Matt Cedeño talks Days of Our Lives, Ambitions, Power, and much more here--->
We have another favorite from soaps in our #WhereAreTheyNowSoap Series; Matt Cedeño! We discussed Days, Power, Ambitions, his other interests outside of acting and more.
Matt spent his youth as an athlete playing football and wrestling. He had college scholarship offers in both sports before sustaining a dual sports career ending injury in his senior year of high school. This was sudden, unexpected and devastating. Back then sports were mainly, if not the only thought, in his immediate wheelhouse of future possibilities so understandably it took Matt time to charter and embark on a new course.
His first undertaking was modeling in print ads and commercials. Not surprising. Just look at him! Fun fact: Matt was listed in People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful in The World in 2002. Matt's very first modeling campaign was in Italy. Nice. He went from living in Washington State (his hometown) to working on a campaign in Italy with the supermodel, Helena Christensen. Matt called the experience "surreal". For the next several months, Matt modeled in Spain, France and also modeled on a Versace campaign. Very Nice.
These were life-changing experiences for Matt. Though, modeling would be more of a means to an end than a permanent destination for him. He was still charting that. An invitation would help steer Matt in the right direction. "Pursuing a career in the arts was never something I really never considered. It might have been a pipe dream. But it was never spoken about. A friend of mine, who out of high school went to school to be a special effects artist, moved to L.A. Right out of the gate he started working on big production movies and in special effects. I, myself was still sort of meandering and looking for what I was going to do next. My friend invited me to move to L.A. and crash on his couch."
Matt moved to L.A.and laid down roots quickly. His new girlfriend introduced him to her theatrical manager. From there he was introduced to the industry, started taking acting classes and got an agent. He landed a few small roles; a sitcom (got Matt into the union), a couple of uncredited roles and playing a small part (had a few lines) in the movie Price of Glory (played a younger Arturo Ortega who was played by Jimmy Smits) before he was cast in the contract role as Brandon Walker on Days of our Lives.
It was "nerve-wracking" for Matt who "hadn't been groomed in acting, to say the least", to all of a sudden have this full time gig on a soap opera. He said, "I was green and it was stressful and I had to learn a lot on the job." Matt did feel a bit "intimidated" to be working with daytime vets such as; James Reynolds, Arianne Zucker, and Alison Sweeney. But everyone was so helpful and supportive as he learned the ropes. Matt portrayed Brandon for five years.
Immediately after Days, Matt starred in the independent movie Hot Tamale, written, directed and produced by Young and the Restless alum, Michael Damian (Danny Romalotti). His next film, was the television movie, Romancing the Bride with Laura Prepon (That 70's Show). He's appeared in the notable television series; Desperate Housewives, The Mentalist and Anger Management.
Our favorite roles (to date) for Matt other than Brandon have been as Alejandro Rubio on Lifetime's Devious Maids. (We loved that show!) and Cristobal on Starz's Power. In Power's season five finale Cristobal was arrested by the FBI. Matt was contracted to be in season six, the final season. But there was a change. "I was contracted to be in the last season but there was a last minute shift. They didn't wrap up my character. I know they are doing a spinoff. I have faith in the creator (Courtney Agboh) she's always going to bat for me. I'm hopeful Cristobal will live on." Please.
We are hoping to see Cristobal again! In the interim, we do know exactly where we will see Matt very soon, on OWN; Oprah Winfrey Network's new hit sensation, Ambitions playing Ignacio De Santos. Matt was mum on specifics. He will play Ignacio De Santos race car driver/fashion entrepreneur who will at least initially be in Bella Tru's orbit. "We've had a great response to the show. I went out to Miami recently to do press for Ambitions and we had a screening out there. It was fantastic. I loved it." We love Ambitions.
Also, recently, Matt wrapped up filming the independent film, Open, where he stars with Essence Atkins, who also stars in Ambitions (Amara Hughes). "I played opposite the main lead, Essence Atkins. The movie also stars Keith Robinson. The film centers around a very provocative subject matter. It's kind along the lines of the movie Indecent Proposal. Is there any time in a stage of a relationship that you would consider having an open marriage? Would you ever consider it? The couple in the movie did and it didn't go according to plan. It was a lot of fun shooting and a great experience working with Essence." It sounds like one to watch for!
We've all heard that there is nothing more important to an actor than working. The entertainment industry can be a fickle friend and/or foe. Going on 10 years ago, Matt created what he referenced as his "safety net against the entertainment industry", (thankfully he hasn't needed it), an apparel line. His apparel line is completely separate from Matt's work in the industry. It was started in 2010 and has steadily and organically grown over the years. Body Language Sports Wear "offers the most premium activewear for women with active lifestyles. It supports the modern woman's dynamic lifestyle."
Good news, the apparel line has been a success and kept Matt busy. "Bad news" the apparel line has been a success and kept Matt busy. "Fortunately or unfortunately the apparel line has kept me pretty busy. I've always been sort of conflicted because it keeps me with only one foot in the entertainment industry. I haven't done any behind the camera work like directing and producing which I would like to do. I really would like to direct. I have worked with an array of directors and I know what vibes with me artistically. I would be good at telling the story in that way. Directing is best suited for me." We are sure it's only a matter of time, Matt.
Thank you for speaking with us, Matt!
Fam, make sure you check out Matt on Ambitions, coming soon!
Check out Body Language Sports Wear!
We hope to see Cristobal soon!
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