Don't mess with Chuy Bravo! The pint-sized comedian (born Jesus Melgoza) may have gotten hurt unexpectedly on ABC's celebrity diving show, Splash, but he didn't give up on facing his fear of swimming and quickly rushed back to his gig on The Chelsea Lately Show. We spoke to Chuy exclusively about his recovery and how he has it made in a cast - thanks to his nurse. Wink.
Read the full interview below!
How are you feeling since your injury on the show?
I’m making progress slowly. As we Mexicans say, ‘Poco a poquito.’ (‘Little by little’). I had surgery about eight days ago. The entire experience left me a little disappointed because I really wanted to compete on the show and prove to people that I was capable of facing my fear of swimming.
How exactly did you get hurt?
We were training during the first couple of weeks of shooting. I was standing on a table to get used to the feeling of being elevated and planned on jumping to a sofa that they prepared for my landing. Right when I tried to take off, the table moved out of balance and I ended up hitting the sofa with a lot of force. Since I’m chubby, my body hit the sofa with impact and I ended up breaking my foot.
Where did your fear stem from?
The town I grew up in had lots of rivers. When I was about 8-years-old, I ended up jumping into the water and I thought it was a lot shallower than it turned out to be. Once I jumped in, I realized I was in too deep and started to drown. It was a traumatizing experience. My cousin ended up saving me and since then I’ve been deathly afraid of the water.
What finally inspired you to face your fear?
Once I was approached to do the show, I thought it would be a great opportunity to finally move past my fear and inspire other people too. I knew that I would be training with the best of the best so I felt like I was in good hands. The great thing is that I was able to learn basic swimming skills. I’m grateful and also very proud of myself too.
What’s the best part of knowing how to swim?
I remember spotting pretty women near the pool and not even being able to get near the water. I had to admire them from a distance (Laughs). Oh my God, that was tough. Now I have a nurse who visits me three days out of the week and leaves me prepared food so that’s just as good!
Sounds like you’re in good hands! You came back to work right away. How did you feel reuniting with Chelsea?
Yes, I missed being on set and I know she missed me too! (Laughs) Now I’m hanging out with my cast on and my foot elevated. It has been fun! No complaints here.
Great! What else do you have in the works?
I’m launching a comedy tour this summer. This project is all about giving Latino comedians a chance to shine on stage. As Latinos, sometimes we have a hard time getting opportunities in show business. This is all about breaking those barriers. We have about five really talented people so far and we hope to hit up the major cities in the U.S.