A newcomer to the screen (and a budding producer!), 24-year-old Mexican-American Roberto Aguire is making some definite moves in Hollwood – including some dance moves. The young actor most recently had a dance-off with Emma Watson at the Tribeca Film Festival and even busted a move at Latina’s Young Hollywood party. We caught up with him to talk movie roles, new projects and his ideal date.
Tell us a bit about your background.
I guess I’m kind of a mutt. I was born in the US, my parents are from Mexico, and I grew up in Switzerland. It’s weird because I sound American but I spell theater “theatre” with the “r” before the “e”.
How did you get involved with acting?
My progression into acting was pretty slow. I was constantly performing in different kinds of small shows. One year I would be in a magic show, the next year in a circus show, then a small play and then a dance show. One day I got cast in an amateur theater production of Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and I remember it being one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The final day of the run of that show was the moment I decided I wanted to go into acting.
How did you get involved with this project?
I had a meeting and auditioned for Brian Dannelly the director for a role in the movie. We hit it off from the moment we sat down and he ended up giving me the opportunity to play Emilio. I also had a meeting with David Permut one of the producers of the film to jump onto the project as a producer. He was extremely gracious and I’m very thankful that he gave me the chance to learn from him. It was like getting a degree in producing.
What’s your character like?
Emilio is a complete womanizer. He’s this exotic Latin lover who pays way too much attention to his hair and is always on the prowl. I don’t think there was a single girl in his high school that was safe from the lure of his "sexy" Spanish phrases. Rrrr!
How would you describe the film?
The film is the coming of age story of a highly ambitious high school senior trying to break out of his home town to go to the college of his dreams while dealing with an alcoholic mother, an absent father, and a school full of kids who refuse to rise above the clichés they were born into…in a nutshell.
You helped produce this movie – what was that experience like? What did you learn?
The experience was phenomenal. Every day I learned something new. It was like getting a degree in producing. I think the toughest thing is to describe what a producer does because they basically do everything. They follow a project from the start through the rest of its life, and along the way are a part of every single aspect of its growth. It’s tremendously enriching though because you get to know and live with the movie in its entirety.
What was it like working with Chris? If you had to use three words to describe him what would they be?
Chris is such an amazing person to work with. He’s not only super talented and accomplished at such a young age, but he always comes up with the funniest things to talk about. He’s very good at noticing little details that nobody sees and then making up the funniest one-liners. I’d say Chris in three words is talented, quick-witted, and funny.
What was it like working with Rebel? If you had to use three words to describe her what would they be?
Rebel is honestly one of the most talented improvisers and actresses I know. Take after take she comes up with the most hysterical ad-libbed lines that has everyone on set dying of laughter. Three words for her would be hilarious, confident and gangsta.
What was the number one thing you learned or the biggest takeaway from doing this movie?
You have to go with what your gut tells you. And if you ever don’t know what to do, listen to your instincts.
Who did you bond with most on set?
Brian Dannelly and I got really close. He’s such an incredible person I don’t think I could ever sing his praises enough. He’s the hardest working director I know, basically committing all of his time to the movie. He’s creatively innovative and talented while at the same time being extremely conscious of the budget. He’s always there for his actors, taking everything that they throw at him and molding it to his vision. He helped guide me during the whole process as an actor and a producer, and I will never be able to thank him enough for it.
What’s next on the radar? What projects are you working on?
I have a project coming up that I’m not allowed to disclose the details of yet, but I think the producers are going to make an announcement soon!
Who is your career icon?
I’m a huge fan of Leonardo DiCaprio’s career. I love the path that he’s taken. He seems to be very conscious of exactly what kind of project he wants for the following part of his career.
In the movie, you’re described as a ladies man or heartthrob – are you anything like your character?
I don’t know about being a heartthrob, but we definitely both enjoy taking a
lady salsa dancing!
Are you single? What do you look for in a potential date?
Yep, just me myself and I at the moment. I’m very attracted to intelligence and humor. If I laugh a lot and feel like there’s a battle of wits going on, it’s a good date.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I’d love to be in a position where I can use my name as an actor to get a movie made that otherwise would not have gotten made.
'Struck by Lightning’ hits theaters January 11, 2013 and is available On Demand now!