Alejandro Santoni Gets Ready for WE ARE NEW YORK Web Series, TURNED OUT Film
When Alejandro Santoni left his native Puerto Rico for New York City to pursue a career in acting, he was well aware that the road to his success was not going to be without challenges.
Armed with only a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, and the small amount of money he made working on a Warner Brothers film there, his acting credits were few and far between and he barely spoke a word of English.
Now, a few short years later, Santoni is an MFA graduate from the world renowned Actors Studio with more than 30 stage and film credits under his belt. He has been directed onstage by Oscar winning actress Estelle Parsons (Bonnie and Clyde). And he has landed key roles in several upcoming film and television projects that industry insiders are predicting could provide the major career breakthrough he has been waiting for.
Santoni recently shot a multi-episode, guest-starring role in the Emmy Award-winning immigration web series We Are New York, in which he plays Ramon Quintero, an ESL (English as a second language) instructor to New York immigrants trying to adapt to their new city.
This fall will bring the limited release of Carmen, an independent drama which features Santoni as Ramses Garcia, one of four homeless latino men in New York whose lives are dramatically impacted by a chance encounter with a mysterious woman. The film is written by Sergio Allard and directed by Allard and Dennis Arqueros.
And he is currently filming a key role in Turned Out, the latest film by acclaimed Indian Producer - Director Ritu Singh Pande, and which is expected to be on the festival circuit in 2018.
For Santoni, the trifecta of new projects represents the opportunity to showcase the skills of both he and other talented latino and minority actors for whom three dimensional roles are still not easy to come by.
"All too often the roles that come my way even now are either the latino lovers or the gang members and thugs ... There still isn't all that much in between. So I am excited to work with visionary new filmmakers like Sergio, Dennis and Ritu on these projects, in which my characters could be from anywhere and of any race. With Carmen, the story for the film actually originated with myself and three of the film's other actors. One of them had worked with Sergio before so we brought the idea to him and he then crafted the screenplay. It was a wonderfully collaborative process."
Onstage, Santoni has appeared in substantial roles in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot- in which he was directed by Estelle Parsons, Julius Caesar, Oedipus Rex, Antony and Cleopatra and The Motherf-ker With The Hat- a pretty diverse resume of roles across the acting spectrum.
"However, while I'm very grateful for all those opportunities," he says, "I still believe the best way to secure your future is to create it, so I am committed to developing my own projects so that I'm not necessarily just sitting around waiting on the phone to ring."
His first major step in that direction is a screenplay he has written for an as yet untitled feature film, on which he has collaborated with renowned Puerto Rican actor Jaime Sanchez (The Wild Bunch, The Pawnbroker). He describes it as an epic drama about a young man whose acceptance of a scholarship to study in New York City results in life changing and soul searching consequences.
"At this point it's really about working with great people and making solid connections so that when my own projects are ready to go, I can knock on some doors and hopefully get a positive response. These new projects are small steps along that journey, so we'll see."
Visit www.alejandrosantoni.com for more.