Exclusive: David Del Rio on How His Role in Maggie Helped Him Tap into His Vulnerability
There is no denying that acting is a passion-driven career. One riddled with highs, lows, yeses and nos.
It is a venture that is not for the faint of heart as it will force those brave souls who embark on this journey to truly be in tune with every aspect of who they are—their fears, joys, triumphs and losses.
Miami-born Colombian Cuban actor David Del Rio is no stranger to the joy ride that is Hollywood, and in the process, has carved out a career as an actor, producer and director that would make any mamá super orgullosa of her hijo.
Now, in his latest role as Ben on the Hulu show Maggie, fans of the actor will get to see him like never before.
In an exclusive interview with People Chica, The Beauty and the Baker actor dives into how his latest project has provided him with room to grow as a performer and what he feels is the best way for Hollywood to move forward in terms of inclusive diversity.
You've been on some popular shows like The Beauty and the Baker and The Good Doctor and also participated in Grease Live!. What was it like switching over to a character like Ben in Hulu's Maggie?
Changing over to a character like Ben was a huge change in my character. Basically, taking on the responsibility of the romantic lead.
It was intimidating the whole way through, to be honest. However, when you have a cast like this one, they made it safe for me to express my honesty, vulnerability, confidence and fear. So it's an experience I will never forget.
Maggie has a really fun and unconventional approach to the "girl meets boy" love story. What attracted you to a role like this?
When it comes to living in the moment, that concept is universal. When it has to do with a psychic, someone who can see the future, it's not all that simple.
How Maggie Mull and the rest of the creative team made that concept still feel so relatable, even when none of us can see the future, that was the real attraction of the piece for me.
For years, Latinos were always portrayed within very specific stereotypes. Why do you feel that showcasing more Latino faces in shows like Maggie is so beneficial for both the community and TV viewers at large?
We live in America, so we must endure [showing] all of America on the screen. Simple as that.
As a Latino in Hollywood, you understand the importance of proper representation for the community. How do you feel the industry has progressed over the years?
I think the industry is ever evolving and it has been for decades. I just hope we don't make "diversity" something that is featured for the purpose of politics. [Something to] show the world, "Look at how diverse we are!"—that's dishonest and dirty.
People should want to hire actors from all different backgrounds to share their POV of the world to [a] wide audience. Executives and producers alike should open their ears to the stories they don't know. That's how the industry will expand, in my opinion.
Acting is an art form and a path that is not for the faint of heart. What made you decide to embark on this journey? What was your "aha" movement?
I've wanted to be an actor, director, producer and writer since I was a kid. So to me, there was no other choice, [s]o I trained and trained and the training never stops.
The "aha" moment I would say was the understanding of the word "no" and that it's not only happening to you, although that's how it might feel. "No" is just a guaranteed aspect of the industry.
Once I understood that it allowed me to take more risks and not let any "no" take me down. Easier said than done, mind you.
What is something you'd tell your younger self about the journey that lays ahead for him?
I would tell my younger self to be unapologetic [about] who you are. You're a nerd. You digest everything when it comes to the industry, but leave yourself a lot of room to live life outside of it.
Thanks to my wife, I've got more life experiences that my younger self will be shocked I've been through. The travel, the commitment, the maturity—my younger self would be shocked.
What has been the best piece of advice that you've been given by someone in your chosen tribe about life and your career?
My father Franklin is the chief of the tribe for sure. In many ways, he always would tell me to remember who I am. It's a constant reminder in my everyday life. That, and [to] eat healthy.
If there was one person you could have a meal with—whether they are in your chosen industry or not—who would it be?
I would love to have a meal with Denzel Washington on a Sunday, [an] after-church brunch.