We recently got to have a chat with Good Girls actor Manny Montana about his career and his upcoming role in Clint Eastwoods The Mule.
Can you describe what your character Axl is like in the Mule?
Axl is a cartel hitman whose been sent to track down Clint Eastwood’s character after he goes MIA. It’s a small but so damn fun role! I couldn’t pass up the chance to work with the legend (Clint Eastwood). And no, to be honest I don’t think this is a guy you’d root for. He’s been sent to do a job and has no feelings behind it. It’s different from my role in GOOD GIRLS. In GG, Rio is so relatable and I think people know it’s all about the money for him, but he’s slowly catching interest in the excitement the girls bring to his world.
How did you get the role and how did it feel when you got the call telling you had?
I didn’t get to audition for Clint personally, but when you know you’re auditioning for a Clint Eastwood movie the pressure is the same no matter who’s in the room. I actually auditioned for a totally different role. My manager and agent called me and said, “Unfortunately…” and mentally I immediately moved on but when they continued talking I was so excited to hear Clint liked me for another role! And look, people can play cool all they like, but I was geeked to be working with him! I grew up on his movies and my family and friends knew how much this meant to me. Plus he legitimately looks like my grandpa who died 5 years ago, so just being around him was good for my soul.
What was it like working on a Clint Eastwood movie?
Clint Eastwood’s sets are like nothing I had ever experienced. Everyone was working as a unit! Everyone knows what the next shot is and everyone wants to do a great job because they know who the boss is. And I could not believe how involved Clint was with every little detail! That man is sharp as a tack and funnier then you’d ever believe. I already looked up to him, but after I met him he became a hero of mine. I want to be as in love with my job as he is when I’m his age. I want to keep that spark and curiosity he has until the day I die. He taught me to be comfortable being uncomfortable. It was the dead of summer in Atlanta and the man refused to put the A/C on in the car and I LOVED that. And he didn’t make a big deal about it. He simply said, “I think it’s more real this way. It’s good to be uncomfortable.” I’ll take that to the grave with me.
What are the main differences from working on a TV series to doing a movie?
The main difference between working on a film and TV show, for me at least, is that in a film you’ll know the entire character arc from beginning to end. On a TV show you’re learning what’s happening to your character on a weekly basis. Don’t get me wrong, you have a general idea of where your story line is going. but for the most part you’re just along for the ride like the viewer. I think that’s pretty awesome.
What advice would you give anyone wanting to become an actor?
The advice I’d give to anyone wanting to be an actor is to stop waiting for the right time. It’ll never come. Go and get what you want. Read every story you can about how other actors got their start, save every dollar and always be in an acting class with peers that challenge you. Make it about the work, not “networking”. And lastly, don’t say you hate auditioning because “it’s nothing like being on set”… You’re right, it’s not, so don’t treat it that way. Make it its own thing and have fun doing it. Find something in the audition that can only be done by YOU. Have fun!
Which role that you have had so far in your career as pushed you and tested you the most as an actor?
The role that’s pushed me the most…Honestly, it’s the role I’m currently playing, Rio on GOOD GIRLS. It’s a fun and difficult challenge to try and find the balance between being intimidating, charming, and a dude that has a screw loose. I work every scene from every angle I can think of and I never finish knowing what’s right. And I always leave set feeling like it could’ve been so much better! But luckily it’s mostly just my own head and I’ll never be fully happy with my work. But I think that’s healthy.
You majored in journalism but went into acting, what made you take that route for your career?
I majored in journalism because I played sports my whole life and thought working for ESPN would be a great career. Then, halfway through my second year I realized how much I hate talking about sports. *laughs* But, there were other aspects of it I did like. I fell into radio, took some acting classes and the rest is history. I’m proud of my degree and don’t regret a thing about going to college. It helped me find my path.
What’s next? What does 2019 have in store for you?
2019… I hope 2019 brings me an abundance of love, happiness, health and prosperity. I love my wife and my son so much and I hope to have so many good experiences and memories with them. I love acting so much and I hope my career continues to grow and I can keep working closely with actors, directors, writers and producers who love the WORK. I hope I can help a lot of people along the way.
Thank you for taking the time out for me. Blessings.
The Mule is out in cinemas in the UK on January 25th.
Let us know if you are going to the movie at @celebmix!