Interview: Lou Diamond Phillips Talks Legendary Career, Joining ‘Conversations In L.A.’ And His Future Behind The Camera

If there’s one tale that Lou Diamond Phillips has been asked to recount time and time again, it’s how he came to star as Ritchie Valens in 1987’s “La Bamba” – after all, it was, as the actor refers to it, his “Cinderella Story.”

“Suffice it to say, it obviously changed the trajectory of my career,” Phillips tells AXS over the phone, just before discussing his character in season 3 of Amazon’s Emmy-nominated drama series, “Conversations in L.A.” Taking on the role of the 1950s rock and roll icon was a pivotal moment in Phillips’ life. Even today, the Golden Globe and Tony-nominated actor remains close to the Valens family – which is something that he holds dear.

February 3, 2019, marked 60 years since “the day the music died.” The plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, which took the lives of 17-year-old Valens, as well as Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and pilot Roger Peterson, has long made an impact on music lovers and musicians alike, as songs such as Don McLean’s “American Pie,” and Weezer’s “Buddy Holly,” have become anthems for future generations. In fact, Phillips will be on hand for a special screening of “La Bamba,” in San Antonio, Texas, on March 24, in honor of the 60th anniversary. The event is benefiting a local charity.

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