Rico Suarez is known for his roles in Penny Dreadful: City of Angels and Ballers and fashion campaigns and commercials internationally. Rico shares his story as a shy teen diagnosed with anorexia to inspire other young people with his new self-published book Know Your Norms. Also, he hopes to encourage readers to explore more than what was thought to be typical for their “norms” by educating them about how society hinders their creativity.
In what way do you prefer film or television, acting and modeling over other forms of performance such as theater?
During the project, we worked together as a team. Critical feedback, directing, correcting, insights, and perspective are all part of the craft of acting, film, and modeling, rather than working live in front of an audience. It’s challenging to perform Live in front of a huge audience. During a project, I enjoy the creative process, allowing others to instill their unique ideals and make my craft perfect. Having a team in the process makes the process flow better than performing in front of a live audience before.
From the time a person auditions to the time the piece premieres, the creative process in film and television can be extremely lengthy. What is it like emotionally to invest heavily in something and then wait?
It’s a beautiful thing, the process. I adore it. Everything about it: initially, it affected my mental and emotional state. After gaining control over my mind, I never allowed that process to harm my body, mind, or spirit. I now give it all I have without expecting anything in return. My work can be recognized and affect others, so that’s awesome. I won’t let it defeat me if that doesn’t happen. Other projects are important because I won’t just rest on one thing I did and hope it works out. I don’t wait for work or approval anymore. Everyone does that in the beginning and allows it to affect them greatly. Gradually, as you grow, you will learn to persevere despite everything.
When it comes to the sort of stories you prefer to get involved with, how important is a message to you? What sort of activism do you like (and for what causes)? Do you want something primarily that presses artistic buttons, or do you want to work? Possibly all three.
Everything I do stems from it. Vision is the starting point for all things in life. Storytelling follows. In their own lives, everyone is telling a story. The more creatively they tell their stories, the better. Normal people, for example, go through a variety of challenges and satisfaction when living their lives.
As you live and speak that story, it is being told. People who become aware of it then use creative outlets to spread their stories to the world, inspiring others to become aware. Yes, I am an activist. And I am passionate about all causes. Therefore, I base my decisions on whether my story can awaken others by aligning with a cause. My favorite causes are minorities, gangs, hate speech, and suicide.
What does a director need to do? As a director, what won’t you tolerate?
I need full transparency no matter how close we are or how hesitant or introverted they are to share their opinion on a scene or how I interpret it. Some directors think and create in their minds but won’t say much aloud. I enjoy collaboration. Of course, shared ideas generate more ideas and direction with my style. I collaborate with others.
It is better to share perspectives than to fully control a scene, as some directors like to hold it completely. Even though I am hired as an actor to bring the director and producer’s vision to life, I prefer a more collaborative work environment. If the director abuses his power, I won’t tolerate it. It is not dictating; it is directing. It is a great attribute in directors. When people aren’t on the same thing, it is more difficult to finish a job. I’d never sacrifice my time by being unfriendly.
Additionally, you’ve appeared in several fashion campaigns and commercials. What did you learn?
I had an amazing time! In my career, they’re all stepping stones. Having the opportunity to work with such big names only makes me more confident. I am exposed to more opportunities. And more. Society thrives on that. Instead of indulging my ego, I see every job as an opportunity to learn. Advertising is so much fun! That does not work for me. Every time I meet new people and learn from all these creative teams sharing powerful messages. I love it.