Jorge Lendeborg Jr is representing his Dominican culture and people with every moment he appears on the big screen.
Jorge Lendeborg Jr has been popping up all over the place since he starred in the Steven Caple Jr directed independent offering, The Land. Though it’s only been a little over three years since we first came across his considerable talents, he keeps appearing where we least expect him every time we turn around.
Recently, the Shadow League had the opportunity speak with Lendeborg about his role in the upcoming film Battle Angel Alita, how his path seems to always intersect with the coolest projects, the ways he brings his Dominican culture to set with him and much, much more.
Lendeborg, who stole many scenes in the Transformers reboot Bumblebee, plays a Hunter in Battle Angel Alita. From all appearances, it looks like he has an affection for science fiction projects or they have an affection for him. We’re not sure of which, but we are sure that he’s trying to own as many spaces as he can.
“I try to do the best work that I can possibly do and I just try to do projects that I’m really interested in,” he said. “As far as sci-fi is concerned, I really just like it and I feel like it is a genre that really lets you explore a bunch of different concepts when you otherwise might not be able to. I feel like its been a blur and I’m now just starting to be able to look up. Smell the roses, is that the saying?”
The Shadow League: What is it about you as far as getting consistent gigs is concerned. Yet, you’re only 23-years-old.
JL: Dude, it’s a combination of all those things. I gotta thank God first and foremost because without Him none of those other things would have been possible. Not only that but loving parents along the way. Two, you gotta be honest about your skill level and about what is and isn’t likely for you. I’m sure a lot of actors go through that.
Three, there is a lot of luck involved. I was very lucky to be cast in the movies that I did and very lucky regarding the order that they came out as well. It’s timing, but also persistence and believing in yourself and making sure you give a real performance. I feel like, actors have been doing the audition process for so long they kind of psyche themselves out beforehand. They do more damage to themselves. All of the rejection brings actors down already as they entered the room.
I feel like you have to go in like you already got the job. Like, you’re not trying to prove too much. Like you’re just confident in your abilities. You gotta go in feeling like you’ve already got the job, like you’re already working on it.
TSL: Where are you from and how do you think you’re able allow your culture to manifest while onset?
JL: I was born in the Dominican Republic and my last name is Swedish or Dutch. There’s a lot of different strands of genes in here but I was born in DR.
My culture is really based on family man, just being able to stay grounded and having parents that really care and even the flavor, you know?
Dominicans, I feel like we have a lot of charm, a lot of flavor. If you’re having a good time, then you’re going to attract a good energy and that makes you feel good.
If you feel good then you’re going to do good work and I feel like Dominicans usually feel pretty good. Everything sort of turns into a little party for Dominicans.
When we were doing Love Simon, we had a cat we were there for so long. We had scheduled rehearsals, and that was the first time that I was able to get that in a movie with the others. We went out a lot and sometimes they would want me to start the festivities.
You need that injection of energy, you gotta have a guy who’s going to DJ, you gotta have that guy in the back that’s going to be saying ‘Awww, yeah!’
TSL: Battle Angel Alita, Bumblebee, what’s next for you?
JL: In the can right now, I’ve got this movie directed by and starring John Leguizamo. He’s in the film with me and Michael K. Williams. That movie is the real life story based on a chess team in Miami. It’s a really poor neighborhood, right outside of Overtown. They come from the worst of circumstances, but they show that people of color also are entitled to properties of intellect, you know?
What is cool is I was actually playing a Dominican in the movie, and they sent me back home.
That was a great time! So look out for that!
Battle Angel Alita hits theaters on Thursday, February 14 and Bumblebee is currently on DVD/Blue-Ray