Tyler Alvarez is playing a role in Blockbuster that feels familiar to his own life on the new comedy series from Netflix. In an interview on the Actors With Issues podcast, the young star shared how much he related to his character, an aspiring film director who is working at the world’s last existing Blockbuster store, and how his own dream career pursuit at time conflicts with his own parents’ desires for him.

“[My character] Carlos is dealing with whether I should chase my dreams or follow the path that my parents, who are immigrants, have set for me. Because they’ve struggled a lot, they’ve come to this country with dreams for me. I have my own set of dreams, but do I follow those? Do I take a risk”

In Netflix’s latest comedy series, Alvarez is joined by Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Olga Merediz (In The Heights), with creator and showrunner Vanessa Ramos, known for her work on two of the biggest workplace comedies of the last decade, NBC’s Superstore and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Blockbuster marks Alvarez’s fourth project with Netflix, previously starring in American Vandal and recurring roles on Orange Is The New Black and Never Have I Ever. Tyler went on to share how he personally felt between two world just as his character did, and how many young artists felt the same way as him. “I’ve talked to so many people who are torn in the same position, where it’s ‘do I follow my passion or do I settle and do what’s safe?’

“They’re both scary and I hope that that opens up that dialogue for them, no matter what they end up choosing in life.”

Alvarez, who shared he has been working fairly consistently in entertainment for a decade, impassionately said, “Your happiness and your life is not dependent on what you do.

“I love what I do. I love, breathe, and eat it. I’m obsessive about it. Almost too much,” he laughed. “This is my life. I’ve been working since I was 15. It’s been tunnel vision.

“I’ve learned recently through grief that the most important thing in life is living. Even though I get to live my dreams everyday and love what I do, nothing beats life itself. Family, friends, travel, food. Life. Life is like an amusement park. You don’t want to get stuck on one ride. You want to ride every ride before you leave.”

Blockbuster is streaming its entire first season now on Netflix.

Here’s the logline for the series: Timmy Yoon (Randall Park) Is an analog dreamer living in a 5G world. And after learning he is operating the last Blockbuster Video in America, Timmy and his staff employees including his long-time crush, Eliza (Melissa Fumero) fight to stay relevant. The only way to succeed is to remind their community that they provide something big corporations can’t: human connection.

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Juan Ayala

Juan Ayala is a New York City-based actor, entertainment journalist, podcast producer & host. He has written for MediaVillage.com since 2017 under his column ‘Multicultural TV’, providing commentary on content geared toward young and diverse audiences, as well as the Latine and LGBTQ+ communities. As an actor, he has appeared in various theatrical productions in his home state of Connecticut, and co-starred on multiple television series including NBC’s Blindspot and ABC’s For Life. In May 2020, he launched his first podcast, ‘Actors With Issues’, which features interviews with actors working in television, film and Broadway, sharing their experiences and how they’ve overcome obstacles and issues that actors commonly face, from lack of representation and diversity to navigating mental health. The following year, he launched a new podcast with MediaVillage.com, to accompany his column, titled ‘Multicultural TV Talk’ which spotlights young and diverse talent from entertainment. Juan is also the co-host for Latin Media Group’s Latin Babbler Show, which showcases Latin excellence and culture. He also hosts a monthly spin-off show called LatinArte, where he interviews rising Latin voices in entertainment, highlighting their work, culture and positive impact on the community. You can follow Juan on Instagram @juanayalaofficial for all the latest in his acting, writing and podcasting endeavors.