Cinthya Carmona stars in the highly acclaimed movie The Tax Collector. The crime drama written and directed by David Ayer, follows two tax collectors Creeper (Shia LaBeouf) and David (Bobby Soto) for a crime lord whose business becomes upended, making David find himself desperately protecting his family from an old rival. Cinthya plays the wife of David.
It’s been quite a career for Cinthya who always dreamt of studying and working in theater and relocated to New York City in 2012 to be trained under the direction of famed acting teacher Alice Spivak and On The Road Repertory company. After four years in NYC, Cinthya decided to move back to LA to tackle film and TV. Upon her return to Los Angeles, she booked her first guest star role in a network series, CBS’ Rush Hour, and then shortly after she booked her first series regular role on Hulu’s East Los High. Cinthya quickly went on to book another series regular role for all four seasons of Netflix’s Greenhouse Academy.
Cinthya has had a busy year filming the 2019 indie drama, Reefa directed by Jessica Kavana Dornbusch, which chronicles the true story of teen artist Reefa Hernandez whose life was cut short by police officers who tasered him for spray painting his art on an abandoned building. In this year’s Deputy (FOX), Cinthya reunited with Ayer and played the girlfriend of Deputy Brianna Bishop (Bex Taylor Klaus), the first character to come out as non-binary on network television. She also reprised her role as feisty cheerleader “Sophie Cardona” in season four of the Netflix Original series, Greenhouse Academy.
When not acting Cinthya is an advocate for trans rights, as a social issue that affects her family, as well as education reform and empowering youth. In December 2019, Cinthya backpacked in Colombia to help less fortunate kids from the Village “Por Fin” in Barranquilla. She worked on remodeling a school that provides free education, and care for the kids of that community. Her goal is to not only help kids from her hometown in Colombia but all over the world. Cinthya currently resides in Los Angeles. And with the pandemic having shut down work in Hollywood for now we had a chance to catch up with her and talk about her new projects and how she has dealt with the last few months.
Hey Cinthya! How have you been holding up the last few months given quarantine? It’s unfortunate that so many people around the world who have struggled with COVID-19, personally I have 2 family members that have passed away due to it. I can’t say everything has been great but, the silver lining for me has been taking the time to grieve, work on my mental health, and stay as creative as possible.
It’s been a rollercoaster of a year in terms of everything going on, you were helping the less fortunate in Colombia, then to experience all the massive changes to the world these past few months, how has this changed your perspective on life? For me, I’ve felt like a brand new person. My life has revolved around the entertainment industry, ever since I moved out to Los Angeles and work has been non-stop and to put a stop on that it really made me realize the importance of taking care of my mental & physical health. It’s something that I thought I had a hold of but this time really allowed me to evaluate and take a step back to make it a priority for not just me but my family as well.
Starting off your career you started with tween drama roles and now with your new role in The Tax Collector playing in the crime drama genre, how has that transition been? For me as an artist, every single role no matter the genre or audience, it’s always about the preparation. Every project has a different prep to it and a different community of artists you’re working with. To me, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a big-budget Hollywood film or a hot drama series they’re both very unique, for me it’s 100% about diving into the specifications of the role. That’s the magic and excitement for me is I can move through all these different worlds from a series dealing with real-world teenage issues, putting myself in those shoes, and then being able to work on films as dark and tense like The Tax Collector. For this film, the preparation was uniquely different working on the martial arts training and tackling into understanding the south-central L.A. gang subject matter.
How was it working with an iconic actor like Shia LaBeouf and a big director like David Ayer? Was there ever a starstruck moment or what was the dynamic like? As artists, it’s all about collaboration we are all small pieces of a greater puzzle. When I met David, for the very first time I auditioned for him it was for a different project but right away it clicked as a collaborative process to create this larger puzzle. I had tremendous respect knowing who he was and what he’s done before, I knew that we would be able to work on great things. The same goes for Shia obviously everybody knows him from these huge roles, but the minute he steps on set he elevates everybody around him. I was training 2 months before the shoot and he arrived around 3 weeks before we started filming and right away he stepped on got to work. And it was amazing to learn from him and see how he got to work and understood the collaborative process so quickly.
In The Tax Collector, your character Alexis has a really strong family dynamic. What do you want people to take away most from your role? A lot of people will take away that Alexis is just David’s wife, but that’s not the case she’s the matriarch. At the end of the day, she is not just somebody’s wife she’s a very strong woman that stands on her own, who is able to maintain the peace in her household, and as a woman, that’s what I respect the most. Behind every man is a great woman and I couldn’t agree more with that. It’s also something heavily played into the story that we worked on how she is crucial to (David’s) life.
Also, there are no directors at like David’s level who are putting Latinx talent on the map. The fact that I’m a Latinx actress in a movie that was #1 on opening day, speaks to how this is bigger than all of us and I hope this shows Hollywood that Latinx can hold a movie.
You got a chance to reunite with David Ayer on Deputy another crime drama again, is the collaborative process different on how you both approach the project? The process for The Tax Collector was very intense, we had to really explore so many sides of ourselves and it was difficult a lot of the time, constantly looking at sides of yourselves you don’t always want to look at and then training jiu-jitsu for several hours is a lot. When David called me for Deputy I was nervous about getting into it, I really just wanted another Rom-com. But right away he told me “be yourself.” And that’s really hard to do coming off of what we just did. I didn’t get into the business to be just myself, I became an artist to explore different personas.
When we did start filming though it was like the first day of school seeing your old friends and working with David that collaborative process that we established in The Tax Collector was so easy to work with coming on to this set and I think it is something we will always have.
What’s your bucket list dream role and/or co-star to work with? As a kid I always wanted to play Cleopatra, I was obsessed with her because of how powerful she was. I constantly always learned about her by reading or watching documentaries. As for a dream co-star, that’s a tough one for me because I have an incredible list of actors/actresses that have inspired me and my work. But I would have to say that my number one choice would be to work with Robert De Niro.
Who were the inspirations behind you getting into your acting career? There were 3 specific performances that changed the way I saw acting in general. And they were all females which was very inspirational for me. Juliette Lewis was very free in her performance, I remember growing up watching Natural Born Killers and being awed by her freedom and wildness and that’s something I knew I wanted to do too. Obviously also being Latina, watching Jennifer Lopez in Selena was a very big deal for me. I was around 6 when I watched that and I knew I wanted to affect people the way JLo was able to do in Selena. You could even ask my family, I cried every time I watched that movie. Also, I was a fan of the late Brittany Murphy, her performance in Girl Interrupted and just the whole film was very moving with all the female power. Murphy specifically always connected with me spiritually for some reason. When I moved to Los Angeles and first started knocking on doors, trying to make a name for myself, one of the casting directors I first got introduced too, told me that I was the “Latina Brittany Murphy.” I stopped breathing for a second because it was the greatest compliment I ever received to be compared to someone so great. But if I could do any of the work similar to these 3 women, I would be really really blessed.
Obviously on stage and off you are very proud of your background and where you come from, how do you want to make a lasting impact in your career? Before I even started acting I always wanted to help people on a bigger scale, whether it was through acting or humanitarian work. I represent a community as a Latinx actress, it’s important for me to continue to work towards paving the way for the next generation. Because the only reason I’m here is the Latinx generation before me paved the way for me to be here. So my main goal is to not only continue that but to also elevate and break the traditional stereotypes to create groundbreaking roles/projects that increase the visibility of the Latinas in this industry.