By Kathy Chouteau
Hercules resident Alonso Saravia credits a Richmond Standard Facebook post with sparking the launch of his acting career, which has included work on blockbuster films alongside stars like Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves and Mark Wahlberg.
Saravia, a graduate of Pinole Valley High School who has dreamt of becoming an actor since childhood, spotted the social media post five years ago this month notifying the community of a casting call in Vallejo for the Netflix show “13 Reasons Why.” Within a few months, he was booked to work as an on-call extra on the popular show, eventually landing a role as a student for seasons two, three and four—with the latter two seasons spent working as a “core student.”
His work on 13 Reasons Why, coupled with the numerous industry connections he made during the experience “created a domino effect” that led to a string of future roles on blockbuster films shot in the Bay Area and beyond, said Saravia, who now works as an actor full-time.
One such opportunity saw Saravia in a role as an FBI agent sharing a scene with Keanu Reeves on the Bay Area set of “Matrix Resurrections.” Calling it a “crazy opportunity,” the local actor said that Reeves was every bit as “down-to-earth and humble” as his reputation purports him to be.
Saravia’s first “pinch-me moment” as an actor came while working on the set of the Marvel movie “Ant-Man & the Wasp,” where he was “star struck the whole time” working alongside the likes of Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Douglas. He said it was “a childhood dream come true” to work on the set of a Marvel movie and reflected at the time, “I’m living the dream that I had as child.”
Another memorable moment for Saravia came when he played a crime scene investigator in a second Marvel movie, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” starring Tom Hardy. The longtime superhero fan said he was “in awe” and it “hit on a personal level” when he filmed his role on a beach in Sausalito. The actor’s other notable work to date has included working with Mark Walberg and Mel Gibson on “Father Stu”—released earlier in 2022 and coming out on digital next week—and also a role as a BLM movement protestor during a performance with Lil Baby at the “63rd Annual Grammy Awards” in 2021.
But he says his biggest work to date was on the soon-to-be-released film “Bullet Train” starring Brad Pitt—who just so happens to be Saravia’s favorite actor. He said Brad was “in the zone” on set, so he met him but didn’t really have a conversation with him. However, he did get to play an ill-fated wedding guest in a scene alongside another one of his personal favorite artists—Bad Bunny.
Bullet Train comes out July 29 and Saravia—who likes to see his movies at Century Hilltop 16—said he’s really excited “to have had the opportunity to work on this movie” regardless of what he did in it. “It gives me a sense of pride and I hope that I motivate other people to chase their dreams, because one day you can be in the same role of working with a person who you looked up to your whole life…that is possible,” he added.
When asked if he had any advice for budding actors, Saravia said, “Go for it! It’s never gonna be the perfect time to chase your dreams—the circumstances in your life will never be perfect.”
He went on to add, “When I took the risk, and I took the leap of faith, I took it not knowing what’s gonna be on the other side. But on the other side of that, everything just completely changed in my life. So I would just tell people to go for it…Even if you feel scared, or even if you feel doubtful. Just go for it, because the time is now.”
Along with his encouraging words for budding actors, Saravia has an attitude of gratitude for how he first started down this path.
“The Richmond Standard is literally the reason why I found out about all of this,” said the actor. “I don’t know if my life would have been the same if I wouldn’t have seen that post…So I just wanted to say, thank you for what you guys do—because maybe you guys don’t realize it or maybe a lot of people might not tell you sometimes—but your work is very powerful and I will forever be grateful.”
Saravia added, “Literally, my life changed after that [post].” Learn more about Alonso Saravia on IMDB.