Home Entertainment Reza Salazar has been trained as an actor since childhood

Reza Salazar has been trained as an actor since childhood

Reza Salazar has been trained as an actor since childhood

NEW YORK (dpa). – As part of the cast of “Clyde’s”, Reza Salazar puts on eight performances a week at the Hayes Theater on Broadway together with the award-winning Uzo Aduba and other actors.

A success that he does not take for granted: The Peruvian started his career out of necessity as a child and disguised himself as a clown with his mother in order to earn a living.

“What I did with my mother until now, I think, was my foundation, the essence of what I continue to do,” he says. “I always have the clown inside and he opened the doors to Broadway for me.”

“Clyde’s,” written by two Pulitzer Prize-winning laureates Lynn Nottage and directed by Kate Whoriskey, is set in a sandwich shop whose owner (Aduba) employs ex-inmates to give them a chance to reintegrate into society. While the tough Clyde tries to keep them at bay and forcing them to stick to their recipes and customs, they dream of creating the perfect sandwich.

Salazar plays Rafael, one of the employees, alongside Kara Young as his crush Letitia, Ron Cephas Jones as Montrellous, an inspiring father figure, and Edmund Donovan as the newly hired Jason.

Born in Lima to a Peruvian father and an Argentine mother, Salazar was four years old when his parents divorced and his mother took him on a three and a half year “vacation” to Cali, Colombia. This began an unstable life full of hardships that also led them to Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina before arriving in the United States a decade later.

“It was the end of the 80s, the beginning of the 90s,” says the actor, who as a child had a “very good time” traveling to South America with his mother, “like Che Guevara … we didn’t travel by plane, we are on buses from city to city, but in Colombia we are in very difficult moments ”.

Unable to pay money for a babysitter, her mother made the two of them dress up as clowns in order to attract more attention at a fair trying to sell handmade ornaments.

“We didn’t have a show, no number or anything. And we didn’t sell anything that day! ”Salazar recalls with a laugh. “We had an audience that looked at us and laughed … That’s why my mother came up with the idea of ​​doing a show and we called ourselves ‘Hany and Bingo’.”

“It’s interesting because I’ve worked as an actor without even knowing that I am an actor. We were really very poor,” he adds. “We traveled and rented rooms. I never had a house, we never had television. The television I could see was when we had to work on the street and we were watching a little bit outside of the electronics stores ”.

He also worked at parties for children, often his age.

Life change

In Salta, in northern Argentina, life took a pleasant turn. In front of the Teatro La Fundación, the most important in the city, they saw a sign saying acting classes for adults and children. His mother thought of enrolling him because she couldn’t pay either, but there was no more space and she ended her studies and took him back with her because she had no one to leave him with.

“Rafael Monte, the then director of this theater company, told me I would get up from my seats and do whatever the others did, but nobody gave me a ball until one day they looked at me and invited me upstairs and me I took the class “.

“It was then that I realized for the first time that what I was doing was something I had respect for, and that it wasn’t just something off the street or just made people laugh; there was an instrument of voice, of movement, there was books, there was method, and that those actors there, in Salta, took it very seriously.

“I was 8 years old at the time and said ‘Wow’ for the first time.”

At 14, they moved to North Carolina, where a Spanish-speaking schoolmate found out he was an actor and encouraged him to audition for their high school play, even though he was a freshman and didn’t speak English. She, who was in the final grade, helped him with the translation.

The director, with whom he is still in contact and recently visited him on “Clyde’s”, was so impressed by his acting skills in the character of the king that she changed him so that he was mute and Salazar could play him in sign language. “In the end, the entire audience applauded. It was a blast! The local paper came to write about this boy who doesn’t speak English and who is the king of work, ”he laughs.

When it was time to go to college, Salazar, who at the time had no documents proving his residency in the United States, thought that his situation would not allow him to apply for a scholarship. On the advice of the theater director, she moved to New York at the age of 18 to study at HB Studio.

In the city he played music in the subway and worked as a flower arranger and other handicrafts until, at the age of 20, already with documents, he got a role in an episode of “Law and Order”. “It was out of this world,” he admits.

“I remember going to the audition and they were like, ‘Okay, we want you to come back this afternoon, but can you put more accents?’ I called my mom and let her speak English for about an hour before coming back.

He wants to continue with “Clyde’s” until the curtain falls on January 16th. Production did not have to cancel any functions due to the pandemic and has kept to its schedule.


Reza Salazar’s credits already include “Sweat” on Broadway and “Ricardo II”, “La tempestad”, “Edipo Rey” and “My Mañana Comes” on Off-Broadway.

Television and cinema

He has appeared in series such as “The Accident Wolf”, “Daredevil” and “The Blacklist” as well as in the films “The Imperialists Are Still Alive”, “See Girl Run” and “The Inquisition Of Camilo Sanz”.


Reza Salazar says of her childhood work that it was an opportunity to be closer to her mother during a difficult time. “It was something that I didn’t analyze back then as a kid, but I think it made me feel safe, it made me feel safe and somehow we created stories between me and her that we have until now that only she and I have lived through, “suggests.

Reference from yucatan