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"Our Brand is Crisis" Star DOMINIC FLORES on Sandra Bullock & Why Actors Need Self-Awa

Photo Credit: Vince Trupsin

He might not be a household name yet, but Dominic Flores is certainly on his way. The California native is thriving in the entertainment industry as not just an actor, but a producer, philantropist, self-proclaimed feminist and father, among other things.

Dominic began his professional training at the South Coast Repertory theater and hasn't stopped since then. He has been seen in the films Rampart (with Woody Harrelson), and Peep World (with Sarah Silverman and Rainn Wilson), and on TV in hits like: House, My Name is Earl, Sons of Anarchy, Trophy Wife, Cougar Town, and New Girl.

"Hone Your Craft" caught up with Dominic to ask him about his career, working with amazing talent like Sandra Bullock and his advice for aspiring actors...

A hunger for creative expression drew Dominic to acting.

We asked Dominic what made him want to pursue a career in this crazy business.

"I knew I wanted to pursue a career in acting after playing the lead in 'I Don't Have to Show you no Stinkin' Badges' by Luis Valdez at Saddleback Community College in Orange County, CA. Valdez's writing in this play inspired me to inhabit my Latino heritage. My father is South American from Bolivia but I was raised in a small beach town in the very whitebred Orange County. I grew up out of touch with my roots to some extent. Doing this play ignited a passion to learn about my culture through creative expression."

His first project went on to become a Sundance Film Fest darling.

"My first film audition was for a movie called Star Maps directed by Miguel Arteta. I was training professionally at South Coast Repertory and a fellow actor told me about a project her friend had written and was directing. I went in for the role of the sisters boyfriend and then Miguel called me back for the lead role. I did not get the lead but two weeks into filming they called to ask if I wanted to be one of the Map boys and I said yes, of course. The problem was I was so new at making movies and we were doing it for free, so I did not understand continuity. I chose to miss one day of shooting because I booked a paying gig doing an employee training video for Carls Jr. Had no idea that missing a day would jeopardize my part in the film, and of course it did. I was such a novice and so clueless that the director had to call me when I found out it was at Sundance to let me know that I was barely going to be in it. Star Maps went on to be a Sundance darling. Miguel was an amazing man to me and I will always thank him for introducing me to the industry with such a magical project, even though my naive mistake haunted me for years."

On how Howard Stern and his wife help him prepare for auditions.

"I have three small kids so preparing for auditions can be its own art form. I usually go grab some lunch - sushi at my local spot same booth, same chef, same order - and I read the script first if it is available. Understanding the scene is the key to my memorization. After that, I will go over it with my wife because she can usually spot my false moments. Then I spend my commute time just listening to Howard Stern and emptying my mind."

On his favorite on set experiences.

They include working with Hugh Laurie on House and Sandra Bullock. Lucky guy!

"I learned a lot from working with Hugh Laurie on House. And I really enjoyed improvising lines together with the comedians on Peep World. Of course nothing can beat spending three months with Sandra Bullock and David Gordon Green on Our Brand is Crisis."

On his role in the upcoming Warner Bros. film Our Brand Is Crisis.

We asked him about his experience and how he prepared for his role.

"I play a Bolivian politician named Hugo Barco and most of my scenes are opposite Sandra Bullock, who plays Calamity Jane Bodine, along with Anthony Mackie, Scoot Mcnairie, Ann Dowd and Zoe Kazan. I am the campaign manager and confidente to the Presidential candidate Castillo who is played by Jaoquim De almeida. I gained 40 lbs for the part because the director, David Gordon Green, and I felt that Hugo was a sizeable man who probably eats his emotions. We filmed in New Orleans and Puerto Rico so finding copious amounts of scrumptious and fattening delight was no problem. Also to prepare, I watched a lot of political documentaries The War Room and of course Our Brand is Crisis the documentary on which our film is based."

On working with Sandra Bullock.

"Working with Sandra was everything I could hope for in a filming experience. The rest of the cast was again, incredible. We were an ensemble and I learned so much from their expertise."

His upcoming projects include working with Susan Sarandon, and JK Simmions.

"I have two films coming out after Crisis, one called The Meddler from Sony with Susan Sarandon and JK Simmons directed by Lorene Scafalia and another film called First Girl I Loved with Pamela Adlon and Tim Heidecker and some great new young stars. The director is someone I hope to keep working with Kerem Sanga."

His most valuable piece of advice for aspiring performers.

"I think the best piece of advice I can offer to other performers would be to know yourself. It is a practice really. Self love, self awareness, knowledge of who you are defects and all. Embracing the shadow parts of our psyches. The more an actor or performer knows themselves the more access they will have to emotions and creativity in their art."

Follow Dominic's career and his Twitter @dominicflores40.

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