If you’ve been watching the hit Lifetime TV show Army Wives, you’ll recognize this week’s Man on Monday as one of this season’s many new additions. His name is Joseph Julian Soria, and you’ve probably seen him in a lot of other television shows and movies, without necessarily recognizing him. He took time to chat with us, and we think he’s definitely worthy of notice.
Joseph, our readers always love to know how people found their careers. Tell us a bit about where you’re from, and what led you to pursue acting?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and I never knew I was going to be an actor. I originally planned to be a physical therapist because I could make a good living, have consistent work and help people; however after completing a few observation hours, I realized I wouldn’t be happy doing it. Being happy was never part of my equation until that point.
I was still in school and needed some credits so I took a theater class because I thought it seemed the least boring out of my options. Just by listening to the instructor talk about what acting was all about, which is creating characters and telling stories, by the end of class I knew I was an actor and it was going to be my profession. I jumped in head-first and started getting to work, learning along the way.
We probably know you best as Hector Cruz from Army Wives, but you were also in such diverse projects as Hamlet 2, Crank: High Voltage, and more than one episode of Dexter. Where else might we have seen you?
Son of Anarchy, Lie To Me, The Shield, Bones, Southland, CSI Miami…you want my whole resume? [chuckling] I have been on a number of TV shows.
Army Wives is an established series. What was it like coming into that show? Did it take a while to mesh with the rest of the cast?
Television moves quick, so there is no time to mesh. You have to be ready, jump in, and know your role in order to get to work and not skip a beat. But everyone was very welcoming. Great group of people – cast and crew.
The LatinHeat Entertainment website published a piece in July about the fact that Latinos have been a significant presence in the real U.S. Army since before World War II, but Hector and Gloria are the first Latinos to be spotlighted on Army Wives. Has the response to your inclusion in the cast been generally favorable?
I would say so. I mean I’m not receiving any hate mail. [chuckling]
You’re known for changing your look so much from role to role that people often don’t recognize you until they see your name in the credits. Has this ability helped or hindered your career? Does it allow you to go about daily life off-set without being noticed?
I definitely wouldn’t say it hinders me. The things I do with my appearance are subtle but make a difference. I have been told I’m a chameleon and in this line of work that’s a good thing because that means I can play a diverse amount of characters.
As far as being noticed on a day to day…Are you kidding me!? I’m hounded like Justin Bieber! Just kidding.
I know you have a new movie due for its theatrical release in September, Filly Brown. Can you tell us a bit about that project, and your involvement with it?
Filly Brown is a story about a girl who is a street poet, and her journey as an artist. But even more than that it’s a story about family, in my opinion. As for my role, I play the lead antagonist who feels threatened by Majo (Gina Rodriguez) because she steals my spotlight, and my character is willing to do whatever it takes to get it back.
Filly Brown got wonderful reviews at the Sundance Film Festival Were you at Sundance? If so, can you talk about that experience?
I was working on another project so I couldn’t make it, but I have had other films there and can tell you that it is a fun but cold experience. It is filled with great films, talented people and lots and lots of hot tea.
What else have you been working on, and where can we expect to see you in the future?
Currently working on a film titled Ten Cent Pistol with writer/director Michael Martin, who wrote Brooklyn’s Finest. and then I’m starring in a short directed by Salvatore Totino, who is known for his amazing cinematography work but is now directing. Thrilled to be working with both of them because I’m a fan of their work.
I’ve read that you’re also a musician. Is music a second career or more of a hobby for you?
I stepped away from singing for a while but it keeps popping back into my life some way or another and I believe it’s something I will be pursuing again. However, my primary focus at the moment is acting.
Social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) has made many celebrities more accessible to their fans. I know you have a Twitter account; are you fairly active there? Do you enjoy the interactions with your fans?
I love my fans! I talk to them everyday. I am more active on Facebook than Twitter but I am getting better on Twitter. I love getting to know my fans and them getting to know me. I have a saying, “Acting is my passion. Inspiring is my purpose” and Facebook and Twitter are a great tool to do just that.
YOUR TURN: If there’s a question we missed that you really wish we’d asked, let us know what it is (and then answer it).
Q: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
A: Yes, I would like to let them know that I appreciate and value each and every one of them. Also, I want to remind them to dream big and go for their goals regardless of what others may say about those goals.
Joseph Julian Soria (and the rest of the cast) can be seen on Army Wives, Sunday nights at 10:00 PM Eastern/Pacific on Lifetime Television.
Photos by Lesley Bryce