Allen Maldonado is having a great fall. Not only can you see him as Marcus in the new Denzel Washington film The Equalizer, he also appeared in FXX’s You’re The Worst and Adult Swim’s Black Jesus, and is preparing to star in his own BET series, The Start Up. As he continues to appear all over the place, we checked in with Allen earlier this month to find out what it’s like for him to be suddenly in demand.
“I don’t think it really has sunk in yet,” Allen told us. “It’s one of those things where I’m consistently always working, so to kind of see everything happening at once, it’s very satisfying. I work extremely hard and I’m very humbled that all these things are happening.”
In The Equalizer, Allen plays the character of Marcus, who has his suspicions about Robert McCall’s (Washington) past. “I basically joke about him being the old guy at work and how I’m so much better because I’m younger. I’m the guy at everyone’s job who does everything but the job,” he laughed. “Throughout the film, I’m trying to figure out what he was doing before he started working with me.
“Working with Denzel, just to be able to say that, I’m still trying to get a grip on it myself. I just did a film with Denzel – one of the legends. One of the people I’ve always looked up to.”
Both of his TV appearances in You’re The Worst and Black Jesus are comedic, so we asked Allen if he prefers comedy or drama in his roles. “It’s funny, because it’s only recently that I’ve done all comedic stuff,” he said. “Prior to all of this, I did dramatic work. I was the troubled teen; very high dramatic crying and screaming. As of late, the past two years, it’s kind of transformed for me where I’ve been allowed to do comedic work. I love both things. I feel like I can do both at the same level. It just depends on my mood.”
With a title like Black Jesus, was he expecting controversy? “That never crossed my mind. Maybe it should’ve. It never crossed my mind,” Allen told us. “It was a pleasure and an honor to work with Aaron McGruder and the director, Mike Clattenburg. Those guys have done a fantastic job with the show and with the concept. It’s a satire; it’s supposed to be funny. [There] was never anything stopping me from being a part of a show called Black Jesus. I just thought it was creative.”
“You’re The Worst is a funny, funny show,” he said of his other TV gig. “[It has] a great cast. Chris [Geere] and Aya [Cash] do a great job. Stephen Falk, who is the creator of the show, did a fantastic job putting this thing together. I’m part of this dysfunctional rap group and we hire [Cash’s character] Gretchen as our publicist. We cause a lot of havoc. We make her life a little bit more interesting.”
As if a major motion picture and two television shows isn’t enough, Allen is building on his momentum with more projects in the works. “I do have a horror film that’s out that I think people would love. It’s called Mimesis. It’s about horror film fanatics that, they do their own horror film, but actually kill real people. Pretty fun twist on those fanboys out there that really take these films seriously. It’s a really cool [movie].”
“I just finished shooting Straight Outta Compton, the NWA biography,” he continued, “and I just finished shooting a film with Jennifer Aniston called Cake. I’ve been blessed…I’m proud of everything I’ve done so far.”
After years of toiling as a guest and supporting actor, Allen’s successful 2014 is propelling him into the spotlight and letting him show that he has what it takes to be a leading man. The opportunities couldn’t come at a better time, as he’s about to take center stage in an upcoming BET project.
“I’m actually starting my own show called The Start Up that starts production this month,” Allen teased, referring to the drama in which he’ll star alongside Diggy Simmons and Teyana Taylor. “It’s a coming of age story about a group of friends [who] start this online blog. It’s full of drama, relationships, sex and pretty much everything a young person goes through.” From the executive producers behind The Game, The Start Up does not yet have a premiere date.
Whether it’s sharing a scene with Denzel Washington or getting ready to be a regular on a brand new TV series, Allen is leaving his mark in the entertainment world with the strides he’s taking this year. Remember this name, because he’s definitely one of the next generation of actors to watch.
The Equalizer is in theaters now. For more on Allen, visit his website (allenmaldonado.com) and follow him on Twitter (@Allen_Maldonado).
(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.