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Young teen, Xolo Maridueña is making a name for himself in the acting world, and slowly but surely becoming a young star. Xolo is just 17 years old and already the lead for the hit YouTube Red series “Cobra Kai.” He’s been named Latina’s Magazine Hottest Youngest Stars Under 25, and even with all that success, Xolo is a normal teenager that attends a regular HS, and shares the same celebrity crushes as just about every young teen in America.

Before starring in the hit show, “Cobra Kai,” he played in the NBC show, “Parenthood” as Victor Braverman, which he explains is his ‘first big break.’ Xolo also discussed how working on that show made him come to a realization that acting was his passion, “At the time, I had never worked with such talented people before in my life, the whole cast are really some of the most professional, astonishing actors I ever met. And working with them, solidified that I want to be an actor, as my career.”

xolo mariduena

Xolo currently plays Miguel Diaz on the “Karate Kid” sequel, “Cobra Kai,” where he’s a sophomore in high school, trying to find himself. Xolo describes his character saying, “He’s struggling with a lot of teen struggles, being a kid going to a new high school…he has to find where he fits in, through Cobra Kai, he really starts to figure what’s important to him.”

Because the show is centered around martial arts, Xolo had to do a lot of preparing for the role. He talked about how a month before filming the show, he would practice every day, which included stretching, choreographing fights, and just learning about martial arts/artists. There were also about 2 or 3 hours of training Xolo had to do a day; Xolo talks a little bit about his struggles in the early stages of training, “My body was telling me to quit because I wasn’t used to this type of exercise or training…my body wasn’t really conditioned to work that way.” But fortunately for us, he didn’t quit because he’s killing it on the show.

With some of the original actors from the original “Karate Kid” starring in the show (Ralph Macchio and William Zabka), and with the huge legacy of “Karate Kid”, Xolo said he definitely felt the pressure to do a great job playing his character, “It definitely was a lot of pressure, but not just because those guys were on there, this is what people have been waiting to see for 30 plus years…the fans are very passionate about “Karate Kid.”

Xolo, who’s Mexican, Cuban, and Ecuadorian expressed how important his Hispanic heritage is to him, “I try hard to represent the Latino culture I’m a part of, not just in a role, but in everyday life, that I’m not only embracing my heritage but actively finding ways to spend time in my communities to come together.” He mentioned how him and other Latinos in entertainment are beneficial to the youth, “In this industry, having representation is the biggest thing, for people of color especially.”

xolo mariduena

Although he’s a young star with his own TV show, Xolo describes himself as a regular teenager, who also attends a regular school, and gives all the props to his parents for keeping him grounded, “My parents helped mold me into the guy I am today, and because of that, I have to thank them… My parents were very admitted about me attending school, it’s not like I’m working everyday throughout the whole year, there’s not really a need to be home schooled.” Xolo also went to prom with one of his friends from school, but young ladies don’t worry…he is still single, but unfortunately, he’s not looking for a relationship right now, he’s focused on his craft. But if he was, it would wishfully be one of his celebrity crushes, Zendaya, Yara Shahidi, Amandla Stenberg, or Rihanna.

So, Xolo is currently on summer break from school, and is gearing up for season 2 of “Cobra Kai” and although we have no word on when season 2 will air, he mentioned how he himself isn’t too sure of what the fans can expect. He did say we will learn more about the characters from season 1 and that we will be introduced to some new faces.

Photo Credits

Photographer: Tim Schaeffer at Cellar Door Studios @cellardoorstudios.la

Grooming: Joseph Adivari @adivaribeauty

Celebrity Interviews

Saweetie Talks Music & Black Lives Matter on Quibi’s Musicology w/ Tim Kash

‘Tap In’ and ‘My Type’ Rapper, Saweetie, sits down with Tim Kash and discusses her upcoming album, as well as the current headlines surrounding the speculation of lynchings and how she is involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.

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saweetie

‘Tap In’ and ‘My Type’ Rapper, Saweetie, sits down with Tim Kash and discusses her upcoming album, as well as the current headlines surrounding the speculation of lynchings and how she is involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.

tim kash saweetie interview

We are really glad to hear Saweetie’s forthcoming album is nearly here. She has been in the spotlight for a minute now and her fans (we are fans) deserve to hear a full body of work from her.

saweetie

More importantly, however, we love to hear she is doing her part in the Black Lives Matter movement. Someone with a platform as large as Saweetie’s is definitely needed in this good fight! These recent lynchings of Black men in various parts of the country being labeled as suicides is nothing short of nonsense and murder at the hands of white supremacists. Thanks Saweetie for speaking out!

You can catch Saweetie’s interview with Tim Kash below! Happy viewing!

 

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Celebrity Interviews

WATCH NOW: OWN’s Exclusive Press Roundtable w/ The Cast of “Greenleaf!”

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Greenleaf season 5

It Is hard to believe that after five seasons the upcoming season of OWN’s hit series, “Greenleaf,” will be its last. For years now we have watched this family and their megachurch grow, fall, change, and fight all in the name of family, dignity, and God.

Now, it is time to say goodbye, but before the season premiere airs tomorrow we were privileged to be able to chat with a few cast members of the Greenleaf during a Vimeo roundtable press conference! Yep Merle Dandridge (Grace Greenleaf), Keith Davidson (Bishop James Greenleaf), Lynn Whitfield (Pastor Mae Greenleaf), Lamman Rucker (Jacob Greenleaf), and Deborah Joy Winans (Charity Greenleaf), and the series’ creator/director, Craig Wright were all there and we got the details for this amazing final season!

Greenleaf season 5

Before the press conference we were allowed to screen the first two episodes of the upcoming season and needless to say they are riveting! You will find the Greenleaf Family collectively faces the end of an era with power and ownership of Calvary shifting to Harmony & Hope (H&H). Individually, Grace faces a tragic setback in her relationship with her estranged son, AJ, Kerissa and Jacob play chess as they move towards an impending divorce, Mae and The Bishop move forward with their wedding plans and the next chapter of their lives, and Charity has become the black sheep of her family, viewed as a traitor by her mother and sister while raging against Phillip Demars for spurning her and choosing Judy Whitmore. Whether the Greenleafs can pull it together to somehow save Calvary–and see their family through harrowing times–remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, they won’t go down without a fight!

Greenleaf season 5

The cast was asked questions by various publications sand touched on how the show has helped humanize church leadership, which storylines besides their own are the most invested in, and even behind the scenes hijinks we never knew anything about.

You can catch the full interview by clicking this link https://vimeo.com/428978269 and using the following password: PressEvent4Greenleaf.

Greenleaf season 5

We hate to see Greenleaf ending, but the news of a spinoff has us glowing. We are sure this is not the last we have seen of this family. You all be sure to tune into season premiere of Greenleaf, tomorrow night, Tuesday at 9/8 PM EST/CTR!

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Celebrity Interviews

Actor Turned “Monster Savior,” Meet “October Faction’s” Gabriel Darku!

The world needs saving from things that go “bump in the night,” thankfully there are people for that.  Enter “October Faction!” “October Faction” is a series based on a family of monster hunters, The Allens; Fred, Deloris, and their twins Geoff and Viv. The family’s unusual lives take a turn for the worst when a dangerous and supernatural figure from their past forces family secrets to the light. 

The show has been met with rave reviews in large part to the story line and amazing cast, including the handsome, talented actor who portrays “Geoff Allen,” Gabriel Darku!

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gabriel darku

The world needs saving from things that go “bump in the night,” thankfully there are people for that.  Enter “October Faction!” “October Faction” is a series based on a family of monster hunters, The Allens; Fred, Deloris, and their twins Geoff and Viv. The family’s unusual lives take a turn for the worst when a dangerous and supernatural figure from their past forces family secrets to the light. 

The show has been met with rave reviews in large part to the story line and amazing cast, including the handsome, talented actor who portrays “Geoff Allen,” Gabriel Darku!

Gabriel hails from what most of us Americans would consider “The Mysterious Beyond,” having been born in Saint John, New Brunswick and raised in Yellowknife in Canada’s Northwest Territories. He always knew he wanted to be someone great, and was known for being highly athletic as a national level gymnast. However, he found his calling as an actor, beginning with school theater and later studying at The Toronto Film School. “I always had a love for it [acting] and began to realize this was what I wanted to do with my life…I can’t say it’s been easy but I’ve been really fortunate to have some awesome experiences and do some really amazing work…” That “amazing work” now includes the supernatural thriller, “October Faction.” 

gabriel darku

As aforementioned the series centers around a family of monster hunters, but is set against the backdrop of real world issues and occurrences like racism, sexuality, adoption, and genocide. Gabriel’s character, Geoff, is in fact quite layered being adopted, gay, biracial, and a warlock! “There’s a lot to Geoff! He’s very outgoing, courageous, loving, and loyal. He wants to do the right thing, even if it does not turn out right. However, he can be a little impulsive [he laughs]…” The character of Geoff may very well be one of the best examples of someone who “just so happens to be gay.” The character is never ostracized by his family or friends for being gay, and it is treated as nothing to note. “Geoff is loved and accepted by his family completely. Him being gay is just not a big deal at all. In fact, the only issue he has with being gay comes from his love interest, a closeted gay guy who is actually on the opposite end struggling with his sexuality. Geoff knows who he is and accepts that, and I love that about him…we need to see more stories like him so we can stop equating gay with tragedy. It’s a beautiful, refreshing narrative.”

gabriel darku

The cast of “October Faction” is highly talented and chalked full of veterans–namely Tamara Taylor, J.C. McKenzie, Stephen McHattie, and Wendy Crewson–each of them have been acting for decades. Gabriel reveals he loved working with and learning from them as well as building a familial bond with his castmates. “We really connected on set and I learned a lot from all of them. I mean how could I not, they’ve had these amazing careers and were all so warm and open. Me and my tv sister, Aurora [Burghart], ended up acting just like siblings with the banter and poking fun at each other. It was so nice, I really can’t wait to get back on that set.” Unfortunately it has been announced that Netflix will not renew the series for a second season. 

gabriel darku

Gabriel is definitely a rising star and truly a talented actor. We are looking forward to seeing him in future projects . Geoff advises other actors “to study the craft and not give up. You’re going to hear a lot of no’s, face a lot of rejection, but you can’t take it personally.”

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