Loíza, Puerto Rico

Actor, entrepreneur, tv host and teacher with a history of 30 years of uninterrupted work in Puerto Rico, the United States, Spain, Colombia and Dominican Republic. He began working professionally as a teenager and continued his training in the Drama Department of the University of Puerto Rico, where he earned his undergraduate degree with honors, and excelled in classical theater, as well as physical theater and dance. Fluent in Spanish, English, Portuguese and French. He was accepted by The Public Theater, and Circle in the Square in New York City, where he lived for 8 years. There, he was welcomed by the Latino theater circuit of the city, receiving several recognitions by Hola Awards (Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors), ACE (Asociación de Cronistas de Espectáculos de NY) and ATI (Asociación de Teatristas Independientes). His degrees also include a certificate in Arts Administration from the New York University School of Continuing Studies.

 His commitment to the Puerto Rican film industry has led him to work in more than forty five films in the island. His film credits include: Animal, alongside Oscar-nominated actor Terrence Howard; Back in the Day, where he worked as acting coach for actor and rapper Ja Rule; Any Kind of Infinite, alongside Goya Award-winner Celso Bugallo; and the leading role in films Desamores and Las dos caras de Jano, film adaptations of the legendary Puerto Rican writer of detective novels, Wilfredo Mattos-Cintrón. Three new films where he participated made their debut in 2015: Millie and the LordsLa textura de la luz and 3,000. On television, he’s excelled in leading and supporting roles in productions by networks such as CBS, Telemundo, PBS, Telemicro Internacional and Fox Telecolombia.

His discipline and physical malleability have secured important roles of historical figures, such as his theater interpretation of composer Rafael Hernández in Puerto Rico, and the legendary baseball player Roberto Clemente, for theaters in cities such as New York, San Juan, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh; a role he successfully reprised in the short film 3,000.

Along the same vein, one of his most important works was his interpretation of Pedro Knight (Celia Cruz’ husband) in the hit Off-Broadway play Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz; which ran for over a year, and traveled to cities ranging from Miami to Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Lacén reprises don Pedro Knight, from his early youth this time, in the new TV series Celia, produced by Fox Telecolombia and Telemundo, released in 2015. Celia has aired with a great amount of success in worldwide through Netflix.

Likewise, one of his most awarded performance was in the soap opera La Esclava Blanca  for Caracol TV, which has maintained the top spot in ratings since its debut in Colombia during January 2016. La Esclava Blanca has been sold to 28 countries, including Poland, the United States, South Africa, Panama and Puerto Rico. Netflix has also acquired streaming rights.

In 2018, he was featured in the following Puerto Rican films: Sol de Medianoche, El Chata, Angélica; as well as international films: La barbería (Amazon/Pantaya), He matado a mi marido, starring María Conchita Alonso, Tu me manques, with award-winning actor Oscar Martínez (ITunes, HBO Lat) and Children of the storm from Chilean writer/director Sebastián Silva.

In addition, he made his debut as writer and director in the short film The aroma of pig (Best Male Actor for Erik Rodríguez, Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival 2018) and returned to television with the biographical series Nicky Jam: El Ganador shown on Telemundo and currently on Netflix.

His experience as an international actor, a racial justice activist, Board of Directors’ member of the feminist organization Taller Salud, in philanthropy and as a living proof of how a holistic perspective improves the quality of life, shaped the idea of Artocarpus 76.

Founded in 2019 Artocarpus 76 ,which take its name from one of the most emblematic trees in the area- the breadfruit tree- ‘pana’ in Puerto Rican Spanish; is a non for profit organization with the vision of creating a peaceful and creative community, capable of envisioning themselves as creators of a different set of values in all areas of life.

His first project is, Centro Sereno, an online school of arts, culture and wellness.

His work in the last two years includes: Romeo y Julieta, a bilingual version of Shakespeare’s play starring Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o; puertorican films La última gira, Pies en la arena, Bella, Los reyes de la salsa, Remóra, 23 horas,  Las Camelias; Colombian film La estrategia del mero;  TV specials Afrodescendencia, Sombras de una verdad, 8 puertas and Miss Universe PR 2020 in which he worked as the host.

His latest projects are The Plane ( Lionsgate), the reboot of Fantasy  Island ( FOX TV) Perfecto Anfitrión (Pantaya) and puertorican films La Pecera and Erase una vez en el caribe.

He’s a graduate from Art of Alignment Academy as Creative Leadership Coach, led by renaissance woman Anne-Marie Duchene. Also he’s a certified Yoga Teacher for Kids from Samadhi Yoga & Ayurveda Institute.

Modesto lives in Rio Grande, PR with his wife and two year old son.


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