Actor Alberto Zeni recently joined the cast of Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico, which is the second season of the hit original series. Zeni – who caught the acting bug at age 14 – and has followed his calling to the screen. He is also a musician, philanthropist, and is multilingual. We had the pleasure of speaking with Zeni about Narcos, as well as upcoming projects.
The Tidbit: You recently joined the cast of Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico. What can you tell us about your character and about season 2?
Alberto Zeni: I play Amat Palacios, a former Mexican cop who partners up with the DEA rogue team that infiltrates the Mexican territory, as a liaison and local guide. He speaks English and Spanish fluently, and he knows the lay of the land in the territory – a great and invaluable asset for the American team.
TT: What research went into preparing for the role of Amat Palacios?
AZ: A lot of my time was spent reading books, old newspaper clippings, watching documentaries, observing people I know, (not related to the story in any way) that gave me inspiration as they had a certain quality that I could relate to Amat in time and space. After that, it was all about listening and being present to the rest of my fellow actors.
TT: You have some other exciting projects in the works. Can you tell us what’s on tap for 2020?
AZ: Well, Jesse Garcia (also on Narcos) and myself have been working on a project that we will be pitching in the near future. My production company in Mexico is about to take on a multimillion-dollar project in Mexico, and we are prepping a crowdfunding social media platform to be launched mid-2020, called MeThere. So, as you can see, a couple things are in the works. I couldn’t be happier about them all!
TT: We understand you work with the nonprofit, Homeward LA, which supports the homeless community. What type of work have you done with this organization?
AZ: I was fortunate to be invited to participate in one of Homeward LA´s events. Live shows were produced to bring awareness about the humanity in the people that populate the streets of Los Angeles. We worked hard to get the show off the ground and to raise funds for The Midnight Mission. In the end we raised around $130k, for the foundation and organization, and helped feed, clothe and house some of the thousands of men and women living on the streets of downtown LA today. I am looking to become a more active member of these organizations and possibly help create programs for self empowerment for low income communities.
TT: You’re also multilingual and a talented musician, playing with the jam group, JamNation. How do you juggle so many talents?
AZ: Thank you for the compliment. I think if you plan well, you can manage to do incredible things. Some times you can and other times you can’t. It is all about enjoying what you do, when you do it. And the JamNation has been a great place for me to keep connected to music. I have met incredible people and we are developing a musical community in an already musical city, which makes our community all the more interesting. Also, who can say no to a residency at the historic Rainbow Bar on sunset the first Thursday of the month? Not me!
TT: You were bitten by the acting bug at the age of 14. What advice would you give to up-and-comers who were recently bitten by the bug?
AZ: Bitten by the bug? It´s more like a shark attack! [laughs]. I will say, train, have fun, be patient, play, and DO NOT TAKE IT PERSONAL. It´s not about you as much as it is about the project´s needs. That said, be prepared for the you actually fit the role they are looking for, so that then, there won’t be any doubt you are it.
TT: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us! Anything else you wanted to mention?
AZ: Thank you very much for opening this space to talk about the things I love and maybe be able to inspire others to follow suit.