Our favorite scary movie this year, "There's Someone Inside Your House," centers on a group of teens trying to unmask who's behind their town's gruesome murders.
In the movie, your character, Rodrigo, is the quiet introvert of the group. Was this character difficult to channel? Would you say you relate to this role in any way?
I wouldn’t say the character of Rodrigo was too difficult to channel. There are differences and similarities to me and him like any other role but the one thing that stood out to me was his reservedness. If you know me at all I am not reserved. I think I say what I’m thinking pretty often and when I do, I express myself with lots of energy. When playing Rodrigo, I definitely had to dial myself back a lot.
The way in which Rodrigo expresses his feelings towards his love interest, Alex, is something I can relate to. He never made the first move when telling her how he felt. And although that goes back to being reserved, that’s usually how I am when it comes to expressing the way I feel about a person. I usually don’t like to be the initiator in those situations. I’m just a little shy boy.
What movie could you watch over and over again?
I honestly don’t think there is a movie that I can watch over and over again. I tend to get pretty fatigued easily and I need time to process it. Once the movie is done, I’m done for a while too.
You played the role of Cooper in the HBO Max series genera+ion. Did this setting make you feel like you were back in school again? What do you miss most about this show?
Playing Cooper on genera+ion didn’t make me feel like I was back in school again, it made me feel like I was experiencing it for the first time. I never went to a traditional high school; I was home schooled from 9th to 12th grade. I never got to have a high school crush, or go to parties, and sneak out of the house. Most people say I didn’t miss out on anything, but I honestly feel like I missed out on everything. I’ve always romanticized all the crazy stories people would tell me and all the drama that my friends were going through. I wanted that. I wanted to experience as much as possible and learn. Being on genera+ion gave that to me.
What's your dream role & who's your dream co-star?
I’d really love to be a part of an indie thriller. I always find myself most excited about indies when I’m searching for new movies coming out and I’ve always been obsessed with the ways thrillers are shot. The way a film looks visually to me is very important, colors are very important to me, and that’s what I usually find myself gravitating to. There’s a feeling of nostalgia and comfort there for me but also an excitement, especially when accompanied by beautiful sound design and score. A great example would be Sound of Metal.
One actor I would love to work with would be Joaquin Phoenix. I love the choices he makes in what projects he chooses to do. I met him once; I was watching the Joker in theaters and he came out when the credits started rolling. I shook his hand and said thank you. After that I took a piece of paper and wrote, “I will work with Joaquin Phoenix” and stuffed it in my wallet. Hasn’t happened yet but hopefully one day.
What have you learned working in the industry as a young actor?
I think the hardest part about the entertainment business for me has been the rejection. You deal with it pretty much 99% of the time. It’s hard for me to think of advice because that is still something that I’m seeking out as well. You hear a lot of different ways to deal with it but in the end, I feel like we have to find our own coping strategies. If I could say anything at all, I would just say don’t sacrifice your creativity. Don’t make a choice that’s going to please other people, make the choice that’s going to excite you, make it fun for you, make it worth doing. That’s something that I still have to continue to tell myself. In the end, be your truest self. It’s really cliché I know, but I think it’s true.
MUD began as a place to provide young creatives with spaces of self-expression, and you’re clearly a very creative person. Outside of acting, how do you express yourself? Talk to us a little about your interests and outlets for self-expression.
There are a lot of ways I’ve found that I’ve been able to express myself over the past couple of years which probably got magnified during the pandemic. I have a close friend, who played a part in the prep process for Rodrigo, who invited me to make music with her one day. Ever since then, I’ve been obsessed with experimenting in that realm. She’s always finding new ways to break boundaries and working with her has given me a new artistic medium to play with!
Photography and Direction: Amanda Peixoto-Elkins @amandapeixotoelkins
Styling: Chloe Takayanagi @chloekeiko
Grooming: Marco De Souza @marcofoxy