Adam Irigoyen Discusses His Role in Netflix’s ‘Away’

Adam Irigoyen is well known for his break-out role starring as Deuce on the hit Disney Channel series Shake It Up (opposite Zendaya and Bella Thorne). He has also appeared in recurring roles on The Fosters and The Last Ship, as well as guest-starring on Major Crimes and 2 Broke Girls.

While he may not be going to Mars with Hilary Swank in Netflix’s newest series Away, you can catch his character, Isaac Rodriguez, back on Earth starting today on the streaming service.

Orion Bustamante (@shotbyorion)

Adam Irigoyen Discusses His Role in Netflix’s ‘Away’

Maggie Lovitt (ML): How has quarantine been going? 

Adam Irigoyen (AI): It’s been as good as it can be. I’ve been really trying to take this time to do my best to get better. I say that in all aspects of my life. Whether it’s acting, reading more, and educating myself on social issues.Things of that nature. I’m just trying to make sure I stay tip-top.

ML: Have you been working on anything during quarantine?

AI: No, unfortunately, because of COVID everything’s been put on pause. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to work on anything during this time. I’ve kind of started my own little acting community with friends of mine that keep each other accountable, so that we can at least have some reason to perform even if it’s just for each other. 

ML: There are so many new series on streaming services, have you got a chance to binge anything? 

AI: On September 4th, I’m going to be binging Away! I’ve binged Ozark. It’s so good. I started watching Prison Break. My girlfriend was trying to get me into it. We made a deal that I’d watch Prison Break if she’d watch Breaking Bad

ML: Have you been enjoying it? I loved Prison Break when it was originally on. 

AI: We just finished the first season. The guy, Michael, he’s very calculated. He knows everything he’s got going on. 

ML: How did you get into acting? I know you started out as a “Disney Channel Kid”. 

AI: I’m originally from Miami, Florida. I was eight years old when I made the decision that I wanted to be an actor fairly young. For me, I had to convince my parents for two years before they would even put me in any kind of acting class.

When you’re eight years old and you say that you know what you want to do for the rest of your life, not a lot of people really take you seriously. I convinced them for two years and they were finally able to take me to an acting class out in downtown Miami. Then eventually move to LA and to take a chance on me. Once I came out here, it took about a year and a half before I started shaping up and started working with Disney Channel. 

ML: Were there any lessons you learned starting so young in the industry? 

AI: I mean, when you’re so young you have to grow up fast. By that I mean, especially on a show like Shake It Up. When you have so much responsibility at such a young age, you have to learn professionalism. You have to learn to keep yourself accountable.

At the end of the day, when you’re working on a show people are depending on you to show up and do your job. Because the same is expected of them. Being instilled with that hard work and dedication, and really knowing what it takes to be professional in this industry. That was a big lesson for me starting out. 

ML: Beyond acting, do you have any aspirations to do writing, directing, or producing? 

AI: Oh yeah! Ideally all three. I write periodically right now, especially with quarantine going on. I’ve been trying to write some; whether that’s film or TV or stageplays. I have fun doing that. I dream of directing one day. That, to me, seems like the most fun. I’d love to get the opportunity to do it.

I’ve had the opportunity in my career to work with some really cool directors [who] were very open to educating me on their process and what it’s like to be a director. That has always been something that’s inspired me and pushed me to keep going. 

ML: That’s the great part of working in television, you get the opportunity to work with a different director every week or so and learn a whole new style of direction.

AI: One hundred percent. It’s like you said, from week-to-week, it’s a different person directing. You get so many different styles. For me, that was always something that fascinated me —  the different approaches to directing. You would see that dichotomy from week-to-week. 

ML: The trailers for Away really center around Hilary Swank’s character and her family, but I want to know about your character. Who is Isaac Rodriguez?

AI: Isaac is someone that Alexis (Hilary Swank’s daughter) meets pretty much right after her mom goes on her trip to Mars for three years. When you first see him you get this idea that he might be this bad boy, and have that kind of attitude with him. But once you get to meet him you see that he’s really just this sweet genuine kid, who really means well. Who wants nothing more than to help Alexis cope during this crazy time for her.

They have a lot of similar experiences. Obviously, not identical, but similar enough. They have a very deep connection and it’s really beautiful to watch. 

Away 2

ML: What is your process for getting into character? 

AI: Whenever I start on a new role, it’s the first questions you’ve got to ask. “How is this guy different from me? How is he the same?” And figuring out where you’re going to have to place your effort. Some things you might have to work harder on, some maybe not so much because they’re just part of your personality already. That’s where I start and take it from there. For me, it’s just starting to answer a bunch of questions. “Where does this guy come from? How does he feel about X, Y, Z? Who is he talking to in this scene and what do they mean to him?”

ML: Away was filmed up in VanCity. How was it to film in Vancouver? Was that your first time filming in Canada?

AI: Yes it was! Vancouver is amazing, I fell in love with the city. I cannot wait to go back

ML: I love it up there. It’s got one of the best film communities.

AI: I’ve honestly never been to a place with a cooler vibe. 

ML: Were there any challenges during filming you weren’t expecting? 

AI: There was one challenging moment. There’s a scene — this isn’t giving anything away — in one of my first episodes. I was supposed to be outside of my house chopping wood. It was supposed to be a beautiful sunny day. But being Vancouver, there was a lot of rain. It was really honestly nerve-wracking because I just felt like there was no way we could get the scene in this insane amount of rain.

But they covered it up and I saw the clip and it doesn’t even look like there was one drop of rain falling out of the sky. I had to do the scene and everyone around me was getting drenched, but I was covered by a magical tarp. 

ML: Are there any episodes that really stand out to you that viewers can get excited for? 

AI: I think it’s my fifth episode, where Isaac asks Alexis to kinda go out past her curfew. It’s the first real episode where you start to question Isaac’s intentions. It’s when you decide if you’re going to like this guy. I won’t give anything away, but he kinda brings her into his world. I love that episode. 

ML: You also have Centurion XII in post-production, can you tell us about your role as Francisco? 

AI: Francisco is an up-and-coming performer in the world of horse dancing. He’s very talented and he knows it. He plays the rival to Ellissia, who is the main character. He has this flirtatious vibe with her, but it’s also this flirtatious competitor vibe. That was honestly a really fun character to play, because I had never really played the bad guy or antagonist. 

ML: Had you done horseback riding before or did you have to learn for this role? 

AI: I had kinda ridden on a horse before. I had gone on trails and stuff. But I had never ridden horseback and galloped with a horse. This wasn’t anything like that either. They put us on horses and taught us how to move with them. I was able to pick it up. It’s so impressive [when a horse dances] to be on the horse when they’re performing, you feel how powerful they are. I fell in love with horses even more. 

ML: Do you know when that’s coming out?

AI: I don’t. It was supposed to come out around now, but with everything going on with COVID post-production got pushed a little. Hopefully soon. I think it’s a cool movie for people to watch. 

ML: Are there any franchises or series that you would love to be part of? Manifest that dream, make it happen.

AI: I’m all about that manifestation. Honestly, I’ve been campaigning recently to play Blue Beetle. It would be the first Hispanic superhero on screen. That for me would just be awesome. I love that character. I love that story. Who doesn’t want to be a superhero in 2020? 

ML: I have a few fun set questions to wrap up with. What is something you always have to have in your trailer?

AI: For me, it’s music. I usually get pretty lucky and my trailers always have a Bluetooth speaker in them. If not, I tend to bring my own. While I hangout I mostly just blast loud music. Any set I go to, it’s really funny because people will be by crafty and they’ll see me and they’ll go, “Was that your music?” And we’ll start talking about it. It really is an indication of how I’m feeling that day. I could be playing Roddy Ricch one day, then the next day I’ll be playing some really great old school music. 

ML: I have always joked that I got into acting because I love set catering. What’s the best meal you’ve ever had on the set?

AI: I don’t know about anything specific, but or whatever reason anytime they cater fish, usually a nice salmon. Nine times out of ten, it’s usually the best salmon I’ve ever had. It’s so good. They always have great food. I’m also big on the breakfast. Whenever they have French toast or a really nice breakfast burrito. That’s always A+ in my book. 

ML: Yes! I’m always big on the omelet bar. 

AI: That’s my spot! I stay at the omelet station. 

ML: What do you always have to grab at crafty?

AI: Probably the fudge stripes. The mini ones. I eat like ten bags of those. I really have to try to avoid finding them. They’re always there, but you have to look for them. Once I find them it’s game over. 

ML: I don’t know if the West Coast is the same as the East Coast, but there’s always a great debate about what the best sparkling water is. If you had to choose would it be La Croix, Bubbly, or non-sparkling water?

AI: I’m a big fan of non-sparkling. I’m not big on the bubbly. Of those two, I’ve only had La Croix. 

ML: La Croix is the right answer. 

Keep up with Adam Irigoyen’s career on Twitter, Instagram, and IMDb.

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