Jon Huertas

My 5 Minutes with the President

“Castle’s” NYPD homicide detective Javier Esposito is played by multitalented actor Jon Huertas. Born Jon William “Scott” Hofstedt, Huertas has appeared in multiple television series as both a regular character and guest actor, produced and starred in films, and is a musician who debuted his first single, “Sex Is the Word” this past summer. To boot, Huertas is a U.S. military veteran, serving for eight years before pursuing his acting career.

Huertas is an activist and a board member of the nonprofit Puppies Behind Bars, an organization in which inmates train service dogs that go to veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and other war-related trauma. Huertas is chairman of the SAG Armed Forces Support Task Force.

ROBIN BRONK: If you had five minutes in the Oval Office with President Obama, what would you discuss with him? What issue would you like him to know about? 

JON HUERTAS: I would first of all commend him! To step into the Oval Office when he did was one of the hardest and bravest things an American could ever do. We were involved in two wars, our economy was in the toilet and he is the first minority to become president of the United States. He has made me proud to be an American all over again. And, as far as an issue to tackle head on — outsourcing — especially production jobs. Corporations and CEOs who already benefit more than the working class are negating the creativity of jobs for Americans by outsourcing a huge percentage of production and labor-based employment. 

RB: If you could give President Obama one piece of advice, what would that be?  

JH: Imagine if all of our products said “Made in America.” I think we could create jobs by requiring corporations to pay heavy, heavy taxes on outsourcing. 

RB: If you could ask President Obama one question, what would that be?

JH: Wanna play a little one-on-one?!

RB: What book would you offer to lend President Obama? Why?

JH: The Game of Thrones collection. I’m sure he’s gotten suggestions of many a philosophical title, but sometimes it’s nice to remove yourself to a fantastical world completely painted by the words of a book and your imagination.

RB: If you were going to send the president to one place in the United States for one day, where would that be? Why?

JH: Go to eastern Kentucky, Mr. President. It’s really bad there. Oh, and take a camera crew ... show America what’s in our own backyard. I believe it’s one of our poorest regions and that the people living there would love to do the jobs that are outsourced. Maybe it would wake some people up in this country.

RB: Would you ever consider a political career?

JH: In American government? No ... I’m a warrior at heart, so I’d rather stay on the grassroots level with the people in case they need me. But I’m already serving my fellow actors as a board member of the Screen Actors Guild.

Robin Bronk is CEO of The Creative Coalition — the leading national, nonprofit, nonpartisan public advocacy organization of the entertainment industry. Bronk is a frequent speaker on the role of the entertainment industry in public advocacy campaigns and represents The Creative Coalition and its legislative agenda before members of Congress and the White House. She produced the feature film “Poliwood,” airing on Showtime, and edited the recently published book Art & Soul. Bronk pens this weekly column with assistance from Risa Kotek.