LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 07: Tony Dalton attends the Premiere of The Sixth And Final Season Of AMC's "Better Call Saul" at the Hollywood Legion Theater on April 07, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
The Bane Of Tony Dalton's Existence Became His Greatest Asset On Better
Call Saul
Before his big break playing Lalo Salamanca on "Better Call Saul," Tony Dalton had been in several Spanish-language films and was best known to American audiences for a small role in "Sense8." In a 2020 interview with The New York Times, Dalton explained how his cultural background seemed to be a hindrance in getting opportunities — before it became his advantage.
Dalton was born in Texas, grew up in Mexico City, and went to school in Massachusetts. As a Mexican-American, the actor said that he was told by casting directors, “‘Well, you don't look that Mexican, you don't sound Mexican, but you are Mexican. So, do we give you a Mexican part or do we give you an American part?’”
Dalton admitted that he felt like his background was “the bane of my existence as an actor [until] it finally worked in my favor” with “Better Call Saul.” With the natural charm he brings to the character — which the writers have capitalized on greatly — the actor finally is able to play a complex, multi-dimensional character.