The past three years have been quite a whirlwind for Kevin Hernandez. Fresh off memorable movie roles in Jonah Hill’s The Sitter and Mel Gibson’s Get The Gringo, the 17-year-old actor has now landed his first series; playing the character of George on Fox’s coming-of-age comedy, Surviving Jack.
We caught up with Kevin in the busy week before the show’s premiere and he had plenty to share about his new show and his rising star status.
We’ve been hearing a lot of great buzz about Surviving Jack. Can you share a little bit about your character?
I play George on the show, the best friend of the main character, Frankie. He’s really smart, but tends to get Frankie into trouble; especially when it comes to girls. This show is actually based on a book called I Suck At Girls, which was written by our producer, Justin Halpern. These are stories from Justin’s life and the Frankie character is based on him.
So are we to assume that George “sucks” at girls too?
Well he certainly doesn’t think he does! My character is constantly trying to be a ladies’ man, but it doesn’t always work out. He’s a high school freshman, so he’s working hard to be the big man on campus.
And how exactly does the character of Jack figure into everything?
Jack is the dad of Frankie and he’s this really strict parental figure with a military background. He definitely tries to help Frankie and me out with our problems, but he’s not the best at dealing with teenagers. On the flipside though, Christopher Meloni, who plays Jack, is amazing. I’ve never met a funnier guy and he’s done all of these great projects like Law & Order and Man Of Steel. He’s really taught me a lot.
Have you looked to any other actors or TV shows for inspiration?
I was actually a big fan of That 70’s Show. I loved its diversity and the comic sensibilities of the actors. And this show is actually based in the 90’s, so I’ve been looking back at it again just to see how to play someone from a different era.
Does it feel like “the 90’s” is a major component of the series?
Oh yea. The interesting thing is; I was born in 1997, so I never got to really experience that decade. My era was definitely the 2000’s; so to me, it’s funny to see how kids lived back then. Our show covers everything, from the clothes, to the slang talk, to the music.
It’s crazy to think how different things were back then and how much harder it was for high school kids to talk to girls. Being a high schooler today feels VERY different.
And how does it feel to be one of the few Latinos on a network show?
That is something I’m really proud of. And I’m seeing it more and more, which is great. The TV world is really starting to take the Hispanic community into account when casting their shows. And for this one, they’re even giving me some Spanish dialogue, which helps give it a different perspective from some of the other stuff out there.
Have you felt a strong outreach from Latino fans in the past few years?
Actually more from fellow Latino actors. I’ve felt a great camaraderie and actors my age have told me that I’ve inspired them to go after more roles. I think the fact that I’m doing this and am finding success, gives other Hispanic actors hope that they can succeed too. I feel really blessed and privileged that people look up to me like that and I hope I can continue to make them proud.
Be sure to catch Kevin in Surviving Jack, premiering March 27 on Fox.