Our founder/editor David Mills had the opportunity to interview this thirteen year actor on acting, education and more. Here is what he had to say.
When did you start acting?
I started acting when I was 8. Before I actually got an agent and started auditioning i took improv classes to get out of my shy-phase. and I still take it today. I was really inspired by iCarly - I would watch it all the time, and learn from the cast members. They looked like they enjoyed what they were doing, and I certainly enjoy what I do!
Was it your dream to be an actor?
Yes! I was an iCarly super-fan! I couldn’t not watch iCarly! I was so fascinated with this amazing Dan Schneider masterpiece, that I went to my mom and said,”Mom! I want to be funny on a show like iCarly!” (she told me I wasn’t very funny and to go back to the piano-) And after a few years-I started working in Television. Bella and the Bulldogs is an amazing experience, and guess what? My dream came true. I am on a Nickelodeon show!
Are there challenges pursuing a acting career?
Yes, there are a few, such as taking the time to work and prepare for an audition, memorize scripts, work on the character. I also practice piano 1-2 hours ever day. It will seem hard at first,—once you book a role, you don’t need to worry about any “challenges.” The work part is the best!
Do you remember your first acting job, tell us about it?
My first job was the Little Rascals remake for Universal Studios. I played Woim, or Worm, the side-kick of the big bully, Butch. It was a fun job, and an amazing experience. I got to hang out with great kids, and everyday was something new. + it was fun to play a bully! My favorite part about working on the Universal Studios sets was when the studio tour buses would drive by where we were shooting, and I could here the tour-guide saying things like,”And here is the crew of the new movie The Little Rascals Save the Day!” and we would all wave!
You play Ace McFumbles on the Nickelodeon series 'Bella and the Bulldogs'. Tell us about your character?
Ace is a reporter for his school. He’s confident, quick-witted, and he acts a lot like a young Ron Burgundy! Speaking of Ron Burgundy, Ace always wears a mustache when he is filming. When he isn’t filming, he’s just a normal kid at a middle school. Fun Fact: back when we shot the first pilot, which was originally called Bella and the Broncos, Ace was a puppet. Yes…. a puppet! I’m so glad he’s now a human being haha!
Are your cast members easy to work with?
Oh yea. Were all friends! Everybody is so nice, and they really understand how their characters interact. When we aren’t filming or doing school on set, we hang out and have a great time!
What do fans have to look forward to in future episodes of 'Bella and the Bulldogs'?
Lots of Bella drama (haha) and Ace will stay in your face!
How does the cast get ready for scenes?
It takes 1 week to make 1 episode. On Mondays, we have a table read with the new script, and then we do school and rehearse. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, we do more rehearsing, and then at the end of the day, we have producers run thru, and network run thru, where we show them the whole show on the sets. Then we shoot Thursdays and Fridays. We also gather in a pep circle- put our hands in, the director says a few words to pump us up and we all say “GooooBulldogs”!
Do you have any advice for those wanting to start a career in acting?
There are a lot of auditions and a lot of hard work-there are a lot more “no” than “yes” -never take anything personally- its not easy but like with everything if you work hard you will accomplish something!
What do you hope your fans can take away from your acting?
I like to make people laugh~ So I hope people laugh! When I do dramatic roles i hope to make people feel i’m actually the character- and to forget its Rio.
It's hard to find free time while busy on projects. When you do, how do you spend it?
First off, I practice piano. I usually practice about 2 hours a day. I also love to draw. I love drawing so much, because it helps me relax, and it lets me express my weird mind! I can’t leave my house without a notebook and pen! I also play video games when I can! Currently. I’m into fighting games :3. Last but not least, I like to make music on my computer. I’m a classical pianist but I’m also making EDM- because its my favorite type of music.
Do your family and friends support you?
Yes! I love my family for supporting me, and my friends are the best!
Who inspires you with your acting?
Hugh Jackman 4 lyfe. I like him because it seems like he can do anything. He can sing, dance, act— everything! He’s also really good at Wolverine.
What do you hope to accomplish with your acting?
My dream is to win an award, possibly an Oscar, for a job I will work on. My dad was just nominated for an Oscar yesterday for the sound editing for Mad Max: Fury Road! It is truly my favorite movie of all time. Not because my dad did the sound for it, its just a really good movie.
Is it hard for you to remember your lines? How do you remember them?
I’m a pianist. I have a crazy memory! I just work on my lines over and over, until my brain is focused on the character, and I am one with the character haha!
Are you passionate about any charities, if so, why?
I have bad food allergies- so I do a lot with FARE- Food Allergy Research and Education! we need to find a cure so people like me don’t die if we accidentally eat a peanut. There are several charities try to support. GenerationOn, RosieG, JDRF- Juvenile Diabetes, Ronald McDonald house.
Is education important to you?
Nope. Jk of course! Listen I’m not always crazy about going to school- but I get that we have to learn! There is a lot to learn in the world. It’s interesting - the internet helps with that. I would like to travel cuz I think you learn a lot from seeing the world! My dad says we continue to learn our whole lives.
We thank Rio for answering our questions, you can follow him on Twitter here.