Actor Ricardo Mamood grew-up against the odds in Argentina, found stardom in Asia and has been quick to parlay his international cache and sexy Latin looks into a Hollywood career. After playing the lead in a children’s play at Kindergarten, Ricardo knew, all he wanted to be was an actor. However shortly after his stage debut, his mother (single and with a new born) could no longer support him, so she sent Ricardo to live with a couple who didn’t have any children and owned the kindergarten. They watched many old films together and the couple took him to see his very first drive-in film – they hid him in the trunk of their car, since only those above 18 were allowed in drive-ins. At about 7 years old, he managed to open their home safe and steal money, with which he bought half a dozen G.I. Joe’s action figures. Playing “It takes a Thief” cost him his home. Disappointed, the couple sent him back to his mother, who at that time was living in a tiny and crowded kitchen in an old rat and flee infested building with his younger half-brother. They had a single bed that stood in the kitchen during the day and on which his mother and brother slept while he took the “bed” on the kitchen counter-top. He soon outgrew the length of the counter-top, so he had to set his rolled-towel pillow on top of the cooker’s burner. When he was 9, his family moved to the poor and violent slums outside Buenos Aires Capital City. He started working in the mornings and early evenings chopping meat at a butcher shop called La Vaca Bionica (The Bionic Cow) during the week, while still managing to attend primary school in the afternoons. On the weekends, he worked as a bricklayer boy while also taking care of his 4 year-old half-brother. Acting was procrastinated for many years with the exception of the occasional daydreaming, playing Cowboys and Indians, and keeping the habit of watching old films and re-runs of old TV shows every chance he had, while most kids were playing soccer on the streets. His mother would spend most of her day and sometimes nights at work, so after his half-brother would fall asleep, he would join his street buddies and listen to tunes on the radio or sneak into the local bars and pool houses. Nights on the street were the only times when there were no duties or responsibilities. At that time he also helped as a “glue-boy” at night, making flour-water-based glue in a bucket in the back of a pick-up truck for grown-ups to stick up anti-de-facto government pamphlets during the military dictatorship. As years went by, Ricardo became violent at home and in the neighborhood, and started getting into all kinds of trouble. He left home for months when he was 12, wandering around the capital city, sleeping in parks and breaking into small grocery stores at night in order to eat with other street buddies. His mother managed to find him and bring him back. At about 13, he started going to high school while working at a clandestine chemical factory making industrial detergent, but his troubles worsened. His mother, afraid his son would end up like many others, found a way to send him to the city to take acting classes on Saturdays with – now renowned – theater director Julio Baccaro. At 15 he was performing on stage with alternative theater groups while managing to work and attend high school at night. He dropped out of high-school 3 months before graduation and never got to college, but at 17 (claiming he had some English language skills learned during high school) he managed to land an entry level job at the Buenos Aires city subsidiary of Leather’s Best Inc., a New York-based multinational company dedicated to manufacturing and trading of bovine-finished leather. He didn’t speak any English with the exception of very few words he learned from TV and film, but he managed to hide that fact for a while. When he was not in the filing room, he would sit in front of a Siemens telex machine, typing word-by-word, handwritten manuscripts which senior executives would drop at his desk box. He didn’t have a clue of what he was writing about. A top executive of the company caught him and instead of firing him, he sent him to learn English on his account for a couple of months. After that, he felt encouraged to get books and pretty much learned the language at work, by watching hundreds of subtitled films, reading science-fiction, writing poetry and acting in English-spoken plays. Accidentally, met one half-brother while buying a walk-man at a mall in Buenos Aires (Spinetto Mall) when he was 16. That mall was built on the same property where the old grocery stores he stole food from used to be. That brotherly encounter resulted in meeting a total of seven half brothers and sisters he didn’t know he had, as well as finally meeting his father. A few years later he was Deputy Executive Director, in charge of raw materials purchase and quality assurance and started to travel to the US for marketing and technical training. After that, he ended up building an extremely successful career (yet slowly sidetracked acting) in the trading and corporate world and went on to work in senior management positions for several multinational corporations. In 1991, he was struck by lighting while he was talking on the phone at a leather factory (Esposito Tannery) he was visiting. He was rushed to a local hospital but, strangely enough and although it left him unconscious for forty minutes, he didn’t suffer any burns and came out uninjured. However, the handset he was using at the time he was struck (extension #33) was badly burnt and misshaped by the heat. He went back to acting and in 1994 he produced and directed his stage adaptation of “Crónica de un secuestro” (“Chronicle of a kidnapping”) written by playwright Mario Diament. Later he moved to New York and then to Hong Kong, where he lived for 10 years. He married in 1999. In Hong Kong, he went onto work for companies such as Paccess and Nike, Inc., creating for them pioneer supply chain management and global raw materials consolidation and distribution programs in Asia, while still managing to work on films and theater projects. After careful planning and a transition period, he left the corporate world (leaving a Vice-President job offer behind) and went onto pursue his acting career full-time. He played Richard Roma on stage at the Hong Kong premiere of “Glengarry Glen Ross” by David Mamet and since making the transition back to acting, has earned roles in films such as “So Close” directed by Corey Yuen; “Gen-Y Cops”; “Vampire Effect”; “Heat Team”; “The Medallion” with Jackie Chan; “Ultraviolet” directed by Kurt Wimmer, starring Milla Jovovich, to be released in 2006, as well in the video game “Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow” for director Florent-Emilio Siri, (Hostage). Besides his film and stage credits, Ricardo has been seen in numerous TV commercial campaigns worldwide, working with acclaimed cinematographer Christopher Doyle (In the Mood for Love), numerous times with renowned Taiwanese director Wayne Peng Wen Chun and with award winning director Baker Smith in the US. He shares his time between Los Angeles and Hong Kong.
Horror, Mystery, Thriller