INTERVIEW WITH MANNY MONTANA | Feeling My Way Through Life Experiences

Every single event in our lives, regardless of the emotion we feel, is fully beneficial to the expansion of our consciousness. By being aware of how we feel, we will clarify what feels the best to us and refine our life preferences. It is clear, that our preference is to feel joy and happiness, and we can build up a steady joyful vibrational standpoint, but without feeling the opposite at times, we wouldn’t know how good it feels to feel good either. Being happy doesn’t mean repressing our emotions, it is recognizing where you are on the emotional scale, and consciously scaling up to the best feeling thought, hence the feeling of self-empowerment. By practicing that process, you show to yourself that you can feel better regardless of circumstances, and by feeling your way through them, situations will start adjusting. In that state, we become an example for those who are seeking to be uplifted and direct them to live their fuller life.

Actor Manny Montana, who can be seen as Rio on NBC’s series, Good Girls, says: “I think joy affects everything in the creative process and in life. But I also feel that people mistake that for always needing to be happy in every moment of their lives. To me, you can have no joy without struggle or pain.”

In this insightful interview, you will discover Manny’s inner sense of life and you will be inspired by his passion for acting.


INTRODUCTION 

  • Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Manny Montana?

That’s a big question…First and foremost, I’m a father, husband, son and friend. After that, I’m just a dude that really loves acting, health, fitness and helping as many people as I can achieve their dreams.

  • Initially, your love for sports has inspired you to study journalism with the desire to become an ESPN correspondent. How has this experience led you to discover your passion for acting?

It was everything to me. It’s how I stumbled into a new love that was kind of always there. While in college I hustled hard and got an internship at a radio station in LA. Being from Long Beach, I usually just stayed on my side of town, but having to be in LA every day showed me just how much opportunity is out there for anyone that wants to go and get that sh*t. I started meeting more and more people that were trying to act, direct, produce, etc. And I said to myself, “I’ve always loved movies, maybe this is something I can be good at.” I devoted my life to acting. I truly did. And thank god and the universe it worked out. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel extremely blessed to be able to live this dream. 

 ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

  • When you are getting ready to audition for a new role, how do you connect and reach out for the feeling of the character you are about to represent for the first time?

It has taken years and years of hard work and I’m still learning every day, but when an audition comes in everything else has to disappear for a bit. Whenever I receive an audition my wife jokingly says, “see you in a few days.” You have to ask and answer so many questions to yourself. What motivates this guy, who/what does he love, why is he doing this… And the answers can’t be “surface.” You have to dig deep and get to the soul of every moment.

Photography Storm Santos

ACTING

  • On NBC’s series, Good Girls season three, you play Rio, a character that has so many diverse layers. How would you describe your emotional journey during the process of becoming him?

That’s such a good question. It’s something I battle with in EVERY scene. I never know how scary, playful, mysterious or charming to be. It’s such a delicate balance so when I’m prepping, I try it ten different ways and then wait to see what sticks and feels right. Then when we’re filming the scene, I throw it all away and hope all the hard work shows in the final product.

  • We have learned on season two a little more about Rio’s private life. It seems that he is seeking for the feeling of freedom and security through making as much money as he can and get out of “that business.” How has Rio evolved so far in connection to accomplishing his desire? 

I think he’s getting there little by little, but just like so many people, the curiosity of the unknown gets him into a lot of trouble. I think he has a strange, and very normal desire to find out just how far he can push these women to do his bidding. Sometimes he’s winning and sometimes he’s losing. It’s just life.

  • Although the second season ended with Beth shooting at Rio, how would you describe the relationship between them, opposite to the dynamics with the rest of the “good girls,” Ruby and Annie?

They have a strange connection. They both want to be themselves and have a normal life, but they’re both attracted to the opposite and you can’t have it both ways. So, a lot of trouble and excitement ensues. 

  • How do you think Rio feels about the partnership offered by agent Turner in exchange for saving his life?

I think he’s going to say and do whatever he has to to get back at Beth. Even partnering with a guy like Agent Turner. His back is against the wall, and there’s no limit to what he’ll do.

  • What do you feel about being part of a series such as Good Girls, and does in any way playing Rio has contributed to your personal and professional growth?

You know, there’s so much TV in the world today you just never know what’s going to stick. So, when a show like Good Girls resonates with the audience, you just feel so blessed. I love when people tell me how much the show means to them, and what characters they like the best, and what moments were their favorite. It will never get old to me, that people are moved by what we do for a living. And with every project, you get to grow as an artist and person. You’re constantly growing and changing and if you can tap into that part of your soul and share it with the world, it’s the best feeling ever! 

  • What other exciting projects are you currently working on?

At the moment none because we’re in the middle of filming season 3, but I hope a lot of amazing projects that are right for me to start coming my way and I earn them. 

Photography Storm Santos

LIFE 

  • How does faith in yourself aligned with your desires influence the way you experience your existence?

It takes a lot of faith and heart to chase a dream, and to keep the dream afloat. To me, it’s always about making the time to help others. And in doing so, you’re reminded of why you fell in love with it in the first place. Talking and listening to younger people tell me about their dreams and being in a position to help them is one of the greatest things in life. And it motivates me to keep pushing. 

GOOD SOUL 

  • Are you involved with any other charity organization or humanitarian cause you would like to mention?

I coached youth and high school football for several years. Now I mostly go and speak at my old high school and different organizations that reach out to me. I’m also very much involved in the lives of a lot of kids I used to coach. They’ve become family.

CLOSE UP 

  • The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is The Essence of a Joyful Living. How does Joy during the creative process affect your own experience and in consequence the final manifestation of your actions?

That’s so beautiful. I think joy affects everything in the creative process and in life. But I also feel that people mistake that for always needing to be happy in every moment of their lives. To me, you can have no joy without struggle or pain. In the early days of my career, there were so many days when acting broke my heart and had me questioning what the hell I’m doing with my life. And then I would see a great performance in a movie or TV show and I’d be reminded of just how much acting is in me and a part of me. And I pray it always will be. To me, that’s a true joy.

  • When you hear: “You can be, do and have anything you want,” words from the Abraham-Hicks teachings, what is your take on such a statement?

I agree 100%!!! I tell anyone that will listen, “If you have a plan and wake up every day and devote yourself to it—TRULY DEVOTE yourself to it—then all your dreams will come true. It might not be exactly as you pictured it, but you will have everything you ever wanted.”


Instagram.com/lbMannyMontana/
Header Photography Storm Santos