Actor by day, Parkour Ninja by night. The Daily Fern recently caught up with Hunter Payton Mendoza, to talk about some of his latest projects, which include Disney's "Raven's Home", and TV drama “L.A.’s Finest”.
The Daily Fern: You Recently landed a role in the Disney Show “Raven’s Home”, what can you tell us about your character and time onset?
Hunter Payton Mendoza: This was the first Disney show I booked and I had a blast with everyone on set. The cast was great and the episode was not your typical Disney type which made it even more exciting to be in. Episode 18 aired for the first time on March 1, 2020 for Season 3 called “What About Your Friends?” and made headlines and has been airing multiple times since on Disney Channel. The episode focused on peer pressure and the dangers of vaping. I play a kid named Jordan and with my friends William and Curtis we try to get Booker to vape. Definitely an episode to watch if you haven’t seen it yet.
The Daily Fern: You also made an appearance on “L.A.’s Finest”, what was that like?
Hunter Payton Mendoza: I am super excited to work on “L.A.’s Finest as I got to work with a stunt coordinator and do my first fight scene ever. It was really cool because I had to put all these pads on and get tossed against a wall. Every time I fell the crew would run up to make sure I was okay and I was like “That was awesome, let’s do it again.” I play a kid named Mouth who gets caught up in a situation and it doesn’t exactly turn out all that great for him. It was just announced that Season 2 of “LA’s Finest” comes out June 8, 2020 on Spectrum Cable so definitely look out for my episode #6 entitled Maverick.
The Daily Fern: Are you currently working on any new projects? And if so, what can you tell us about them?
Hunter Payton Mendoza: Unfortunately, due to the Corona Virus Hollywood has been put on somewhat of a hold as you know for the past several months so it has been a lot of self tape auditions and callbacks from home. I am hoping when Hollywood opens back up I can get back to work. But I do have a movie coming out later this year called A Genie’s Tail with Laura Marano, The Farley Brothers and Jake Paul. It is about a puppy that digs up a genie’s lamp that has two rowdy Genie brothers living inside of it. A boy makes a birthday wish and one of the Genie’s ends up in the puppy now full grown played by Hero from America’s Got Talent. From there he has to grant wishes and it is just complete chaos. I play Ryder, a bully who tries to steal the lamp which causes even more chaos. So, you can follow me or the movie on IG @AGeniesTail for updates.
The Daily Fern: Along with acting, you also practice parkour, what got you into such an intense sport?
Hunter Payton Mendoza: I was actually doing parkour before I even knew what parkour was. If there was something I could jump, flip or swing off of I would, so my nickname quickly became “Monkey” at a very young age. When I was about 10 years old my mom found Tempest Academy gym and I have been training there since with some of the most talented people out there. The owner Gabriel Nunez is a stunt man in the industry as well as several coaches there and Gabe focuses on safety as number one when it comes to his gym. Tempest Academy has been an amazing gym to train with and I even got to compete the last 2 years in a row and win all around for my band division so that was pretty cool. A few of my coaches have also been on American Ninja Warrior and got me hooked so last year I also started Ninja training. Because doing crazy parkour tricks wasn’t enough, I thought I would add some more craziness into my training. Last year I competed for the first time in several competitions for the National Ninja League and placed second in my division for the West Coast. Hopefully someday I will make the Tempest Pro team as well as getting to compete on American Ninja Warrior. But for now you can catch me doing parkour and ninja on my TikTok, YouTube and Instagram.
The Daily Fern: How have you been staying occupied during these stay-at-home orders?
Hunter Payton Mendoza: Except for not being able to see my friends I have actually enjoyed relaxing at home with my family. I feel everybody needed a reset in life and have some time to just chill at home a little bit with family. It has been a long time since my dad has been home with us since he travels for work so it has been a lot of meals together, board games and movie nights that were all much needed. Since I was already homeschooled all the extra time has allowed me to work ahead and finish my lessons sooner than expected so now I have been working on my final research paper and studying for finals. I have also been studying for the CHSPE since my original date got postponed until June and will possibly be postponed again depending on Covid-19. In between school lessons and studying I have been playing video games on line with my friends so that has been a lot of fun and I even competed in a few tournaments which I never had time to do before. I make sure to work out every day at home and go outside and run around our house. I have even created parkour runs to do to keep my training up which I have posted. Almost every week I have been doing self-tape auditions as that is the new normal for a Hollywood actor right now. On top of that my publicist Jennifer at Key Elements PR has been keeping me busy with some pretty cool opportunities to stay engaged with my followers.
Thank you for the Interview. Reminding everyone to Stay Strong and Stay Safe and we will all get through this soon!
Want to know more about Hunter? Follow him on social media!
This article was written by Allysia Britton