Christian Navarro

A wise man once defined the concept of ‘good luck’ as something that happens when “preparation and hard work meet opportunity.” And no one understands this better than 26-year-old actor Christian Navarro. While some actors might sit back and bask in the success of a show like 13 Reason Why, Christian prefers to keep his nose to the grindstone and continue to build his destiny rather than wait for it to happen on its own. For his feature BELLOinterview, we spoke with Christian about the 13 Reasons Why phenomenon, his admiration for Lin-Manuel Miranda, and his favorite Wonder Woman in the world.

In preparation for filming season two of 13 Reasons Why, Christian Navarro teamed up with Evangelia to create the song ‘Hello Again’. Billboard recently profiled the new video, and he tells us he wrote the song as a method for more effectively entering the psyche of his character, Tony Padilla, before shooting began. “I used the song as part of the process of crafting the character,” he tells us. ‘Hello Again’ allowed me to get into Tony’s mindset a little bit more. There’s a six-month gap between season one and season two and I really wanted to explore what was going on in Tony’s brain during that time. It helped me bring life to those first couple of moments when you see Tony. I felt like he was truly alive inside of me.”

Tony’s journey feels alive for the loyal viewers as well. The character’s struggle with his sexuality has been a major point of contact for viewers, and something that has given Christian so many close moments of connection with his fans. “I think the most revealing interactions I have in this sense are with the parents,” he says. “I do meet a lot of the younger fans who share how their own journeys are parallel with Tony’s and how the show has helped them in their healing, and that’s very special, but it’s always so eye-opening to me when I meet the parents who watch the show with their child or kids, and they tell me how the show’s had a huge impact on how they connect to their kids.”

In the wake of Anthony Bourdain’s and Kate Spade’s recent passings, suicide has been in the front pages for several days now. We asked Christian if he feels the show has helped evolve and expand the vocabulary of such a sensitive issue. “I wouldn’t presume to speak on those issues because I’m not an expert,” he says. “But I can say, if we’ve only had a small impact on the topic, such as kids realizing this is a real issue, or the older generations starting to talk to the younger ones and help bridge the conversation — if that’s the only thing we’ve contributed to the situation then it’s an admirable job. We really wanted to help these kids who suffer from depression, bullying, trauma, and sexual assault. We wanted to try and give each of these topics a moment.”

As with most television series, the cast has bonded like a family, so we asked Christian who he feels his closest on-set ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ would be. “My closest ‘sister’ would definitely be Alisha Boe (who plays Jessica Davis),” he tells us. “She and I became really close friends really quickly. I love her and respect her a lot, and I feel like she’s taken on a great responsibility with her character and she’s done such wonderful things with it. My closest ‘brother’ is a difficult choice because I went to school with Brandon Flynn (Justin Foley) in college and we’ve been really good friends for a long time, but maybe my closest ‘brother’ on the show is Dylan Minnette, who plays Clay Jensen.”

With season three of 13 Reasons Why getting its green light last week, Christian can truly enjoy his summer break knowing he has a lot of busy days to look forward to around the corner. So what are some of his favorite things that he’s most passionate about these days? “I’m such fan of all-things comic book and Marvel,” he says. “Avengers 4, I’ve seen six or seven times now.” But one thing in particular he’s thinking about a lot these days is the award-winning 2008 Broadway play, In The Heights. “Lin-Manuel Miranda’s play In The Heights is being turned into a film, and it’s about Latinos in Washington Heights, and that’s my world. I’m super excited about possibly getting an opportunity on that, so I’m definitely going to try. I’m also excited about getting back to work on season three.”

“It feels wonderful to be part of such a huge hit show, but I’m also young and have so much drive,” he says. “As opposed to enjoying this moment, I’d prefer to stay grinding — I have a long career ahead of me so it’s good to be a little bit insecure. In terms of my dream role, In The Heights is a big project right now that I feel like I have a connection to, but I would really love to be in a comic book movie, too.”

“There’s a few characters like Nova, a young Hispanic character I love,” he explains. “In the DC world there’s the character of Blue Beetle which I’m really interested in, too. I’m actually writing a script about Blue Beetle and it would be a lot of fun to go down that road.”

In a recent Instagram post of Christian’s we noticed him pointing out some L.A. street art of Wonder Woman, so we thought it fitting to ask who his favorite Wonder Woman is in his own life. “My grandmother is one of the strongest people I know, period. She came over here with nothing from Puerto Rico at a young age and had two kids — my father and my uncle — at a time in the South Bronx where the odds were not in your favor to survive, let alone be successful.” He adds, “She raised two successful young men, who in turn raised a handful of successful children. She’s a matriarch, a Wonder Woman, and a superhero in her own right. Her story goes untold in a lot of ways, but hopefully not for long if I’m around to tell it.”

Fans don’t have to wait until season three to see Christian on the small screen. “I’m relaxing right now but I’ll be L.A. next week for the MTV Movie Awards. Last year we presented the award to Stranger Things, but we hope we take it this year. After that I’m going to do a lot of reading and getting in shape, and prepare for season three.”


Photography  ARTHUR GALVAO @artgphoto | Creative Direction STEPHANE MARQUET
Photo Assistant ALEX BUDIN @alexbudinphotography
Styling  ALEX SHERA @alexshera
Grooming RACHEL BURNEY @remba_
Social Media Correspondent Morgane Enselem @mogow_

Production Maison Privée x BELLO Media Group | Interview BRENT LAMBERT

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