I love me some J.R. Martinez.
He’s a suave Latino actor, an American hero, an Iraqi War survivor, and a hellcat on the dance floor. He is also starring in a new syndicated television show called SAF3 (“safe”) with Dolph Lundgren that takes place in Southern California… but get this, it is actually shot in South Africa!!
Monsters and Critics got a little Q & A time with J.R. and he opened up about his new show, his mirror ball trophy and his desire to hit the comedy circuit:
Monsters & Critics: What is your new show, SAF3?
JR Martinez: It’s about a team of individuals who are specialists in either; fire, air, or sea and have come together and formed a team called “SAF3″ who go out on high action rescues.
M&C: It is supposed to be set in Los Angeles and yet you film in South Africa, is that odd for the actors to get that SoCal feel in a foreign country?
JR: Anytime you’re away from your own country it’s gonna be hard to get a hometown feel .However, Cape Town is beautiful, nice people(for God’s sake, they pull over on the side of the road to allow you to pass them if they’re driving slow. Never would happen in the USA without being saluted with a finger), and the weather is pretty similar to LA. Well, there is the wind that gets up to 30MPH which messes with the girls’ hair. I have no idea what the fuss is about.
(Not only suave, but funny too!)
M&C: You play Los Angeles County Firefighter/Paramedic and veteran USAF Para-rescue Jumper, having the past experiences you had in real life or death situations, is it hard to act in some of the rescue scenes?
JR: Yes, because they’re very different. You have to learn how a firefighter thinks, reacts, speaks and portray them appropriately. Don’t want to sound like a fool.
M&C: Do you also serve as a kind of consultant on the series? If so, what have you helped with?
JR: Yes, when it came to telling the story of my character’s recovery from the burn he sustained while saving a young girl in the first episode.
M&C: Your new show has the hot babes, the sexy guys and the riveting action sequences, how is it different from Baywatch?
JR: I believe it’s different because each character has a story and each episode shows them working through the issue with the help of the team. Plus, I love how we highlight individuals who risk their lives everyday to be ready for the call. Not just brave lifeguards.
M&C: Your character is named Alfonso Rivera which sounds eerily similar to Alfonso Ribiero…. So, I’ve got to ask… how’s your Carlton dance?
JR: It’s decent however I wouldn’t do it on the show because I’m sure it’s copyrighted. Ha!
M&C: Speaking of Dancing, are you keeping up on all those smooth moves you learned from Dancing With The Stars?
JR: No, not really. Not much time allows me to do it. Funnily enough I had a scene on SAF3 where I was going to dance because I’m happy a girl calls me. After listening to her message I’m suppose to dance in excitement. Could you believe I was nervous? Seriously, I danced in front of millions on DWTS and was never nervous.
M&C: Where do you keep your disco ball trophy?
JR: Right now it’s in storage while I’m building my home in Texas. But it used to be on a mantle in my office.
M&C: What’s harder, the jitterbug or rescuing people from burning cars?
JR: Most definitely rescuing people from burning cars because the jitterbug won’t require me to get a skin graft. Done that way too many times!
M&C: What are you most recognized for, being an actor or a dance champ?
JR: Most definitely dance champ.
M&C: You were in the army, a soap star, a DTWS winner, a motivational speaker and now a TV action hero, what’s next for you?
JR: I wanna try my hand at comedy like writing a comedy show and possibly stand up. Learn how to play an instrument and see if I could write music. But, first and foremost, comedy. We’ll see.
SAF3 returns on January 25th.. Check out http://www.saf3tv.com/ for broadcast info in your area.
Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.