Netflix’s “Dear White People” Star Rudy Martinez Talks Filming And More In Exclusive Interview! (@RudyMartinezLA)
Photo Credit: Ryan West
We recently had the chance to chat with “Dear White People” star Rudy Martinez. During the interview, Rudy talks about landing the role, life on-set, and more!
1. How did you land your role on “Dear White People”?
After my initial audition for the show, the casting director brought me back for a chemistry read with DeRon Horton, who plays Lionel. They wanted to see how we got along on screen and if we’d make a good duo. During the audition our chemistry was really fantastic. We improvised a little bit of dialogue during our scene together and we both busted up laughing so I knew it was a good audition.
2. What is the show about?
Dear White People is told from the perspective of several black students who attend a prestigious Ivy League School which has a predominantly white student body. One of the main characters, Sam, has a college radio show called “Dear White People” which is her platform to invite a dialogue about racial politics on campus.
3. Who do you play?
I play Wesley Alvarez in Season 2. He’s a philosophy major at Winchester and he meets Lionel at a party for the LGBTQ+ kids on campus. He is instantly smitten, but just like Lionel, he’s too nervous to make a move. Throughout the season you’ll see these two become closer friends and even a little romance developing.
4. How is this character different from those you’ve portrayed in the past?
Wesley is different because I don’t usually play romance on TV. He’s a bit of a book nerd, a little socially awkward which is a lot like other characters I’ve played, but what makes him different is that he really pursues a relationship with Lionel so he’s definitely more bold!
5. What is a typical day like on-set?
I was very fortunate because several of my episodes were directed by Justin Simien, the creator of the show. I love his directing style. He relies on the actors to put their own spin on the part, and then he adds his own touches to make the scenes work really well. On a typical day I would just watch the magic happen as they constructed these beautifully shot episodes.
6. What is something most fans wouldn’t know about the show?
Well, the show is based on the movie Dear White People that came out in 2014. Tessa Thompson starred in it as the lead. The first season of the show followed most of the narrative of the movie, and the second season goes a lot deeper.
7. When does season 2 premiere and where?
You can catch all the episodes which are available now on Netflix.
8. What has been your favorite episode to film so far?
My favorite episode to film was the sixth episode of Season 2 called “Chapter VI.” That’s when my character, Wesley, and Lionel really start to hit it off. The director, Justin Simien, wanted to make this episode feel like an old movie. So there’s some sleuthing going on like an old mystery movie, and then some romance which he wanted to feel like a film noir. It’s so artistic!
9. Why do you think the show has been doing so well?
There’s no doubt that the show is controversial but I don’t think it’s popular because of that controversy. I think people come to see what the buzz is about, and then realize there’s a great story there. The acting is incredible, the writing is funny and topical, and most importantly I think this show sends an important message that encourages us to examine how we deal with race and politics in America Today. I was a fan of this show before I auditioned for it, and I’m so proud to be a part of it.
10. Do you have any other upcoming projects you can share with us?
Absolutely! I’m currently the lead in a play called Wood Boy Dog Fish, that opens May 18th at the Garry Marshall Theater. You can go to rogueartists.org for more info. I love this play because it’s a modern re-telling of the story of Pinocchio. It’s a musical so there’s singing and dancing, and most importantly – puppets!
11. What are your social media accounts?
I love posting on Instagram and Twitter often. You can find me @rudymartinezla
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