ARMY WIVES’ Joseph Julian Soria Leads the Way to Stardom for Latino Actors
Joseph Julian (JJ) Soria is really making a name for himself in Hollywood these days. He is now a series regular, starring as Private First Class Hector Cruz, in Lifetime’s Army Wives, now in its seventh season.
It’s Not Over ‘Til It’s Over
As I speak with Soria in North Carolina, I learn that Hector’s relationship with Gloria (Alyssa Diaz) just may not be over. (For those who watch the show, the couple is on the verge of divorce).
Soria sees Hector as “a young man who’s learning about himself. He’s coming into his own, learning how to deal with a new marriage, and just learning as he goes along with Gloria.
“And, though their relationship seems to be coming to a close,” he continues, “there’s still the question of ‘what’s gonna happen?’ Is there still hope for saving this marriage?’”
It’s a Hard Life
This season Hector is dealing with everything from the failing marriage to learning how everything’s run in the military to simply staying alive in Afghanistan.
Soria says, “Hector’s out there in the field, and he’s realizing it’s not the way he thought it was gonna be. He’s trying to deal with it all. We’ll watch him grow and mature in the new season, even redeem himself in a lot of ways. We’ll see him make the right choices as opposed to last season where he made all the wrong ones.”
Soria also tells me he thinks Hector relates well to men currently serving in the military. “I’ve had fans tell me how they recognized the look on Hector’s face when he was in the Drop Zone last season, things like that.
“But I don’t think he’s like any other character I’ve ever played. Each character I play is their own.”
There’s More to Come in 2013
Two of these characters can be seen in upcoming 2013 projects like Filly Brown (from Edward James Olmos’ Olmos Productions) and the indie project Mission Park.
Soria says, “Filly Brown is a beautiful story about a young girl who aspires to be a professional rapper. She’s also working to save money to get her mother out of jail, and she’ll do whatever it takes to do that. In the end, she discovers that family is what matters most to her.
“My character, MC Wyatt, is the main antagonist in the film, and he’s the star of the label Filly is trying to sign with. Basically, she takes the spotlight from him, and he tries to get it back.
“Mission Park is a very interesting film that I’m really excited about. I believe it’s my best performance to date.
“Basically, it’s about four childhood friends who go in different directions in life, then come back together on different sides of the law. Their friendship is put to the test. There’s a lot of drama, and a lot of action. And the film has a great ending.
“I play Derek, who winds up in a drug cartel with one of the other guys. Derek is smart and knows how to keep things moving. He’s had a rough life, including being abused by his mother as a kid.”
Here’s How It All Started
Soria tells me that he got into acting in college, when he took an Introduction to Theatre class, because he needed the units.
His instructor described acting as “creating characters and telling stories.” Soria says, “I fell in love with the idea of being able to do that and make a living.
“That was the spring of 2003, and by the end of 2004, I had booked my first project – for a Levi commercial – and I’ve been working ever since.”
Watch Soria as Hector Cruz on Sunday nights on Lifetime.
Cheryl has been a freelance TV/film writer for more than 10 years. Simultaneously, she has worked in PR for Bon Jovi Productions in NYC, PolyGram Records (also in NYC), and Rogers & Cowan Public Relations. Cheryl has published articles at suite101.com, “Sci-Fi Entertainment” magazine, and “Soap Opera Weekly.” She was also a credited researcher for English author Denis Meikle’s JOHNNY DEPP: A KIND OF ILLUSION. Cheryl enjoys writing for the entertainment industry and meeting new people. She is also an animal lover.