The two groups most likely to have their voices heard in the upcoming election are ardent conservative Christians and Hispanic Americans, both groups fighting for their rights in an unstable milieu.

These are also two groups seeing that influence grow in the film industry. Latinos and Hispanics, while still not getting enough representation in the mainstream cinema, are starting to get more opportunities.

But Christians are really seeing their voices heard in the form of "faith-based" or "Confirmation" films, movies in which characters rediscover and affirm their relationship to Christ.

These two forces have converged around Mario Tardon, a Madrid-born actor, who plays the Apostle Andrew in the film "Risen." The movie, which was directed by Kevin Reynolds, will receive its home video release on May 24 and tells the story of a roman soldier on a mission to find the missing body of Christ. On the way he learns to re-evaluate his faith and belief system.

During an exclusive interview with Latin Post, Tardon talked about his evolution as an actor while expressing that the film had the same impact on his own faith, strengthening it in a very profound way.

"My faith did evolve in a way," he expressed. "Working on this film and looking at Jesus from the perspective of this story opened a window and made me reconsider my relationship with the figure of Christ.

"What I found out is that I think that Jesus Christ is the most important figure in human history. He influenced the way we all live today. My faith turned into a path of looking at Christ as a central figure."

From Biologist to Actor

Tardon's career as an actor did not initiate in a traditional manner. In fact, he originally set out on a path to study biology. "I thought I would work for Greenpeace and trying to save animals," he revealed.

But then suddenly, out of nowhere, he stopped and reflected on his path.

"Somewhere on that path, I stopped and asked whether that was what I really loved. I don't know how I found out I wanted to be an actor," he narrated before explaining that there was no one in his family linked to art. "Not my parents or siblings or aunts or uncles. No one. No one in my family had any association with art, but it just came out of nowhere. Everyone was surprised. No one was more surprised that me."

Overcoming a big obstacle

From there it became a struggle to figure out how to get to the stop.

Tardon's biggest obstacle was not other actors or a lack of money or time. Or even the lack of a network. For him, the one obstacle he had to overcome was far more immediate and personal - himself.

"This is the challenge every artist has. Painter, photographer, dancer," he asserted before explaining that the challenge about overcome yourself if really developing a strong belief in your abilities. "I was the one dreaming lower than I could achieve. I started to dream higher and focused myself on working with great actors like Demi Moore and Joseph Fiennes and Oscar Isaac. If I can, everyone can."

And that he did, dedicating himself to studying ferociously to be the best actor he could possibly be.

And it landed solid results.

The payoff

"When I started studying, I found out that I could be good at it. I just keep on studying and steadily improve," he added.

The studying paid off with the actor landing roles in numerous television series including "El Partido," "Seis Hermanos" and "Borgia" among many others. Film roles also started cropping up with "Risen" providing him his big foray into the big Hollywood production.

And the experience only helped shape him further, putting him into contact with a director who expressed tremendous faith in him.

"He is a really intense professional and artist and a deep human being. He would look me in the eyes and tell me the smallest details with tremendous meaning," said Tardon about Reynolds' style.

However the most profound experience he had with Reynolds was a day in which the director turned to the actor's then-fiancee (he is now married) and told her that "You have to be proud. Mario is a great actor." Tardon stated both he and his wife were in tears upon hearing that. "I started crying while he said that because it was very humbling. It was coming from a very profound and deep place. That changed my perspective on everything."

Fiennes was another major beacon of light for Tardon who expressed admiration for the actor's personality.

"Joseph is so funny and unbelievable. He is so good and involved and committed. He is one of the best in the world. He has been really helpful in helping me. We keep in touch, send emails," he relayed.

The next steps

Now he is moving to Los Angeles ready to take the next big step in his career. He is slated to appear in "Wild Oats," "The Promise" and "Bombay Goa Express." "The Promise will see him appear alongside Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale.

Tardon knows that there are still many challenges on his path to success. Hispanics, despite their growth, remain the least represented group in mainstream cinema. But that is not going to stop Tardon who sees growth in this area.

"There are many Hispanics that are changing the game and the way of doing things. So relax. Things are changing."