Raul Castillo became a household name after starring on HBO’s Looking, but it’s his continual choice of roles that helps him stand out in Hollywood. The Texas-born stage and film actor recently debuted his latest series, Seven Seconds alongside Regina King, David Lyons, Russell Hornsby, and Beau Knapp in Los Angeles.
Castillo stars as Felix Osorio in the Netflix drama created by Veena Sud, currently available for streaming. The series examines the aftermath of an accident involving a white officer who accidentally runs over a black teenager. Osorio is one of the officers that arrives at the scene of the accident who is convinced to keep his mouth shut to protect one of his own.
Soon after, he regrets his role in the coverup but is caught between a rock and a hard place. The life of everyone involved has been forever changed, especially that of the teenager’s parents, played by King and Hornsby.
Castillo was overjoyed to be a part of a project that will force people to have uncomfortable conversation.
“I think when storytelling is at its best can be cathartic and healing,” Castillo told Latina.com. “I think we have real potential with the show to provide an experience for an audience that needs to heal and needs to unpack a lot of what's been going on for generations.
I hope that people are able to engage in conversations that challenge them as individuals and their understanding of race and culture in this country.”
These conversations are very important to Castillo as an actor and as a Mexican American. Equally as important to him was the chance to play the only Latino role in the series as well as the the only Latino character in his police unit.
“To be consistently involved in projects that helps to further conversations is exciting,” he explained. “With this show specifically, to be able to engage as a Latino in a conversation about race in this country, as an actor and as an artist--- I wanted nothing more. I want opportunities like that.
“And I think Veena has created a really great mix of characters and we’re able to examine different parts of the criminal justice system in pockets of the United States that don’t often get representation on television.”
He continued, “As the only man of color in this unit of detectives, Osorio becomes this litmus test for this other voice and this other perspective. It’s so easy for them to dehumanize Butler. I think his sense of guilt and his own grappling with what they’ve done sort of starts to chip away at him.”
Up next for the 40-year-old star is a role in the Sundance darling “We Are Animals” based on the Justin Torres novel of the same name.
“I’m so excited about projects that I have coming up this year, especially this film that just debuted at Sundance, ‘We The Animals.’ We had a really warm reception from the audience and we got picked-up for distribution from The Orchard. We’ll be in one hundred theaters this August.
“I”m so proud to have brought this literary accomplishment to cinematic life. It’s a real examination of masculinity and sexuality. I’m so impressed by Jeremiah Zagar, our director who really went to great lengths to get the story told.”