A report by Alexandra Simon for Caribbean Life.
He’s riding the main stage.
Puerto-Rican actor Alejandro Santoni came to New York almost a decade ago to pursue his acting career. He was met with some early struggles but now the actor is on his way to create an even bigger name for himself and is celebrating three new roles on television and in film. One of those projects is the city-based web series and acclaimed show, “We Are New York, which he enjoyed being a part of.
“I just finished that series, and it’s an award winning show, and it was a wonderful experience — I loved it,” said Santoni.
The show follows the stories of recent immigrants to the city, and in the series he plays a Mexican immigrant who is a language teacher. Leaving Puerto Rico in 2001 to get into acting, the role is somewhat relatable to what Santoni experience to explore a new life, he said.
“I came to New York city with a lot of dreams and I knew it would be very different, but I decided to take the risk because my passion was greater than anything else,” said Santoni.
He came to the United States with a goal and even with some doubts from family, he stood by his aspirations and followed them.
“When I told my mother and father that I was coming back, I already knew that I wasn’t and I made that decision,” he said. “Being an actor — it’s difficult for parents to accept a career like that because it is hard and there’s not always stability, but you really have to be passionate and work-focused.”
Now the actor also has two films that are set to come out later this year and in 2018. One of them is “Turned Out,” which he filmed with well-known Indian filmmaker Ritu Singh Pande. The other is “Carmen,” an independent drama that is expected to be released next month. In the film Santoni plays a former actor who is homeless with a set of troubles. He says the way the movie tackles nuanced experiences people who are down and out encounter is what drew him to it.
“The movie presents homelessness in different ways,” he said. “My character is not the typical homeless guy — it’s the one you see when he’s hanging out or with women and you wouldn’t know if he’s homeless,” said Santoni.
He also adds that the movie is a metaphor for what many people are experiencing living in a city such as New York.
“The movie is more about loneliness than homelessness,” he said.”It’s based in New York city and there are so many people here and everyone is money-oriented, but a lot of people are lonely.”
As an actor of color, Santoni adds that he is thrilled to be one of the many visible faces in the industry and hopes his presence helps open doors for other actors.
“It’s changing and the movie industry is moving to give more opportunities to people of color, but the doors are opening little by little,” he said.