Victor Ortiz of ‘Expendables 3’
With Expendables 3 hitting the theatres August 15th, it looks like it may be time for Victor Ortiz to change his Twitter bio (@VICIOUSortiz) which currently reads: “I’m a champion. I’m a boxer. That’s it. Period.”
For those who don’t know his telling story, Victor Ortiz is a living, breathing example of the ultimate American dream. The 27-year-old overcame numerous childhood challenges to conquer the world — both inside and outside the ring. Born and raised in Garden City, Kansas, Ortiz found himself on his own at the young age of 12 and by the age of 18 was already assuming responsibility by legally adopting his younger brother.
Having been awarded three boxing titles (WBC Welterweight Champion, WBO NABO Light Welterweight, and USBA Light Welterweight Champion) in his career already, Ortiz is now entering the world of entertainment by storm with his role as Mars in “Expendables 3,” alongside action greats Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wesley Snipes, and Harrison Ford. Stallone recognized Ortiz’s promise early on when the boxer went up against a few key established young actors during auditions.
Jayme Lamm: So tell me about your role in The Expendables 3?
Victor Ortiz: In the role, my name is Mars, and I go off of being a weaponry specialist and in reality, I don’t know anything about weapons, so yeah, they gave me guns, gun training and whatnot. I’m one of the elite soldiers that’s pretty much willing to do anything for my team.
Thankfully, to memorize my lines, it’s not a hard thing for me. I have a very good memory. I know that might catch people off guard because I’m a boxer, but I’m also finishing my major at the University of Kansas, so my memory isn’t too bad. I think some of the coolest things I got to experience was hanging out with some of the big boys, like Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and just people like that. It was really cool. I think if there was one thing I could probably take and sum it up to you… I don’t know–the whole experience is awesome.
JL: You mentioned a ton of huge names in the movie. Was there one that really helped you out more than others? Did anybody take you under their wing?
VO: That was the good thing about everyone. Everyone was really positive–they’d give me their two cents, how I should act, what would be better, etc. so everybody was very helpful. Especially when I had questions. Being the first film, I guess it was kind of nerve-racking at times, but thankfully they just worked with me to keep me on my feet and say “Just look Vic, you can do this to make this better, you can do this, this, and that.’
JL: Was there anyone on the cast that just stuck out?
VO: Pranksters–there was Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Kellan, Glen, Ronda… we were pretty much the pranksters of the whole thing. So, we had a good time between us all.
JL: Out of all the guys in the movie, if you could fight any of them in their prime, who?
VO: I wouldn’t say “fight,” but boxing… boxing is a sport, fighting is just fighting. As far as boxing goes, who wouldn’t want to box Rocky Balboa?
JL: You think you could take him?
VO: Southpaw against a southpaw, I don’t know.
JL: Do you see any more action films in your future?
VO: Absolutely. Right now I’m working on a movie called Southpaw starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, 50 Cent, which is Curtis, and myself. Quite a few names on that cast, so having a good time there. We’re in Pittsburgh doing that.
JL: For your first two movies, you have a very star studded cast to go along with you.
VO: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve been very blessed, very fortunate. Now, I’m not done with boxing, remember that. I’ll be World Champion once again, once my team of management and promoters settle their disputes, we’re going back in the ring. Titles, upsetting some people, then people will hate me even more.
JL: People hate you?
VO: Oh yeah, in the boxing world, I’m well-hated.
JL: Do you consider that a good thing?
VO: It pushes me more because I like to make people swallow their words. I’m not a bad guy, what you see is what you get with me, but in the boxing world, that doesn’t fly because you have to be the machismo, like yap-yap-yap, but I don’t yap, I just show you what I’m going to do.
JL: Do you get into any of the social media or mean stuff people say on blogs and articles–they just get vicious. Do you read that crap?
VO: I call people like that computer bullies, or computer gangsters. I actually had the privilege to see this guy that was on Twitter, he was yapping at me. I got to see him in New York, and I recognized him. One of the big loudmouths on Twitter. And as I was passing by, I make my way and he was doing this type of thing “effin this, effin that, you wuss,” but the worst of words. I hear him and I spot him. I go to that section and people want to take pictures of me, this and that, and he’s doing this *mouthing off*, but he won’t pick his head up. I finally go “Excuse me, sweetheart…”
JL: Wait a sec, you called him sweetheart?
VO: No, no, no, to this girl next to him. “Excuse me sweetheart, can you move real quick? Just for a second?” I grabbed his ass by his shirt, I brought him forward, said, “I know who the hell you are. You’re the guy from Twitter, right? You have quite the mouth on you.” I made him feel this big, and the guy’s about 6’2 or 6’3. And I was like, “You know, it’s funny. I get you and you’re like ‘No, it wasn’t me.’ I know exactly who the hell you are.”
And I was like “How would you like it if I put my !*(%in” fist down your throat. Would you like that?” When I said that to him, the dude is just $#!+ting bricks like “Oh my God, I’m just a fan and you just upset me time and time again.” I was like, “I don’t give a damn. Doesn’t give you the right to talk to somebody like me like that.” Had him by the shirt close to me, and I just shoved him back. The fans were like “Ooooooh, $#!+.” I was like, “Do me a favor. If you can, contact some lawyers and $#!+, and tell them that I harassed you.’
JL: Damn, you don’t mess around!
VO: I’m a very nice guy.
JL: Until you’re pushed to your limit, right? I’m very similar.
VO: Just don’t mistake my kindness for weakness. Because I will be the devil. Lucifer in flesh.
JL: You’re obviously very confident in your boxing skills. You’ve got titles to stand that up so does the criticism get to you?
VO: You hear it all. “You’re not the greatest. You’re a piece of this; you’re a piece of that. Oh my God, you’re the best pound for pound; you’re this, you’re that.” It’s like, just shut your mouth, let me work.
JL: What if you hear that same criticism with your acting? Are you going to feel differently because you’re still new at it or you just brush it off?
VO: I just brush it off, especially in this new career because I’m dipping my feet, and I’m doing a damn good job at it.
JL: Tell me something about yourself that would shock people?
JL: Where’s your favorite place to snowboard?
JL: Tell me about your background as a kid. I know it was pretty rough, but I want to hear your story.
VO: I was seven years old. At the time my dad was still around, so I was a little fat kid that played piano, oh, and I was in the choir. Also had vocal coaching, did school solos and whatnot, so I got made fun of a lot, got called every name in the dictionary because of that. From there, I got beat up so much that I came home one day, my dad said “In this family there aren’t going to be any &*$$!%$.”
So they made me go to the boxing gym against my will, and pretty soon I was so good at it, but I hated it. I was seven and came home from school and my mom was gone. She left us. From seven to twelve, my dad was around, but he’d leave for a bit, come back for a little while, leave, and come back. I said to myself “I’m going to be something big one day in boxing.” So I took over. Of course, I watched the Rocky movies a few times.
JL: Which one is your favorite?
VO: I’d say the first one. He’s a street kid with nothing but a dream, and does something huge.
JL: If you were asked to be in a Rocky remake, would you do it?
VO: No. You don’t mess with that. That’s Rocky Balboa at its finest.
JL: I heard you adopted your brother?
VO: When I was turning 18 years old, I filed for custody of my younger brother. Brought him out to California, I became his guardian; he was a pain in the butt. He scared me from having kids! To say the least, I can wait another 10 years without kids, I’ll be fine.
JL: Are you still close?
VO: Yeah, he’s my younger brother! He’s a pain in the butt for the most part. He’s finally coming to his senses; he just recently had a baby. She’s adorable, I haven’t met her, but I’ve seen pictures of her, and I Facetime with her. Beautiful little girl, her name is Sophia. I have two nieces and three nephews.
JL: What’s your focus right now?
VO: As of right now, the focus was boxing. And then they canceled my fight–back to back. I was like “You know what? You guys are just jerking me around so I’m going ahead and do what I need to do.” So in that case, I called my agency along with management and I said, “Give me whatever you guys can,” They got me on a couple movies back to back and that’s where I’m at right now. If I had a fight, I would be in training camp.
JL: Anything else you want to add about the movie or the experience or a message to your fans?
VO: Just enjoy the movie, and I hope you guys have a blast watching.
This article originally ran in the sport’s section of CBS Man Cave Daily. Click here to see the original article.