Gonzalo Menendez – 12 Rounds DVD & Dark Blue

June 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

Four months after hitting the big screen, the action film “12 Rounds” starring John Cena was just released on DVD and Blu Ray June 30. Fans of the WWE superstar can purchase a special copy of the rated and unrated movie on a special “Extreme Cut” version.

Along with Cena, who plays a detective on the trail of an ex-con who has kidnapped his girlfriend, actor Gonzalo Menendez, 37, stars as Agent Ray Santiago, another special agent on the case.

 “12 Rounds” on DVD and Blu Ray includes two alternate endings, a “crash course” on John Cena’s stunts, a never-before-seen gag reel, and audio commentaries with Cena, director Renny Harlin, and screenwriter Daniel Kunka.

I spoke to Menendez when the film first came out back in March. Now, I speak to him again as the movie goes to DVD and Blu Ray. Menendez can also be seen as a guest star on the second episode of the new TNT series “Dark Blue” on July 22.

Are you keeping up with all your WWE episodes?

I’m trying to keep up with it. I have a wife and two daughters so I’m alone in the house in terms of wanting to watch wrestling. Every now and then I catch a glimpse of it. I like to see when John [Cena] wrestles. I like when Triple H wrestles. I like when Randy Orton wrestles. I like to see the drama play out between those three guys.

Yeah, I guess little girls wouldn’t be interested in wrestling. So, what do you sit down and watch with them instead?

I’ve got Dora [the Explorer] playing right now on TV. That seems to be a big hit for the two year old, but not as much for the 7-year-old anymore. But it’s cartoon central over here. We have it on Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., the Disney Channel, you name it.

At least it’ll keep you young at heart, right?

It does, yes. But right now I want to watch the U.S. Open but they have a monopoly on the television.

Are you a golfer?

Yeah, I absolutely love it. It surprises a lot of people how difficult it can be. To stand completely stationary and swing a club at a little tiny white ball into a four inch hole four football fields away is tough. I try to get out at least once a week or so. If my wife’s with the girls or they’re hang out at grandma’s house I’ll go out with a few buddies or someone I’ve met on the TV shows I’ve worked on and we’ll play.

So, let’s talk about this DVD. It’s an “Extreme Cut” version. What does that mean?

You know, I haven’t seen it so I don’t know what “Extreme Cut” means. Maybe [director] Renny [Harlin] cut in some more action or a couple more explosions. I’m just as excited as anyone else to know what’s on this thing.

Do you know of anything specific that might have been cut from your part?

From my part nothing got cut. But I know they shot a lot of footage like car chases and stuff like that. You just never know how much of that made it into the final film.

Does your 7-year-old know what daddy does?

Absolutely. She walks around all the time saying, “My dad’s an actor.” A couple years back we went to go see “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” (Gonzalo plays a Lieutenant in the film) with some friends and one of my friend’s kids saw me in the movie and turned to my daughter and said, “That’s your dad in the movie!” She was like, “Yes it is.” It was pretty cool.

What’s next for you?

I got a show coming out in July. I did a guest spot for a friend of mine. [Director] Danny Cannon’s got a show out on TNT called “Dark Blue.” It’s a Jerry Bruckheimer show starring Dylan McDermott. Danny’s the one that first hired me as Clavo Cruz on “CSI: Miami” so he brought me on to do this second episode.

Gonzalo Menendez – 12 Rounds

March 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

It only took Cuban actor Gonzalo Menendez one viewing of Arthur Miller’s Tony Award-winning play “All My Sons” while in college to decide he wanted to become an actor. 

After studying at Florida State University, Menendez moved to Los Angeles in 1995 where he’s been jumping around from TV show to TV show for over a decade. Along with short stints on “Nip/Tuck,” “24,” and “CSI: Miami,” Menendez has recently earned small roles in feature films such as “The Lost City” starring Andy Garcia, “The Island” starring Ewan McGregor, and “Fracture” starring Anthony Hopkins.

Currently, Menendez (above right) can be seen in the action film “12 Rounds” opposite WWE wrestler John Cena. In the film Menendez, 37, plays Ray Santiago, one of the special agents on the trail of an ex-con who has kidnapped the wife of a New Orleans police detective.

What is your first memory when you moved from Miami to Los Angeles in the early 90’s to start your acting career?

One of the more difficult things is getting used to the audition process. The first job I ever booked was on TV for “Beverly Hills 90210.” It was an episode directed by Jason Priestley. I had two lines. I can always say Jason Priestley is directly responsible for giving me my first job in Hollywood.

I saw that on your filmography, so I search for it on YouTube. Is that the episode shot as a Western?

That’s exactly it. I don’t know if you remember this at all, but Luke Perry [as Dylan McKay] at some point was going into regression therapy and going into past lives. In this particular episode [“The Real McCoy”], the therapist hypnotized him and he regressed into a persona from the Wild West. He was like a Billy the Kid-type character. I was one of the guys in his little gang that robbed banks. I lied my pants off in that audition. They asked me if I knew how to ride a horse and I said yes. I had no idea what I was doing, but I just wanted to work.

Including “90210” you’ve been on at least one episode of 26 different TV shows in the last 12 years. What has your experience been like transitioning into film?

Well, for this project, from top to bottom, I was working with some of the best people in the business. The producer is Mark Gordon, who did “Speed” and “Saving Private Ryan” and on TV does “Grey’s Anatomy.” He has a terrific reputation. Then we have director Renny Harlin who did “Cliffhanger” and “Die Hard 3.” Then there’s John Cena, who is the biggest superstar in wrestling. He is the Hulk Hogan and the Rock of his generation. It’s like being a good baseball player and then all of a sudden finding yourself playing for the Yankees. You look to the right and there’s Derek Jeter. You look to the left and there’s A-Rod. You’re just happy to be there and really want to be part of the ride.

What about the WWE as a production company? They really seem to be backing their wrestler’s acting aspirations. Do you think John Cena can be the next big action star?

Absolutely. He has all tools for it, not only physically but mentally he is a really bright guy. I don’t know if you watch any of the WWE wrestling shows, but all those interviews he does are totally off the top of his head. He is a very funny dude. He’s not just there to pick things up and throw them down. He has thoughts about the scenes and how they should be played. As far as the WWE, I’ve been a wrestling fan since I was a little kid. I grew up watching Dusty Rhodes and Blackjack Mulligan. Anything involving wrestling, I’m there. If [WWE owner] Vince McMahon wants to put up money to make movies that are either going to go straight to DVD or be theatrical releases like “12 Rounds,” I think it’s money well spent because he is a really bright guy and has done well so far. I think his business plan is going to work out just fine.

What is your fondest wrestling memory as a kid?

I use to drag my father out to the Miami Beach Convention Center all the time in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I was like 10 years old and we would go out and see all the cage matches and ladder matches. We would watch Dusty Rhodes in Texas Bullrope matches. I used to love all that stuff.

I’m sure you would’ve loved to jump into a wrestling ring when you were a kid, but what about now? Could you go a few rounds with John Cena?

If they offered me the opportunity, I would take it in an absolute second. But you have to learn how to do it first. I asked John to teach me a couple of things when we were out having a couple of beers at a bar one night. I have to tell you, that boy is stronger than hell so I would have to beef up at least 20 lbs. before I end up eating the pavement again.

I know the answer’s probably not John Cena, but if there was anyone you could pick to go 12 rounds with who would it be?

Why don’t we just say 13 rounds and I’d love to come back and be Cena’s partner in the next one.