“We get to find out a bit more about what makes Richie tick,” says Castillo, who tells Fusion’s Pedro Andrade that season two will allow audiences to see a different side of Richie; a side told through Richie’s point of view. “We delve a little bit more into his background and into his personal history and world in a very beautiful way.”
Despite the show’s mixed reviews, one thing was certain: Castillo had an army of social media fans behind him. He attributes this to the current lack of Latino and gay leading men on television and film.
“It was refreshing playing a Latino character that was not a stereotype and was multidimensional in a way that I hadn’t seen,” Castillo said. “And the fact that he was gay was just one part of it.”
Castillo, who identifies as a straight man, says he never second-guessed playing a gay character. Because he was raised in a relatively conservative Mexican-American household in Texas, he says he made it a point to contact his parents via email prior to taking the role.
“My parents are really supportive. They were just relieved that I was working and happy. They’ve been with me every step of the way, so they heard the joy in my voice when I called them and told them I had this job,” said Castillo, who was previously working in theater companies in New York City and starring in independent films. “My extended family, I don’t know what they think. Some are supportive, maybe others aren’t, but all that I care about is having the love and support of my parents, sister, and brother.”
Castillo, who studied theater at Boston University’s School of Fine Arts, recently performed alongside Sandra Oh of “Grey’s Anatomy” in the play “Death and the Maiden.”
“There aren’t many roles for Latino leads in romantic comedies,” Castillo said. “I hope a character like Richie will help open the doors for more characters like him in television — where he just happens to be Latino and gay.”
Season two of “Looking” premieres on HBO on Sunday, January 11.