Interview by Jana Letonja

Actor and director Kevin Alejandro stars in CBS’s new series ‘Fire Country’ as one of the leads opposite veteran Billy Burke and Max Thierot, which is airing its season finale on today. The series has been renewed for a second season, which will be back on our screens this Fall.

Kevin, where does your love and passion for acting originate from?

My love and passion for acting originates from my time in high school. My high school drama teacher was a big influence in my life and showed me that following this dream could actually turn into a reality for me and I could get into college pursuing this wonderful craft. From there, I never stopped or looked back. 

You’re one of the leads on CBS’s ‘Fire Country’, which is airing its season finale today. How schocked were you when you read the script for the final episode of the season. Where and how do we pick up in Season 2 from here?

One of the things I love about being on ‘Fire Country’ is they tend to leave a cliffhanger on several of their episodes and this did not fall short for our. It is somewhat of a two-parter. We go from the episode before, which leads directly into the finale episode. What I loved about it was that every character in our show has a giant pivotal moment in their journey and is given a moment to shine. I can’t wait for people to see it. 

I wish I could spoil where we go for season 2, but all I can reveal is it will not disappoint.

In ‘Fire Country’ you star as Manny, captain of Cal Fire. How would you describe Manny in your own words? Is he in any way similar to you?

In my opinion, Manny is one of the most colorful characters in our show, which is what originally attracted me to the project in the first place. He is a single father, a loyal captain and leads with his heart. I think leading with his heart is the closest similarity I have with Manny. I feel comfortable in his skin because I base a lot of my choices on how I think my own father would make his choices in his life. From the way he walks to the talk and more importantly, to the way he loves. 

Manny’s daughter Gabriella, who is an Olympic swimmer, returns to her hometown in Season 1, which is to Manny’s dismay as he wants her to have the opportunities he didn’t have. Why do you believe it is good and important for young people to be independent and to pursue their dreams?

I believe it is important for young people to follow their dreams because we are training them to be a significant influence in a world that is now theirs. As parents, I truly believe our responsibility is to keep our children in bounds,but let them discover who they are and their place in this world on their own. So they can shape their children and futures. 

Besides being one of the main stars of the series, you also directed episode 8 (Titled: ‘Bad Guy’) of the first season. How was it doing both, being behind the camera and in front of the camera at the same time?

Madness. Our show deals with giant disasters, which proves to be some of our biggest challenges, to create the intensities it deserves. So, being behind the camera and acting in over 50 % of the episode was a great challenge, but one I felt I handled responsibly and creatively. Being a director is a passion I have discovered later in life, but I love it as much as I love my opportunities as an actor. 

That is not your only time directing, as you’ve directed Catherine Zeta Jones in ‘National Treasure’ for Disney+. What makes you passionate about directing?

What makes me passionate about directing is the opportunity to take a story like the IP of ‘National Treasure’, and similar to ‘Lucifer’ and ‘Fire Country’, that creates such a huge world and to figure out the puzzle to make it all come to life. I love puzzles and I love the process of being able to elaborate and figure out all the elements of each script. 

One of your biggest roles so far was in one of the most streamed series, ‘Lucifer’. How would you say this role impacted your career?

My time spent on ‘Lucifer’ was amazing. But one of the biggest things it helped me realize was how to be a leader on set. Tom Ellis is the best number 1 on a call sheet that I have worked with. He was a great leader, kept our crew spirits up in addition to our cast and was an added professional. I learned from him and I took his greatest qualities to our set on ‘Fire Country’. And there wasn’t a day that had gone by, regardless of how hard it was, that we didn’t all laugh, hugged and embraced. We went through it together. 

Out of all the series that you guest starred on, which role you maybe wish was extended to a recurring one, with a longer story arc?

Honestly, I loved every character I’ve been able to play up until this point in my career. I wouldn’t change anything because it’s brought me to this point in my life now. I will invest all of myself to this show until its inevitable end. 

Who is your truest, biggest inspiration in life, both personally and in your career?

My biggest inspiration in life has always been my family. My mother, my father, my wife, my son and my sisters. They motivate me to want to be a better person. 

What can you share with us about your upcoming, exciting projects?

I star in the upcoming film ‘Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe’, which recently landed distribution and is coming out soon. It’s looking like summer for a wide release, as of now. It premiered at TIFF last year to great reviews. Can’t wait for everyone to see it. 

photography BRANDON MONINGKA @kaipo81
stylist JILL VINCENT @jill.vincent
groomer NIL MUIR @nilmuir
photo assist ALEXIS NEGRETE @lexnegrete
styling assistants TOREY MULICH @toreymulich & TAMMY KHAU @bytammyk
special thanks LESLIE ALEJANDRO @lesliealejandro