By Stephanie Amy Collazo
After graduating from the University of Texas, actor Kevin Alejandro left his friends and family behind to make the move to Los Angeles to start his acting career. Since then, he has starred in a number of popular television series, such as Ugly Betty, Big Love and Weeds, but he is mostly known for his role as Detective Nate Moretta in Southland. His latest role on the hit HBO series True Blood has put him on everyone’s radar and left us wanting to know more about the man behind the witchcraft.
YRB: How did you get your start as an actor?
Kevin: I actually started doing theatre in high school and kind of took a liking to it. I then got a full scholarship to the University of Texas for acting in theatre, and after I finished UT my professors thought it would be a good idea for me to head to L.A., so that’s how it happened.
YRB: How was the transition moving from Texas to L.A. to pursue acting?
Kevin: It was kind of a difficult one, actually. I came up in a small town but I went to school at the University of Texas, so that was like the biggest town I had ever been in. [Then] I came to L.A. not knowing anybody or knowing anything about it; I’d never even heard of Venice. It was kind of hard for me. I didn’t like it that much, but I eventually found my niche, I guess, and started working and meeting good people and formed a whole different life out here.
YRB: What was your very first acting gig?
Kevin: Out here in L.A. or ever, ever? I think my first acting gig I played a boxing chicken in my second grade play. You know, Rocky is my favorite movie in the world, so I was ecstatic to do that. I had these little bitty short shorts and one of those half top t-shirts and a big ol’ chicken head and boxing gloves, and that was the start of my acting career.
YRB: How did you get the role on True Blood?
Kevin: I actually auditioned several times. I initially went in for a different character and they called me back for Jesus, and it was probably like a month-long process – probably three or four auditions. I had to go in and audition for different people, and finally the last audition I went through was called a chemistry read, and Nelsan Ellis was in the room and out of four or five guys I won.
YRB: With this character and some of the others you’ve played in the past, do you think you’re likely to be typecast in gay roles?
Kevin: You know, I don’t think so. So far, I’ve had the opportunity in between hiatus’ to audition for different characters and I’m actually going to New Orleans for a month to shoot a movie called Hide. I play a detective on that one, so I’ve been lucky to not be typecast at all.
YRB: The show already had quite the following before you joined the cast, what was it like jumping into a project that already had so much buzz around it?
Kevin: I personally was intimidated as hell, going into the first day of the table read and everybody is there at the table read, every character they’ve created. And I was shaking in my boots a little bit because everyone is so good. They’re such great character actors, and there I was hoping I didn’t make a mistake, but it was kind of intimidating and overwhelming. My wife and I just went to Comic Con; I had never had that reaction from people before – it was kind of really cool, actually. I liked it.
YRB: How does working on True Blood differ from the other shows you’ve worked on?
Kevin: It’s just a chance to go into a world that doesn’t exist, and you get to go creatively to places that you wouldn’t get to go to when you’re doing more reality based shows. It’s so much fun, too. Everyone there is great and we get cool locations. I mean, we are shooting in the middle of the night, but visually it’s so cool and I have a great time.
YRB: On this season of True Blood we learn more about your characters past, does this become part of the main storyline?
Kevin: Yeah, there have been a couple of storylines going on right now, and my and Nelsan’s relationship and the crazy things that they put us through are on the high end of the storyline spectrum.
YRB: Do fans of the book give you grief because your character was more or less created for the show?
Kevin: I haven’t heard anything like that yet, and knock on wood it doesn’t happen that way because most of the people who have approached me have had nothing but positive things to say. And kudos to them for being able to sort of respond positively. They’re willing to accept what this True Blood is going to offer.
YRB: What are five things fans should know about you?
Kevin: I’m a daddy. I’m a husband. I’m a surfer. I play a little guitar. I’m a romantic.
I’m a family man; I love my family.
YRB: What’s next?
Kevin: I think I mentioned earlier I’m going to New Orleans to shoot that movie; it’s a movie of the week, actually, for TNT. I’m playing a detective. It’s a really cool story. I’m trying to figure out who the serial killer is. It should be a lot of fun. I get to be out in New Orleans for a month. I also did this movie, The Red State, with Kevin Smith. I think that’s coming out in October.