An Interview with RPM Miami star, Adrian Bellani

Adrian Bellani - (Image source: IMDb)

Below is my interview with actor Adrian Bellani, the super caliente half-Salvadoran star of Mun2′s hit show, RPM Miami! Disfrútenla!

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Latinaish.com: Hola Adrian! Thanks for agreeing to this interview. I’ve been wanting to talk to you since I missed meeting you at the RPM Miami launch party and again at the Latin Billboard Awards. (Although we’ve connected a few times on Twitter since then!)

As a fan of RPM Miami, first let me say felicidades on the success of your first season. Can you share any secrets about the season finale?

Adrian Bellani: I can’t share much, but what I can tell you is that it is filled with tons of drama and action. You don’t want to miss it!

Latinaish.com: Now, your character Alejandro/Alex is a veteran of the Iraq war who loses his best friend, Mike, on a mission. When Alejandro comes back to Miami he falls for his best friend’s girl, Luisa, Mike’s widow. I saw a comment online from a former soldier who objected to such a relationship saying that a soldier would never do that to a fellow soldier. What do you think?

Adrian Bellani: I respect his opinion, but I don’t think anyone is right or wrong unless they have been put in that position. It’s easy to say “No, I’d never do that to my boy,” but at the end of the day things change. There is that connection Luisa and Alex have, everything seems comfortable, everything seems nice. It was one of the issues that I spoke with the director, (Jacobo Rispa) about. I didn’t want it to seem like he had forgotten about his best friend and was moving in on his girl. I think we did a good job showing Alex’s conflict towards his feelings for Luisa, and the guilt he carried with Mike’s loss.

Alejandro/Alex and Luisa, heating things up on RPM Miami.

Latinaish.com: One thing I love about RPM Miami is that it’s fully bilingual. What has it been like working on a show where you get to choose whether to say your lines in English or Spanish? Is it freeing or do you get tongue tied?

Adrian Bellani: Totally freeing. It’s the way we speak. If you grew up speaking both languages, you understand the concept and the idea. I had never worked and spoken Spanish on screen. It was lovely being able to speak in my accent and first language. I don’t have many Latino friends in L.A., so I find myself speaking mostly English. It was nice to be surrounded by Hispanics.

Latinaish.com: As I mentioned earlier, I missed meeting you in Miami. Knowing you’re half-Salvadoran, I asked some of your co-stars where the “guanaco” was – (My husband is from El Salvador.) … I think your co-stars thought I was asking for “El Guajo” at first. Here’s the video of our mix-up:

Now I can finally ask you the question, “Which Caliche (Salvadoran slang) word is your favorite?”

Adrian Bellani: I’ve actually never heard the word “Caliche” before – So that’s a first for me. You got me on this one. Too hard to name just one. I could throw an entire list out. The first one that comes to mind is “baboso” – my grandfather used to call us “baboso.” I’ll let you do your homework and see if you can find out what that means.

Latinaish.com: [No homework for me! I already know that "baboso" means "stupid" - but it can be used affectionately in a joking way.]

Thanks so much for your time. Before we go, please tell us when we should tune in for season 2 of RPM Miami and what other projects you’re working on?

Adrian Bellani: The premiere of season 2 RPM Miami has not been announced. We’re so excited for the second season! For those that missed episodes in season one you will get a chance to watch the entire season again before the second season premieres.

I have a few projects that I’m excited about. I’m on the 4th episode of Rizzoli and Isles – airs August 1st, I believe. September 23rd Moneyball will hit theaters, (I play the role of real life baseball all star Carlos Peña.)

Last week I wrapped an independent film called CROSSTOWN. It’s a beautiful script about the struggles of a Salvadoran immigrant family trying to make it in the USA. The film is very intense and very raw. I had the opportunity to work along side Manny Perez, (a Dominican actor), who I’m a huge fan of. Definitely keep an eye out for it.

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Watch Adrian Bellani on RPM MIAMI – Sundays at 10pm EST on mun2, and tune in for the grand season finale on Sunday, July 24th at 10pm EST. Missed an episode? Visit mun2 online to catch up!

Being Social@Telemundo

As you know, I recently went down to Miami at the invitation of Telemundo. What you probably don’t know is that it wasn’t just to attend the Latin Billboard Awards or tour their studios.

Myself and nine other blogueros, were fortunate enough to participate in Telemundo’s very first Digital Influencers Summit. Telemundo’s new digital initiative is called Social@Telemundo.

From the Press Release:

Social@Telemundo will focus on delivering its fans across Facebook & Twitter interactive experiences tied to TV programming. With dedicated Social Media resources tied to each of Telemundo’s shows and novelas the Social@Telemundo aims to take the entire TV viewing process to a more engaging level. Building of the success of its Interactive Broadband Series “Telemundo Live” and Mobile social initiatives Telemundo plans to expand its focus on sharing more access to its Studios, Shows and Talent in Spanish and English.

Borja Perez, Vice President of Digital Media and Integrated Solutions

I wrote about this experience from a more business-minded perspective on LatinaBloggersConnect.com – but here I’ll share some of the more personal chisme.

As you might expect, the room where the meeting was held contained a long conference table surrounded by chairs and a screen on the opposite wall to give presentations. Large framed posters of Telemundo shows hung on the other walls. I knew that I wouldn’t be meeting the cast of my favorite telenovela, Los Herederos del Monte, since the show is filmed in Colombia, but I wanted my photo taken with the next best thing.

(For the record, I didn’t intentionally style my hair like Paula’s. It was a happy accident… Do you think Juan del Monte might mistake me for her? …Okay, maybe not.)

During the meeting, one of the executives asked which one of us was the novelera – I raised my hand and they asked what attracted me to Los Herederos del Monte. Now, to answer this professionally or honestly? I went with honesty, responding, “Okay, at first it was because the guys are hot…” But I did explain that I later came to appreciate the complexity of the storyline and the quality of filming.

Admitting that I began watching Herederos for the eye candy made it a little hypocritical of me to ask the question I asked later – which was if Telemundo was actively trying to step away from portraying women as sex objects in their programming. (Spanish language TV in general has a reputation for this and I know it’s something that bothers a lot of Latinas.)

The President, Don Browne, welcomed the question and answered that yes, they are producing programs that portray both real and fictional women as strong, intelligent and independent. (Examples – Kate del Castillo in Reina del Sur, Dra. Ana María Polo on Caso Cerrado, Jenni Rivera, and Maria Celeste of Rojo Vivo.) They really want to break a lot of the stereotypes about Spanish language television and consciously work social issues that affect, not just women, but other segments of the viewing audience, into their programming.

We got a lot of great insight into just what Telemundo, and mun2, are about from various executives who attended the meeting, and just as importantly, we had the opportunity to give them feedback, advice and ideas. Mutual respect flowed between Telemundo and the bloggers and the atmosphere was fun yet intellectually stimulating. Telemundo has a rare chemistry, passion, creativity and positivity there which has to be experienced to really be understood. I definitely felt like I was with mi gente. (Did you know that some of the Telemundo staff, including the President himself, are “Latinos de corazón” like me?)

For lunch, we were joined by Telemundo talent; Gaby Espino, Jorge Bernal, Vanessa Hauc, Enrique Acevedo, Karim Mendiburu, Sammy Sadovik, and Jessi Losada.

Left to right: Vanessa Hauc, Gaby Espino, Jorge Bernal, Karim Mendiburu, Sammy Sadovnik

We all introduced ourselves and explained a little about our background. This conversation centered around the use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook. They had a few questions (such as “What is a good tweet?”) for the bloggers, and they shared with us how they use the websites to connect to fans, etc.

All of them were really down-to-earth. While we chatted in real life, we were also tweeting each other – and those tweets were being projected onto the wall for everyone in the room to see, which was a fun idea.

As you can see, I thought Jorge Bernal was especially funny. After lunch he gave me a big kiss on the cheek and said, “Adios, gringa!”

Me and Jorge Bernal of Al Rojo Vivo

Me and Karim Mendiburu, of Titulares y Más and Ritmo Deportivo

Disclosure: I was invited to the Digital Influencers Summit at the invitation of Telemundo. All opinions are my own.

Guanaco actor stars in new mun2 show

Before I visited Miami and spent time with Telemundo, I had heard of the new show on mun2 called RPM Miami. I knew it had something to do with racing cars, and since that didn’t really interest me, I didn’t look into it any further.

During my time with Telemundo I learned that one of the stars of the show, actor Adrian Bellani, is half Salvadoran. Born in Miami and raised in San Salvador, Bellani plays the character Alejandro who is a soldier returning home from a tour in Iraq. He discovers that his father is missing and while trying to find out what happened to him, gets mixed up in the world of Miami street racing.

Two other things that I liked – First, the characters on the show are all bilingual and the show is a mix of both Spanish and English. And second, RPM Miami is shot on location in Miami.

I had the opportunity to meet some of the stars and of course, my question was, “Which one of you is the guanaco?” … Well, they totally misunderstood me. They thought I was saying “El Guajo” – (which is the name of the antagonist on RPM Miami.) Too funny…Chécalo!

RPM Miami premieres Sunday May 1 @ 10p/9C on mun2.

Disclosure: I went to Miami at the invitation of Telemundo. All opinions are my own.