Not often we can write the words "Mineola native in wacky Syfy series pitting eight-foot tall robots battlling each other..." in a TV blog post, and we do so right now with a certain amount of trepidation. But what the hell: Mineola native Andrew Montanez will indeed star in the new SyFy series "Robot Combat League," which launches Tuesday night at 10. (Andrew appears a bit later in March.)
What's a Robot Combat League? As mentioned, giant robots beating the circuits out of each other, each one controlled by a human who wears an exo-suit telling the robot what to do. Yes, it's nuts. Back to Andrew: He's a professional MMA fighter, lives in LA now, who grew up in Mineola, graduated from Mineola High in 2003, was a top wrestler there (Empire State games a couple of years), went on to Nassau Community then headed out west. ... Check out the clip below. SyFy also asked him a few LI-specific questions too -- and we have those as well. Take it away, Andrew, and watch out for flying robot parts ...
You live in LA now, but do you still have family in Mineola? Andrew Montanez: "Yes my mom, my dad and my sister still live there. They just visited [Montanez in LA] recently and may make the move to California as well. The weather is New York is grueling to them. My father (Raul) works as a plumber for NYC and is close to retiring and my mother (Audrey) is a real estate agent. My sister (Rachel) goes to Adelphi."
Q: Anything you miss about Long Island when you're out in California? Andrew Montanez: "I miss my friends and family more than anything. Being able to get on a train and be in NYC in 30 minutes is something I really miss. For me to go to NYC [now,] it's a quick 7 hour plane ride. There is a certain energy that I get when I am there. Nothing like being in your hometown. I haven't had a chance to visit since 2010. Been very busy working on my YouTube show MMA Surge full time. Not to mention the Robot Combat League. Doing stunts and trying to be an action hero takes up a lot of time. Probably one of my favorite places I miss though is Port Washington. I spent a lot of time working there and training and to me it's just a beautiful and peaceful place to spend time."
Q: Are you an Islanders fan? Anything along those lines that represent Long Island pride? Andrew Montanez: "I am actually a Rangers fan, I don't mind the Islanders... I may become a fan of theirs more when they come to Brooklyn. I am a huge Yankees fan, the Mets are fun to watch, my cousin Willie played for them in the 70's, so I don't hate on them one bit. I am just a fan of Long Island as a whole. Used to spend my summers in Long Beach and it makes me sad knowing that it got destroyed this past year by Sandy."