by Bobbi Miller-Moro
When you first meet Martinez, you would never guess under his sly smile he is one of the most authentic talented character actors coming up in Hollywood. I met him in an acting class by accident. I was there to meet Randy Becker, a cool, brilliant acting coach in Hollywood that I had been doing business with. Although my attention was on Randy, a distinct whiskey sounding voice was whipping out one line jokes from the back of the room, I turned around to look.
It’s obvious this guy has a quick sense of humor. Sitting in his gray pull-over sweatshirt he was hidden in the dark. Being from LA and being around actors for most of my professional life; I would say I have heard and seen it all. I thought at first, he may just be like every outspoken, wise cracking surly actor. Until he got up to perform.
Martinez played a Network TV Station owner furious from the uncontrollable antics of the host of his TV show. Once he was in character I was taken away immediately. Transforming himself completely into this character, every movement, nuance and breath was convincing. I could not take my eyes off of him; he was hypnotizing. He held his anger in, with momentary outburst he was full of surprises. His voice is gravelly with a pitchy quality to it. I wanted to know more about him, and so I talked to him after his scene. Born in Miami, raised in Jacksonville, Martinez originally had dreams of winning a national championship with the University of Miami Hurricanes.
When his Football dreams were thwarted, he chose instead to enroll in Stetson University's Pre-Law Program. Although he had an intense passion for the law, and devoured justice as a second nature language to him; it wasn’t quite the fit he had anticipated. On a $20 bet during his 1st semester, Martinez auditioned for the school play and was cast in the hit comedy: "Beau Jest". He found his expression was being these eccentric characters and knew there was nothing else for him but acting.
Martinez auditioned for and was accepted into the top ranked Boston University B.F.A. conservatory program. He became classmates with the likes of Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love, He's just not that into you, Walk the line, ED) and Wayne Willcox (Rent, Gilmore Girls). His rich heritage being half Dominican and half Puerto Rican gives him a unique look with his light green eyes and curly light hair, and an impassioned fire in his belly that he gives away whole heartedly. I likened what I saw of him on stage as to ‘Less Grossman’ in Tropic Thunder played by the one and only Tom Cruise. You don’t look away for a second, not wanting to miss a thing.
Throwing himself 100% into his portrayals on screen, he has been cast as the tyrant Pontius Pilate in Warner Bros Film “Color of The Cross: Resurrection” as a supporting role, a killer in the film Actual Images, "The Valley Murder Tapes", a supporting role in the film “Breaking It”, and in FOX’s “Prison Break” as an irritated Dade County police officer. He has been nominated for “Best Supporting Actor” in the film, “Breaking It”. Martinez was a principal character in the film “The Creek” an intense horror film and a dizzying list of theatrical performances.
Managed by Healy Artists, he has been busy with various projects including Bill Folman’s latest comedy short. Bill Folam, writer and director and author of THE SCANDAL PLAN or: How to Win the Presidency by Cheating On Your Wife has said; "Martinez is a force of nature, an actor whose characters are filled with life, passion, and a sense of play. He is also smart, dedicated, a consummate professional and everything a director could hope for in an actor."
Martinez is a consummate comic as well as a twisted Tarantino-type intellect. His range is limitless and I believe he belongs no where else but leaving his heart on the screen for all of us to savor. This type of other-worldly authentic talent comes around only every so often in our generation. Nobody really knows how actors are discovered in Hollywood, but many great performances tighten the race to A list. I'm placing a bet on Martinez to be one of them.