‘Rake’ star John Ortiz Reflects on his 20-Year Career: From ‘Carlito’s Way’ to his New FOX Show

john-ortiz-rakeActor John Ortiz is back on TV. He will hitting the small screen on Jan. 23 in FOX’s new show Rake with Greg Kinnear. The series focuses in on a Los Angeles defense attorney, played by Kinnear, who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Ortiz plays a fellow lawyer who’s a gambler in love with a prostitute.

Off-beat characters like this are familiar territory to Ortiz who first hit the big screen as a drug dealer in Carlito’s Way in 1993. He even went on to the Great White Way in 2003 in the Pulitzer Prize-winning show Anna in the Tropics. The show also starred Jimmy Smits and David Zayas.

The 45-year-old actor reflected on his varied career with the New York Daily News, “I feel blessed. I never wanted to be an actor. It just happened all by chance and fate. I was studying to be a teacher.”

Things seemed to have worked out quite well for the Ortiz because he’s still in the game decades later.

He said, “I decided to give it a try, and 20 years later, here I am doing something that I never in a million years imagined myself making a career out of. I always felt that, without trying to sound too hokey, I was just a part of it… that it was a gift. And I still feel that way. And sometimes I have to remind myself of that.”

It’s also something he doesn’t take for granted though. He’s grateful for a career that has given him incredible opportunities.

“Yeah, I think I was given a talent, and I’ve been able to nurture it and feed it, and hone in on those things and work on some of my weaknesses,” Ortiz explained. “But for the big-picture part of it, it still is a true blessing.”

Tom Hardy on Playing Twins in ‘Legend,’ Being Seen as a Tough Guy, and Working with Philip Seymour Hoffman
Hardy speaks about why he challenged himself to play twins, what he thinks of his tough guy image, and working with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who directed him on stage.
Emily Blunt on Action Movie Roles: “I think it’s important to show different layers. Nobody is just tough, nobody is just vulnerable”
Emily Blunt touches upon why she has gotten into roles with an action bent and why she thinks there aren't more action movies with female leads
Jorja Fox on Life After ‘CSI’: “I’ve always enjoyed not knowing exactly where the road leads”
"I think you kind of have to embrace the unknown if you're an actor." - Jorja Fox
John Turturro on the Life of an Actor: “It’s a rough business. I wouldn’t want my kids to do it”
"I am usually very well prepared. If you’re a surgeon, you’ve got to know what you’re going to take out today." - John Turturro
Matt Damon’s Controversial Comments on Actors Keeping Their Real Lives a Mystery
"I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period. And sexuality is a huge part of that." - Matt Damon