James Martinez is playing double duty on Netflix, as Congressman Alex Romero on the series House of Cards, and now also starring in the hit comedy remake One Day at a Time.
Martinez plays Victor Alvarez, ex-husband of lead character Penelope Alvarez (Justina Machado), the working mother of Elena and Alex who served in the army with Victor and now works as a nurse.
Chilled caught up with Martinez to find out what he has been up to since the filming of these two shows wrapped. Don’t be surprised if you see Martinez running a Yellow Cab Company in Queens!
Tell us about the projects you are working on or have coming up.
The 5th season of House of Cards is now streaming on Netflix. I play Alex Romero, a young progressive congressman who becomes a threat to the Underwood administration. Right now, I’m shooting two recurring roles; the 6th season of Major Crimes on TNT as well as the second season of Netflix’s One Day at a Time, which is Norman Lear’s reboot of the popular 70’s sitcom.
With your busy schedule, what do you like to do with your down time?
In my down time, I help run my family business which is managing and maintaining our yellow cab company based out of Queens, NY as well as dine around the borough with his friends and family.
When you go out to eat, where do you like to dine?
Taverna Kyclades in Astoria has some of the best seafood I’ve ever had, especially their grilled octopus.
What types of dishes do you usually order?
Peruvian food has some of my favorite dishes. A Peruvian restaurant in Jackson Heights called Urumbamba has amazing ceviche. I also love the Korean BBQ all around Flushing, Queens.
Do you cook?
I dabble. I like to experiment with different meats and seasonings.
What types of drinks do you order when out?
I’m pretty simplistic. Sunday’s for brunch, I like a screwdriver with Tito’s Vodka. I also love my Red Breast, Chivas or Jameson Whiskey and Ginger Ale. Not really a rum guy but when I have it, I like Havana Club on the rocks.
Do you prepare drinks at home?
Not really, when I’m home I pretty much kick back with a lager or whatever type of beer I’m in the mood for. Being a New Yorker it depends on the season.
Do you own a home bar?
No, I pretty much get things as I need them. Everything I have at home are leftovers from hosting friends and family. I always have aguardiente (Colombian liquor) at home because that’s what my family likes when they come over.
If you did own a home bar, what would it be like?
I would set it up in the basement of my Queens house and try and replicate my local Irish Pub, The Ready Penny. A lot of wood and dim lighting with a great selection of whiskies, vodkas and fresh beer on tap.
What is your favorite drink or cocktail?
A Manhattan or an Old Fashioned. These were very popular during my Juilliard days when we’d bar hop around the Upper West Side with my fellow acting students. Brings back good memories.
Have you ever been a bartender?
No, my side job has always been the taxi business but since my drivers and mechanics are so diverse I get exposed to interesting food and liquor from all over.