Allen Maldonado “The Thirteen Questions“
KZ. Being of African American and Puerto Rican descent, how was your experience growing up with this salt and pepper culture? How do you define yourself?
AM. It’s interesting to say the least. I was raised by my black mother and would visit my Puerto Rican family in New York for the summers. So along with the different racial cultures there was a regional culture that was just as different. Those experiences have molded me into the diverse individual that I am. It was tough but I found a way to make my mark on each side.
KZ. Tell me about your education.
AM. I graduated high school at the age of 16 to further my education in college. I went on the stay for two and half years before starting my own business and landing a role on “The Young & the Restless”.
KZ. What does family signify for you?
AM. EVERYTHING! My family is what motivates me to be great. I look to lay the foundation to change the scope of my family’s future and the many generations after.
KZ. I’ve seen some of your pictures with long hair where you appear more Indian than African American and now, just 32 years old, your expression is more mature than your age. Do you think these different images have opened up for you more possibilities in the industry?
AM. Yes. Since cutting my hair I’ve made myself more diverse. For a long time I thought it was the other way around. I changed my brand to a Leading Man and the industry has responded great for me.
KZ. What movie opened the door for you to the big screen?
AM. My first film was “Friday After Next”. It feels amazing as I make it to another big step in my career to rejoin Ice Cube in the highly anticipated film “Straight Outta Compton”. It’s almost full circle.
KZ. In “Live Free or Die Hard” (2007), which had 14 nominations and 3 wins, you played Goatee. What type of role was this and what did this signify for you?
AM. I played a computer hacker who contributes to the destruction of the government’s computer systems. This was my first big blockbuster and film with a bona fide A list actor.
KZ. In ”The Equalizer” (2014) you crossed paths with superstar Denzel Washington. Tell me about it; how was the experience for you and what did it mean to you?
AM. It was surreal as I’ve also dreamed to play in a film with Denzel Washington. The experience only increased my drive to continue with what I’m doing. I aspire to make Denzel as big of a fan of my work as I am of his.
KZ. You’ve also appeared in “Cake” (2014) starring Jennifer Aniston and soon to appear in “Straight Outta Compton” starring Paul Giamatti. Are you seeking to work with big name stars or have they sought you out?
AM. It’s been a blessing and a part of God plan. I’m honored to be working alongside such accomplished actors. Again it only makes me work harder to return the favor one day.
KZ. Some artists get confused when their careers begin to grow, and fall into addition or other bad and destructive habits; what do you do to keep away from it?
AM. I focus on my family to prevent me from making mistakes as I feel responsible for their futures as well as mine. My actions affect more than just me so that keeps me flying straight and focused.
KZ. You run the “Get it Done Records” record company. What type of talent do you promote there? Please tell me about this project.
AM. “Get It Done Record”’s main focus at the moment is creating catalog music for several television shows and networks such as “House of Lies”, “Ray Donovan”, NBA TV, the film “Don Jon”, and over 50 other shows.
KZ. You’ve succeeded in getting into the industry, which can be difficult, and many feel to be an uphill battle. What encouragement can you offer to emerging talents who seek a successful career to help them continue on without feeling that they are charging the mountain?
AM. You are climbing a mountain. You must learn to love climbing then things will change in you favor. You must love practice like you love the game.
KZ. What do you think can be your best contribution to the society?
AM. Continuing my work with inner city kids and at risk youth. They are the future and it’s important for people such as myself to help guide them in the right direction.
KZ. How do you see yourself in 5 years? What is your direction and what are you willing to do to get there?
AM. Happy!! Material things and success can only be measured by happiness. God has a plan for me to be great so I will continue to be focused and work everyday like it’s my last.
KZ. What’s next for Allen?
AM. Greatness!!!!! I’m excited for future as I continue to advance my career. I’m producing a new Comedy series “Who The Fuck Is Uncle Joe?” which will debut online sometime this year.