By Jack Rico
What does it take to be a ‘Bad Ass‘ in Hollywood? Just ask Puerto Rican-Dominican actor Shalim Ortiz (Heroes), who seems to wear it as a badge in his young, but prolific acting career. From the USA to Mexico and back, English or Spanish, this bilingual, bicultural actor is working towards making a name for himself rather quickly in the tough turf of the acting business.
His latest cinematic effort is an indie action movie called ‘BAD ASS‘ starring Danny Trejo (Machete). A Vietnam veteran who becomes a local hero after saving a man from attackers on a city bus decides to take action when his best friend is murdered and the police show little interest in solving the crime. Ortiz plays the young Trejo, who went to war and is down on his luck. But don’t mess with him, he might just break your neck.
ShowBizCafe.com sat down for an exclusive interview with the humble and charismatic Shalim to discuss fist fights, Hellboy, telenovelas, and being a ‘Bad Ass’…
ShowBizCafe.com (SBC): You have a new movie coming out in theaters this week called ‘BAD ASS’ starring Machete star Danny Trejo. Have you seen the movie already?
Shalim Ortiz (SO): I have not had the pleasure of seeing it yet! I did have the honor to play young Danny Trejo in the film, and spend some time with him on set. He is a fascinating man. His passion towards this biz is just as intense as anyone who is just getting started. Very cool dude. When they asked him if I look like the younger version of him, he was like… “uuhhhhhhh, NO”. Haha… But I think it worked out in the end. It’s funny because though I come out at the beginning of the film, I had to go through many physical alterations for the progress of the character. I loved it, since it’s one of my favorite parts of what I do.
SBC: Don’t be shy, tell us, are you a BAD ASS in real life? How many fights have you gotten into?
SO: Well, if being a Bad Ass entails changing my 2 year old son’s dirty diaper… then yes, I’m as Bad Ass as they come… Nah, in school I was the guy who would pick a fight during class, and when it was time to show up in front of the school to fight, I’d be home already. I wasn’t much of a fighter, to be honest.
SBC: Charles S. Dutton and Ron Perlman are also in the film. They have done some fist cracking a few times in their career. Did you learn a few things from their acting game?
SO: Unfortunately, my character didn’t have a chance to play with Perlman or Dutton in the story, so I’d lie if I told you I even met them. I’m a big fan of their work, specially Perlman, ever since ‘Hellboy’ came out! He is truly a Bad Ass, and yes, I learned that even if you’re not a Bad Ass in real life, you might as well try to come across as one.
SBC: We saw you in the new Telemundo novela ‘Una Maid en Manhattan’. It’s clear you’re crushing on the Mexican señoritas. What do you prefer, crushing the ladies on novelas or Hollywood films?
SO: I’m loving playing Frank Varela in Maid en Manhattan. It’s a new challenge for me. I think every actor should go through the process of doing a novela. It’s an amazing boot camp for this business. To have to learn so many scenes in one day, to have to find emotion in no time. It’s almost recorded theater if you treat it that way. I couldn’t be more grateful to NBCUniversal/Telemundo for giving me the opportunity. Novelas are taking over the US, and crushing señoritas has never been a crime.
SBC: Will there be a sequel to BAD ASS and will you be in a cast after kicking so many thugs in da’ face?
SO: Hmmmm, I’m guessing it all depends on the success of the first one, but I’m not sure if I’ll be in it. I’m pretty much the Genesis of the story, and if there’s a sequel they’ll pickup where they left off. Unless they do a prequel which I wouldn’t be opposed to (wink wink ; ) )
BAD ASS will be released in limited theaters near you beginning Friday, April 13th.