'Unfrosted' star Adrian Martinez on working with 'very specific' Jerry Seinfeld, Ben Stiller and the late Sydney Pollack

Martinez had never watched an episode of "Seinfeld" before being cast in Seinfeld's Netflix movie

Adrian Martinez (Diana Ragland)
Adrian Martinez (Diana Ragland)

While Jerry Seinfeld's Unfrosted quickly became one of the most-watched movies on Netflix, one of the film's stars was less familiar with Seinfeld's famed 1990s TV show than you may expect. Actor Adrian Martinez, who worked with the impressive Unfrosted cast that includes Seinfeld himself, Jim Gaffigan, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Schumer and Max Greenfield, had never seen an episode of Seinfeld.

"I was like the only one, I just never got into it," Martinez told Yahoo Canada. "But then when I booked this, I went to see the episode with Keith Hernandez, the former Mets first baseman, I'm an obsessive Mets fan, and it cracked me up. So then I started watching a bunch of the episodes."

"It was a thrill to work with Mr. Seinfeld. He's a very cool guy."

In Unfrosted Martinez plays Tom Carvel, loosely based on the real-life entrepreneur whose company specialized in soft serve ice cream. In the film, Martinez's Carvel is a member of the "taste pilots," brought on to help Kellogg's ultimately develop Pop-Tarts.

Speaking more about working with Seinfeld as a director, Martinez highlighted that the movie's director is someone who is "very specific."

"That's a relief for an actor," Martinez said. "He knows exactly what he wants. He has certain ideas about how comedy works, obviously the man knows what he's doing, and he would just ask for those ideas to be implemented."

"He likes, for example, comedy to go quickly, he doesn't like things to drag out, so speed is important to him. Tone is important to him. We all kept that in mind. And he works very intimately with his writing partner Spike Feresten. ... They were very much just supportive of how actors are and how actors are different."

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 18:  Actors Adrian Martinez (L) and Ben Stiller attend the after party for
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 18: Actors Adrian Martinez (L) and Ben Stiller attend the after party for "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty" screening hosted by 20th Century Fox with The Cinema Society and Brooks Brothers on December 18, 2013 in New York, United States. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Martinez has been on several impressive projects, like Renfield and Only Murders in the Building, but highlighted his experience working with Ben Stiller on the 2013 movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which Stiller starred in and directed.

"I learned different things from different directors and with Ben, it's all about the work ethic," Martinez said. "He was the first one there, the last one to leave."

"I remember having three fittings for my hair. He just wanted the hair to be right and I kept having to come back until we got the right hair for that character."

Martinez also remembered working with the late filmmaker Sydney Pollack on The Interpreter, also starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn.

"He taught me about compassion because I was struggling working with him on The Interpreter and I was nervous, and I had this big scene with Nicole Kidman," Martinez shared. "He pulled me aside and said, 'Hey listen, you got this. You're here because we believe in you and you got this.'"

"That kind of warmed me up to the room, and I was able to perform and do a good scene."

Over the course of his career spanning multiple decades, Martinez said there's only been one director he has "regret" having ever worked with, describing this director as a "bully."

"He was screaming at everybody in the crew and screaming at the actors, unless you were an Oscar winner, then you got a pass," Martinez said. "Everybody else had to suffer his absolute grotesque rudeness and inappropriateness. It was a bad, bad time."

"Right after it I got on my knees and I prayed to God, I said, 'Listen, I need a sign that you want me in this business.' Soon after I booked Focus with Will Smith and Margot Robbie, and we were in a sports car Buenos Aires, and I said, 'OK got the sign. You want me to keep going.' And that's what I've done."

Having working on the 2015 film, directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (who both went on to work on the hit show This Is Us), Martinez maintains that Focus is a "terrific" movie that "deserved a better fate."

"To be flown down to New Orleans and then to Buenos Aires to work with Margot Robbie and Will Smith, and these fantastic people, to be directed by Glenn Ficarra and and John Requa, ... just to be in a role that was funny and being given carte blanche with the improvisation, that one I will always think of fondly," Martinez said.

"It's interesting because to me, it goes beyond box office. When I think of my career and what I've done, it always defaults back to the same thing, what were the moments that were special to me with the people I worked with? Because that to me is the most enduring thing."

Now in his career, what gets Martinez particularly enthusiastic about a role is something that really pushes him outside his comfort zone.

"I'm very drawn to stuff that scares the hell out of me, to be honest," he said.

That includes the film iGilbert, which Martinez wrote, produced, directed and starred in.

"It was extremely long days for 20 days and it was difficult, and cast and crew would leave because they didn't like the money or they got better opportunities, and that was a stressor," he said. "I had to recast and regroup, and that was a very scary experience."

Martinez does have a TV show that he wants to create, and he has found a producer for the project, and a feature script he's looking forward to shooting when he can. But Martinez also stressed that, "it's just not enough to be an actor these days."

"You have to have a hyphenated approach," he said. "You have to really write and produce and create content."

"Sometimes I give classes and I tell them, you are never unemployed. Every single day is an opportunity to hustle and you have to keep the hustle going. So if you're not technically filming you are absolutely writing, you're absolutely on the phone, meeting people, taking classes, whatever it is you got to do, that's what you got to do. That's the price of the ticket. ... If you want to be in this business, you got to keep the hustle going."