EXCLUSIVE | 'Big Dogs' star Manny Perez is happy to play the lead as he is usually a 'background character'

In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide, Manny Perez talks about his experience of working on 'Big Dogs'

                            EXCLUSIVE | 'Big Dogs' star Manny Perez is happy to play the lead as he is usually a 'background character'
Manny Perez (Getty Images)

Amazon Prime's gritty crime drama 'Big Dogs' is set to start streaming on July 1. The premise of 'Big Dogs' revolves around a man who moves party drugs through taxis. However, the cops are soon hot on his trail. In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), Manny Perez, who plays the role of detective Santiago, opens up about his experience of working on the show and how excited he was to play the lead character.

Speaking about the show, Perez says he had no idea that this dystopian future of rampant crime, corruption and riots would actually become a reality. "You know, the episodes, this season was based on these amazing books by Adam Dunn. And this is the first book called 'Big Dogs'. He wrote a world that at that time I thought couldn't be a reality, which is a world where the economy collapses and the government is being defunded. The black market is where people make money. And then you have these cops who are riding around in kind of cars, trying to solve this issue, probably these crimes. This is turning into a reality. The irony of this experience was that I had shot this thing 20 months ago. So I hope it doesn't go any deeper or darker now in real life. And what's in the show, you know? The beautiful thing about these shows is that they have this dark side about them. It gives you a perspective in life that you know, we'd have to change our ways or that's the role that was going to go. And that makes you think about where we stand out as a society." 

On how he got the role, he says, "The producers knew of my work. There's only a few of us in this business, so they saw my work and they were big fans. So they just called me and gave me the offer. I read the script and I just fell in love with this character, Santiago. He happens to be from Washington Heights. I'm from Washington Heights. So we have a lot of things in common, a good match." 

Perez says he didn't have too many challenges playing the character. "I always try to find the heart of these characters that you play. So he's well rounded. As an actor, there was no challenge whatsoever as in, you know, fitting in the role. If there was, it would be shooting at night. So that was a challenge." 

Perez says that he has many similarities with Santiago's character. He says, "First of all, I'm always like the best friend or the background guy, or, you know, the neighbor and in this one, I'm carrying the show. This character is well rounded. He has a heart, he has family values, which I have as an actor. You know, I come from a family of 11 kids. I adore my father. This man adores his dad. So it's like, he's always asking advice from his dad. I'm always asking advice. So we're very similar in that way. He's always going through something, the characters always in his mind, trying to figure out what's wrong with his world and trying to find the truth and trying to find justice."

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