Cisco Reyes is a known-name in the entertainment industry, dabbling in directing, producing, writing, and acting. With credits ranging from Malcom in the Middle to ER, Reyes portrays a flexible range in character, proving that he is a true entertainer. A self-proclaimed class clown, his passion for the arts was discovered when he began writing his own sketches in school, a talent that grew and expanded as he got older.
PopWrapped’s Arthur Marroquinn had the chance to talk with Cisco Reyes at Sundance Film Festival to discuss Melting Pot Productions, Tupac, and Night Shift.
PopWrapped: Cisco, please tell us about the new production company Melting Pot that you have just started.
Cisco Reyes: Melting Pot Entertainment. It’s about, well me — I’m Puerto Rican, Trinidadian, Haitian — so I feel like my family encompasses the melting pot of the world. And then my projects are so diverse, not just with the actors that I want to collaborate with from all different types of cultures and races, but also I have horror, I have comedy, I have drama. So you put that all together, and you’ve got a melting pot of entertainment.
PW: So you’ve got everything. You’ve got everything and everyone. All exclusive. All right. So, what brought you here to Sundance?
CR: I got a film called Night Shift. It was directed by Marshall Tyler, executive produced by Viola Davis. We had a premiere last night on Friday, and it was epic. It was a packed house. It was great.
PW: That’s amazing! So what was your favorite part about Night Shift?
CR: You know what, not just because it was the best one of the programs there, but … It was cool seeing it for the first time. Sometimes you when you do projects, you might see them before they even go to a film festival, but seeing it for the first time it was a premiere for me, and it was so well put together, and not just focusing on your own part — you’re an actor — but now seeing it all together as a whole … it was just dope.
PW: So, okay you talked seeing it for the first time. How was your reaction of seeing the audience see it for the first time?
CR: It was cool, because you know they laughed. I looked around, and there were some intense moments because the movie’s a roller coaster. It’s a day in the life looking at this guy who is an L.A. bathroom attendant, and he used to be the man in high school, but now life just didn’t deal him the cards that he wanted it to. And it has these different moments and nuances that, you know, you could potentially drop a tear or laugh.
PW: Life is funny, isn’t it?
CR: It sure is. You gotta watch out. Be careful what you ask for.
PW: Yeah, and so, I think you have another project coming out. A Tupac movie.
CR: Yeah, All Eyez On Me, which drops on his birthday, June 16, I believe. It’s great. I’ve got a part with Cliff Powel — great actor. Big up to Benny Boom, my director from Next Day Air. He directed All Eyez On Me. It’s gonna be huge, it’s gonna be epic. Tupac is global, man.
PW: Tupac is very global, and his songs resonate with what’s going on today and will resonate very long. I mean people say that he’s the Shakespeare of his time for rap music.
CR: Yeah, he is, and he’s a revolutionary. He’s a poet. He wasn’t controversial, he was just, he had such an impact not only hip hop culture, but just culture period. A lot of people want to discredit him for the negative aspects of his life, but he’s a human being like all of us. Are you a Tupac fan, man?
PW: I am a Tupac fan. I’m a big musical theater fan, and there even was a Tupac musical about two or three years ago.
CR: And he started out, which you’ll see in the movie, you know in a theater arts class in Baltimore. So, he learned before he even went into rapping.
PW: So, talking about arts and being involved while in school, how important do you think the arts are? Were you involved in the arts?
CR: Oh, yeah. I mean, I can’t lie, in high school, I kinda looked at the theater group as the weird guys in all black. But, as I grew up and got into class and started taking my craft serious, it’s so important. So all of you out there that are aspiring to be actors, get in a class. Have an arsenal in your back pocket and just don’t say ‘I got talent,’ and think you’re just going to wiggle your way through Hollywood because of your looks, your following on Instagram, or anything. Get in a great class. I went to the Beverly Hills Playhouse. I studied under Milton Kastelas, Richard Lawson. It’s important to just get into a great teacher, a great class, and take your craft serious if you’re gonna do this.
Check out the full interview below!