Friday, November 4, 2016

Jet City Comic Show Preview: Q&A With Actor Robert Lasardo

courtesy of Robert Lasardo Facebook
Here's my second Jet City Comic Show preview piece/interview. This latest conversation is with one of the hardest working dude's in entertainment, Robert Lasardo. The name might not totally ring a bell, but with over 100 acting credit, I promise you recognize his face (and tattoo collection) from a tv show or movies. Though he's notorious for playing gangters and badasses, he is one of the nicest guys I've had the chance to interview. This was a really fun and inspirational conversation.

I was honestly nervous to talk to Robert, but after chatting for a few, you feel like your talking to an old friend. We even chatted for a few minutes after the interview about tattoos, and life. Be sure to swing by his table at Jet City Comic Show and say hi and show him your tattoos! I'm sure he'd love to see them....Enjoy the interview...Share the interview...Enjoy Jet City Comic Show...

TheSteveStrout: Lets start by talking about some of your favorite roles you've played.

Robert Lasardo: Let's see what comes to mind... I think there's a couple categories concerning my work , especially in television. The first show that comes to mind is Nip Tuck. That's one of those rare opportunities that come about where you get to collaborate with people that are equal, if not better, in terms of their creative vision. In a situation like that there's a lot of learning that takes place. I enjoyed working with Ryan Murphy on that show, and his kinda courageous no bullshit approach to his vision. It also made it easier for me because I always felt like I was always surrounded by this controversy because of the way I look, you know , with the tattoos and Ryan embraced that and kinda helped me breathe life into this character (Escobar Gallardo) that he created for me. I thought that was kind of unusual situation that came about, because they don't often let you go very far in terms of your character development, at least not with someone who looks like me. I thought that was an unusual kind of fruituitous kind of experience because of it's popularity. I was allowed to do a little more as an artist. The character was layered with various emotions and that. I think to call him a bad guy gives Ryan Murphy and the show an injustice because there was so much more to him. I was really excited to be a part of something like that.
courtesy of Robert Lasardo Facebook
Another show that comes to mind is CSI:Miami. I've been friends with the actor, David Caruso for man years. I did one of my first movies with him, a movie called China Girl, directed by Abel Ferrara. David has always been a strong , supportive and intelligent kind of individual. When you work with David, you not only get an acting class but your levels and quality of work goes up, because he challenges you. Him and I had this kind of relationship that I think wasn't competitive, but we both enjoyed the intensity that we both have every time I was brought on to that show. We also had a good time. It was sort of a reunion because David and I had run into each other so many times over the years on various projects. I did a couple movies with him. I was on NYPD Blue with him. All my scenes were with him. I t was kinda nice how fate, or whatever you want to call it, set it up so that we could continually work together, and I think he was instrumental in getting me on CSI: Miami, as well as the producers who appreciated my work.I kind of sad and have a sentimental attachment to it because of my relationship with David over the years.

TheSteveStrout: I agree. Any experience where you learn something is a positive one...You mentioned your tattoos and how you looked. Has that ever limited you fro getting work?

Robert Lasardo: I wouldn't say it limited me. The word I would say, Steve, is PREVENT me. Prevent me from being allowed to participate in various storytelling, because of the perception of what some people believe the ink communicates, ya know, what it represents. Theres a challenge, I think, with that. Nowadays , so many young people are expressing themselves through body modification and art, I feel that there's more acceptance in the pop culture, sub culture, or whatever you want to call it, and so nowadays I feel as though it's not as shocking to see someone like myself that has a lot of tattoos expresses that acceptance. Because of that, film makers that I've worked with in the past are kinda cool because they're like "hey man, I remember growing up watching you. Would you like to be in my film?". Their perception is a lot more forgiving in their view of it. A lot of the time I feel like this with the writers and directors understand communicating yourself through art and tattoos and stuff. It's a positive and not negative. I think on that level there's been some opportunities that have provided some different types of characters. routes to be going to the forefront, and I'm grateful for that. I think it's gonna be a minute still before I'm allowed to do some of the stuff that I would like to do. If anybody would have told me years ago that I'd be involved with some of the projects I've been involved with lately, I never would have believed it..So, I mean, its a differnet kinda slow and sometimes very painful kind of evolution. I think it's cool though. I builds character when you go through shit. Ya know, when ya go through stuff, no one can ever accuse you or individuals who take risks with stuff, not necessarily because it's a gimmick, its because it's who they are. You can try to suppress yourself, you know, and I don't know if there's any future in that so I think it's important to be true to who you are as an artist or individuals who want to express themselves through music, visual performance, or any number of ways that people do that. I think thats the whole point of art, is to be fearless and to take those kind of risks. Not everybody understands that though, in commercial entertainment, but at the end of the day you have to live with yourself so it's important to be true to that.

TheSteveStrout: Because of your image, you get cast as the "bad guy" a lot. Have any roles come along that you felt were to "bad" that you were uncomfortable doing it?

Great movie! See it!
Robert Lasardo: I think what makes sense to me, as I look at it now, I think the word "Outlaw" makes sense to me. I think outlaw encompasses a resistance to conforming in society. People around the world who feel suppressed or have to deal with tyranny or fascism or even having to get up everyday and feeling they're being manipulated, and forced to having to function in this society that doesn't make much sense to them. It a fantasy to rebel against that society that a lot of people feel is subjugating them. People find champions in entertainment. The Outlaws or the bad guys. People who take the risk, robs the bank, does something, breaks the law, because some people feel the laws are not always just, or they're set up in such a way that it keeps people from moving forward. So, I think I'm not saying you just give them the right to declare anarchy on the system, but sometimes you see that the government just fails the people because they're corrupt, so I think that if someone stands up or any number of people stand up and do something or represent something that's scary to the government, its conceived as dangerous. My point and to answer your question I feel that the bad guy or the outlaw is necessary and I also think that, as I look at this, and I'm asked to breathe life into that manifestation , if I consider integrity. I think it's an issue of integrity where you asked if I'd ever feel uncomfortable or has it been difficult to portray characters that are unscrupulous or have no morality or integrity at all and are just pure evil, um, I don't know of I've ever been faced with a situation like that, you know because I think that I looked honestly at all these characters and they have something in them that makes them human, like not monsters. I also feel that for a period of time they're manipulated by a situation or placed in a situation either by their own hand or by someone else's, and they either have to try and break free from it or they suffer because of their own arrogance, then ultimately they're destroyed because of it. I think that there's a lesson in that but I never felt like I was put in the position that I felt "this was really terrible what I'm doing". I think that what surrounds me sometimes and those that write material and create a scenario that really tortured and does not provide much hope for humanity and wants me to be the victim and destroyer at the same time, that could be kind of a drag, because I don't always know how that exploration enlightens individuals, but then it's entertainment. Sometime smovies are there to entertain people. They're there to shock people. They're there to get people excited and freaked out. They're necessarily designed to teach ethics, yo know, and in that sense, I have to remove myself from any kind of judgement where I'm like "well this is really bad". It's entertainment. I'm not really doing any of these things. I'm being asked to conjure and incarnate these characters, and hopefully these characters usually meet their demise and are destroyed by what people perceive to be righteousness. The good that prevents the bad from completely tipping the scales over. Whether I like it or not, there's always some kind of moral lesson that's applied to whatever I'm doing. If I'm the scapegoat that has to perpetuate a belief that if someone looks like this and does this kind of thing, this is how they're punished. Does that speak to me as an artist? Does that speak to the condition of humanity? Does that speak to, if you have all these tattoos this is how your'e going to basically be treated? I don't know. I think that if you ask different people, you'll get different answers. Things have changed a bit, so I think that I'm ready to embrace all sorts of work, and try not to think about it too much, and just be excited to have an opportunity to create. If there's things in it that I feel it lacks, there's a saying that I have, "They can control what I say, but they can't control what I think", so if I can find a way to give the character something that maybe the writer didn't conceive of, or maybe the director didn't see, sometimes I can get something through. Something really likable or interesting about the character that's really compelling to watch even though you know that this person is doing something really fucked up. Like, I don't know if I'd want to meet this person in a dark alley, but theres still something curious about the person that's battling within themselves, struggling with the temptation that leads them down the path to the destruction of other and even themselves hopefully, because if you destroy someone else, you basically kill yourself as well. I fell there's no way around that, but I guess it's how you look at it. I think it's important to remove judgement from the equation so you can be free to create and let everybody else decide what their take is on it, ya know?

TheSteveStrout: So, have you been on the convention scene a while now?

Robert Lasardo: Yeah, yeah. I think it's been about four years now.

TheSteveStrout: Do you go into the conventions and take them in as a fan too? Do you check out the shows, and shop at the vendors and stuff?
courtesy of Robert Lasardo Facebook

Robert Lasardo: Yeah I do. I've met various celebrities over the years. It's a real joy to come in contact with them. They're really nice to me, and generally speaking, everybody's really cool. I feel like I get a chance to just be a kid, ya know, and go to an amusement park and have fun. Yeah I've just been really having a good time with it.

TheSteveStrout: I've seen and heard stories about how well you connect with fans. Is that you and your personality or obligatory?

Robert Lasardo: I think it's important for me to be in that situation to talk with people who need to express their feelings about what they've been observing through entertainment. How they feel about it. What they think about it, and to share those ideas. It's nice to be appreciated , Steve, when people do, because sometimes you forget. There's life, ya know? Every day there's life. There's entertainment, There's your work, and then there's life. You still have to show up for your own life. At least not me. I'm not always thinking about that, so sometimes I forget it.I forget that my efforts in my work makes an impact on people, and I'm reminded when I go to the shows. It's a good feeling when I know that it's not for nothing. I've always liked performing, regardless of the audience. It always feels good to perform because I've always enjoyed acting since I was in junior high school. It's nice when people say "hey I enjoy what you do" or "your character helped my life"...especially in the tattoo community, Steve, because I think a lot of people have suffered over the years because of the prejudice that comes with how people view that, especially if it's something that you're heavily in to, so I think a lot of people thank me. To some extent I didn't set out to do this, and become some kind of ambassador and representing for misfits and people who don't feel or don't wanna march to the beat of the collective drum. It's nice when people say "hey, thank you", because I suffered a lot when I was younger. I was tattooed in the 1970s. I was sleeved out. I had full sleeves and extensive coverage by the time I was 22 walking around New York City. Man, I caught a lot of shit for it. People weren't nice to me. When I started talking about acting people were like "please, you'll never be able to succeed in that, actors don't have tattoos". Basically my point is that I came up against a lot of negativity, so these shows provide an opportunity for me to meet people who understand, and who've been there too. I get it when they say "hey man I got my first tattoo because of you. Thank you for making me feel ok about it. My mom, my family, everybody made me feel miserable, then I saw you and said its possible. I'm not crazy". I'm glad that I'm realizing that my struggle is not just in vain. For some people, it's been helpful and useful to them to feel better about themselves so I'm glad. Forget about the entertainment and Hollywood nonsense, just being me has been able to help others. I notice it in my daily life, but the shows, and this concentration of people all gathered to have fun and to talk and communicate their feelings, I would have had no idea any of this was even going on had I not traveled around the world, traveled around the United States and going to various shows and tattoo conventions and horror conventions, and seeing and meeting really cool people from all walks of life who didn't judge me. I'm like , hey cool, I don't judge them, they don't judge me. You can just have fun man, and let go. Not everyone is so uptight. That hasn't always been my experience in Hollywood and in the conventional world. I think the shows and conventions are a brief reprieve for me, and the fans, and the people, to get away from all that crap.
Some places you might recognize Robert Lasardo from!!
Courtesy of 
Collective Celebrity Mgmt and Robert Lasardo Facebook
TheSteveStrout: That's how I look at it, having always been a "nerdy" guy. Me and all my nerdy fam can get together and be ourselves and no one judges...This weekend's convention in Tacoma, Washington, the Jet City Comic Show, is a great growing convention, but not too big, so it keeps things on a personable level between guests and attendees. There's time to really connect...So, do you have any roots or connections here in the Northwest?

Robert Lasardo: No. I mean, I stay out there. I travel a lot, and I find myself in the northwest lately. I've been up in Washington for about a year and a half now and I'm enjoying it. I travel a bit with my work, but I make it a point to get away from staying in one place for too long. My work tends to call me to California and various places in the United States. I lived in Canada for like 3 years, so you know, I tend to move around a bit. What I love about Washington, yeah it rains a lot, but the trees and its so green and beautiful. I never fortunate enough to live in certain place where I could see the ocean and the forests, and you know? I didn't know that there were places in the United States that were so clean. I've ben to Europe. I've been to Switzerland, and I've been amazed by how wel they take care of their natural resources. I figured the United States is pretty much a done deal. We've pretty much contaminated over 50% of our well spring, but then when I went to Washington I went, "No wait a minute, maybe not!". When I walk around, I just see that its so beautiful there.

TheSteveStrout: Yeah. It's an amazing place. I came from the east coast too where its old and run down (which still has it's charm, don't get me wrong) but it's a different world out here. Just stunning...So, what are you looking forward to this weekend at the show?

Robert Lasardo: Having conversations like this with the people, man. Thats what makes it enjoyable. That personal interaction with people that are attending the show. I like to hear what the people have to say, what they think, how they feel and to see that they're having a good time. Tell some stories. They tell me some stories. I tell them some stories. Just the whole interacting.

TheSteveStrout: Are you going to be promoting anything at the show?

Robert Lasardo: Oh yeah. Sometimes it's hard for me to remember, but I got a couple movies coming out in the next year. I'll be talking about that. There's a book that I'm producing that should come out either at the end of the year or beginning of the year. It's kind of a graphic novel type thing. A love story, ghost story with paranormal elements. There's some original artwork in it. So yeah, I'lll be talking about that and whatever else seems interesting or relevant based on what people are curious about.

TheSteveStrout: Do you have any social media presence we can send fans to connect with you?

Robert Lasardo: Though I'm a little bit behind on it, there's a fan page on Facebook that I check in on maybe once a week. So yeah there's that, and I have a website.

Check out Robert Lasardo's Facebook Fan Page HERE

and his official website:

Steve Strout is the media mastermind (haha) behind this site, host of the Comic Book Swap Meet, nerd, terrible artist, gamer, convention goer and comic book reader who spends more time rescuing toys from thrift shops than a normal adult should. He is also known around the northwest for his promotion of live music and stand-up comedy events and is the creator/producer of the Comic Book Swap Meet mini convention, and Olympic Peninsula Comedy Competition (which will make it's big return soon!). Follow him on Instagram at, and  He can be reached for comments at on twitter at @thestevestrout