'Heels' Actor Allen Maldonado Opens up About Role in New Pro Wrestling Series (Exclusive)

Allen Maldonado is ready to take on a new challenge in his acting career. Since 2002, Maldonado has played a number of different characters in various films and television series. And for his next role, the 37-year old actor is ready to become a pro wrestler as he will star opposite Stephen Amell in the Starz series Heels. Maldonado, who currently stars in the Netflix film Project Power, will play a pro wrestler named Rooster.

"He's the high-flying act, jumping off the top ropes, flipping off of people, flipping out of the ring, flipping into the ring, a la the character name of Rooster," Maldonado said exclusively to PopCulture.com. "He's got a chip on his shoulder as a wrestler, so he also has to fend for himself, even though he feels the most talented out of the bunch."

Heels tells the story of men and women looking to make it big in pro wrestling. The show is set in a Georgia community and follows a family-own wrestling promotion with Amell playing the role of Jack Spade and Alexander Ludwing playing his brother Ace Spade. Maldonado said filming will begin in September, and the cast has already done two weeks of training.

"I'm excited to get down there and get to playing and get to wrestling," he said. "We started wrestling training two weeks before we were all quarantined. I tell you those two weeks were a blast, just taking the bumps and just learning all of the moves and just learning how not fake wrestling is. When you take those real hits and real slaps and real bumps, it is not fake."

With Maldonado living an active lifestyle, the training was more fun than challenging. However, he has more respect for pro wrestlers because of how physical sports entertainment can be.

"I can only imagine the two weeks of training that I had just to do that for a year straight and how my body would feel afterwards," Maldonado said. "My body would hate me. For these individuals who have these long-lasting careers at the highest level of wrestling, I tip my hat off to them. It’s a deeper appreciation of what they do in the ring."

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As for being a wrestling fan, Maldonado said he followed WWE and WCW when he was younger. Some of his favorite wrestlers include the Ultimate Warrior, Randy "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Dwyane "The Rock Johnson, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin and the NWO.

"I definitely loved wrestling as a kid," Maldonado said. "I sorta fell out of it of course. Life happens. You gotta be responsible all of sudden. You gotta be the adult. I wasn't able to enjoy wrestling as I once did. Getting back into the show and really studying and understanding the lifestyle of a wrestler day-to-day, they're some of the toughest men and women to walk the planet along with understanding they’re athletes and entertainers on a whole other level in comparison to other sports."