Acting because football didn’t work out for me” confesses USA networks new breakout star for the critically acclaimed hit series ‘Graceland.’ The former Sacramento State scholar reminisces dislocating his shoulder 8 times before coaches started to question his pro athlete status. Injury lent itself to oppurtunity providing the sports enthusiast a return back to his hometown of Long Beach, CA where soon after his arrival the Long Beach State graduate majored in broadcast journalism starting his entertainment apprenticeship in radio paving a bridge with Hollywood insiders developing his own actor’s craftsmanship lending his talent to student films in addition to studying his craft. The Rest is well is ‘His’story”
The 2008 film ‘El Primo’ cemented Montana’s road to accolade redemption catching the attention of Tony Sepulveda (SVP Warner Bros casting division) responsible for starting Hollywood heavy weights such as Will Ferrell. Sepulveda assessed the emerging thespian via structuring his pitch when speaking to studio heads thus developing a mentorship relationship “The guys like my angel!” Montana sentimentally utters about Sepulveda “He basically started my career”.
Breaking down character assumptions are Montana’s draw, The LA surfer and football aficionado commonly resonates with his existing ‘Graceland’ character Fun-loving prankster FBI agent Joe “Johnny Tuturro (Tuturro a young alethic surfer from the streets, who changed his life around and joined the FBI) rather than a typical romanticized Latin masculine archetype.
Humbled by his non-tinsletown unbridled energy the next 3-5 years looks as follows; “Honesty I would love to continue coaching (former high school team) and have my show ‘Graceland’ going for as long as possible,” “ I pray ‘Graceland goes for a minimum of 5 seasons. I want people to start asking “Who is this kid?” “That’s the goal and I’m working towards making it happen.”
Q&A’s 10 Pondering Facts-
Bleu: How do you want to be remembered when leaving an audition?
MM: I want them to say ok we found that part. I want them to say “Shit what the F*ck was that”. I’ve been on the other side of the audition and I’ve seen actors that come in and try to do too much, instead of just letting it be about their work and let their talents speak for themselves. I want to just come in be nice and do my job, do something that no one else has done.
Bleu: Have you ever had shot a scene that challenged the dynamic with your family.
MM: (ahah laughter) Yes, literally a small co-star part the first shot of me is having sex with this girl. I’m only nude from the top, and you can see her back exposed and my grandmother called all her friends to watch this episode “You know “ Old School People call it the Hen house.” My grandmother was not happy to see me in this light. She didn’t speak to me for 2 weeks behind that episode.
Bleu: Interested in doing Latin television?
MM: The Spanish is so, I grew up living in a time where we were taught to live right in this American world, So I didn’t speak much Spanish here in the States, But I love the culture, I don’t agree with anything that separates humanity by compartmentalizing Latin, Black or Asian groups of any or culture.
Bleu: What’s your all-time favorite television show?
MM: It’s a Tie between The Wire and Saturday Night Lights. I ended up doing a show called Chicago Code and my buddy Matt Laurie was on it. I didn’t know him at the time, but we ended up good friends.
Bleu: List some of your acting role models
MM: Tupac “behind my dad he’s my hero” That dude inspired me so much. Mos Def, Anything he does. I wish he would act more. Heith Ledger was the *ucking man. Daniel Day Luis, he’s a standalone, He’s so big in actors mind he doesn’t event make the list. You’re like well of course Daniel day Luis who else? Mike Pena because he inspired me with his role in Crash. Michele Williams & Ryan Goslin people like that.
Former Radio & Records News Editor Eliza Ramos thrives on expressing the human condition as she explains it “through creative verbiage”. Eliza the Cuban novelist welcomes the challenge of living a fulfilled life while expressing her zeal for conversation.
Story by Eliza Ramos
Photography Brian Highbee