Not many people get struck by lightning, but up-and-coming actor Roberto Aguire gets lucky his first time out by getting to act in – and produce – his feature film debut with Glee‘s Chris Colfer.
Roberto talked exclusively with Celebrity Teen Scoop about his film Struck By Lightning, that has been getting rave reviews since premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival. The rising star also shares a little bit about his start in the business, and how his decision to become an actor was all because of Robin Williams.
Celebrity Teen Scoop: Your upcoming film Struck By Lightning is generating some good buzz. What’s the film about?
Roberto: The film is about a high school senior named Carson who decides to blackmail his classmates in order to increase the chances of getting into his dream college. It’s a really touching film that tries to show people that it’s not about where you’re going in life but how you get there.
CTS: In the film you play Emillio, a foreign exchange student. Tell us a little bit about your character.
Roberto: Emillio is the school’s resident womanizer. Throughout the movie, he seduces girl after girl after girl using sexy Spanish phrases that I think would rival any other techniques employed by the great playboys of our time. He’s basically perfected the art of ensnaring women.
CTS: Are you similar to Emillio or can you relate to him?
Roberto: I think Emillio has a lot of the same insecurities that I had in high school. The biggest one is this feeling that you have to pretend to be someone else in order to fit in or be cool. Luckily Chris’ character by the end of the movie helps Emillio find that confidence in himself.
CTS: The script was written by Glee’s Chris Colfer. How did you two meet and how did your participation in the movie come about?
Roberto: I originally auditioned for the role of Emile, who was at the time a Hungarian foreign exchange student that would constantly yell I LOVE AMERICA in random parts of the movie. After my first meeting with Chris, he told me that he wanted to tweak the role a little bit more specifically for me. That night, out of Chris Colfer’s genius mind, Emillio was born.
CTS: You are also a producer on the film. Share with us what it was like both acting in and producing the film.
Roberto: It was an amazing experience! As an actor, you only really get to see one side of the film making process. But as a producer, you get to see them all. And there are so many elements that go into getting a movie to its final version that I never even knew about. For example on SBL there was someone who spent over 80 hours making sure that every single noise, that most people wouldn’t even pay attention to, sounded perfect. I know that because the director and I were right there with him as he watched Angela Kinsey take a bite of her sandwich for the 45th time in a row because he thought the crunching of the bell peppers was off.
CTS: What was it like working with Chris, and co-stars Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) and Sarah Hyland (Modern Family)?
Roberto: They were all amazing to work with!! Chris is a genius, Rebel is impossibly funny, Christina is ridiculously talented and beautiful, and Sarah can pretty much do anything. Honestly, I would stand as close as possible to all of them hoping that a little something from each would rub off on me!
CTS: Have you always wanted to be an actor? How did you get your start?
Roberto: When I was 15-years-old my mom randomly pushed me to audition for the lead character in a local production of a play called Brighton Beach Memoirs. I hadn’t ever really acted onstage before so I figured there was no way I would get cast to carry the show. A week later I got a phone call from the director offering me the role. I was so shocked that I immediately blurted out “Don’t you have anyone better?” to which he simply said, “Nope, you’re it”. And after my experience on that show, I was hooked.
CTS: What are some things you like to do in your free time when you’re not on a film set?
Roberto: One thing I love to do whenever I can find some free time is take a dance class. Since I was a kid I’ve always loved dancing. My parents had to drag me off the dance floor at around 5am anytime we had a family wedding. Right now I’m addicted to hip-hop. There’s something about it that makes you feel really hardcore. Fun fact, in college I was part of a nationally ranked Indian dance team. Random, I know.
CTS: Who are some of your role models and mentors?
Roberto: My acting role model is Robin Williams. Growing up, I loved watching him in movies like Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, Hook, etc. But I remember the day I saw Good Will Hunting was the day I decided I wanted to be able to do what he could do. I wanted to make people laugh hysterically just as much as I wanted to move people to tears, and in Robin I saw someone who could do both. The more movies of his I watched the more my fascination and admiration for him grew. For me he’ll always be one of the best.
Roberto: An amazing mentor in my life has been my grandfather. He’s one of the most intelligent people I know and he’s never stopped teaching me the importance of knowledge. For him, naming all the capitals of the world when quizzed by his grandchildren is as easy as reciting the alphabet. And he really doesn’t get that not a lot of people can do it! He absorbs information like he drinks water, and that thirst of his has never been quenched. I’ve always looked up to the way he can just talk to anyone from anywhere in the world and know a significant amount about their country’s history and culture. I hope one day I’ll be able to do the same.
CTS: Tell our readers about some other projects you have coming up.
Roberto: I am currently in pre production for my next movie. I’m dying to tell you guys the details but unfortunately I’ve been sworn to secrecy. Soon though, very soon!
Struck By Lightning is set for a theatrical release on January 11, 2013 and will be available OnDemand on December 19th, 2012.