California native Manny Montana stars as FBI agent John “Johnny” Tuturro in "Graceland," the one-hour drama created by the executive producer of “White Collar” Jeff Eastin.
Latin Beat caught up with Montana on the South Florida set recently and he discussed his character Johnny, his relationship with his co-stars and working in the Miami heat.
You’ve played some pretty dark characters in the past. Is Johnny the same? What can you tell us about him?
“Johnny is different to any other character I’ve ever played. He gets serious when he gets involved in other peoples problems but overall he keeps it pretty light. He doesn’t like being lied to; he’s a really sensitive dude. “
Do you know any background information on him? How did he become an agent?
“I think Johnny and I have a lot in common. I’m from Long Beach, not one of the best places in the world. I had a lot of ghetto friends growing up and I think Johnny was the same way. There were a lot of bad things happening around him but he always chose to do good things. Unlike his friends, he saw cops as the good guys and he wanted to be like them. “
Will Johnny ever get his own cases or is he mostly assisting Paul (Sunjata) and Mike (Tveit)?
“We were just joking about this. We’ve shot quite a few episodes already and Johnny is always helping out other with their cases and he hasn’t had one yet. I think it works well though with his personality; he just loves to help everybody out. Maybe he can get his own case in season two!”
What have been some of your favorite things about shooting here in South Florida?
“Definitely the weather. I’m from California and all but I love the tropical climate in South Florida. I even find the humidity here sexy. “
“We’ve been shooting in both Miami and Fort Lauderdale and I’ve discovered some great little restaurants; and the beaches are amazing. All of us in the cast spend a lot of time together and I just feel really lucky that we have so much fun together. A lot of the other USA Network shows shoot in Toronto or Vancouver where it’s freezing. So it’s definitely good to be here.”
How have your parents adjusted to you being an actor? Are they supportive?
“My family comes from Mexico. I’m the first generation American in the family. They are very modest people; I don’t think they don’t really understand what I do. When my grandfather was alive, he would ask me if I went to work when I would go out for auditions. My grandmother still gets upset with me when she sees me wearing fake tattoos or if I shoot a sex scene. She thinks it’s real! There was even one time where I died in a scene and she got really upset. I think it’s cute. They don’t really understand what I do but I know they are proud of me.”
Tune in to the season premiere of “Graceland” on June 6th at 10 p.m. on USA.