The Film That Lit My Fuse is a Deadline video series that aims to provide an antidote to headlines about industry uncertainty by swinging the conversation back to the creative ambitions, formative influences and inspirations of some of today’s great screen artists.
Every installment asks the same five questions. Today’s subject is Edward James Olmos. How does one forge a five decade career as an actor, director and activist like Olmos has? It’s a slow build, full of grit and determination from an early stint as a catcher in the Dodgers farm system to frontman in a band to an acting career that began to take off with a breakout turn in the stage show Zoot Suit.
After one-off stints in cop shows from Police Woman to Hawaii Five-O, Olmos began to create indelible characters in films that include Blade Runner, American Me (which he directed), Stand and Deliver, Selena, My Family, Zoot Suit and Wolfen. His TV turns include the Emmy-winning portrayal of Lt. Martin Castillo on Miami Vice, Admiral William Adama on the Battlestar Galactica reboot and most recently Felipe Reyes on the FX series Mayans M.C.
Here, in an exceptional Film That Lit My Fuse, he explains exactly how it happened.
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