Meet Rob Alicea, award-winning LatinX director, screenwriter, actor, and producer from New York City!
Where are you from originally?
I’m a Queens kid, through and through. Born & raised in Astoria, where I currently reside.
What project are you currently working on? What is your role in the project?
I’m directing two horror films this year –The Hat Man, based on the paranormal phenomena shared by countless people across the world – The second project Hellmouth is a love letter to the horror comedies I grew up on like the Evil Dead and Phantasm franchises. I’m also executive producing a film called LIL, the biopic of Lillian Hardin-Armstrong. I’ll close out 2022 by heading into pre-production for The Harvest, a folk horror twist on the Dutch rite of passage.
Do you have a favorite hat under the “creator” umbrella?
Great question! Screenwriting is where it all begins, so that is probably one of the most important things I do. My role as a director, however, is the one that continues to challenge, humble, and excite me. At the end of the day, I just want to be a part of bringing incredible stories to life.
What were your earliest inspirations? How did you get started as a creator?
I’m lucky to have grown up in, what I consider, the best decade in cinema: the 80s. I grew up watching Back to the Future, The Lost Boys, Goonies, I could go on. They made me fall in love with movies. And once I got to college, and they said I could pick whatever classes I wanted, I hopped into my first official acting class. Acting was what began my love of storytelling, which would quickly develop into a passion for filmmaking.
Whose work do you admire? Who are your dream collaborators?
My bucket list collaborator would be Kevin Smith. If there was no Kevin Smith, there’d be no me. In terms of pure admiration, of course, Kevin, Steven Soderbergh, Edward Burns, Christopher Nolan, Don Coscarelli, and Stanley Kubrick.
If you had to give one piece of career advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Trust in your voice. Perfection is an illusion. Don’t be afraid of getting knocked down, you’ll always get back up.
What’s your must-watch show or movie?
Hands down, Cobra Kai. I have binged every season the very night they drop. It has everything I ever wanted in a television show: humor, heart, excitement, and you truly become invested in each character.
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