‘LLERO: How important is it to you to portray your hometown of the Lower East Side (LES) accurately to such a broad audience through the series?
Victor: It was important to not only portray that neighborhood, but it was important for me how it portrays New York City as a city, it means the world to me – it’s my home. It’s the home of millions of people of different backgrounds. There’s so much history. That’s what’s so great about LES. So many people – Jewish, Puerto Rican, Black, White, Irish, Italian – have gone through LES, the history of all those people have played a huge part of how the neighborhood looks, how a lot of food is served, how traffic is dictated. To shoot in New York and especially this show, and also portray my hood so authentically, it only gives me a sense of pride.
‘LLERO: Do you feel like you’ve made it or are you still trying? What do you think it means to “make it”?
Victor: I think to me, what it means, making it is everything – pretty much when you’re trying to do something and really be great at it, whether that’s a character or a passion. What’s great about this show [is] how it depicts that, this season not everybody has just one grind. We don’t have just Crisp. We have other grinds to make this one hustle happen. You have to do more than one thing to pay the rent. As for me making it I still think I have a lot to go. This is very much my journey: one project at a time or one movie at a time. I’m making it only because I’m still working towards the ultimate goal. What is that? Who knows! I just hope that by the time I get to be 50, 60, 70 I’m better at it and making it and moving forward.
‘LLERO: What would you be doing if not acting?
Victor: That’s a good question. It’s funny because I’ve been lucky, but there’s only so much luck you get and then it’s up to you. I think I also had a calling for teaching. I loved my teachers who had inspired me at times when I was at my lowest. They kept me opening my mind, my horizon and my world.
‘LLERO: What actor or actor’s career do you admire or would want to model your own career after?
Victor: You know for me being an actor and being Latin is so important to me. My favorite actor is Benicio [Del Toro]. I love sort of how he’s come up, you know? I think he’s had such a long career and when he made it and how he made it; it’s just a testament of hard work and someone just trying to break new ground by always challenging himself to do new things. As for my future, I appreciate how he’s done it and he’s inspired me to challenge myself and do things differently.
‘LLERO: Where do you see your career going in the future?
Victor: Doing something different from New York; playing someone from the Midwest or somebody from a whole different country. Doing something similar to like what I did in Che. Maybe something that has to do with the Dominican Republic. I see myself looking back and seeing myself doing different things. That would be the most satisfying and challenging career.
Something tells us as long as Victor keeps up the hustle and grind he’ll be making it.
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