“Fluffy! Fluffy!” That’s the chant you hear at one of comedian Gabriel Iglesias’ shows. He actually came up with nickname as an amusing way of saying he’s a little on the portly side.
Now slimmed down (437 pounds at a high point), Iglesias is keeping the weight off by consuming fewer calories and staying ridiculously busy. The 38-year-old San Diego-an was at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel recently to talk about The Fluffy Movie — think Eddie Murphy Raw lite — out Friday. The press trip also happened to coincide with his comedy tour, which is taking him as far as Australia.
“I’m anywhere. I’m everywhere. They got me running all over the place,” says Iglesias. “Minnesota, Arizona, Oklahoma, New York. I said that all in one breath. You guys have good coffee here.”
Though he has Mexican roots, his go-to drink is a Cuban colada.
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“I’m running on that stuff, and I threw some Starbucks on top of that,” he says. “I work harder than a hooker with a van!”
In all seriousness, there is a lot of work and no play involved when you’re promoting a movie, trying to diet and writing comedy bits.
“A lot of sacrifice goes into this job that people — by that I mean my family — don’t see. They see the glam, people cheering, the fame, not the other stuff.”
Luckily, Iglesias is a natural once he takes the mic and needs little to no prep.
“There are some comics who need to sit down and meditate and relax or smoke or drink to be in the zone,” he says. “Me? I am very conversational. I can go from talking to my emcee or my production manager and jump on stage and just go, and say, ‘Guys, I’ll see you back here in an hour!’ ”
On the day of the interview, Iglesias is shockingly not wearing his signature Hawaiian shirt but a Jimi Hendrix tee. What’s up with that?
“I mean, Hendrix did awesome songs. I can’t say too much more about him because people will think you do drugs,” deadpans Iglesias, who wasn’t averse to trying out a guayabera while in town.
“My barbers throughout my lifetime all wear those. I love the pockets in the front. They’re for something. I ain’t saying what. But I like to rock my Hawaiian shirts. They stand out. They’re me.”
For the tour, the sometime actor ( A Haunted House 2, Magic Mike) also grew a goatee, and some fans on social media weren’t happy.
“Girls don’t like the facial hair for some reason. Hello! I did it for my girl [ Claudia Valdez]. She likes it!”
After interviews, Iglesias had a plan: to eat, but stay away from the more caloric entrees — as well as Miami flashiness.
“When I’m in Miami I go to La Carreta. The people at the hotel are like [mocking a concierge’s upper-crust accent], ‘Oh, you need to go here and there. It’s so fabulous.’ No! I’m like, ‘This is where I’m going. It’s got some of the best food in the area,’ and they kind of like frown down on me. I like keeping it real. Nothing keeps you more humble than being among the people.”