Local actor makes his mark in “The Marksman”

David DeLaO

“The Marksman,” an action-thriller film directed by Robert Lorenz, stars Liam Neeson as Jim Hanson, a rancher and former Marine living in an Arizona border town who must help a young boy escape a Mexican drug cartel.

Alpine native and actor David DeLaO plays the coyote who delivers the boy and his mother, played by Mexican actress Teresa Ruiz, to the U.S./Mexico border, and abandons them there in the desert when the cartel shows up.

After a shootout with several cartel members, and before the boy’s mother is killed, Hanson reluctantly agrees to take the boy to his family in Chicago. The cartel chases them throughout the film as they make their way north.

“The Marksman” was filmed in New Mexico around the Albuquerque area, and DeLaO shot his part there in October 2019.

“It’s a good start to the year for me because I have a bigger part in another movie coming out soon called ‘Silk Road,’ a mystery-thriller,” said DeLaO. “It’s scheduled to be released to theaters nationwide on Feb. 19.”

DeLaO has appeared in several films that have gone to Netflix, and in many television series, but “The Marksman” was his first part in a major film released nationwide.

Although he had full confidence in his acting, DeLaO said all his lines were in Spanish, a language in which he isn’t fluent.

“It’s not my strongest suit, and I was working and working on it,” he said. “When I saw Teresa Ruiz played the mother - she’s a big star in Mexico - I worked on it even more.”

“The Marksman” was released nationally on Jan. 15. Rangra Theatres owner Amit Rangra told the Avalanche the movie will premiere in Alpine on Friday, Jan. 22, and DeLaO will help promote it.

“It’s a truism that COVID-19 has put us all in the same boat, and now in 2021, we’re just trying to get back to normal,” said Rangra. “We think this movie is a great opportunity to get closer.”

He noted “The Marksman” was number one at the domestic box office right now.

“I hope everyone comes out this weekend to support this young actor. We’re excited for him and his young family, and hope it’s the beginning of a long and prolific career,” Rangra exclaimed.

Although his wife Chrisanta saw the movie in El Paso last week, DeLaO hasn’t seen it yet on the big screen.

“I could have gone to Odessa over the weekend to see it, but I’d rather see it here in my hometown than anywhere else,” he said. “I’m so excited about it. Chrisanta really liked the film. I knew my acting was solid, but I was really nervous about the Spanish, and she said I did a great job.”

The Alpine native lived with his family in Fort Stockton for a while, but they returned to Alpine where DeLaO graduated from Alpine High School. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater from Sul Ross State University.

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