Erniel Baez




Erniel Baez is a rising actor to watch originally from Cardenas, Cuba and now based in Montreal, Canada. His breakthrough role came with the cult horror hit Game of Death which made its premiere at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival. Erniel’s portrayal garnered widespread praise, positioning him as a rising star on the international stage. Since then, Erniel has made his mark starring in several major film and television productions including Reacher alongside Alan Ritchson and Cross opposite Aldis Hodge. Coming up next, he can be seen in the highly anticipated series Hotel Cocaine making its world premiere on June 16th on MGM+. In this thrilling new drama, Erniel stars as the enigmatic Ray Dorado, a Cuban banker with a shadowy past and ties to the criminal underworld, set against the backdrop of the iconic Mutiny Hotel. Erniel shares the screen with some of Hollywood’s biggest names including Danny Pino and Michael Chiklis.




When did you start to get interested in acting? 

My interest for acting is intertwined with my love for film and that began at four years old when I was young enough to watch television. I would sit down at night and watch films with my grandfather. At that time the movies were all on VHS. Films became a main pastime for me because of what my grandfather instilled in me. And through that feeling, film began to influence me in a very significant manner.  

If you were an advertisement, what would your slogan be? 


What part do you enjoy the most about acting?

In all honesty, what I enjoy the most about acting for film and television is the
creative process. When you are on set and have to come together with your fellow cast members and director in order to bring to life, what until moments ago, was just words on a paper. It’s the moment when you can let your ideas flow and combine your imagination and preparation, in order to attempt to create something that ends up feeling authentic and real. The hope is that when it’s all done, that small moment can ultimately resonate and impact whoever comes across it.

Most artists say that through their art they learn more about themselves, heal. In which aspects has your art helped you? 

Art has enabled me to become more aware and attentive to other people’s perspectives, along with their reactions, and what possibly motivates them, which in turn has allowed me to become a more conscientious human being.

What does your art mean to you? 

To me, at its best, it is a mirror on life itself. It’s a reflection of the world as we knew it was, know it is, and dare imagine it to be. If this is not the most important form of art, it’s definitely the most captivating.

Who are your idols? 

I have many idols. Growing up I was always attracted to the great people that came before me, that had achieved great milestones all the while overcoming substantial adversities. That being said, when it comes to acting, one of the main influences I’ve had is Al Pacino. From the first time I saw him at a young age in Scarface, he inspired me so much that I actually believed he was Cuban.

Denzel Washington is another actor I admire in all facets of life, and whom I’ve named my son after, because I feel he is a great example to follow. And finally, I would say Marlon Brando, whom I consider to be the Godfather of modern acting and the personification of what class and unpredictability on screen looks like.

If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing?

I love sports, so maybe I’d be an athlete? Truth is, if I wasn’t acting, I would probably still be working in a restaurant making ends meet, all while waiting for my break in film and TV.

I believe that I didn’t choose acting, but rather, it chose me. With that thought, Plan B was always about enforcing Plan A.

Do you consider that nowadays there are more or less opportunities for new actors? Why? 

I believe that there are currently more opportunities for newer and diverse actors than ever before. With all the new platforms there is just so much more content out there, and this allows more opening for a larger group of actors from all types of background, so that they can provide on-screen representation for viewers from all corners of the world.

What would your idyllic life as an artist be like? 

My ideal life as an artist would consist of me being able to work consistently on projects that I’m really passionate about, and alongside great visionary filmmakers. All the while, I would be continuing to perfect my craft and be part of projects that truly resonate with people around the world, in the same way that so many films impacted and shaped me growing up.

Tell us about your upcoming projects

I’m excited for the world premiere of Hotel Cocaine, which will air on MGM+ on June 16th. This project is very close to my heart and crosses off a big dream on my wish list. The series is set in 1979 Miami, during its cocaine heyday, and set against the backdrop of the infamous Mutiny hotel. I portray “Ray Dorado”, a flashy Cuban-American bank owner, with dubious ties, who is a regular costumer at the mutiny.

Also premiering very soon on Prime-Video is the series Cross, which is based on the thriller novel series written by James Patterson. I recur during the season as Alejandro “Jando” Galvan. He’s a coroner who helps Cross with his cases.



Do you want to know more? You can find some projects below.

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