Interview with Actor Eric Martinez

 

Eric Martinez is an accomplished actor, who has starred in multiple motion pictures, including ‘Love Lies Bleeding’ with Christian Slater. He has also starred in numerous high-profile television shows, such as ‘Scoundrels’ and ‘Better Call Saul’. Off screen, Martinez dedicates most of his time and energy to helping others. He founded and supports multiple charities, and he uses motivational speaking to positively influence others. Eric is also a cigar enthusiast, and the Thick Ash crew was able to sit down and interview Mr. Martinez.

 

Thick Ash:

Tell us a little bit about your childhood, growing up, and your past.

Eric Martinez:

“My childhood was tough, and it was not a typical way of growing up. I dealt with a lot of turmoil and struggle. When your young and have to deal with things like abuse, verbal abuse, constantly moving and never knowing where your going to end up next. It changes a person, you know? It’s hard to trust and believe in anything. But, something I realized along time a ago was that I would not allow myself to be a victim of my circumstances. It was very hard at times but I stuck with my prayers and found my way out. I feel the same way about life today. Sometimes we can’t explain the way life is and how things go. Sometimes everything is good and then you have those times when it seems like you walk under a black cloud everywhere you go. But, you have to continue believing no matter what, you have to allow yourself to accept what’s in front of you and keep moving. I’ve been doing some writing lately and hope to come out with my book “Relentless” sometime next year. So I’m in the market for a publisher! (Haha) But seriously, I have kids now and don’t ever want them growing up like that. I work hard everyday to be a constant in their lives. My 18 year old is a United States Marine, my 11 year old is a 3 time state champ boxer and state and district champ wrestler, and my little one is just plain nuts! (Haha) He has a little of all of us in him. They are the reason I work so hard everyday at what I do. I could have a lot of resentment towards my childhood and the people in it, but I don’t want to harbor those feelings and cause more pain.”

Thick Ash:

You started off in music. What inspired you to get into music, and what inspired the change into your acting career?

Eric Martinez:

“Yeah, I ran an indie label some time ago (Haha). I laugh, because man was that a wild ride! I dealt with mostly hip-hop and R&B artists. I had a lot of fun, I got to speak on panels for the Billboard Music Awards and Conferences, Sha Money’s Tastemaker Panel; Sha Money helped build G-Unit. I am friends to this day with people like Lenny S (RocaFella, Def Jam, Roc Nation), and Izzy Sanchez, who breaks some of the biggest artists in the game (Rhianna, Damian Marley, Pitbull, Destinys Child). There are times when I miss it, but I don’t miss the constant struggle in getting these artists to buy into themselves. When you want their dreams more than they do, it’s time to go.

Why did I turn to film? I just woke up one day and said ‘I really want to pursue my dreams instead of everyone else’s’. The music business is so competitive, and if your not constantly moving you will get left in the dark. There is an artist right now that I may come back and do some work with, his name is Dremon. Look him up. Good artist! He works hard and has talent. It doesn’t mean I’m walking away from acting, but I firmly believe that in order to succeed in this business you have to be multifaceted.”

Thick Ash:

What have been you favorite rolls and why?

Eric Martinez:

“I loved working on ‘Better Call Saul’. They introduced my character ‘Francisco’ last season, and my scene was with Johnathan Banks who plays ‘Mike’. The way the scene left off it seemed as though it was a set up for something in the future. I would love for them to bring me back soon! I worked on ‘Scoundrels’ on ABC with Virginia Madsen, who is one of my favorite actresses. I have had the blessing to work with some of the best. I am really looking to do more drama and comedy. Every movie I’m in I am the bad guy! (Haha) ‘Love Lies Bleeding’ with Christian Slater was my first break out role, and it was the one that really jump started my career. After that, it was like everything that came to me was roles for bad guys. Don’t get me wrong, work is work, but eventually I want to expand on my craft and really dive into something meaningful.”

Thick Ash:

Are you working on anything new in the film industry?

Eric Martinez:

“Currently I am getting ready for my feature film directorial debut in ‘Money is King’, of which I am also co starring. It has a great cast! Quinton Aaron (The Blindside), Debo (Friday), Bai Ling, Miesha Tate (UFC), Tommy Truex, Chris Ranney, The REAL Ricky Ross, Jadakiss, and so many more! I also get to work with an amazing artist who plays the lead, Boy Dirrt. Look out for this guy! You are gonna hear a lot from him! He will also be on the soundtrack. Next after that is a movie called ‘WhistleBlowers’, which I am also directing. I am doing a new movie next month called ‘An American In Texas’ with Quinton Aaron and Keith Jardine (UFC Fighter turned Actor). I just filmed ‘Shot Caller’, and I am hoping for my return to ‘Better Call Saul’ soon!”

Thick Ash:

What got you interested in cigars? Tell us about your favorites.

Eric Martinez:

“You know that I used to hate cigars. Then, one day a buddy of mine hooked me up with a flavored cigar. I think it was an Acid Blondie, and I was hooked. I now smoke a variety of cigars like Rocky Patel, Gurkha’s, Cohiba’s, and Alec Bradley. Recently, I have connected with Palacio Cigars and The Gomez Family, which may turn into a cigar line of my own. I have always thought about it, but now it may become a reality. I might do a national contest to come up with a classy name for them. I have always felt that smoking a good cigar with a great whiskey or brandy is very sophisticated. So, I want something that represents class, sophistication, elegance.”

Thick Ash:

Tell us about your motivational speaking experiences, and what influenced you to begin speaking publicly.

Eric Martinez:

“Well my first ever speaking engagement was for Lulac, and after they saw me speak there they asked me to speak for them in Washington in front of the Presidential Candidates. It was an honor and scary at first. I had no idea at the time if I was Republican or Democrat or what I should speak on. There was over 1000 people at this dinner, every major news station in the country, President Obama, Senator Hilary Clinton, and Senator John McCain. I was freaking out for about 5 minutes, then I realized that the audience had been slammed with political views and comments for the last hour, I am just going to go out and tell my story. There was a lot teenagers there that represented Lulac and a lot of college students, so I wanted to try something different and it worked. After, everyone was saying that it was one of the best and most moving speeches they had heard. I never considered myself a motivational speaker. Then after that, my manager was getting calls from all over the country for me to speak. So, now I use my platform as an actor to speak on Anti-Bullying, childhood obesity, domestic violence and following your dreams. I do a lot of speaking with my best friend Quinton Aaron who was the star of the Blindside. I feel like if we can help just one person at each event we have done our job.”

Thick Ash:

Tell us about your charity work, the “I Got Your Back” campaign, and your inspirations to help others.

Eric Martinez:

“I Got Your Back was developed as my way of standing against bullying, domestic violence, and abuse. I would always say it in my speeches, and so I just decided to go with it in my platform. MMACK10 Fight Gear and Edwin Ruiz is one of our biggest supporters, and they do a line of fight gear clothing to help spread the word. They provide us with wristbands for the kids to wear in reference to anti-bullying. I love helping others and trying to make a difference. It’s hard at times because you want to help and reach as many people as possible.

Another charity I support is the Starkey Foundation, they provide millions of hearing aids all over the world to the deaf. I went to their Gala this year in Minnesota and it was probably one of the most amazing events I had ever been too. The love these people have for humanity is overwhelming. They do mission trips all over the world, and I plan on going on one this year or next for sure! I support others as well; breast cancer, animal humane society, autism, and Wounded Warriors. Basically, anywhere I see a need and I can help even a little, i will. Some say I spread myself to thin, but I have always believed in being a servant to man, God has provided me with the ability to reach people and do good. Why shouldn’t I share my network and resources? Again, like anything else it gets hard at times with scheduling, traveling, shooting, but It’s not something that is unattainable.”

Thick Ash:

Have you seen the impacts of your “I Got Your Back” campaign? And, In what ways have you seen “I Got Your Back” paying off?

Eric Martinez:

“I would like to think so. I mean, as I said earlier, if I can change just one mind from committing suicide from bullying or change a bully’s mind from doing that ever again, then I’ve done my job. Obviously I can’t reach everyone and I can’t change everyone’s mind, but I will make you think. You will hear my message loud and clear. I would like to be as busy as possible when I am not filming, speaking at schools, events, functions. Where ever there is a need I’m ready!”

Thick Ash:

What is your future plans for expanding the “I Got Your Back” campaign?

Eric Martinez:

“I really just want to reach as many people as possible, and I would like to build on the amount of celebrity ambassadors I have. I would like to, one day, host an annual anti-bullying convention in Albuquerque, NM where I live. Make a weekend out of it; golfing, dinner, you know, like a gala. Follow my campaign at www.iamericmartinez.com and on twitter @IGot_YourBack .”

Thick Ash:

Is there anything else you would like to share with Thick Ash and our readers?

Eric Martinez:

“Just thank you for following me and supporting my films. Be sure to follow me on Instagram:@emartinez6670 Twitter: @therealericm and on FB: at Eric Martinez .”

Thick Ash:

Thank you for taking your time out of your busy schedule to sit down and share with us. We admire your work in the film industry as well as your charity work. It has been our pleasure, and we wish you the best of luck. We cannot wait to talk again in the future.

 

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