Mayans MC star Gino Vento discusses Nestor’s future, favorite music, and current projects

MAYANS M.C. -- "Cuervo/Tz'ikb'uul" -- Season 1, Episode 10 Pictured: Richard Cabral as Johnny "Coco" Cruz, Clayton Cardenas as Angel Reyes, Vincent Rocco Vargas as Gilberto "Gilly" Lopez. CR: Prashant Gupta/FX
MAYANS M.C. -- "Cuervo/Tz'ikb'uul" -- Season 1, Episode 10 Pictured: Richard Cabral as Johnny "Coco" Cruz, Clayton Cardenas as Angel Reyes, Vincent Rocco Vargas as Gilberto "Gilly" Lopez. CR: Prashant Gupta/FX /
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Hidden Remote recently sat down with Gino Vento to discuss movies, music, the future of Mayans MC, and his character Nestor’s current mood.

Mayans MC is a smash hit, and a large part of it is due to Gino Vento’s outstanding performance as Nestor Oceteva, the Galindo Cartel Head of Security. There is no secret to his name like other characters, but his story is captivating. Hidden Remote interviewed Gino recently and learned a lot about the man behind the yellow shooting glasses and French braids.

HR: Nestor is a brutal enforcer for the Galindo Cartel. We already know throwing hot grease on people is an option; what’s his preferred interrogation method?

GV: Hot grease. It takes time, and then he just recycles the grease…and makes himself a nice steak afterward.

HR: Environmentally conscious and a torturer. Got it. In Episode 3 Nestor and his men thought they found Adelita’s camp. Would he have killed the kids? He even said “They go down to,” when talking about the kids.

GV: Unfortunately, yes, I think so. We would have captured Adelita and just slaughtered anyone that stood in our way. So we would have opened fire on anyone who would have opened fire on us. Fortunately for everyone, Adelita is a very smart person and it worked out for the better.

HR: Nestor had a brief scuffle with Mayans MC leader Bishop (Michael Irby), and if I had to score it, Nestor lost 10-9 in the first round. What happens in round two?

GV: Round two…I’m still waiting for round two. I’m waiting for that rematch. We’ll see. I would love a rematch with Bishop. It would be less strategic, and more scrappy.

HR: How does Nestor’s lack of subtlety affect his performance as head of security? 

GV: It did not affect him at all. That’s part of his M.O. You sorta know what you’re going to get when you get involved with Nestor.

If Nestor is sent out on a task, he’s going to handle it. Nestor was too brutal for some of these tasks. When he gets sent out on a task his objective is just the end goal.

HR: How’s Nestor’s demotion being received after beating a nun to death?

GV: Not too well. To be fair, it was just one nun. “It was just one nun, Mikey.” He likes to fulfill his purpose, and his purpose is to be a soldier. Former ex-military. So he’s going to miss out on some of those things for sure.

HR: How long has Nestor known Miguel Galindo? 

GV: Nestor has known him since his childhood. Nestor has an older brother that ended up running with “Mikey,” and Nestor was always around. He went off to the military, the Navy, became a SEAL, and when he came back he was able to find the place in the Galindo corporation.

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HR: Being a SEAL is very difficult. Why do you think he switched from being a career military man? Seeing his history would be great.

GV: I think bonds. Family. Brotherhood. From what I understand that’s one thing you gain from the military. You gain family. The Galindo corporation was always there during Nestor’s youth. It’s that familiarity. To someone like Nestor, he [feels] he’s fighting a good fight.

I think that would be great [to see Nestor’s history]. How he ended up there. Nestor was fighting for a cause, the flag, and now he’s fighting for another cause, family. It just depends on which side of the law you’re looking at. Nestor obviously does very bad things, but he’s still fighting for something he believes in.

HR: Did you realize you posted a meme in 2012 that featured David Labrava? Your role in Mayans MC may have been fate.

GV: I actually showed him. We were at a get together at Emilio Rivera’s house and David showed up. I said, “I just want to show you this.” I was a huge Sons fan, so it was actually kind of crazy that here we are, years later, hanging out. [laughing] That was a good meme.

It’s a trip. My dad loves Sons of Anarchy, so we used to bond like that. And I’d visit, I’d be home, and he’d ask me, “Did you catch the last episode?” I’d answer, “No, I haven’t. Don’t spoil it for me.” It’s funny now to be in the shoes I’m in. I used to believe in coincidences, but I stopped believing in them. We don’t have as much control as we think we do, as far as where we’re navigating our lives.

HR: To the best of your imagination, what does Nestor’s rap sheet look like?

GV: I think he’s a smooth criminal to be honest. I think it’s pretty clean. I will say, Adelita and the rebels kept finding ways to outsmart him. So he’s smart, but he’s not that smart.

HR: I was picturing maybe a B&E or an assault as he moved up the cartel ranks.

GV: I’m pretty sure he has scuffles here and there, but I agree that Nestor had to work his way up to head of security. Now he’s been demoted, so it’ll be about earning his stripes back. Maybe we’ll get to see how Nestor got to where he’s at.

HR: What would Nestor think about Thick as Blood? 

GV: [laughing] I don’t think that’s his cup of tea. I think he likes bachata. I think to him that’s crazy people music or devil music.

HR: OK, let’s get a little personal. You’re a Miami guy. What’s your favorite Scarface scene?

GV: Ohhhh my God. My favorite Scarface scene. My voicemail is Al Pacino and Steve Bauer at the cafeteria they worked at before they become who they become. I’m half-Cuban, my father’s Cuban. I grew up in Miami. The way Steve Bauer just delivered this line…

A guy comes over with the sandwich, “Hey can you put more meat on this sandwich?” And Steve Bauer’s character goes, “Que mas carne, ni mas carne, asi viene el sandwich!” It’s such a small little thing, but it’s my favorite.

HR: Great scene! Shortly thereafter Tony chucks the towel at the employer.

GV: “Close the shop meng!” I love it!

HR: [laughing] Tell me a bit about your love for dogs, especially Tyson.

GV: That’s my boy! Tyson is a pit-mix. A boxer, American bulldog mixed with a pitbull. Rescued him at a pound at eight months. He was very shy when we first got him. I had him for a while and I was like, “I think he’s mute.”  One day he barked and his voice cracked.

I love dogs, especially the bully breeds. I think they’re misunderstood.

HR: What if I told you the Sean Penn Bad Boys was better than the Will Smith version?

GV: Ooooh. I love Bad Boys. It’s a franchise that’s important to me. I won’t discredit your opinion, but it means so much. I don’t think I’ve actually ever said this, but my mother was an extra in Bad Boys II.

HR: So that’s Bad Boys, what’s up with Robocop? You’ve posted it about it multiple times.

GV: I love Robocop. That was one of the first films that I got to see that was rated R, and also marketed for kids. It felt like a comic book in real life. Later getting to work with Peter Weller, who played Robocop, has been kinda crazy.

HR: Tell me a little bit about all the projects you have going on right now.

GV: Thank you, that means a lot. I do pride myself in the jobs. We don’t get to pick the jobs we get; we can only hope for them.

I’ve been very fortunate to work with the creators of The Wire on The Deuce. It’s a period piece, and as I’m sure you know I’m covered in tattoos, so for them to take the time to cover them up and give me the opportunity to be a part of that world has been a blessing.

I did The Last OG with Tracy Morgan and Cedric the Entertainer, and that was a really good time. That was my first time ever doing comedy, so it was hard for me to keep a straight face during certain scenes.

And Too Old to Die Young just came out on Amazon, directed by Nicolas Refn. The most unique television experience I’ve had because it was shot the way film is shot…about a month per episode.

And Mayans MC Season 2 will be out Sept. 3!

HR: Let’s finish with Mayans MC. Tell us about Season 2.

GV: I wish I could give spoilers. There were some surprises in Season 1 with old friends coming around, like Chucky and Happy. It would be nice to see more of that. The way it ended with the Reyes brothers seeing Happy in the get-together, we know it’s going to be pretty chaotic now that they’ve put a face to what they believe is the murder of their mother.

And Nestor…will Marcus and Nestor butt heads? I don’t know. Will they get along? That would be nice, right? Can’t say much about that!

HR: I’ll quote you as saying Nestor and Marcus butt heads. Thanks for your time, Gino!

GV: [laughing] We’ll see. He was the head, but now he’s trying to work his way back up this season. Thank you so much for having me.

Next. What you missed in the Mayans MC Season 2 Trailer!. dark

Mayans MC returns Sept. 3 to FX at 10 p.m.