July 4, 2020
Manny’s Big Dog World
Dominican Republic has always produced some of the best, including architects, athletes, painters, writers, cuisine and resort getaways. In the past couple decades or so, the world has gotten to know a handful of multi- faceted actors straight from Hispaniola.
Born in Baitoa, Santiago, Manuel Pérez Batista is one of Republica Dominicana’s gems as the first Dominican lead in an American series. As one of eleven siblings, he and his family moved to Providence, Rhode Island when he was 10 years of age. By high school graduation, Manny knew the stage was his calling. He moved to New York shortly after to major in Drama at the Marymount Manhattan College, and has lived in Washington Heights ever since.
Manny is becoming one of the most recognized Latino Actors in Hollywood. His 1993 debut was in the Japanese action- thriller Nyû Yôku no koppu (New York Cop). He has since been cast in a variety of roles, from leads to co-starring in over fifty productions, including various television series’, as well as major and independent films.
Along with his passions as an actor and philanthropist, Pérez also has a knack for script writing and producing, as demonstrated in his first personal project Washington Heights (2002), where he also plays the lead role. Manny garnered praise from many critics, and won the 2002 Best Actor Award at The Milan International Film Festival for his performance.
Over the years, Manny has been very active in the Dominican film industry. Starring in movies like the action- drama La Soga (2009), the romance- comedy Colao (2017), and most recently paying homage to Dominican wrestling icon Jack Veneno, in Veneno (2018) .
Pérez stars in the new crime thriller series Big Dogs, now streaming on Amazon Prime. Alongside Michael Rabe and fellow on- screen veteran Brett Cullen, this show already has fans on the edge of their seats.
With a recurring role as Officer Santiago, Pérez is excited to be cast as one of the main protagonists, according to his exclusive interview with meaww.com.
Manny goes on to say, the show is based on Adam Dunn’s first novel, about “a world where the economy collapses and the government is being defunded. The black market is where people make money. The irony of this experience was that I had shot this thing [over] 20 months ago [and in comparison, life seems to imitate art in today’s climate]. So I hope it doesn’t go any deeper or darker now in real life”.
As for his role, Pérez adds, “this character is well rounded. He has a heart, he has family values, which I [also] have… [Santiago is] always going through something, the character is always in his mind, trying to figure out what’s wrong with his world and trying to find the truth… and justice”, often times frustrated with not being heard, unable to catch a break.
Representation on every size screen is extremely important to the Latino community now more than ever. In a conversation with Urban Latino, Manny says, ‘it’s very rare and hard to get the lead as a Latino in [Hollywood], and the show is written for a Dominican detective. It’s unheard of!”. Expressing his gratitude for the opportunity, not only as a triumph for himself, but also as a role model for his community and culture.
Manny Peréz has most certainly earned his position as a big dog in the industry! Fans of high action, controversial, crime and drama series’ can enjoy his performance in the full first season of Big Dogs, available now streaming on Amazon Prime and tubitv worldwide.