By Luis Reyes
Pepe Serna, a veteran actor of both stage and screen (Scarface, Car Wash, and Day of the Locust), stars as a small town Sheriff trying to solve a grisly murder with the help of a Japanese crime novelist in Man From Reno, a Japanese-American Seven Arts co-production, directed by Dave Boyle. Man From Reno, will be screened in competition at The Los Angeles Film Festival on Sunday June 15th, 2014 6:30 P.M. and again on Wednesday June 18th 9:00 P.M at the Regal Cinemas in Downtown Los Angeles. Serna along with director Dave Boyle will be in attendance for a Q&A at both screenings
Serna recently completed a role in the upcoming romantic comedy, Cake starring Jennifer Aniston, William H. Macy and Adriana Barraza.
Serna has appeared in over 100 film roles and more than 300 episodic television credits over his long career that includes such films as the Western classic Shoot Out opposite Gregory Peck, American Me starring with Edward James Olmos, the Science fiction cult classic “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai.” Clint Eastwood’s The Rookie, Lawrence Kasdan’s Silverado, John Schlesinger’s Day Of The Locust, Michael Schultz’s Car Wash and Dalton Trumbo’s Johnny ‘s Got His Gun.
He has the distinction of having played super star Jennifer Lopez’s father, early in her career, on the TV series “Second Chances.” and spin-off “Hotel Malibu.”
Serna is perhaps best recognized today for his role as Angel, the doomed Cuban refugee buddy of Al Pacino’s Tony Montana who meets his demise at the end of a chainsaw in what Entertainment Weekly described as “One of the top 100 Bloodiest Memorable Movie Scenes” in Scarface..
Upcoming for the actor are roles in two independent films, Aguruphobia a comedy, directed by Richard Montes who co-wrote the screenplay with Jade Puga in which Serna plays a mystic opposite actress Jade Puga, who finds herself obsessed with the Guru. In a dramatic turn on opposite sides of the law from his Man Fron Reno, Serna plays a psychotic serial killer in Red on Yella, Kill a Fella, a horror film written and co-directed by Justin Meeks and Duane Graves.
Additionally, Serna stars as a rogue CIA agent in the soon to be released action movie Clean Sweep, co- starring Fabian Carrillo who also produced the film directed by Leon Rodriguez.
Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, Pepe knew he wanted to be an actor since he was three years old and made his appearance on television at the age of ten on the local Uncle Charley St. John Show. He followed his calling and the young Pepe arrived in Hollywood via the New York’s World’s Fair and a stint in a Mexico City Production of the Hippie Era musical Hair.
He was discovered by legendary producer Hal B. Wallis (Casablanca) who also discovered Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas and signed Elvis Presley for the movies. Serna was one of the last contract players at Universal Studios (under the old studio system). On stage, Serna was one of the original cast members of Luis Valdez’s musical stage drama “Zoot Suit and has toured nationwide with his one man show in which he takes on multiple characters in a personal journey through Mexican-American cultural history and conducts motivational workshops with parents, teachers and students.
The talented performer has received awards from many national and local civic groups including the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).