Influencer: Rhode Island actor Jose Guns Alves

This Rhode Island College and Theatre by the Sea alum is quickly building his IMDB page playing baddies in Power Book III: Raising Kanan, Free Guy, and more

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How did you get bitten by the acting bug?

I acted in middle school productions and really enjoyed creating characters, dressing in costumes, and playing make-believe, but it wasn’t until I went on a real audition for a summer stock theater production of The King and I at Theatre By The Sea in Matunuck. I was fortunate to be afforded the role of Prince Chulalongkorn and had the opportunity to act opposite off-Broadway and Broadway-caliber actors. It was through all those rehearsals and shows that I developed a real passion for acting and a sense of community for theater productions.

After RIC, you worked in finance. How did you return to acting?

As a young teen, I chose to delve deeper into the world of sports for fear I might get teased for being a theater kid. Acting wasn’t cool back then. After college, I worked in the corporate world and one day a friend approached me about a short film that she was putting together. I was very curious about acting after being away for so long, but once on set I immediately fell in love with the process and after that I began taking classes – I couldn’t get enough. It just felt like I found something that had long been missing. The rest is history.

You have a long list of credits from independent films to blockbusters – what are some favorite projects?

Last year I shot a BET Christmas movie called Soul Santa directed by Terri J. Vaughn, and I got to play the main baddie. It was exhilarating to play a major supporting role and be in the film from beginning to end. An equally great experience was playing a recurring character on the Starz TV series, Power Book III: Raising Kanan. I loved playing Jeronimo Guillén because he had a heavy accent and was the hammer for a Colombian drug lord. After working with the production’s dialect coach, I think I nailed his brand of swagger, gestures, and speech pattern. I just loved the challenge that afforded me.

What is your advice for anyone trying to make it in the entertainment industry?

Like anything in life, if you are interested in something, go after it. There are no instructions, directions, or shortcuts to becoming an actor. Get involved, take classes, look for coaches, sign up for workshops, and read books. People ask me all the time to get them in a movie or on a TV show, but there is no shortcut. You have to take the chance and put in the work. As your skill develops, new opportunities will open up to you. Soon you might find yourself acting on a show in New York or LA.

Where can you be found when you’re back in Rhody?

In Providence, I love the New York System in Olneyville, India on Hope Street, The District on South Street, Pane E Vino, and also on Atwells, The Specialty Company for chiseling my physique after binging all this food over the years. Over in Westerly, Two Little Fish.

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