Ismael Cordova on Breaking Latinx Barriers

Posted by on January 23, 2019

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Image Courtesy of Deadline

Everything is intentional for Ismael Cordova. 

From Mary Queen of Scots to Berlin Station to Miss Bala, the 31-year-old actor is all about diversifying his resume. But that doesn't mean he'll take just any job that comes his way. 

"They're not accidental. I'm very, very vocal with my team about what I want to do and where I want to go," Cordova told ET's Courtney Tezeno at Miss Bala's press day on Sunday. "My identity has been shaped. It shapes my life and vice versa. I can't escape it and I know that I can't. I do feel responsible. I really take that."

Cordova began his acting career as a teenager in his native Puerto Rico, before moving to New York to study at NYU and trying his hand at making the big leagues. Years later, his career in Hollywood couldn't be hotter, and it's his Puerto Rican roots that he credits for making it all happen. 

In Miss Bala, Cordova plays Lino, the leader of a drug cartel which Rodriguez's Gloria tries to take down following the kidnapping of her friend. The actors are electric on screen, with both of their performances challenging the conventions you'd expect from a cartel-based action movie. 

"I really, really wanted to be a part of this film because of the complexity of who [Lino] is, and showing, like, a fully-fledged villain figure," Cordova noted. 

Working with Rodriguez was another plus. "[Our chemistry] was instant from the day that we met... Her energy is so incredible," he said of the actress, who definitely doesn't hold back when it comes to portraying her strength on screen.