Character Actor Spotlight: Nestor Serrano

Once again here we are observing the finest in the film industry who often go unnoticed. We know their faces but not their names …

Actor: Nestor Serrano

You know him as: Pancho Martin (“Secretariat”), Navi Araz (“24” Season 4), various police enforcement (“Bad Boys” 1 & 2, “The Negotiator”) and numerous other political/authoritative roles.

While I wasn’t the biggest fan of “Secretariat,” he made his role work. Cast opposite an underwhelming Diane Lane and an amazing John Malkovich, Serrano plays a rival horse trainer. Sure, you’re rooting for Malkovich and Lane’s steed. But without the role of Martin, and Serrano beautifully pulling the part off, you don’t care much about their motives. Serrano is great as a family movie’s villain despite the cheesy dialogue. Though he’s just around for the second half, Serrano helps turn a dwindling script into a great story.

What may be his other memorable role is his part in the Republican Show — er, I mean Fox’s “24.” Side-noting the obvious, “24” was always the quintessential anti-PC action series, and a guy like me can applaud actors taking that risk. His character is a Middle Eastern patriarch ruthlessly coordinating a terrorist attack (see “All ’24’ Villains”). As Araz, Serrano is downright scary, willing to kill his wife, son, or both to attack the United States. Serrano’s performances captures the essence of the enemy that the left hates characterizing.

The fact that Serrano embraces villainous characters exhibits courage in his capabilities; imagine how humble one must be to accept role after role not winning the day or getting the girl. Serrano delivers his dastardly acts superbly. No, his characters aren’t heroes going down in a blaze of glory; they’re the ones giving the audience a dose of schadenfreude.

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