With a Best Actor award for his portrayal of baseball great Roberto Clemente and a meaty role in a new soap opera that premieres today, actor Modesto Lacen is landing the types of roles that many actors long for.
In the Telemundo soap opera, “Relaciones Peligrosas (Dangerous Relationships),” Lacen takes on the role of Bertrand DuPont, a Haitian father and businessman who faces some tough obstacles. “In this show, I play a father whose son is being bullied at school. I’m going to be handling that issue but we will also deal with issues of racism and prejudice. We hope to show how people can take care of their issues and overcome them and be an example of dignity.”
In the off-Broadway play “The Roberto Clemente Story,” Lacen plays the Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder who, in 1960, became the first Hispanic baseball player to win a World Series as a starter. The play, which Lacen says has received “really good responses from audiences and critics,” begins a limited off-Broadway engagement on February 14 and runs through April 8.
Lacen, who, like Clemente, is Black and Puerto Rican, says it’s an honor to portray such an icon. “Growing up in my house he was someone we always looked up to,” he says. “Besides being a great baseball player he was a great example for Puerto Ricans, specifically Black Puerto Ricans. This is a way for me to pay homage to a great man and his legacy.” Lacen won an ACE Best Actor award for his role in the play, which garnered six awards total. He has also received an ATI nomination for his work.
The play is tentatively slated to tour Pittsburgh, Orlando, Miami, Puerto Rico and Nicaragua. For show times and ticket information, visit www.teatrosea.org.
A native of Loiza, Puerto Rico with some 20 films and numerous TV shows to his credit, Lacen says it’s important for him to take on meaningful roles. “I became an actor not for the fame or the money. Acting is my calling. It is very important for me to invest my energy in