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Out In Hollywood: Chatting up Nestor Carbonell

Out In Hollywood: Chatting up Nestor Carbonell

  |   Written by Greg Hernandez

Article From Inside SoCal

I’m loving the CBS drama “Cane” and one of the reasons is the performance of the very handsome Nestor Carbonell who is kind of the Bobby Ewing to Jimmy Smits’ J.R. But instead of oil, the family deals in rum.

I talked to Nestor last weekend at the Diversity Awards. He had a 6 a.m. call the next morning but took the time for a gab. He was surprised and glad that I do watch the show which is in a tough time slot on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m.

Here is my column on Nestor which appears in my page 2 column of the L.A. Daily News:


Nestor Carbonell is part of a big-name cast on the CBS drama “Cane” that has one thing in common: the leads are all Latino.

There’s Emmy-winner Jimmy Smits, Emmy-winner Hector Elizondo and Oscar-winner Rita Moreno, among others.

“I’m so thrilled,” Nestor said when we chatted last week. “You always hope that strides are made and I feel they certainly have been. Even before “Suddenly Susan” when I started \[in 1996\], the kinds of roles that were open to Latinos are nothing like there are today.”

On “Susan,” his role on the Brooke Shields sitcom required that Nestor speak with a thick accent, nothing like the erudite Harvard grad actually sounds.

“You have felt that in the past, the minority characters quite often are ancillary characters to a show. Here, you have a show where most of the cast is Latino. It’s wonderful and we hope that we can break ground and that it doesn’t stop just with ‘Cane.’”

The wealthy Duque family is in the sugar and rum business and Frank is constantly overshadowed by Smits’ Alex character.

I wondered what it was like for Nestor to work with Smits, with whom he shares many heated scenes including a few weeks ago when he landed a right hook to his on-screen brother’s jaw.
“He’s amazing,” Nestor says of Smits.
I then blurt out: “But you punched him!”
Nestor, cool as ever, replied: “I did punch him. It felt kinda good though (laughs).”
“I never knew Jimmy,” he continued. “I had met him sort of briefly at events but never knew him. It’s been a real joy. The star sets the tone for the show and we have an amazing star in him. He’s always looking out for everyone in every part of the process.”

The handsome actor, who turns 40 on Dec. 1, is on a nice career roll. In addition to “Cane,” he will be seen next summer in as the mayor of Gotham City in “The Dark Knight,” the sequel to “Batman Begins.”

Nestor has worked steadily on television since “Suddenly Susan” with recurring roles on “Lost,” “Strong Medicine,” “Resurrection Blvd.” “Kim Possible” and “Cold Case.”

But “Cane” gives him a leading role in a drama for the first time since the short-lived CBS drama “Century City in 2004.

“It is a great role,” he said of Richard. “It’s sort of the brother who’s been passed over and he’s got an ax to grind. But he’s conflicted. He’s got love for his family on the one hand and obviously he’s got this contentious relationship with his adopted brother. It’s great stuff to play.”

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