HOLLYWOOD - Criticisms about the lack of diversity in Hollywood films have been growing in recent years. But there’s a medium where talents of color, including Filipinos, are making huge strides.
2015 is a breakthrough year for Filipino actors on American television. One of them got a big role on a prime time show.
Filipino comedian Nico Santos is adept at stealing scenes as "Mateo" in "Superstore," the new NBC hit show with Ugly Betty’s America Ferrera and Ben Feldman.
The NBC prime time comedy from the producer of "The Office" is about the lives of the workers in a super-sized store, a familiar place for many Americans.
This is Santos's biggest break so far in Hollywood.
"When I read the pilot, there was really something about Mateo that I sort of just really related to. I was born and raised in the Philippines and it seems like from the pilot’s perspective, it’s like him having the same story and trajectory so I was like, 'I could totally play this part.' He was originally written to be played by a Latino tough guy, which clearly I am. I just thought that the lines were so funny and the script was so amazingly funny," Santos said.
The show aired a preview recently and received good ratings.
Santos said he enjoys playing his character’s crazy antics.
"I guess people will just relate to how hungry he is for the 'American Dream', and how he'll stop at nothing to get his way. There’s definitely a lot of similarities between me and Mateo," he said.
Before getting his big TV break, Santos regularly performed as a stand-up comic.
As a regular cast member on "Superstore," he has more opportunities now to showcase his comedic talents.
"Superstore" will resume airing its season 1 in January.
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