Long before stepping in front of the camera, Brandon Larracuente was just a kid singing in a church choir. It was then that he was approached for a role in a performance of the French opera Carmen. With no experience whatsoever, let alone an opera, he had to learn not only how to act and sing, but how to speak French, as well. Despite all of these tough tasks, he never saw it as a job and was simply having fun.
Larracuente, 25, best known as the star of Freeform’s reboot of Party of Five, has come a long way since then. “[Becoming] a part of something so special was a moment that I’ll never forget,” he says of the “surreal” phone call from the show’s creator, Amy Lippman. “Honestly, it’s a moment that I’ll share with my kids forever.”
Growing up, Larracuente was mainly familiar with theatre acting, but after auditioning for a role on Bloodline, he found his place on television and has been enjoying every minute of it. The jump was a learning process, of course, as he was used to projecting his voice and emotion on stage. Now, on camera, he has to trust that the camera will capture life as it’s happening. “I’m still learning,” he shares. “No matter how great you are at your job, I think that you can learn something every day.”
While working on Party of Five, Larracuente learned how to play the guitar in order to portray his musician character, Emilio Acosta. Diving into the mind and psyche of his character, he says, the audience has witnessed the different layers of Emilio. What he is most excited for, as well as the rest of the cast and crew, has been the possibility of being able to produce a project that moves people and gives them the chance to relate to it (“If one person is affected by watching our show, then we’ve done our job”), bringing true authenticity to the story of five children dealing with the sudden deportation of their parents, specifically for those watching who are in similar situations. As a matter of fact, while promoting the show, Larracuente was able to meet a young girl who was in the same position as his character Emilio. As the eldest of a group of children, she became the caretaker after the deportation of her parents. Being able to speak with her was something he still holds in high regard, since he, along with the rest of the cast, works on educating himself on the topic. “I try not to just show up to work and just say lines and leave,” he adds. “It’s an honor, but it’s a huge responsibility that we have – to tell an authentic, true raw story.”
As for his personal life, he does his best to balance his career and his home life, making time for himself, his family, and his fiancée. His current dream is buying a home where his family can gather for holidays and events. “I want to bring that tradition back,” says Larracuente.
Writer: Tara McDonough
Photographer & Videographer: Mason Kim
Stylist: Loren Robles
Men’s Grooming: Phoebe Dawson (using Kosas)
Editor: Eiko Watanabe
Special thanks to Asian Box (@asianbox - www.asianbox.com) & EPK Media (@myepk & @epkmedia - epkmedia.com)