Salsa singer nabs cop role on ‘HawthoRNe’
For a kid from the projects of El Barrio who was in bilingual classes and who stuttered, Marc Anthony has done all right.
He is the most popular salsa singer in the world.
Married to Jennifer Lopez, Anthony also becomes a series regular on TNT’s “HawthoRNe” when it returns for its third season Tuesday, June 14.
“I have been really lucky this year,” he says. “I thought there was a cap as to how great things can be.”
At 42, Anthony is in a wonderful place. He has achieved his goals but knows there’s still work to do.
“There comes a time where you pretty much have scratched every itch, for lack of another phrase,” he says. “I have pretty much done everything that I thought I would or could. But what ends up happening is I want to do great work now.
“If I am going to do it, it’s not about just doing it anymore,” he continues. “I want to enjoy it. And so you look for challenges within what you do, and you look forward to enjoying the process and it being good work. The only thing left is bungee jumping, which I am not looking forward to.”
He’s sold more than 11 million records, been in Martin Scorsese’s “Bringing Out the Dead,” among other films, and acted on Broadway in “The Capeman,” and he con- tinues to sell out arenas. It all began with that sultry voice.
“I used to stutter,” he says. “And when I sang, I didn’t stutter, and singing became my safe haven. Someone asked me, ‘When did you decide to become a singer?’ I didn’t formally decide. It was just something I was just born to do. It was where I lived.”
Where he physically lived was East Harlem, in the projects.
“It was a really colorful time,” he says. “I miss the noise, the bustle.”
Constantly working and with 3-year-old twins, he’s not lacking in noise and bustle, but taking a steady gig was attractive.
“I have always wanted to do episodic TV, and I had been talking about it for the last year and half with Jennifer because I could be in one place,” he says.
The show, starring Jada Pinkett Smith as strong-willed nurse Christina Hawthorne, has Anthony playing Detective Nick Renata.
In the character’s introduction last season, Renata was ready to arrest Hawthorne for interfering in a foster care situation. By the end of that episode, they went out for a pancake dinner. There was great chemistry between them, and a scene on a park bench showed two characters sitting closer than colleagues would, at ease with each other.
As Renata, Anthony has just the right swagger.
“He’s extremely complex, powerful, weak,” Anthony says of his character. “He’s powerfully vulnerable. It’s all about layers with Renata.”
“To play Renata on a daily basis has to be one of the coolest jobs I ever had in my life, especially with the arc of the season,” he says. “What actor on the planet would not want to play Renata?”
Executive producer and writer John Tinker says the only problem is they wish Anthony’s schedule allowed for more.
“Both character and actor have a worldview unlike anyone on the show, and it not only allows us to explore a quite different point of view but forces the characters to confront things they otherwise wouldn’t confront in the confines of James River Hospital.”
Marc Anthony on “HawthoRNe.”