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From the soccer field to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

By Rick Gonzales | Posted

For most of his career, Manny Montana has remained on the small screen. That’s not to say it didn’t dabble in big-screen functionality, it did, it’s just that the TV seems to be more in its wheelhouse. That’s why it probably won’t surprise you that his next project is a TV project again. This time, however, it’s stepping into the big leagues and joining a major Disney+ Marvel series. Let’s take a look at the actor, his career so far, and what lies ahead.

LIFE BEFORE ACTING – IT WAS NOT IN THE CARDS

Manny Montana was born and raised in Long Beach, California. He was a sportsman. At Jordan High School in Long Beach, Montana played football and he was damn good at it. So good, Montana earned himself a football scholarship on the road to California State University Sacramento.

Football has always been good for Montana, but high school play can be very different from high school. It’s a lesson Montana learned early on. It wasn’t necessarily the arm injury that took him away from the sport he loved to play, although it may have been his eighth shoulder dislocation that ultimately did. Either way, Montana ended up having to quit football and start looking for a plan B. For that, he turned to his hometown.

Once he realized football was no longer in the cards, Montana decided to transfer to California State University, Long Beach. The prodigal son returns. Okay, maybe he wasn’t actually “prodigal”, but he was going home. In Long Beach, Montana majored in journalism and broadcasting. While in college, he was also a DJ at the school’s student radio station. This actually landed him a trainee position at Long Beach’s Power 100.3 radio station, a station that played mostly hip-hop before switching to classic rock.

Along the way to graduation, something changed for Manny Montana. He says the desire to act has always been with him, even though he didn’t know exactly how to achieve it. So, after graduating in 2006, Montana decided to get involved in student films, taking on various roles. Montana noted that some of her roles were very mundane and mediocre.

But he found the desire to act. “I’m a competitor at heart, I’ve been in sports all my life, so when I saw I had potential in this, but it wasn’t where I wanted to be, I started taking classes, started doing workshops, and it reminded me of football,” Montana told the Long Beach Post.

Montana has transformed this passion into real acting. His desire and his work paid off and in 2008, he landed his very first role. It was actually a feature film called East Los Angeles and saw Montana starring as Alex Guzman, a decorated war veteran who returns home to find that war has followed him to his old stomping ground. Manny Montana was on his way.

EXPANSION TIME

Manny Montana got his first look at the features, now it was time to hit the small screen. Her first role there was in the hit TV series, Emergency roomin 2008. He then spent time on the series eleventh hour so what Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

From there, Montana began to make a name for itself. It got another feature (Detached) before launching a long list of television series including Cold Case, Raising the Bar, Lie to Me, The Chicago Code, Chase, Breakout Kingsand CSI: NY. Manny Montana even provided the voice of Felix Alvarro in the hit Rockstar video game, The black.

For a time, Montana bounced from set to set, never staying long enough to cause a scene. Until Graceland came knocking on her door. No, not at Elvis. Manny Montana was finally able to sink his teeth into a series, a series that wouldn’t see his character as a one-size-fits-all, but for the long haul. At Graceland, Montana played the wildly popular agent Joe “Johnny” Tuturro. At first, he was more of comic relief. When reading his character’s script, Montana told Collider, “I was afraid he would become the Mexican sidekick and goofy guy who always laughs, but the United States [the network] and Jeff [Eastin, series creator] did a great job helping him grow throughout the season. With the first three episodes, Johnny was nothing but lighthearted and funny. In Episode 4, he got into some serious stuff when he became a Mexican gangster.

For three seasons, graceland was a success. Montana was able to stretch his acting skills playing the fun-loving, but serious undercover agent when it counts. His role in the series also brought him great notoriety. In 2015, Montana landed a role in Michael Mann’s Black hat (initially the film was called Internet) directed by Chris Hemsworth. “I auditioned for one of the leads and didn’t get it, but they liked me and offered me another role. So it’s a small role, but I’m not going to turn down a chance to work with Michael Mann. No, you just can’t.

LIFE AFTER GRACELAND FOR MANNY MONTANA

Unfortunately for Manny Montana, graceland ended after three seasons. Luckily for Montana, he had already accumulated enough goodwill and acting talent to jump right into another series. He caught six episodes on south beacha few simple strokes on Lucifer and NCIS: Los Angelesthen two heavier roles on Conviction so what Rosewood.

Manny Montana lent his voice to the animated series, Mission Force One before playing a role in The mule, a feature film that starred and was directed by Clint Eastwood. Montana’s next TV role could be considered one of his most recognized as he starred in the popular series, good girls. As Rio, he was in each of the show’s 50 episodes and starred alongside Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Retta, Mae Whitman, Reno Wilson, Lidya Jewett and Matthew Lillard.

When good girls done, Montana had time Mayans MC and most recently Manny Montana can be seen in season 4 of the hit HBO series, Westworld. But that’s not all for Montana. Not even remotely all.

MANNY MONTANA HAS A HEART (OF IRON)

It seems that good hard work is paying off. In June, it was announced that Manny Montana had landed a regular role on the Disney+ series, Marvel’s Stone heart. Although Montana’s role is being kept secret, we know that Stone heart will star Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams as a young, teenage mastermind inventor who creates the most advanced armor the world has seen since Tony Stark invented his Iron Man suits.

The series has already entered production and is slated to premiere in the fall of 2023. Of course, Marvel fans will be introduced to Thorne as Riri Williams long before that. Stone heart premieres as she will be seen in the next Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

MANNY MONTANA ON INSTAGRAM

While some stars are starting to turn away from it more and more, Manny Montana has fully embraced social media. Well, to be more exact, his wife, actress Adelfa Marr, is more on social media, but Manny is. Even if it’s his wife who posts about him. Take, for example, this amazing post that Adelfa put on her Instagram.

When Manny hits Instagram, he’s repeatedly shown that he’s not afraid to tackle controversial topics.

While Montana doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty with some of his Instagram posts, he also doesn’t mind showing his love for the woman who makes it all happen for him — his wife. It’s pretty obvious just by taking a look at the two Instagram accounts that the love Manny and Adelfa have for each other is real. Hoping that it is also durable.


All in all, Manny Montana has made quite a career for himself and with an upcoming stint in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there could be even bigger things to come.

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