We had the good fortune of connecting with ANTONIO RUFINO and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi ANTONIO, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I was chosen in kindergarten grade by my school teacher at the early age of 5yrs old to be cast as Tom Turkey in the school play. While I was wearing a entire complete turkey costume and heard the applause from the audience I literally felt like a super hero that I was capable of doing and making people smile, laugh, happy. And from that moment on I knew exactly what I was born to do. My purpose, my mission in life was and has always been to be a performer, to entertain people through my acting, my creative story telling photography/social media content/brand. Performing makes me so fulfilled in so many ways. antoniorufino.com
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Being born in Houston, Texas and 1st generation of Mexican American from both sides mom and dad, and I am also Italian,Lebanese.
I used to watch American tv and the only actor that looked like me on television was Erick Estrada on tv show CHIPS. There was no other actor on tv that had the jet black hair, bronze Mediterranean skin color, hazel yellow/brown eyes, with a bilingual accent, and very metrosexual.
So I knew this was going to be a challenge and was going to have to overcome the impossible. I have always being very competitive, I love challenging myself to doing a character that is outside of my comfort zone. I got cast to perform in the most prestigious theaters The Houston Grand Opera and the Alley Theater at just 17 and 18 years old in Houston and was among the few Hispanic actors.
Then in Los Angeles, CA Getting cast in a real life story as the lead actor Jesus in the feature film
El Derecho de Jesus aka The Right of Jesus which has gone to win awards internationally for Best Feature Film Awards in Portugal, Spain, Germany, Hollywood. 2020, 2021 among other past years and film festivals.
Never judge a book by its cover, people tend to quickly make judgement of one by what they see.
I have always been judge by others because I come across strong. Will that clearly is because of all the bs and malicious humans in the entertainment industry that have tired at one point physically and mentally disrespect me.
As much as I love the industry it does have its bad side to it. I can truly say and stand with pride that I have never done the casting couch, every project that my name is attach to every role that I have gotten cast in has been through my talent and that’s it.
No casting couch for me. No gracias, it’s just not my way of doing the right thing in my personal and professional life journey.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would begin the day with making healthy smoothies at home, Thanking the lord for the blessings of reconnecting together.
Taking our dogs out for a walk, feed them breakfast.
Go to one of my favorite restaurants for Breakfast Kings Road Coffee and Cafe in LA.
Then take the drive down to PCH go to my favorite beach El Matador State Beach do some meditation, hit the waves surfing with our dogs, lay out get some sun. Then for lunch go to a awesome spot in Malibu, CA.
Come home take a siesta, give the dogs a bath,
For dinner I would cook a delicious dinner.
Go out for drinks at Sunset Plaza, or Roma Caffe in Beverly Hills, CA.
Attend a film premiere, or private Hollywood industry party.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My grandmother Maria Antonia always told me follow your dreams, you can do and be what ever you put your heart, passion and strive to be the best in it she knew I wanted to be a actor.
In the late 80”s at the young age of 15 years old I was among the only Hispanic teenage boys taking modeling classes at the prestigious school of Neil Hamil Modeling School in Houston, Texas.
I would have to acknowledge my dad for being a big supporter of my acting/modeling he would drive me to class every Tuesday and Thursdays in my birth/childhood city of Houston, where he would literally wait in the car for over 5 to 6 hours while I would be in class learning. This went on for over 6 months.
I worked as a featured extra in The Evening Star starring Shirley MacLaine, Bill Paxton where both actors gave me words of wisdom, encouragement and truly advise me to moved to Los Angeles and follow my passion for acting. Your ethnic group of Latinos are next in Hollywood.
Big changes and opportunities will come your way but you have to be in the capital of the entertainment Hollywood. You have a amazing look, your bilingual and you have a special spark about you.
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All images credit to: ANTONIO RUFINO