The word Warrior holds special meaning for Carlos Miranda. It was the title of the film that gave him his big break. It is also a word that describes his character. He is a warrior. Against all adversities and challenges, he has stood up and fought to fulfill his dreams. To him, there was no other option. He has the will determination and personality to see it all through.
Carlos can be seen most recently in Starz, Vida which premiered May 5th.
Where are you from?
Carlos Miranda: San Francisco originally.
It’s Friday night, dress up and go out or cuddle up and order in?
Carlos: No, I’m cuddling up with my princess, my little pup. I just got her over the weekend. She’s an eight-week-old Pomeranian Husky mix named Bonnie. I’m her Clyde, Bonnie and Clyde, ride or die.
What’s your favorite activity to unwind?
Carlos: I love going to the movies. I get popcorn, put a little salt in there, some plain M&Ms, mix those up, watch a film, just chill. It’s the best, I love it.
What brought you to Los Angeles?
Carlos: Movies. I just love movies. I always wanted to be in them. This is my third attempt at coming out here and third time’s the charm they say, right? I came out here in 2008 and have just been grinding ever since. I remember when I realize that I wanted to become an actor. I was 11 years old. I remember there was Moviefone. There wasn’t YouTube where you could look at a trailers or anything but there was Moviefone where you call and it was like, “Hello, welcome to Moviefone.” I used to call it all the time and you could listen to the trailers. Leonardo DiCaprio was my favorite actor since back then. I just thought he was cool and Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet was coming out. There is a part in the trailer where he screams, “Juliet,” at the top of his lungs and I remember I was like, “Wow” that’s intense, man,” and it gave me this, I don’t know, intense crazy feeling in my gut and I was like, “I want to do that man, I want to make people feel like that,” and then here I am 20 years later.
You made multiple attempts coming down here?
Carlos: Yes, I attempted two other times prior to this. I came out here when I was about 19 with 300 bucks in my pocket and hopes and dreams and I convinced my buddy to come with me. I was like, “Man, we’re not doing nothing out here man, we could just go to LA. Arnold Schwarzenegger did it with $20 in his pocket and he didn’t even speak English.”
We greyhounded it and we came out to Hollywood. The Hollywood Greyhound is actually no longer there. It’s now a big parking lot. It was my first time seeing Hollywood. We stayed in this roach motel. We got it for a week and we were like, “We’re going to get a job and bus tables or whatever,” but that didn’t happen. Then my mom sent me some money. She was like, “Don’t worry about your friend. Get a room. Just focus on yourself.” I was like, “All right, no problem,” but I bought a car.
I bought a bucket car and I told my buddy, I was like, “Look, man, we’ll sleep in the car, then when we get auditions we’ll have transportation,” not thinking of gas and all that stuff. That lasted about another week and then my friend gave up and he was like, “I’m out of here, man.” I don’t know how he came up with money. He mouthpieced somebody and they bought him a ticket to go back home and we were at the Greyhound Station just crying like, “I’m staying, man.” He was like, “I know, man. You’re going to make it.”
I lasted another week and drove back up to San Francisco. That was attempt number one.
I tried again a couple years later with a girlfriend at the time but life got in the way and brought me back. Then ultimately my third time is this time. I saved money and I came out here, found an apartment and just did it properly. I didn’t want to give up no matter what. It was always what I was gonna to do. I’m a high school dropout. I’ve got no backup plan. This is it.
What was your first professional gig and how did it feel?
Carlos: Warrior, shout out Gavin O’Connor. He’s been super supportive since I met him. It’s my first time speaking on film. They flew me out to Pittsburgh. It was surreal. I felt like, “Wow man, this is the movie business.” It was validating. It was a small role but it reminded me that this is why I came out here. It was a taste that made me hungrier.
Tell us about “Vida”?
Carlos: Yes, absolutely, you can check out Vida on Starz. Premiers May 6. You can check it out on the Starz app as well so you got no reason to not watch it.
Vida is about two sisters from the east side of Los Angeles who are worlds apart. They don’t relate on anything, they’re very distant. Their mother passed away which brings them back to their old neighborhood. Secretes are revealed about the mother and they have to figure out what they’re going to do with the discovery.
I play Johnny who is one of the sister’s ex-boyfriend from years back who is now engaged and has moved on. When she comes back to town, we get entangled in a whole sticky, sticky, tough love messy situation.
You recently made a short film?
Carlos: It’s a short film that I wrote, I produced, I directed, and I acted in a little bit. I dabbed a little bit in everything. I wanted to tell a story. It’s about this creepy rideshare driver and the concept of not really knowing who you’re sharing your rides with. You step out to go about your day and you don’t really know what’s going to happen. You don’t know who you’re going to encounter. It’s called End Trip and I have a website for it, endtripfilm.com.
Who inspires you on a professional level?
Carlos: So many people. There are a few actors right now in particularly that I’m a really big fan of. Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac are two of them. Leo, Denzel, De Niro. I really want to work with Greta Gerwig. She’s dope. I like her.
Who would you thank for helping get you where you are today?
Carlos: Thank you Jesus, first off, for every blessing. My mom, thank you so much to her. My acting coach, Alice Carter shout out to her. My friends and family. I’ve got some good friends that when I’ve been down on my luck they have lifted me up.
I’ve got some friends that passed away but they’re with me. It drives me and pushes me forward. And my children, my kids, man, my two little boys. Every time I think about them it’s like I’m not just doing this for me anymore. It’s awesome.
What advice would you give to other young people who want to follow in your footsteps?
Carlos: Just don’t give up. It’s the most common advice that you’re going to hear from anybody but it’s the most true. Just don’t quit. If you love what you do, if you love doing something, then go for it. Just go after it and keep pursuing. Me personally, I’d rather do this for the rest of my life and make peanuts but be happy doing what I’m doing, versus waking up every day and being upset at going to work. Just do what you love, and don’t give up. Never give up.
Is there anything else you’d like to go OnRCRD?
Carlos: I want to go on record and say that Latin American actors deserve more opportunities as well. I think Hollywood is doing a better job now, but we have to keep on moving forward and represent.
Follow Carlos on Instagram @los_cain
Photos by: Mario Barberio
Grooming by: Kimberly Johnson