If we work hard and are lucky, when we grow up we just might get a chance to do the things that we loved and dreamt of in childhood. Orlando Pineda is one such individual. While this is figurative, it is also somewhat literal in Pineda’s case. He always wanted to be an actor and 2017 finds him starring in political thrillers such as “The Head of the Mouse”, dramas like “Immigrant Brothers” and others. However, one very lighthearted trip back to his early years occurred when Orlando was hired to be a lead on the Nintendo 2DSXL commercial. As one of his friends enthusiastically said to him, “Orlando, I can’t believe you were one of the first people in the world to play with the 2DSXL! I hate you so much right now! But congrats on the commercial.” Pineda will take the playful disdain and humorous insults from those jealous of opportunities like this because he has spent years as all actors do, struggling to hone his talent and place himself in a community where situations like this exist. This particular scenario was a chance for him to act very youthful while simultaneously learning a very encouraging lesson about the industry.
While the life of an actor can seem (and can truly be) glamorous, it also requires working whenever and wherever the opportunity arises. When he received the call from his manager to audition for the Nintendo commercial, Orlando had just finished a shoot in a pool that began at five A.M. Red eyed and tired, he threw on a hoodie and drove to the callback. Tired and somewhat unkempt, he found himself waiting alongside four well-groomed Italian-American men also auditioning for the role. Telling himself that he was the longshot, he decided to go in, have fun, and learn from the experience. Not only did he catch the eye of the casting agent but he learned an unexpected lesson. Pineda confirms, “I think it was a very important moment in my career. In this industry it is very easy to bring yourself down because you are not good looking enough, or tall enough, or blonde enough, etc... In this moment I understood that you have to not beat yourself up, to enjoy it and have fun with it; this is when you truly show your talent, when you actually get to shine. Every audition is different, the everyday YOU is different and everything affects the way you do an audition. It’s not always as easy as this audition for me. A lot of times, even if you try and focus on having fun you will end up in your own head thinking about lines, about beats that you skipped or even just fixating on whether or not they like you.
There are so many attractive faces in TV and Film these days that even actors themselves begin to fixate on aesthetics. The casting directors of the Nintendo 2DSXL commercial which Pineda starred in note that it was his relaxed, truthful, and settled presence that superseded any type of attractive feature that made him the best choice for the role. It’s an attribute that the actor displays often as casting director George McGrath declares, “Orlando is one of those actors who has the annoying yet enviable talent of leaving you wanting more from him. He is just a great, open and vulnerable actor who makes you feel for whatever he does. When he wants to be funny his tempo is nothing less than perfect. His instincts lead him to great acting choices. The Nintendo commercial has received more than three million views on YouTube. It’s no secret that Orlando is magnetic in it.”
Pineda has been a nefarious power broker (as Camilo in “The Head of the Mouse”), portrayed Marcos the illegal immigrant struggling to stay alive on the LA streets (in Immigrant Brothers) and other demanding conflicted characters which required countless hours of preparation and backstories. By contrast, his involvement in the Nintendo commercial consisted of showing up with a professional attitude and the ability to take direction. In less than three hours he was wrapped and sent off with the thanks of the director and crew. As an actor with years of experience under his belt, Pineda concedes that this was one of the most relaxed roles of his career. An actor never knows when he will be seen and therefore must always deliver his best in every role. Pineda admits that he still receives random calls from excited friends and family from the US, Italy, and other parts of the world who see him in the Nintendo commercial. It’s a reminder to him that for all of the flack that the industry takes, it’s not about being the most attractive but rather the most believable…and enjoying the fun roles that come along.