Written by: Mark Pollard
Who is Allen Maldonado you ask? Well according to his long resume he’s the busiest up and coming actor of our time. Maldonado is popping up everywhere these days. As a Rialto, California native, Maldonado is a new rising star that has landed some of the biggest films and TV projects this past year alone, from last summers breakout hit “DOPE” to the critically acclaimed “Straight Outta Compton.” Lets not forget co-starring in LeBron James’ STARZ series “Survivor’s Remorse,” FXX’s “You’re the Worst” and ABC’s hit comedy “Black-ish”. He’s even shared the screen with Jennifer Aniston and Denzel Washington for crying out loud. While balancing his numerous acting roles, Maldonado still finds the time to manage his multiple businesses and lend his time to mentoring the next generation. We had a chance to speak with him about his career, charity, and what we can expect from him in the future.
Getting his start in Hollywood in the early 2000’s era, Maldonado talks about his first big break in the world of acting.
“My first big break was on the Young & Restless. I was a young manager of direction at the Y & R community center that they put together and that was kind of like the acting Olympics. If you know anything about soaps they like to rewrite as much as possible, so you can go from the make up chair to the set with a whole new script. So you would definitely have to be sharp and ready for anything, which taught me a lot.”
Starring in one of the most popular and highest grossing film in 2015 “Straight Outta Compton”, Maldonado explains what it was like working with hip hop legends Ice Cube and Dr. Dre.
“It was amazing, Ice Cube was there, he was actually shooting Ride Along 2 at the same time but he was there as much as possible. Dr. Dre was there everyday though overseeing everything and making sure everything was authentic as possible. It was definitely an honor you know, and having such an amazing response coming from him knowing that he was in that lifestyle and that he actually witnessed everything we we’re trying to portray. So for him to say you’re doing a great job or you’re right on it, is probably the greatest compliment you can get as an actor.”
He goes on to explain the vibe on set with Director F. Gary Gray and the rest of the cast.
“Filming was really chill; F. Gary Gray is a workforce. He’s very thorough and clear on what he wants and he allows the actors to play and to have a little freedom with the dialogue and to just make the scenes seem as real as possible. So like I said it was just real chill and we got to work.”
Returning as “DeShauwn May” for the 3rd season of STARZ critically acclaimed series “Survivors Remorse”, Maldonado explains his characters antics.
“DeShauwn May is a very special dude, he’s wild, he can be very irresponsible with his money, and I have yet to have meet an individual like that in real life. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be entertaining.”
Also on top of appearing in the show, Maldonado will also add his name to the credits as a staff writer for season 3 of “Survivor’s Remorse.”
“It’s been nothing but love, these brothers are focused and dedicated to a goal and I’m just happy to be a part of the team. They’re doing some great things over at Spring Hill and I’m just excited to be a part of it all.”
Maldonado will also make a return to ABC’s “Black-ish” later this fall as ‘Curtis,’ the assistant to “Andre ‘Dre’ Johnson” (Anthony Anderson).
“This upcoming season is going to be filled with some more hard-hitting topics. Each year we continue to grow and I’m just excited for the fun that we’re going to have this season.”
He’s not called the busiest man in the industry for nothing, with a tagline that rings true #MaldonadoIsEverywhere, from his recurring roles on ABC’s hit comedy series “Black-ish,” Starz’ “Survivor’s Remorse” and FXX”s “You’re the Worst,” also appearing on silver screens everywhere, Maldonado gives us some insight on what it’s like filming for a television role versus film.
“Television is more set as far as a lot of times in a studio, where as film is on location. Like I’m in New York now shooting a film called First Match where I’ll be out here for a month away from home.”
Back into the film world, Maldonado will star in an upcoming film called “RINGSIDE”, a gritty and inspirational story that follows a young man’s journey through the highly competitive and cutthroat world of professional boxing. The stakes are high, and in order to win the life-changing duel, the boxer must endure and evade pandemonium that includes groupies, gambling, and a corrupt manager. Maldonado will take on the role of “Spencer Collier”.
“I play a Boxer named Spencer, he’s cocky, confident and rich, so when you put the 3 together its a lot of fun that comes out of it. He has several baby moms that he likes to show off throughout the movie and there are some nice boxing scenes throughout the movie as well. We got a great cast, my boy Jackie Long is in it and it’s going to be a great movie that’s going to excite viewers.”
Maldonado will also be starring alongside some of your favorite comedic actors in the 2017 comedy film “Where’s The Money”, starring Terry Crews, Mike Epps and Vine star sensation King Bach.
“It’s a great kind of fish out of water comedy film where I play the best friend to Bach’s character, where he has to secretly join a fraternity in order to find the money his father hid in the fraternity house.”
Also co-starring in the film alongside Maldonado is rapper Method Man, Retta (Parks & Recreations), Caleb Emery and Kat Graham (Vampire Diaries) to name a few, Maldonado explains what is was like filming on set.
“Its super fun, like anytime the camera stops rolling the laughs still continue and the jokes keep coming. The chemistry of the cast and the energy is amazing. King Bach always had the cameras recording, we did a couple of little viral videos as well, and it was fun.”
Onto the business side of Maldonado’s resume, this actor has taken the art of short films, and made it his personal mission to give these amazing pieces a new platform where they can truly shine. The innovative star has created a new mobile app, “Everybody Digital”. The app is set to be the go-to destination for streaming and hosting the newest and most popular short films, documentaries, sit-coms, news programming, and more.
“Everybody Digital is a short film app that’ll be available on Apple and Android in 2017. It’s going to feature short films from around the world as well as original content. Something similar to Netflix but like a short film version. Also we are currently looking for more content, so if anybody out there is a filmmaker and has a short film please send us your content to everybodydigital.com.”
On a more philanthropic side, Maldonado is a faithful advocate for higher education, community service and encouraging youth to pursue the arts and is the founder of Demo Nerds, a foundation he created providing free acting classes, tools and services for at risk youth and foster children in the inner city of Los Angeles.
“When I was a kid a lot of people mentored and guided me in the right way, and that’s something that I always wanted to do… mentor and guide kids in the right direction.”
Maldonado’s other involvement with Mothers Against Drunk Driving stems from his experience from being hit by a drunk driver at age 21 about to turn 22; thankfully he survived. He goes on to explain the impact that still makes on him today.
“It makes me understand that we don’t have forever. I wake up everyday with the thought of if I died at this moment would I be able to look down at myself and say I achieved all my goals? That’s why every second of the day needs to be taken advantage of and appreciated because some people weren’t able to wake up today, and because of that I look at it as a gift. That’s why I get up and enjoy each and every day, crafting my skills and utilizing every second to be used towards growth.”
Lastly Maldonado has some encouraging words for the young aspiring entrepreneurs and entertainers of the world.
“Be obsessed with success, especially in the entertainment industry. You have to spend every second of the day thinking of how you’re going to continue to grow your business, continue to grow as an actor and that’s how you truly succeed.”
Maldonado juggles many hats from being an actor, entrepreneur, mentor and philanthropist. With such a thriving career, Maldonado has the ideal career any aspiring actor would dream of, back-to-back work. They don’t call him the busiest man in the industry for nothing. You can catch Allen Maldonado on STARZ “Survivors Remorse” every Sunday @10pm ET/PT, also on FXX’s “You’re The Worst”, which returns for a 3rd season on August 31st, and his upcoming film “Ringside” which premieres Sunday, September 4th on TV One. Also don’t forget to be on the lookout for “Where’s The Money” in 2017 and his new App Everybody Digital set to launch in 2017 as well.
All photos are photographed by: Benjo Arwas