Following its trail-blazing TV spot at this year’s Super Bowl, the tires are well and truly warmed up for the return of the Fast and Furious franchise, with The Fate of the Furious arriving in cinemas this April.
In anticipation for the upcoming eighth instalment in this long-running franchise, we caught up with star Celestino Cornielle who plays Raldo in the film as he spoke about the movie and his career so far, including an initial audition for 2 Fast 2 Furious…
First of all, congratulations on your role in the upcoming Fate of the Furious. What can you tell us about your character?
My character is Raldo. Raldo is the Havana king… the movie’s tone is set by an altercation Raldo & Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) get into, which ultimately (like the rest of the film) ends with a very surprising twist.
We understand you originally auditioned for 2 Fast 2 Furious. Can you tell us more about what happened there and how it influenced your career going forward?
At the time I was modeling in South Beach (Miami). Every so often my agent would ask me to audition for acting projects, which I would reluctantly accept. One day he called very excited with a big audition, 2 Fast 2 Furious. I declined, declined, declined but he wasn’t taking no for an answer and off I went.
I was terribly nervous during my audition; my palms where sweating and I fumbled and stuttered through my read. I was awful and the experience very humiliating. I left the audition ashamed and broken hearted yet determined that that would never happen to me again. I wanted to prove myself!
I sought training to redeem myself and in the process I fell in love with the craft. One year later I booked my first film, a project I co-starred alongside Eva Longoria. Not long after, I decided to pack up a suitcase full of dreams and drove out west, to California.
The Fate of the Furious looks bigger and more muscular than ever (somehow), can you give us a little teaser as to what fans of the franchise can expect?
This installment, just like the Rock, is bigger and more muscular. Fans can expect action packed stellar performances from a powerhouse cast. Big explosions, big car chases, and big races all amidst incredible scenery… Havana, Cuba being the gem of them all.
With you now starring in one of Hollywood’s biggest movie franchises, how does this compare to being involved in one of video gaming’s biggest series is Call Of Duty: Black Ops II?
Ha! Call of Duty was definitely fun, but at the same time very secretive. The fun part was that for entirety of filming I wore a wet suit that helped digitize my performance, which took place in a virtual environment that only existed in my head.
The secret was that I was cast not knowing it was COD I was cast in until after I began filming. The secret went on for months, as we were never given the full script and generally speaking we were given the shooting scripts the day prior…. We never really knew what we where doing or where the story was heading.
You’re resume is very impressive in terms of the high profile television shows you’ve been involved in. Is there a particular show that you had your best experience working on?
I really enjoyed working on Rizzoli & Isles. It was my third time working with Angie Harmon and I truly enjoyed my character. Almost prophetic of my being cast in Fast & Furious I played a street racing undercover cop, Miguel Ortiz. Similarly to my role on Major Crimes, that show’s leads were trying to catch me as they considered me prime suspect to murder/drug dealing. The twist is that when they finally catch up to me, they learned that I was an undercover cop that had been brought in from New York to aid their investigation… the show then proceeds with me helping them take down the real bad guys!
You’ve just finished wrapping the filming of the two-part season finale of Major Crimes, how was that experience and what do viewers have in store when this airs?
I play Cristian Ortiz, a former Marine who, after an eleven year prison sentence, seems to have declared war against the city of L.A.
Finally, if you could go head-to-head in a street race with one of the Fast and Furious crew, who would it be and why?
Ha! If I could race any one from the crew it would be Cliff Lanning our Producer/1st AD. He is pure comedy and very much a shit talker, it would be hella fun racing him!
Follow Celestino on social media via the links below.
You can see Celestino in The Fate Of The Furious in UK cinemas on 14th April.