Yara Martinez is a gorgeous, up-and coming actress who’s put together a pretty impressive resume in a short period of time. Born in Puerto Rico to Cuban parents, Martinez grew up in Miami before coming out to LA. She practiced ballet for 10 years before shifting her focus to acting. She has appeared on hit shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, ER, The Unit and CSI: NY. She played Christian Slater’s wife in My Own Worst Enemy. Martinez also has a regular role on Southland and she has a new show that debut this month, Breakout Kings on A&E.

We had a chance to chat with Martinez, and she gave us the lowdown on Breakout Kings, working with super-villain Sean Bean, Christian Slater’s approach to television, the set of It’s Always Sunny and the differences between LA and Miami.

CS: So you have a new show that premiered this month, Breakout Kings. You want to tell me a bit about what the new show is about?

YM: Yeah. The show is about US Marshals that are looking for people who broke out of prison, and they team up with ex-cons to look for them so they can get an inside viewpoint. It’s from the same creators of Prison Break. I play the wife of one of the US Marshals, played by actor Laz Alonso. I’m pretty much the supportive wife, but at the same time I try to keep him grounded and back in reality because he’s pretty obsessed. I’m like his rock. I’m like his go-to for strength and emotional stability.

CS: Gotcha, and so is the show going to be pretty action packed?

YM: It’s very action packed. It’s definitely an action packed show. There’s humor in it, too. Since it’s from the creators of Prison Break there is definitely that action stuff, but there are little winks to it as well.

CS: That’s cool. Now you’re also on Southland and from what I understand your character’s kind of going to get a little bit of a push this season right?

YM: Yeah. The last episode I think is going to air soon. The character I play is the wife of Kevin Alejandro. He died, so I’ve been dealing with his death and also the fact that his partner has been living in our house and it gets a little muddy emotionally because we are both grieving the loss of someone that a lot of us really loved. That can cause confusion in emotions about how we feel about each other.

CS: Got it.

YM: So it definitely could influence that development.

CS: Now in 2007 you were in The Hitcher with Sean Bean. Now that dude always seems to play the bad guy. Whenever you see him pop up in a movie you’re like, uh-oh, this isn’t good. Is he like a big super villain in person as well or is he like totally different?

YM: Well, I actually didn’t get to hang out with him during The Hitcher, but the first job that I ever booked was a pilot opposite him. It’s funny because I thought the same thing. I thought, oh my god who is Sean Bean going to be? He’s so intense. And our first scene we had to shoot was like these two characters were getting to know each other. So we’re trying to figure each other out. Between takes we’re talking and he’s like, “so what have you done?” He does have that mysterious look and voice and I’m like, “oh this is my first job” (laughs), and he just looked at me. We actually ended up getting along really, really well and we worked really well together. I got to hang out with him a few times. It was interesting, with me he was really nice and a total gentlemen and a really cool. He’s definitely reserved. He’s not one of those people who’s in your face. But we did go out a few times and he definitely does what he wants.

I just remember this one incident at the Four Seasons, someone told him to put out his cigarette and he just didn’t understand why they would tell him to put out his cigarette. He was very nonchalant about it and he had this very cool discussion with the man about why he should put out his cigarette. But he was so chill about it, that by the end, he was pretty much done with it.

CS: (laughs)

YM: He’s like smoking the cigarette while he’s talking to the guy about why he shouldn’t be smoking the cigarette. And he’s like, “okay I’ll put it out,” but it was already out. He was already done. That was smooth.

CS: How did you first get in to acting?

YM: Well I used to study ballet when I was younger and I went to one of those camps when I was 12 and you need to take an acting class. When I took the acting class, I just immediately knew that was what I wanted to do. I had always wanted to be involved in the theatre, but it switched from ballet to acting when I was 12. I went to an all-girl private Catholic high school, but during the summers I would go to New York and study theatre. So I have always wanted to be in the theatre. More >