Monday, September 23, 2013

Luis Antonio Ramos, Star of ABC's "Lucky 7" and the upcoming A MIRACLE IN SPANISH HARLEM

By A.B. Lugo.

Luis Antonio Ramos
On the night of the 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, an evening that honors the best of U.S. television, I had the opportunity to speak with my friend, the actor Luis Antonio Ramos. He spoke to me from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where he is shooting on location. The star of stage and screen has a career that is red hot right now. He is a series regular on the new ABC television series "Lucky 7", produced by ABC Studios, Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and Rollem Productions and set to have its premiere on Tuesday, September 24, 2013. He will also star in the upcoming film A Miracle in Spanish Harlem (directed by Derek Vélez Partridge and set for release nationwide on Friday, December 6, 2013).

Puerto Rican-born and Bronx-raised, Ramos has had a long career in film, television and theater. Oftentimes, in film and television, he was relegated to the stereotypical roles that Latino actors have played for decades (e.g. gangsters, criminals, villains). In 2008, his mother passed away and, feeling that playing the same kinds of characters had "run its course", he left Hollywood and moved back to New York, taking some time off from film and television. He returned to the stage, most recently in the
HOLA Award-winning solo show Growing Up Gonzales. Shortly thereafter, he booked "Lucky 7" and A Miracle in Spanish Harlem.

Luis Antonio Ramos, at right, and the
cast of the ABC series "Lucky 7"
In "Lucky 7", he plays Antonio Clemente, one of seven gas station employees in Queens, New York City, who play the lottery every week and who wind up winning a jackpot prize. Ramos says he loves playing Antonio, a former baseball player who has since become a family man with a wife and two children. In A Miracle in Spanish Harlem, he portrays Tito, a single dad who dotes on his two girls but yet is also experiencing a loss of faith. The roles are a far cry from the one-dimensional villain roles he played in the past.

But even with those roles, Ramos said he would try to bring "a sense of humanity" to those roles by "infusing contemporary characters with classical training". Ramos studied at a conservatory, took classes at New York University and studied with James Moody, Herbert Berghof and Uta Hagen. In fact, it was Berghof who once told Ramos that it would take him 25 years or more for him to find his way in the business. Ramos, who is also a competitive long distance cyclist, thought, Sign me up! As someone who once biked 110 miles in the rain up and down hills, Ramos reminded me that being in this business called show is not a sprint, but a marathon.

Luis Antonio Ramos in
A Miracle in Spanish Harlem.
He also says, in addition to stating that a career in acting is a long process that one must also not stand in one's own way. "How can I prepare for the inevitability of my success?"

Ramos loves the fact that the diversity of characters (ethnic, racial and otherwise) in "Lucky 7" is a realistic representation of the diversity of New York City in 2013. He said that ultimately, the diversity of the cast is not even the main point of the series-- he describes the series as being filled with "real people going through real stuff", that the
diversity should show not our differences, but our common similarities as human beings.

 Luis Antonio Ramos is an
award-winning actor of
stage and screen.
He stated that the image of Latinos in the media is "the most vital thing in the world" and that it is the Latino actor's responsibility to "bring out the truth" in the characters he/she portrays.

He further emphasized to me that it was important as Latino artists to support one another and to stay away from the "crabs-in-a-barrel" mindset where one is often more likely to want to be jealous and/or sabotage another person's success as opposed to seeing that one person's success helps to open the doors to others. He adds that, ultimately, one's success serving as a catalyst to help others is bigger than one's individual ego.

Luis Antonio Ramos won the 2009 HOLA José Ferrer Tespis Award for his previous work with the anticipation of further greatness to follow. He remarked that he wanted to leave behind a legacy of work that will stand the test of time. With over 30 years of acting on stage and screen under his belt, and his exciting two upcoming projects, we foresee an even lengthier career of even more greatness to come.

For more information about Luis Antonio Ramos, click here.

A Miracle in Spanish Harlem
will hit movie theaters Friday, December 6, 2013.

"Lucky 7" will have its season premiere tomorrow, Tuesday, September 24, 2013.


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