Actor Edvin Ortega helped kick-off the second season of the new FOX television show, “The Following,” with an appearance in the premiere episode. For those who missed it, the episode, titled “Resurection,” will have an encore performance on January 27th.
Edvin will also be assisting in the season two premiere of the popular Netflix show, “Orange is the New Black,” due out later this spring. The Cuban-born actor is rising quickly on the acting scene in New York and has several other projects in the works, including a role opposite veteran soap star Jimmie Bernal in the telenovela “El Capo.”
We recently caught up with Edvin Ortega to find out more about his roles in these two popular television shows and more.
Tell us about your role on the season premiere of FOX’s “The Following.”
EDVIN: In the episode, I head back to school as a criminology student in Ryan Hardy’s (Kevin Bacon) class. After I try my best to impress the instructor, things quickly get complicated for him and the situation gets very intense. This role really spoke to me because growing up I was always interested in criminology and almost went to school for it. I think if I wasn't acting, I would probably do something in that field. I was thankful to have a chance to revisit an old passion.
Now that there is no longer any six degrees of separation between you and Kevin Bacon, what was it like working with him?
EDVIN: Working with Kevin Bacon was a great experience. I learned a lot from watching him get into character. He really set the tone for the scenes. It was like taking a master class in acting. He is a true professional, someone I look up to and a really nice guy. I had been a big fan of his for years.
I was born in Cuba where there is a ban on American products, including films, so one of the only films I ever got a chance to see while growing up was "Footloose". I fell in love with the story right away. I have always enjoyed dancing and being brought up in such a strict environment I related to the characters, so you can imagine that for the little boy inside me who grew up in the streets of Havana with an uncertain future, getting the chance to work on a national TV show with Kevin Bacon was a dream come true.
Any interesting stories from the set that you can share with us?
EDVIN: One interesting from the set was that most of the students from my character's class were played by actual criminology students from John Jay College in New York. I got to talk to them about the show and they shared with me some really interesting facts about criminology and police work which really helped me get into character.
You’ll also be appearing in the second season of Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black,” can you share a little bit about your role in that?
EDVIN: Without giving too much away about the second season, I can tell you that I find myself caught up in a bad situation. I am really excited about this role. This character is very different than some of my previous work, so I think it will be a surprise for people to see. I enjoyed every minute of working with director Daisy Mayer and the amazing cast and crew. The acting on this show is spectacular. We worked closely with the writers and producers on telling a great story and I think it will show on the final product. It was a great feeling showing up and knowing I had the chance to work with such great material and actors. This was one of the most fun sets I have ever been on!
And, you’ve got a few other projects in the pipeline, too. What can you tell us about these?
EDVIN: Yes, currently I am very happy to be working on a few other projects. I am working on the telenovela “EL Capo 3,” which is directed by fellow Cuban Lilo Vilaplana. This will actually be my first time working on a telenovela and I am really excited about it. I think my abuela will be very proud since this is the first time she will actually be able to understand the dialogue. The director and I connected right away and I really appreciated all his advice and feedback.
We are also in post-production for the indie romantic dark-comedy, "Meeting Molly," where you will get to see me sing, dance and play the ukulele. After meeting with director Parker Sargent and discussing the character of ‘Ray’ he said he knew I was the right fit for this caring and sincere role. My character is Cuban, so I was given some artistic freedom to bring my culture and background into the role. I have always been into music and especially pop music, so getting to sing in this project was a special treat for me. Before I got into acting I was actually in a boy band and that was something that I really enjoyed. Doing the project actually helped me get back in touch with my music roots, so don't be surprised if there is an Edvin Ortega live tour coming soon.
And, I am currently shooting the zombie indie film "29 Alexander,” starring as a cop during apocalyptic times. The movie puts a new horrifying twist on a classic genre. This is a story that everyone can relate to, since it is really about how far a man is willing to go to protect his family. I play a character that fights back, so as soon as I read this script I knew it was a project that I wanted to do. Writer Brian Melso did a great job with the script and I can't wait for you guys to see it and be terrified.
You may also see me make a cameo in the film, "Lady Peacock," now playing in several LGBT film festivals. This is the 3rd film I have worked on with director Jana Mattioli who is always supportive and a lot of fun to work with. Our first film together was the comedy "Bidentity Crisis." We both have a lot of passion for the film industry and it shows whenever we work together.
I am also very proud to be working with Disney. I am a live event host for Radio Disney in New York. This is a lot of fun because I get to perform live and really connect with people. I especially love making kids smile so this project is close to my heart.
Finally, how can your fans keep up with your career?
EDVIN: I am an avid user of social media so my fans can keep up with my career thru my my Facebook: www.facebook.com/edvinortega
or via Twitter: www.twitter.com/iamedvinortega
and even on Instagram: www.instagram.com/iamedvinortega
And, of course my official website: www.edvinortega.com
Thanks, Edvin…we’ll be watching!