Thanks to Janette for translating this article!
"Alexis Cruz Accomplished the American Dream"
Anthony Quinn and Edward James Olmos are a couple of his heroes. Teaching art
to students at East L.A. College is his
greatest passion, and being a Latino is a blessing for this young actor, Alexis Cruz, who starrs in the film "That Summer in L.A.," which premiers on February 22 in the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.
Born to Puerto Rican parents, Cruz was born and grew up for the most part of his childhood in Bronx, New York, where he first graduated in the prestigious High School Of Performing Arts.
Only 9 years old, Cruz recorded Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, his first commercial for television. Since then, his career in films, as well as in television had a great success.
Cruz explained that the story is about an English tourist that arrives in L.A.
and his relationship with the Latin people that he
meets. "After a bad experience in England, this English man comes to L.A. and meets a Latin women and her family in East L.A. "Unfortunately, the youngest son "Smiley," the character I played, is mixed up with drugs and gangs," Cruz explained.
The trauma of the movie gets worse when Smiley is shot and his friends try to save his life in a race against time. Cruz was a child actor and now he's a young actor, but how did that change happen in his life? "It's hard to answer that because I started very young, I grew up with this. What did change were the opportunities? Because before I would do whatever I had to do to help my family economically and now it's different," he said, a little nostalgic.
Without any artistic background in his family, Cruz confesses that he's the first generation that dedicates himself as an actor even though "my mother always wanted to be a singer, but now she's a wonderful songwriter"
"I have been singing since I was a little boy and I plan to do it later on, right now I'm focusing primarily on my acting career as an actor in television, films, and theaters". He mentioned that his dream was to act beside the legendary Anthony Quinn and his dream came true when he filmed the television movie "The Old Man and the Sea."
As a Latin actor, for Cruz the hardest thing of his career has been "to let others know you are a Latino". "It is a wonderful thing to be a Latino, but I have worked a lot in my career and I have gained a lot of respect from the people involved in the industry of entertainment. That took me 15 years, besides the consistency in my job, because they know that if they work with us they are getting the best because we put our souls and hearts into it." He affirmed very proudly.
His labor as a professor of art in the East L.A. College is one of the things he enjoys the most as a human being, the power of transmitting his experiences to the six grade students fills him with pride. "My passion is to teach and not just theater, but the value of acting which is a big thing. I don't expect for these kids to become actors, but the things that I can transmit to them as an actor are very valuable in any place." "How to observe, how to coordinate themselves and work as a team, are abilities that if they are developed they can be used for the rest of their lives and they can't find that in regular schools." Cruz honors his role as Smiley, because one of his attractions that he has is precisely that playful and flirty smile that he has.