He joined the cast of CBS's "As The World Turns" in the role as "Rafael Ortega" in October 2004. AJ is the son of a famous actor, Lorenzo Lamas, who currently stars as "Hector Ramirez" on CBS's "The Bold And The Beautiful". AJ graduated high school and won a modeling competition that jump started his career and brought him to New York City. Lamas landed a role of Cisco on the PBS series American Family in 2000. He also broadened his television credits by guest starring on Hollywood Division and having a lead role on Wake-Up. A natural actor, Lamas is also skilled in a variety of areas from Tae Kwon Do to golf, where he made a hole in one at the young age of 11. He was also awarded Model of the Year and Young Adult Actor of the Year in 2001 from the International Model & Talent Association. AJ currently resides in New York City. AJ was born in 1983 in Phoenix, Arizona, where he was also raised.
AJ Lamas Also Rises!
Other than Ed Bryce (Bill; GL) and Scott Bryce (Craig; ATWT), daytime hasn't seen many father/son actors. And even Ed and Scott were not on the air at the same time. Currently, Lorenzo Lamas (Hector; B&B) and AJ Lamas (Rafi; ATWT) are the only father/son daytime duo, and they are the only ones ever to be appearing on their respective shows at the same time.
To celebrate this historic occasion, SoapCity sat each of the Lamas men down separately, and asked them the same question (think The Newlywed Game) to see how well each really knew the other!
SC: AJ, what was it like growing up with Lorenzo Lamas as your dad?
AJL: It was great. I only know one Lorenzo Lamas. You guys know a bunch. The Lorenzo Lamas I grew up with was great, amazing.
SC: Lorenzo, what would AJ say it was like growing up with you as a dad?
LL: Never a dull moment.
SC: AJ, what's your favorite father/son memory?
AJL: We went to this dude ranch in Tucson and we rode horses for two weeks and wrangled cows and branded cattle. It was the most horrifying experience of my life, but it was great. It was amazing, it was just me and him, we had a blast being cowboys.
SC: Lorenzo, what is your favorite father/son memory?
LL: I think that the memory that comes to me is putting AJ on a mini bike at the age of three. He rode it! He was riding a bicycle without training wheels by two. So, I got him a mini-bike at three and we used to go to a vacant lot and I used to sit there and watch him just ride around this motorcycle trail, and I'd sit there for hours and watch him just go round and round.
SC: AJ, what's your favorite role that your dad played?
AJL: I love the renegade! Renegade was very cool. He's the best.
SC: Lorenzo, what is AJ's favorite role that you've ever played?
LL: Reno Raines from Renegade.
SC: AJ, what inspired you to become an actor?
AJL: Four years ago, I was in a huge golf tournament, and I was winning the tournament, and I blew it on the last hole. I ended up playing third. I was devastated. So I was at home watching TV, watching Dawson's Creek and crying. My mom came in, and I said, "I can do this! If they're doing this, I can do it."
SC: Lorenzo, what do you think inspired AJ to become an actor?
LL: Probably because if he didn't try acting at this point, he might never be able to try it later on.
SC: AJ, what would be your dream role to play?
AJL: Myself. I would love to be on Saturday Night Live. The dream would be to host it.
SC: Lorenzo, what do you think would be AJ's dream role?
LL: The role that Anthony Quinn made famous in the movie Requiem for a Heavyweight.
SC: AJ, what is your dream project to work on with your dad?
AJL: There's a book, The Alchemist. I've always wanted to turn it into a screenplay, and he could play the part of the alchemist.
SC: Lorenzo, what would be your dream project to work on with AJ?
LL: I guess it would be a crime fighting dynamic duo.
SC: AJ, how do you feel being a third-generation actor?
AJL: I recently saw one of my grandfather's movies with Raquel Welch. A Hundred Rifles. When I worked on American Family with Raquel, she was telling me about the time she went to Argentina to shoot this movie with my grandfather, and my dad was there as a little kidz The legacy is funny. Me and my friends laugh about it. I think that whole Latin charisma charm thing skipped a generation with me. Maybe my kid will get it.
SC: Lorenzo, how do you think AJ feels about being a third-generation Lamas actor?
LL: He'd probably say that it was a double edged sword. If it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger.
SC: AJ, what was the best piece of advice your dad ever gave you?
AJL: Don't embarrass me.
SC: Lorenzo, what is the best piece of advice you've ever given AJ?
LL: Think fast, but speak slowly.
SC: AJ, how do you think your dad feels watching you act?
SC: Lorenzo, how do you feel watching AJ act?
AJ Lamas Out as ATWT Recasts Rafael
After less than three months as a member of the As the World Turns cast, SoapCentral.com has learned that newcomer AJ Lamas (Rafael Ortega) has been let go. The role will be recast.
Lamas, son of Lorenzo Lamas (Hector Ramirez, The Bold and the Beautiful) joined the show on October 18th, 2004. According to a show spokesperson, the decision to recast the role was story-dictated and is not meant to be seen as a reflection of Lamas' work.
"The role of Rafael is being taken in a different direction," an As the World Turns spokesperson told SoapCentral.com.
Fan reaction to the on-screen relationship between Lucy and Rafi has been mixed. With the announcement in November that actress Peyton List (Lucy Montgomery) would be exiting the show, an insider tells SoapCentral.com that show execs may have felt that an opportunity was present to shake up the existing storyline.
The show originally had plans to introduce some of Rafael's family members later this year. Actress Alyssa Diaz is scheduled to make her first appearance as Celia, Rafael's younger sister, on February 9th. And as for any additional plans the show might have to add to Rafael's family, no one at the show is saying anything at this time.
Newcomer Michael Cardelle will assume the role of Rafael beginning February 24th. A last airdate for Lamas has not yet been released.
AJ Lamas Talks about his debut on CBS's "As The World Turns"
When Rafael came to Oakdale, he was an up and coming boxer on the verge of making it big. His career went up in smoke when he refused to go along with a fixed fight. Now, Rafi finds himself in more danger when he takes on his shady manager in the hopes of helping out his childhood sweetheart, Lucy Montgomery. CBS.com caught up with AJ LAMAS to discuss his other life in Oakdale.
CBS.com: How did the role on ATWT come about?
AJ LAMAS: [The show] had been trying to [get me in for an audition] but my agent kept turning it down because I didn’t want to get locked into a [long-term] contract. [Someone] approached my dad [Lorenzo Lamas, Hector, B&B] at a party and said they had been trying to get me [to come in for an audition] and they didn’t want to cast [the part] until they saw AJ. My dad called me and said, “AJ, you gotta go in there.” Honestly, I never thought I would get it. I just figured, [it’s] a free trip to New York, [and] I get to hang out in New York for a week. Then I ended up getting the job!
CBS.com: It sounds like you weren’t interested in a long-term contract. What drew you to the role?
AJ LAMAS: Honestly, the whole New York thing drew me into it. But not only that, the role is a cool role. He’s a boxer. I always wanted to live in New York but I didn’t want to come out here and work at a pizza parlor or something. So, this opportunity came up where I could live in New York and be working [in a job] that I enjoy doing. It all ended up just working out.
CBS.com: Did you ever train as a boxer?
AJ LAMAS: Yeah, I trained for a couple of months. I trained over at a gym in Brooklyn. A friend of mine is a boxing trainer on the upper West Side. He has a class at the New York Sports Club and it’s kind of like a Tae Bo thing for boxing. He took me under his wing. The days I wasn’t working, I was training. I lost 27 pounds [by the time] we shot the fight. For two and a half years I was just studying and took a break [from working out, so I needed to get back into shape].
CBS.com: You were living in L.A. when you got the role. What were you up to?
AJ LAMAS: I had just been studying the Meisner [technique of acting] at the Meisner Center in L.A. I was really getting into my craft and trying to work on [my skills].
CBS.com: You have a famous father who is an actor. Did you grow up always wanting to act?
AJ LAMAS: I never wanted to be an actor. I honestly never did. It’s funny how it happened. I was a golfer, number two in Arizona. I was planning on being in the PGA [Professional Golfer’s Association]. [In my] junior year [of high school], there were a few tournaments I was winning and I ended up blowing it on the 18th Hole. A college scout from every college I wanted to go to was watching me. It was almost a dream come true. Then the last hole, I ended up just blowing up. I was devastated. I was at home that night, sitting in my room watching Dawson’s Creek in tears. My mom [asked,] “What’s going on?” And I just said, “I think I could do this.” My mom had never heard anything about me wanting to be an actor, so she was like, “Really?” I said, “Yeah. I think I could get into this and make it something worthwhile.” And I did. I went to an agency in New York where I wasn’t a name; I was just literally a number at this huge acting competition. I think I competed against 500 people. Managers, talent scouts, agents come to this thing and judge it. This is where Ashton Kutcher, and Katie Holmes were [discovered]. I ended up winning all these acting competitions and it was great because no one knew who I was. I knew for a fact that I did this on my own. I got all these people wanting to represent me. It was all because of me; it had nothing to do with my father. I didn’t even tell my father about it. He had no idea I was even doing it. I did my competition and got my team together, then came out to L.A. to check it out. The first audition that I ever went on was for American Family and I ended up getting it. So, literally two weeks after this competition, I’m calling up my dad saying, “I guess I’m going to be an actor. I got this job, I’m going to be moving out to L.A. in a couple of weeks. See you soon!”
CBS.com: How did he react?
AJ LAMAS: He really was blown away. I never wanted to be an actor. He knew I always hated the whole business aspect of it, but I’ve always loved the art, the work. I’ve always been a big fan of good movies and television. I grew up always in front of the TV and had a passion for that. But, at the same time, I always hated the fact that Dad was always busy. Even now, it’s a love/hate relationship. I love the work, I love doing what I do every day, but I hate the business [part of it].
CBS.com: Where did you grow up?
AJ LAMAS: I moved to Arizona when I was in third grade and went to high school there.
CBS.com: What drew you to New York?
AJ LAMAS: I love the feeling of New York. I love how everything is kind of connected and very real. It’s so hard to find genuine people [in L.A.]. When I came out here to test for the show, and I met everyone, it was a whole different vibe from L.A. It was very straightforward, everybody was very honest. I loved that. I always loved the city. As an artist, it’s the best place to be. This place is just filled with truth and life. It’s real. In L.A., you can drive around and ignore certain things. Here, you’re forced to deal with life. I just think it’s really interesting. I’m an artist so I’m a voyeur. I watch people and study people.
CBS.com: What do you do when you’re not working?
AJ LAMAS: I sleep! I’ve taken up a hobby: it’s called sleeping. When I was first here, I did the whole museum thing. I love art. My uncle’s a sculptor and a painter so we got into that when I was first here. But lately I’ve just been trying to get my life together. I’m totally starting over out here. I’m still kind of finding my whole routine.
CBS.com: What can you tell us about Rafael?
AJ LAMAS: It’s hard to talk in the third person. It’s not really a character; it’s me in this different circumstance. He’s a good guy; he’s a kind-hearted guy. He’s just got a lot of passion, a lot of rage deep down there because of his dad’s death. He doesn’t have his family around, so he feels out of place and alone.
CBS.com: He’s talked about getting his mom and sister to town.
AJ LAMAS: I still don’t know how we’re going to bring them there, but I know I’m going to get them there somehow. So, we’ll see.
CBS.com: What will Rafael do now that his boxing career is over?
AJ LAMAS: I don’t really know what I’m going to do right now. I’m going to be a dishwasher at the Lakeview. I’m going to be selling donuts with Alison! [Laughs] I really don’t know.
CBS.com: Lucy and Rafi set up Dom, which results in the plane crash and their being stranded. What happens after that?
AJ LAMAS: You’re in a [near] death situation; you’re at the end of your rope. You kind of think, what would happen between you and someone that you love if you had all the time with them to express what you’ve wanted to tell them your whole life. You’re fighting to stay alive together and I think that would bring anybody closer.
CBS.com: He obviously has really strong feelings for Lucy. Is there anyone else you might see him interested in?
AJ LAMAS: Honestly, there’s no one else. I can’t even imagine. Lucy is the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen in his life. It’s not like he’s just met her; he’s known and been in love with her since he was a child. [She’s] the one that got away, and now he’s got a second chance at it. I think he’s going to go after it as much as he can.
CBS.com: What are your hopes for the character in the future?
AJ LAMAS: I don’t know. It’s a hard question. I’m going to survive; I’m not going to let this thing beat me. I don’t know if I really have any hopes for the character.
CBS.com: How do you like working with Peyton List [Lucy]?
AJ LAMAS: I love working with Peyton. She’s kind of a shy girl when you first get to know her. We had a lot of one on one time together, and it’s funny. This whole different life comes out of her [when you get to know her]. She’s really, really funny.
CBS.com: How is it working with Chris Tardio [Dominic]?
AJ LAMAS: Chris Tardio is my boy! I cannot explain to you how hard it was when [the characters] became enemies. We’d look at each other in the middle of takes and we’d just start laughing. We became really, really good friends. He, Agim [Kaba, Aaron] and Grayson [McCouch] are my best friends on the show. It was just so hard because Tardio and me, we had so many little inside jokes. It was tough because I had to hate him. [But] I could really, really lay into him. It was great working with him because we had this trust so we could really go all the way with each other.
CBS.com: You and Grayson have a lot of similar scenes also.
AJ LAMAS: Grayson’s great. It’s kind of the same thing. Grayson and I have gotten really close lately. It’s fun because we have that trust so we can go all the way. It makes the work all that much better.
CBS.com: Is there anyone on the cast that you haven’t worked with yet that you’d like to work with?
AJ LAMAS: Sarah [Brown, Julia]. I love her. I love her to death! I would love, love, love to work with her. She’s such a strong artist. If there’s anyone I’d love to work with, it’s her and Mike [Park, Jack]. I love Michael. We go nuts off camera. [The two of us] together is bad news. [Stuff] is going to get broken; people are going to get fired. Maybe it’s not a good idea for us to work together! [Laughs] We’d both be gone in about a week.