Behind the Scenes of Machinima’s Chop Shop with Actor Rene Moran


Up-and-coming actor Rene Moran stars in Machinima’s new digital series “Chop Shop” and he’s giving us insight into the making of the gritty new show.

“Chop Shop” centers on a Los Angeles crew of car thieves. The Salvadoran-born Rene Moran plays Caine, the head honcho running the ring until his ex-partner (John Berger) reluctantly is drawn back into the life of stealing cars. Both their lives and business come under fire from a competing gang of thieves.

In “Chop Shop,” the new show from the Bandito Brothers (Act of Valor, Need for Speed) has plenty of action with fast cars, gunplay and drama. Rene Moran tells CineMovie there were plenty of “cool car” on set, but unfortunately he wasn’t able to take a joy ride in them. He merely sat in the driver seat and admired them while in park mode. When it comes to stunt work, Moran understands the safety issues and respects the fact that he can’t do his own driving because it’s extremely technical.

“My job as an actor is to collaborate and pay attention to detail as much as possible. For me, the process seems to be like a kitchen wit a lot of chefs, and we all have to collaborate to make one amazingly delicious dish.”

The actor, however, did have some fun with stunts. He says the crew worked with “hot guns” on the set which meant they were real and shot real shells, which he says was “so much fun” during the shootout scenes.

Rene Moran’s role like the cars on the show got an overhaul. His Caine character was rewritten to give him more layers. In the original script, Caine was one-dimensional, but in reshoots of the first episode the writer gave him more personality and a backstory, which Moran was grateful for.

“They show another side of Caine instead of just presenting him like this blinged-out car thief who’s really doing well for himself.”

To become Caine, Moran has tattoos applied to his arms and neck, and he’s adorned in plenty of bling. Once he’s wearing the clothes, tattoos and jewelry, he falls right into character.

“It was an easy character to fall into his headspace down to the chains clanking when I’m walking.”


Rene Moran is elated to be part of the new digital era which affords more opportunities as an actor. Raised in Florida, Moran’s family immigrated to the United States to escape the civil war in El Salvador during the 80s when he was a year old. While he doesn’t recall the difficult trip to the States, he’s heard of the stories from his relatives of the hardship in getting to America.

Eerily enough, today El Salvador and Central America are going through a different type of unrest because of the drug war. Can Moran relate to the thousands of children being sent here from Central America? Moran says he could comment on it for days, but his one wish is to return to this native country not only to get to know the place his family hails from, but to see for himself what troubles the Latin American state.

Rene Moran can also be seen on the current season of Showtime’s Shameless and he hopes to get a call soon for a recurring role on the cable series.  

Catch Rene Moran on “Chop Shop” on Machinima’s Prime channel on YouTube with a new episodes every Friday, but you can watch anytime. Watch now.


Watch Interviews

Latest Trailers

Meanwhile On Instagram