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Home » News » FSU/Asolo Alum Appears in New HBO Max Series

FSU/Asolo Alum Appears in New HBO Max Series

Published June 22, 2022

Juan Javier Cardenas, who earned his MFA in Acting from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training in 2008, plays Victor Castelli in Gordita Chronicles, a new HBO series premiering June 23, 2022. 

Juan Javier Cardenas in Gordita Chronicles, premiering June 23 on HBO Max. (Photo: Laura Magruder)

Cardenas reflects upon his experience at the Conservatory as an important step in his acting career.  

Developing a strong sense of ensemble and artistic cohesion with my fellow classmates while at the FSU/Asolo has very much aided me in my professional career,” said Cardenas. “Learning to play off and trust your fellow actors while understanding how you fit within the framework of the overall story has translated directly into my work, such as on the large ensemble comedy series ‘Gordita Chronicles’ on HBO Max. 

Juan Javier Cardenas in Gordita Chronicles. (Photo: Laura Magruder)

The Conservatory, located in Sarasota, is a three-year graduate program culminating in a Master of Fine Arts degree. Only 12 students annually are chosen to participate in the program, which combines rigorous classroom training with guest artist workshops and professional production experience. 

“We are very excited for Juan— he is a powerful actor and a true artist, dedicated to genuine transformation,” said Andrei Malaev-Babel Incoming Director and Professor of Theatre at the Conservatory. “His success is a testament to the impact this program can have. What we do at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory is unique in the nation, and we’re very proud to see the achievements of our actors.”

Cardenas is an actor and producer who has amassed a diverse body of work in television, film, regional theatre and New York City Off-Off-Broadway plays. Prior to appearing in Gordita Chronicles, the native Floridian has played varied roles on The Walking Dead, S.W.A.T, Snowfall, NCIS: Los Angeles and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit among other programs.  

For more information about the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor training, visit 

About the TV series 

Excerpts from original article “How the Creative Team Behind ‘Gordita Chronicles,’ Including Zoe Saldaña and Eva Longoria, Aims to Shake Up Television” written by Carson Burton for Variety 

A promotional image for HBO Max's Gordita Chronicles

Gordita Chronicles will premiere on HBO Max on June 23. Image via HBO Max.

Premiering on June 23 on HBO Max, the semi-autobiographical series from creator and executive producer Claudia Forestieri tells the story of a Dominican family that leaves Santo Domingo for Miami in pursuit of the American Dream.  

To have a show so extensively filled with Latino voices in front of and behind the camera was a gift for the producers and creatives on the series. For [executive producer Zoe] Saldaña, who’s father is Domincan and whose mother is Puerto Rican, the story hits close to home. 

“I remember the moment we got the call,” Saldaña said. “My sisters and I, who have our own production company, we were kind of beside ourselves. We always worked towards having the accurate representation of the Dominican American experience. We always felt like, ‘Okay, we’re working towards that, but we recognize that we’re probably light years away from it.’ It’s a hopeful situation, so when Claudia’s project came along and it was about her life and we got to know her and to know that HBO Max was involved, it was the opportunity that we were dreaming of. To be able to amplify the American-Dominican family.”