sometimes, but for the most part they do not mind at all.
Since this a Spanish language show–is there an effort made to repossess cars from Latinos only? I know some haters who think the show “embarrasses” Mexicans. But I say that Mexicans aren’t the only ones who don’t pay their bills. And that since the show takes place in the Valley–what do you expect? Is there any effort made to “diversify” the races of the people on the show? Any selection process as to whose vehicle you’re towing?
Well, I think I answered this question in combination with #8.
I’m a Chevy guy. Why the Ford??? Did you get the best deal from them?
Well, to be honest with you, I am a Chevy man, always have been, but a deal came up and Ford gave it to me [and] I decided on the truck I have now. Had Chevy given me the deal, I would in fact prefer Chevy, being I continue to own my old Chevy Silverado ’02.
When you’re cruising around in the Ford, do you see people who may be late on their payments smashing through traffic trying lose you guys…even though you’re not after them?
Not really, more like when I drive up and on a rare moment while approaching a repo, we might come across someone running to their car and taking off, this has happened. It is funny but we cannot win them all.
Sonia’s eyebrows look very similar to the eyebrows on the Mr. Bungle clown. Where did she get the idea for them? Any inspiration from John Leguizamo perhaps?
Well, my sister is a versatile individual as far as her eyebrows are concerned. Her eye brows are her idea. She changes them frequently, just like she changes her hair. She can care less what people think of her. And those who even come close to trying something stupid, she handles them personally, male or female. She is that way.
Sonia’s MySpace scares me a little bit. Have you guys talked to her about it?
Haahahaha. Actually, it scares me, too. But my sister is my sister and she will do as she pleases. A lot of people missinterpret her just because she is who she is. Yes, she is into dark things, but she is also very smart and talented. People who look and try to analyze her myspace would not think past that. But if they knew her in person, she has her other side. She is sweet, helpful. She has brains. She repoes, she is a mechanic [and] a good cook. She has over 10 years of legal background. and she can get right down dirty with the best of them. Her personna…her tattoos, her piercings are just how she expresses herself. But she has for the most part a huge amount of people who respect and love her because of her outspoken individuality and just the fact she is straight to the point, no bullshit whatsoever…unlike some women or men who pretend to be something they’re not and smile at you while sticking the knife in your back…if you know what I mean.
Does she demand to wear that “wedding dress from Hell” when she repossesses cars? Its seems like it might get in the way.
Well, again…my sister likes the color black and dark colors. And as far as her clothing is concerned, my sister is a skirt and dress wearer. She does not like pants. She prefers heels and boots over sandals and tennis shoes. She has always been that way and that is why she has her clothes custom made. She likes what she likes. And the opinions of others about her style of dress matters very little. But you would be surprised how many people like what she wears. She feels comfortable in it and that is what she cares about, of course .
Matt is a great part of the show. He definitely helps me understand what’s going on since I don’t know Spanish. How did he become involved?
Matt came to us from another repo company that misstreated him and he decided to come work for me. We became friends and obviously he ended up being one of my repossessors.
Matt has a hilarious Wrestlemania-vibe. Does he prepare any Smackdown lines before he goes out on a job?
Not really, that is his, what we call funny side of Matt.
When that guy pushed Matt off his yacht, that looked really…convenient. He barely looked like he tapped Matt! Did Matt fall off the yacht to add some extra drama?
Sometimes things happen that we don’t expect so therefore like anything else it gets handled accordingly.
Did Matt ever file assault charges after being pushed in the water and losing his sunglassess? I thought he went a little “overboard” by threatening a lawsuit. He could’ve crushed that guy.That guy will never go near him again.
Nah. What is passed is passed and that is how he and I see it…no need for more drama.
Did you guys consider repossessing that yacht “pirate”-style. Like, on the high seas? That would’ve been great if you guys had chased him out in the middle of the ocean.
There are some haters out there who think the show is dramatized. As in, fake. A lot of people are seen laughing, too. As if they’re not really struggling to get their car back. Are any scenes re-shot for T.V.?
Well there are haters and lovers of the show. This is with any show on TV really, no matter what it is, Jerry Springer, Jose Luis Sin Censura. They all all ask the same questions as well. My answer is pay attention to the notes at the beginning of the show. If you don’t like it don’t watch it. Who made everyone a Siskel and Ebert to determine what is staged, real or otherwise? Let us just say that in everyday television including the news there will always be someone out there to criticize what others are doing, because we ourselves sometimes do the same. Might not be with TV, but in everyday living. So therefore we continue to march on. If Bill Gates or Donald Trump worried in their early days of their haters [or how they themselves might not amount to anything], then probably they would not be in the position they’re in. And that is how I see it. But damn it I wish I was rolling in their shoes now..hehehehehhe
Vanessa’s MySpace page indicates that she’s in a relationship. But I never believe anything I read on “LieSpace.” Is there any chance that she goes for skinny white doods from Jersey? She apparently has very “Simi Valley” taste in music, but I think I can work with her.
She has been in a relationship for a couple of years now, so yes she is. And as far as the LieSpace is concerned, believe me I know.
There are a lot of “heavy metal” aspects to the people involved in Operacion Repo. Vanessa has skulls and iron crosses all over her MySpace. Froy wears t-shirts with aggressive-looking eagles and has thick leather wristbands. And Sonia’s involvement with the “underworld” seems to be without question. Did you guys ever think of starting a band called “Operacion Metal”?
Heheheh, not really it has not crossed my mind…
Lauren Sanchez or Maria Quiban?
I noticed no one ever hands their keys over. They always throw them at you. Do you ever get anyone to respectfully hand their keys over?
Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, but there are good days and bad days. And sometimes on a good day someone will hand over the keys…versus throwing them at us.
Don’t know if y’all are Raiders fans or not, but I was wondering if you were happy to see Art Shell go. He seemed pretty lost last year. He made me think that there should be mandatory arbitrary drug testing for NFL coaches. What do you think?
Yes, we have some raider [fans] here..hehehe
If you have Time Warner cable, Operacion Repo airs on Canal 22 de Telemundo Monday through Friday at 5:30pm and 10:30pm. Thanks, Lou!