A blackbelt, businessman and beloved actor and producer, Alejandro De Hoyos is a man of many talents. But this summer, he’s getting the chance to shine on the streaming screen in a new way with Netflix’s Trigger Warning and The Man From Toronto, both slated to release this summer.
These films will be De Hoyos’ second and third major feature film roles on top of his own film, El Contratista (The Contractor), which released back in 2018. Netflix’s Trigger Warning, directed by Fiksi‘s Mouly Surya, and The Man From Toronto, directed by The Hitman’s Bodyguard‘s Patrick Hughes, are part of the streaming giant’s action slate expansion, which De Hoyos says is “right up my alley.”
But both films also harbored new experiences for the actor–in addition to working with A-list stars like Jessica Alba, Woody Harrelson, Kevin Hart, and more–as well as new challenges. In fact, De Hoyos was apprehensive about taking on his role in Netflix’s Trigger Warning, which follows a traumatized special forces veteran (Alba) who inherits a bar from her grandfather (De Hoyos) and faces a moral dilemma after learning the truth behind his untimely death.
We got the chance to talk with De Hoyos about what convinced him to audition for Netflix’s Trigger Warning, his role in The Man From Toronto, and getting to realize a childhood dream.
Interview with Netflix star Alejandro De Hoyos
Hidden Remote: What was it that first got you into movies? Did you always know you wanted to be an actor? Or was that something that you fell into later on?
Alejandro De Hoyos: I wanted to be an actor since I was young. But, at the time, I was living in Acapulco, so it was not cool for me to say that. If I told people I wanted to be an actor, they would make fun of me. So I just kept my mouth shut. But I used to go to the theater with my younger brother. And we would watch triple features, be there all day in the theater, watching movies. So I always enjoyed films.
And then by the time I started acting, I was in my 30s and no longer cared what people thought. Sometimes, great dreams take a while to realize.
Hidden Remote: It’s certainly materialized for you. You’ve been called the “Latino James Bond” by press. What earned you that title?
De Hoyos: I produced a movie, El Contratista (The Contractor), where I was also the lead, and my character is a military contractor. And after people saw that, they started calling me the “Latino James Bond.” I was like, “Well, if that’s how you see me, I don’t have a problem with that.”
Hidden Remote: Was that an affirming experience, having grown up watching these films and then being likened to such an iconic character?
De Hoyos: It’s amazing. For the longest time, I said, “If I’m going to become an actor, I want to do action movies and martial arts movies.” I’m very into martial arts, with a black belt in Limalama. And, in The Contractor, there’s a scene where I have a really nice fight sequence with this other guy and it turned out really well. And it was very exciting to see that other people thought so too.
Hidden Remote: Speaking of your black belt, you actually got to use your martial arts training in one of your upcoming films with The Mummy’s Patricia Velasquez, Free Dead or Alive. Is that right?
De Hoyos: I got to do some fight scenes while we were shooting in Texas, but it was very interesting because the director didn’t want my character to show any martial arts skills. I play a gangster so the director, Erik Bernard, just wanted me to be a brute fighter. But everybody who saw the screening said that they could tell right away that I knew how to properly stand in a fight.
The gangster I play is also the head of a cartel and the film is about people trying to come from Central America to the States, escaping poverty. My son in the movie falls in love with this girl and I am trying to protect my son and teach him lessons. So there are some pretty brutal scenes.
Hidden Remote: Speaking of action films, you’re also now appearing in two upcoming action-based movies on Netflix: Trigger Warning and The Man from Toronto. Let’s start with Netflix’s Trigger Warning–what can you tell me about your character in this film and what drew you to the script?
De Hoyos: Well, for Trigger Warning, I didn’t get to do any fights. Jessica Alba was the one doing all the fighting. I play her grandpa. We go back and forth in time so they make me younger, they make me older. It’s funny–when I got sent the audition for Netflix’s Trigger Warning, I said, “Ugh, I don’t want to play a grandpa,” because, you know, I still feel very young and I want to do action.
But my son convinced me to go to the audition and when I booked it and they sent me the script, I saw how important this role was. Even though it’s an action film, Netflix’s Trigger Warning is a lot about family and that’s one of my favorite themes.
Alejandro De Hoyos talks Trigger Warning
Hidden Remote: What are you most excited about, and why do you think it’s important, for people to see Netlfix’s Trigger Warning?
De Hoyos: Jessica Alba kicks ass. It’s nice to see a female role that shows so much strength and training. Sometimes you see movies with fighters doing action and they don’t seem very efficient. You know they’re not really trained. But Jessica had plenty of physical and mental preparation for this and it shows. It’s nice to see a female character represented this way in a film. And a lot of that credit also goes to our director Mouly Surya, who really knows what she wants. It’s one of the reasons I really enjoyed working with her.
Hidden Remote: Switching gears to The Man from Toronto–tell me what this film’s about. No relation to the 1933 British romance comedy of the same name, I assume?
De Hoyos: No, not at all. This is completely different. You’ve got Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson and one of them is an assassin, but there’s a situation of mistaken identity. They go to an Airbnb, but somebody gets there 15 minutes late and then that creates all this confusion. It’s hilarious. I loved the comedy. With these guys, it’s impossible not to laugh. These guys are so good. They’re just amazing.
Hidden Remote: And what can you tell me about your role in this story?
De Hoyos: I can’t say too much, but I can tell you I’m not the nice guy, and I enjoyed it tremendously.
Hidden Remote: What was one of the more challenging scenes?
De Hoyos: There’s a scene at this beautiful hotel suite and you have about 100 people on set. It’s a huge scene and everything has to be so synchronized. You’ve got all the actors doing their thing alongside explosions and, somehow, you have to get your lines right. And, if you don’t, you mess up not only yourself, but also these 100 people. It was crazy.
Hidden Remote: What have you enjoyed most about being part of Netflix’s Trigger Warning, The Man from Toronto, as well as Free Dead or Alive?
De Hoyos: The friendships that I created with all the teams. In Free Dead or Alive, it was a smaller production and we all became like family. Netflix’sTrigger Warning was also a great experience, meeting Jessica and working with both female producers and a female director. They were all amazing.
With The Man from Toronto, I felt like I was in heaven. Ellen Barkin, Woody Harrelson and Kevin Hart, everybody was so nice. I remember my first day on set Kevin comes up to me and gives me a big hug, then Woody comes up from behind him and says “It’s a pleasure to meet you, sir,” very proper.
I feel humbled because these guys have been working really hard and doing so much work since they were young. And it’s awesome to be working with them. Also, other than The Contractor, these will be my first big feature-length films. And all three are coming out this summer. When it rains, it pours, right? So I hope these movies show other directors what I can do.
Will you be watching Netflix’s Trigger Warning and The Man from Toronto? What other 2022 Netflix releases are you excited for this year? Let us know in the comments below!