Edward James Olmos

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, Edward James Olmos talks about his early interests in baseball and Rock and Roll music, which led to his life-long love of performing for audiences. He recalls his first major acting role in the play "Zoot Suit," which was a smash hit in Los Angeles before going to Broadway. He chronicles his early acting roles on television, including guest spots on Kojak and Hawaii Five-O and talks of his first feature film "Aloha Bobby and Rose." Olmos recalls his reluctance to be cast as "Martin Castillo" on Miami Vice, a role which led to critical accolades and an Emmy win in 1986. He recounts his tumultuous time on that show and outlines his time on the Latino-themed series American Family. He speaks in depth about the lack of diversity on American television and describes what he sees for the then-future of Latinos on television. Finally he speaks of his role as "Admiral William Adama" on the remake of Battlestar Galactica and explains the show's ongoing relevance to audiences. Nancy Harrington conducted the interview on May 14, 2013 in Encino, California. 

"A Latina friend told me about a call she got from her nephew, who's 11 years old. He called up just so joyful. He said 'We're in the future, we're in the future! I saw it! I saw 'Battlestar Galactica.' For that child at that moment, seeing their culture, themselves in a position of being in the future was so needed. Like a glass of water in the middle of the desert. You are so grateful that you can't even stand it."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Edward James Olmos on clashing with Don Johnson during the filming of Miami Vice
Edward James Olmos on creating the character of "Admiral William Adama" on Battlestar Galactica
Edward James Olmos on the legacy of Battlestar Galactica
Edward James Olmos on playing "Judge Mendoza" on The West Wing and being cast in American Family
Edward James Olmos on the ongoing lack of diversity on television and in movies
Edward James Olmos on his success and his future
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his early interest in baseball and music
On getting into acting; on starring in the play "Zoot Suit"; on appearing on Kojak
On appearing on Hawaii Five-O; on how the play "Zoot Suit" impacted his career
On acting on American Playhouse; on being cast as "Martin Castillo" on Miami Vice

Chapter 2

On being cast as "Martin Castillo" on Miami Vice; on filming his first scenes as "Martin Castillo" on Miami Vice
On clashing with Don Johnson during the filming of Miami Vice; on the backstory and development of his Miami Vice character "Martin Castillo"
On winning an Emmy for Miami Vice and his favorite episodes; on the legacy of Miami Vice
On acting in the made-for-television movie The Burning Season; on playing "Judge Mendoza" on The West Wing and being cast on American Family

Chapter 3

On playing "Jess Gonzalez" on American Family; on the lack of diversity in television and movies
On being cast as "Admiral William Adama" on Battlestar Galactica; on the themes of Battlestar Galactica
On creating the character of "Admiral William Adama" on Battlestar Galactica; on the cast and legacy of Battlestar Galactica
On the future of Latinos on television; on advice to aspiring actors; on his production company, his success, and his future
Shows

American Playhouse

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Edward James Olmos on acting on American Playhouse

Battlestar Galactica (2004-09)

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Edward James Olmos on being cast as "Admiral William Adama" on Battlestar Galactica
Edward James Olmos on the themes of Battlestar Galactica
Edward James Olmos on the Battlestar Galactica  UN Panel
Edward James Olmos on creating the character of "Admiral William Adama" on Battlestar Galactica
Edward James Olmos on the cast of Battlestar Galactica
Edward James Olmos on the legacy of Battlestar Galactica

Dexter

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Edward James Olmos on acting on Dexter

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Edward James Olmos on winning an Emmy award and his favorite Miami Vice  episodes

Hawaii Five-O

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Edward James Olmos on appearing on Hawaii Five-O

Kojak

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Edward James Olmos on appearing on Kojak

Miami Vice

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Edward James Olmos on being cast as "Martin Castillo" on Miami Vice
Edward James Olmos on being cast as "Martin Castillo" on Miami Vice
Edward James Olmos on filming his first scenes as "Martin Castillo" on Miami Vice
Edward James Olmos on clashing with Don Johnson during the filming of Miami Vice
Edward James Olmos on the backstory of his Miami Vice character "Martin Castillo"
Edward James Olmos on the development of his Miami Vice character "Martin Castillo"
Edward James Olmos on the atmosphere on the set of Miami Vice
Edward James Olmos on winning an Emmy award and his favorite Miami Vice episodes
Edward James Olmos on the legacy of Miami Vice

West Wing, The

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Edward James Olmos on playing "Judge Mendoza" on The West Wing and being cast in American Family
Topics

Advice

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Edward James Olmos on advice to aspiring actors

Diversity in Television

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Edward James Olmos on the future of Latinos on television
Edward James Olmos on the ongoing lack of diversity on television and in movies

Emmy Awards

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Edward James Olmos on winning an Emmy award and his favorite Miami Vice  episodes

First Big Break

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Edward James Olmos on being cast as "Martin Castillo" on Miami Vice

Historic Events and Social Change

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Edward James Olmos on the future of Latinos on television
Edward James Olmos on the ongoing lack of diversity on television and in movies

Minorities

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Edward James Olmos on the future of Latinos on television
Edward James Olmos on the ongoing lack of diversity on television and in movies

Pivotal Career Moments

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Edward James Olmos on being cast as "Martin Castillo" on Miami Vice

Television Industry

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Edward James Olmos on advice to aspiring actors
Professions

Actor

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Edward James Olmos on advice to aspiring actors

Performers

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Edward James Olmos on advice to aspiring actors
Genres

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

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Edward James Olmos on being cast as "Martin Castillo" on Miami Vice
Edward James Olmos on playing "Martin Castillo" on Miami Vice

Sci-Fi/Supernatural Series

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Edward James Olmos on playing "Admiral William Adama" on Battlestar Galactica
People

Don Johnson

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Edward James Olmos on clashing with Don Johnson during the filming of Miami Vice

Jack Lord

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Edward James Olmos on appearing on Hawaii Five-O

Michael Mann

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Edward James Olmos on being cast as "Martin Castillo" on Miami Vice

Telly Savalas

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Edward James Olmos on appearing on Kojak

All Interviews

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