Frankie Rodriguez: From Caterpillar to Butterfly
Growing up, Frankie Rodriguez was obsessed with “Desperate Housewives” and on his 13th birthday, his parents took him to Universal Studios where he was able to see the set whilst on the Studio Tour. It was at that moment that he fell in love with the idea of becoming an actor…and as we say, the rest is history! Having kicked off his career with commercials and now working on “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” there is so much excitement going on around him. Considering himself a shy person, his spirit bursts through the room and there is no doubt that he is destined for success! Go, Frankie!
Share with us the moment you knew you wanted to become an actor.
Like every normal child, growing up I was obsessed with the show Desperate Housewives. On my 13th birthday, my parents took me to Universal Studios where they have the backlot tour and they actually take you on the set! My mind was blown. It was the first time I thought to myself, “oh. It’s like a play! But for a camera.” And for some reason that moment really made me fall in love with the idea of becoming an actor.
What were you most nervous about when you started? How did you overcome it?
Honestly, I wasn’t really nervous about much when I first started out. When I was first starting out, I didn’t really have anything to lose. I was very fearless in that way.
You started with commercials! What was that like?
Commercials are crazy! Like you’re asked to do some of the most random things. But my favorite had to be when I was cast as a Belieber for the comedy roast of Justin Bieber. I had snot running down my nose as I cried my eyeballs out. It was ridiculous.
In what ways did it differ from working in television?
Commercials are more technical because in most cases you’re working with products. So it’s more about how you hold something in your hand and although it does require acting skills it’s not about character development.
Tell us more about your tv projects.
For the last 3 years, I’ve been playing Carlos on High School Musical: The Musical: The Series which you can stream the first two seasons on Disney+. It’s been an incredible experience. Like I can’t believe I have that much fun every day and call it work.
What do you believe you bring to the camera that others don’t?
Now, I’ve gotten the chance to work with some amazingly talented people. And I’ve learned so much from them. But what I think I bring that they don’t is the Frankie perspective. I think that’s the beauty of acting. We’ve all lived these different lives and then we all come together to make something while still bringing pieces of ourselves.
Do you see yourself diving into other areas of the industry (directing/writing/producing)? Explain.
Oh, wow. Well, I never say never, but right now my interest is in acting. But I’m always open to the idea of trying other things in the industry. I think it’s all about timing.
Your favorite style.
My go-to is always a pair of converse, jeans, and a fun shirt. But I love patterns and colors, and obviously anything sparkly.
Anything about you that most people do not know?
I tend to be a pretty shy person. And I think that surprises a lot of people because of the characters I play or how I act when I’m comfortable with people. But I do enjoy being a fly on the wall in most cases.
What kind of kid would you say you were growing up?
Very theatrical! I loved putting on plays and puppet shows with my sister. I just wanted to play all the time as a kid. I loved using my imagination.
A piece of advice someone gave you that continues to serve its purpose today.
Be kind! To everyone! It’s so simple and goes a very long way.
Getting ready for season 3 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series! It’s gonna be a fun one!
Talent FRANKIE RODRIGUEZ @frankiearodriguez
Photographer JESSE ASHTON @jesseashtonphotography
Grooming ARLENE JESSICA WILLIS @missarlenethequeen
Interview ALEXANDRA BONNET @alexbonnetwrites
Wardrobe Talent’s Own