Luis Guzman is one of America's most successful character actors. He's appeared in dozens of films and television series, from Short Eyes in the 1970s to Miami Vice in the 1980s to Carlito's Way, Boogie Nights and The Limey in the 1990s. Now he's featured on the new HBO show How To Make It In America.
He talks with us about growing up in New York's Lower East Side, and about his work there as an activist and social worker. As a teen, he hung out at the legendary New Yorican Poets Cafe, watching poets and writers like Amiri Baraka, Allen Ginsburg and Miguel Piñero, who cast Guzman in Short Eyes in the late 1970s, and got him his first television audition, for Miami Vice in the 1980s. Since then, Guzman has become a favorite of directors like P.T. Anderson and Steven Soderbergh, among others.