You know the world is in need of serious help when God taps George Lopez as his very odd messenger in "Walking With Herb."The heralding of this unu
You know the world is in need of serious help when God taps George Lopez as his very odd messenger in “Walking With Herb.”
The heralding of this unusual emissary even struck Edward James Olmos, who stars with Lopez in the faith-based film that reveals its first trailer at usatoday.com and arrives in theaters this spring. Olmos was setting up for the shot on a golf driving range when the comedian rolled in for the scene on a Harley-Davidson in a wild ensemble that included rainbow-colored pants.
“As he pulled up, I could see how he was dressed, and I thought it was outrageous,” says Olmos, 73. “I thought, that’s absolutely perfect.”
After all, if Rodney Dangerfield, George Burns and Whoopi Goldberg can all play God onscreen, why can’t Lopez play a messenger from the main man upstairs?
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“This is a huge departure from what people are used to seeing me in,” says Lopez, 59. “But nobody really knows what I personally believe or don’t believe. That was my intent. To reveal truths and different parts of myself along the way. I didn’t phone any of it in, I felt every nick, cut and bonding moment along the way. I’ve evolved to a place where people will see me this way and be surprised.”
Lopez is still in familiar territory, working for smiles as oddball Herb. The messenger keeps it light trying to restore the faith of retirement-age banker Joe Amable-Amo (Olmos) by reinstating Joe’s youthful amateur golfing skills and vowing to provide a miracle in the form of a major golf tournament win.
The script – based on Joe S. Bullock’s 2015 novel of the same name – is the last by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Mark Medoff, who died in 2019, and sets the spiritual renewal on the golf course.
“George and I never thought we were doing a faith film,” says Olmos. “We did a story, with faith in it, about human beings really trying to find themselves.”
As for Herb’s outfit, trust that his attire only gets wilder as the film progresses.
“God’s messengers take on the look and personality of who and where they are. So they fit,” says Lopez, who helped pick the costumes, the more out-there the better. “Nothing was too much. It might have been too tight, but never too much.”
Lopez, a top celebrity golfer who has been playing since 1981, did express surprise that Herb was going to be caddying for Joe. “I thought, I’m doing this movie with Edward James Olmos where I’m a golfer and Eddie is my caddie. But as I get into it, I learned, ‘Oh, Eddie is the golfer.’ “
Former pro baseball prospect Olmos sharpened rusty golf skills to ensure his swing looked like it had divine intervention. That took work.
“I hit thousands of golf balls at the driving range,” says Olmos. “I’d be so sore after. It’s a physically demanding sport, and it’s not like riding a bike.”
The two stars, who still are trying to schedule social tee time together, saw God’s hand at play during the filming in New Mexico – most notably during a tricky sand trap shot as daylight was fading. Lopez eyed the situation and gave Herb-like advice.
“Eddie hit out and the ball lands in the middle of the green, runs left, rolls down and almost goes in the hole. The look on our faces was just genuine joy, the most absolute perfect shot you could hit,” says Lopez. “God works in mysterious ways.”