Allen Maldonado is a pro. From the second our conversation started, it was obvious to me that this guy is a star. Although he's playing the balancing act of multiple projects at the same time, his greatest work still lies ahead of him. Maldonado was literally on three shows this year, on three different networks, all airing around the same time. You may know him from the hit show black-ish, or maybe Survivor's Remorse. But it also could be FX's You're the Worst. If his hat isn't in the running for the hardest working young guy in the business, it probably should be. We talked about his never-ending schedule, juggling different roles at one time, and his business ventures outside of acting. Here's our conversation with Allen Maldonado:
What is it like playing several characters at one time. Is there a balance in that?
Man, it's what we as actors, as creators, dream of being able to play a variety of different roles, because playing one role can kind of get boring after a while. Being able to juggle two or three characters at once is actually easy because it makes you appreciate the other roles when you get the opportunity to go back. It's a beautiful situation.
And you're in the writers room, too. You're wearing multiple hats. How does writing influence your performance as an actor?
It actually helps you dissect scripts once you begin to really understand the nuances of writing styles, from television scripts to movies, and it helps understanding the dynamics of making a television show from the writer's perspective. Being in the room has enhanced my knowledge of being able to dissect character and perspective, to really see behind the lines. It takes it up to a whole other level.
When did you first consider yourself to be a storyteller?
The idea of being a writer is something I've had for years. My first writing mentor was Michael Kane. He wrote All the Right Moves for Tom Cruise, Southern Comfort, Jaws and multiple tv shows. At 19, he saw me in an acting class and said, "You know what? I think you can write." I said, "I hated English in high school, I don't know what you're talking about."
I began working with him and helping him punch up scripts, and I didn't even know that's what I was doing at the time. As the years progressed, I met Kenya Barris way later in my career as an actor, on a show called The Start Up with me and Diggy Simmons. He wrote it. He saw one of my short films that I produced, wrote and directed. He was blown away by it, and said, "you really should consider taking writing serious." Watching and witnessing him go from the writer of our TV show to blow up and be the man that he is now was a true inspiration. To be somebody that looks like me in that position is something that's inspiring, and I hope to do the same for the people coming after me.
Is your app, Everybody Digital, specifically for short films?
Yes, it is. Everybody Digital is the first short film mobile app. We will license and feature short films from around the world. We have a growing catalog, and it's set to launch in January. The app will feature short films, and we will also be rolling out original content. So we'll be the short-form version of Netflix. Nothing on our app will be over 30 minutes, and it's built for your phone so it's for the consumer that is in line at the grocery store, or at the airport. We're giving you the access to hundreds of incredible short films. One of the reasons I created it is because I had a short film that went on and won several awards and then after the film festival circuit, it just sat on my computer. I wanted to figure out a way to expand the audience for short filmmakers.
As the Resident Black Nerd I gotta ask, (Allen found this title extremely entertaining) if you were a character with a super power what would it be and why?
Oh come on man, I talk about it all the time. Nightcrawler does it: teleportation. If I could teleport man, life would be so simple. But the heart of me is Wolverine, man. That's kind of who I am as a person. I've been through many different obstacles and I think I'm a striver. I always come back even stronger. So I would have to have those two. And then I'm good money after that.