Meet Antonio DePína from "The Circle"

by Héctor Gutiérrez

Photo: Netflix

January is about focusing on our resolutions, but with Netflix dropping fire content since the new year began, it's been impossible to stay away from the screen. And if you're anything like me, you've probably already watched Netflix's new reality TV show "The Circle."


Now, this show may or may not be a spin-off to "Black Mirror" (conspiracy theorists unite). Eight strangers get thrown into a building and can only interact with each other through social media, leaving them the option to be themselves or someone entirely different. The prize? Cash, of course!


All these years we've been fools on social media for free, and somehow, these people managed to get paid.


From the first episode, you learn who's decided to be authentic, and who's a complete catfish. Antonio DePína is undoubtedly one of "the realest" players. He's a professional athlete, a businessman, and according to his Insta, a "millennial mogul." He's clearly a strategic competitor, which earned him the top spot as an "influencer" on the first episode (meaning he can decided who is eliminated).


I asked Antonio everything: from his on-screen rivalry with Joey Sasso, to what's next in his career. But because I hate spoilers and Antonio's got his own perspective of "The Circle," I'll let him tell you all about it.


Photo: Netflix

People absolutely LOVED all the contestants on the show. How was the process of getting casted for “The Circle?”


The process of getting casted on "The Circle" was long, and I mean very long. We started in Philadelphia for a normal audition, and we ended up going to LA for the second part, and then we finally ended up filming in Manchester, United Kingdom. 


What was a typical day at the apartment like? What happened while there were no alerts, chats, or games?


 When nothing was going on with The Circle, we literally couldn’t do anything we had no phones there were no clocks in the apartment and we also could only read books do crossword puzzles we couldn’t watch TV so as you can imagine it was very very boring. 


You developed a friendly-rivalry early on with Joey Sasso. How was meeting him in person after the show ended?
Me and Joey are real cool and we are actually similar in some ways. Me and him both a very goal oriented and we both knew what we were getting ourselves into. After the show me and him got a chance to link up talk about it apologize to each other because we both were, you know, acting crazy on the show and we didn’t know exactly what Netflix was going to air on the show. But that’s my boy and I’m actually going to go hang out with him in a few weeks.

If you could pick any of the contestants' pictures to use for catfishing, who would you pick?


 I would definitely pick Sammie's picture. Sammie is the most loved from The Circle right now and I feel like it would be perfect to use her because everyone loves her. 


Did you have a funny or interesting off-camera/ behind the scenes moment?


 Yeah, I was actually in my kitchen practicing my basketball moves I wish they would’ve heard it was crazy actually had cones doing drills with my little mini basketball court in my mini basketball.



You were hands-down one of the most authentic players. Has the show changed the way you show yourself and your life through social media?
 Actually no–the show hasn’t changed anything that I’ve got going on. I still handle social media the same way and I still present my life on social media the same way.

Where can we expect to see you next? Will you continue pursuing basketball in Europe or are you interested in doing something similar to The Circle?


I’m glad you guys asked. I will not be pursuing my professional basketball career anymore. What I wished I could’ve said on the show was that I actually am a big entrepreneur in my city. I own a real estate company an apparel store and I just launched an app that connects professional basketball players to professional teams worldwide.


Right now I’m focused on Forbes 30 under 30 and that’s the goal for 2020 and on. 

Watch the full season of "The Circle" on Netflix.

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