Native New Yorker Nelson Estevez is an actor and mixed martial artist who has worked on his own choreography for fight scenes.

Estevez began his career in NYC training at Terry Schreiber Studios, which gave him strong foundational skills in theater. Estevez recently starred in the film Acrimony, a psychological thriller produced, written, and directed by Tyler Perry. The film also stars Taraji P. Henson, Lyriq Bent, Jazmyn Simon, and Crystle Stewart, and follows a loyal wife who decides to take revenge on her ex-husband. Estevez plays “Casey,” who has a close connection to the family and “Melinda” (Henson).

Chillin with Nelson-Estevez, overview with jean jacket and wood background

Chillin with Nelson-Estevez

Photo by Michael Roud

Tell us a bit about the projects you are working on.

I am excited to say that I landed a supporting role in Tyler Perry’s, Acrimony, starring the very talented Taraji P. Henson. I play the character named Casey, who is one of Taraji’s (Melinda’s) brother-in-laws that tries to be as supportive as possible to his wife June (played by Jazmyn Simon) and Melinda during Melinda’s decisions and eventual actions after feeling “used” and “betrayed” by her ex-husband Robert (Lyriq Bent).

I have also been more behind the scenes working on projects. I’m currently in the process of directing, writing, and producing, so I’ll be submitting to future festivals for an upcoming short film which we raised $23k for. The name of the short is called, “Tubby Hook” and it’s a loose story on tension between the Irish and Dominican communities living in Inwood, Manhattan in the 1980’s. I have also written two pilot series dealing with certain common issues but from Afro Latino perspectives—those are ready to go! I also worked on a film directed by Aisha Tyler (Criminal Minds) called, “Axis” which was just released in streaming platforms iTunes, Amazon, Fandango. Sam Rockwell, Emily Bett Rickards, Emmett Hughes, Adam Rodriguez are just a few of the great actors attached to this film which I am proud to be a part of.

With your busy schedule, what do you like to do with your downtime?

Rest! Sometimes it’s difficult because you just want to keep going with the momentum. It’s easier said than done but sometimes you just need to regroup, rest, and restore your body, mind, and spirit. It’s just as important as the grind.

When you go out to eat, where do you like to dine?

I love some Ethiopian cuisine! I’m usually in little Ethiopia in Los Angeles over on Fairfax Avenue. It’s something about the spices combined with the lentils, split peas, vegetables, and injera. I also love how it’s served on a large plate, which is very communal, intimate and eaten with your hands.

Chillin with Nelson-Estevez, portrait with black jacket and white shirt

Chillin with Nelson-Estevez

Photo by Michael Roud

What types of dishes do you usually order?

Vegetarian combo and sometimes I order the full fried fish to come with it; depending on my mood. It makes me feel as if I’m back in Dominican Republic by the beach.

Do you cook?

I do! I’m still learning but have made vast improvements. I love to grill food. I can eat grilled salmon all day, every day. I’m pretty simple and efficient when it comes to cooking.

What types of drinks do you order when out?

I’ll have a Sazerac chilled, Old Fashioned neat, or a Negroni on the rocks. It depends on the bartender/location, and on my mood. I don’t drink much so I’m usually feeling fine after one, super nice after two, and ready for bed after three drinks.

Chillin with Nelson-Estevez, black jacket and white shirt

Chillin with Nelson-Estevez

Photo by Michael Roud

Do you prepare drinks at home?  

Once in a while after a long day I might make an Old Fashioned to unwind.

Do you own a home bar?

I own a home bar table but eventually I will own a home bar. Goals.

What will your home bar be like?

I would stock it with a plethora of whiskeys, bourbons, and ryes. I would also stock some scotch and wines for my lady.

What is your favorite drink/cocktail?

Chilled Sazerac. I actually like a splash of the absinthe left in the drink.

Have you ever been a bartender?

Once when I worked for a wedding, I was doing catering after graduating college. It was a limited menu with simple drinks like Jack and Cokes, Seven on Sevens, Cosmos, etc. I was a generous pourer!

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