Philip Anthony-Rodriguez The Secret Life of the American Teenager Interview
Currently, the undeniably sexy Philip Anthony-Rodriguez remains a recurring character on the hit show The Secret Life of the American Teenager playing Ruben Enriquez, while fans are also anticipating his supporting role as Dr. Evans in Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family.
In the past, Philip Anthony-Rodriguez played Ritchie Valens in his Broadway debut "Buddy- The Buddy Holly Story" and honored by the New York Drama League, starred in the Tony Award-Winning Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' "Not About Nightingales," "4 Guys Named Jose... and Una Mujer Named Maria," a Latin musical revue produced by Enrique Iglesias, "Bring In The Morning: A Wake Up Call," "Man Of The La Mancha" and was nominated for a Kevin Kline Award in Best Actor Category in "Take Me Out." Transitioning captivating stage performances onto the screen wasn't a far stretch for this man of many talents who booked role after role including the series regular leading role of Kyle Duarte, the tough but compassionate senior NSA agent on the UPN sci-fi drama, "Jake 2.0."
Philip Anthony-Rodriguez has also had guest star/leading roles on "24," "Hannah Montana, " "Eli Stone," "Meet The Browns," "Shark," "NCIS," "In Justice," "CSI: Miami," "CSI: New York", "JAG," "Streettime," "Star Trek: Enterprise," "Becker," "Dragnet," "Third Watch," "Law & Order," "New York Undercover," "Numbers," and "New York News."
Philip Anthony-Rodriguez's big screen credits include the staring role in the independent film ODE based on the novel "Ode to Lata," and co-starring in the feature action/thriller Undercurrant.
Interview with Philip Anthony-RodriguezQuestion:
How would you explain your character in The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Ruben Enriquez?Philip Anthony-Rodriguez
: Ruben has evolved over the life of the series from Adrian's estranged father to a very active and present parent. When the series started, Adrian decided to seek out her father and gets mixed results once she finds him. Although they sometimes butt heads on everything from school, dating and (his most difficult task) sex-and her being active in it, Ruben always tries to come to compromise and come to an understanding with Adrian. Even though he disagrees with her on many issues facing her, he respects Adrian and truly says and does things from the heart because he loves his daughter and their newfound relationship. He wants what's best so even though he means well, sometimes it can alienate Adrian. But they always remain loving and respectful toward one another.Question:
Are you able to relate to the character of Ruben Enriquez?Philip Anthony-Rodriguez
: (Laughing) I tend to be a little less strict and more laid back than Ruben. He CAN be pretty intense sometimes. BUT I will say this; I do recognise the importance of good communication between any two individuals, especially between a parent and child. These days being as open as possible with issues facing your child can be more beneficial than letting things bug you inside and allowing them to fester into something worse. I love to be upfront and "bring all my cards to the table".Question:
Would you say that The Secret Life of the American Teenager is a genuine look at the relationship between teenagers?Philip Anthony-Rodriguez
: I think in many ways yes, it is. Teens especially are constantly going through a great deal of challenges in their lives: becoming young adults, dealing with social acceptance, peer pressure, college versus work AFTER school, etc. Obviously we deal a lot with the subject of sex on the show. That is something that can be very much in the forefront of teenage lives today. I know I dealt with it as a teen. So it's always going to be an issue for generations of teens to come. The issue of sex, teen pregnancy, and the challenges faced by the characters in the show is VERY real. Hopefully, we're not just being "preachy" but sending a positive message that there are consequences to some of the actions we take as teens--and parents. But we always make sure that a constructive dialogue occurs between teens, their friends and parents in the hopes of coming to a good resolution.Question:
What can we expect from The Secret Life of the American Teenager this season?Philip Anthony-Rodriguez
: Oh boy, quite a bit! You can expect some big changes occurring that many fans of the show may suspect. Mainly dealing with some of the relationships on the show. A lot of joy and a lot of heartbreak. There will also be some shocking, jaw-dropping revelations. Obviously I can't divulge anything but suffice it to say, you will LOVE the upcoming season of Secret Life. It just keeps get ting better and better so tune in!Question:
You are starring in the upcoming movie, Madea's Big Happy Family. Can you tell us about your character?Philip Anthony-Rodriguez
: I play Dr. David Evans in the movie. He is the family physician to one of the main characters in the movie. He has to share some difficult news with her regarding her health. He truly cares for this person and all she's accomplished in life. It's not all sadness and tears though for my character. I'm often the straight man to some pretty funny, goofy bits with some of the other characters in the movie! I know it was hard for me to keep a straight face on while shooting some scenes!Question:
How would you describe the movie, Madea's Big Happy Family?Philip Anthony-Rodriguez
: Madea's Big Happy Family is the cinematic version of one of Tyler Perry's MOST popular stage plays of the same name. It's a movie that deals with family and the trials and tribulations that come about when this particular family is hit with some troubling news. It shows, in very funny and serious ways, how important family ultimately is when it is faced with many difficult challenges. No matter how tough things get sometimes family (and faith) is the best things to get you through the day! It's gonna make you laugh out loud and cry all at once. Now who doesn't like THAT when they go to the movies?Question:
What have you learnt from working with Tyler Perry?Philip Anthony-Rodriguez
: I've learned that you shouldn't take things TOO seriously in working with Mr. Perry. Telling stories should ALWAYS be fun. But he also reminds me that we do have an important and thought provoking story to tell. Even if they're sad stories in addition to the funny ones. He's also taught me that we ALL have greats gifts and talents and it is our privilege to share those talents with the world. Whether we're actors, writers, musicians, athletes, scientists, whatever. Be proud of who you are and what you have--shout it out and show it to the world!Question:
You've starred with Enrique Iglesias in a Latin musical; can you talk about that experience?Philip Anthony-Rodriguez
: Ha. Well, I didn't actually star alongside Enrique but he was executive producer on the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway Musical, Four Guys Named Jose.. and Una Mujer Named Maria, It became a huge international success and one of Mr. Iglesias' proudest moments as a NON-performer. It was a funny, nostalgic and entertaining look at four latino men living in the mid-west of America who want to pay homage to the music of their parents by putting on a show that showcased some of the greatest Spanish love songs ever! They get a little help (sometimes a little TOO much help) from a random but incredibly attractive and talented young singer name "Maria" who almost steals the show from our four young heroes! It received many accolades from critics and fans alike. The best selling Original Cast Album was also well received and a blast to record! It was one of the last stage shows I did before coming to Hollywood to make it on the big screen!Question:
You have starred onstage, film and television; do you have a preference?Philip Anthony-Rodriguez
: Oh gosh, well a great actor once said, "I don't act to live...I live to ACT!" I think that I love acting in ANY capacity. I consider myself soo blessed to able to do something I love and always dreamed of doing AND make a career out of it. It's NO easy trick, believe me! I simply "go where the work is". I did start in theater but I also love being in front of the camera. I feel so at home when I act. These days I also like to be involved in projects that move me, challenge me or make me think and if sometimes that means I don't get paid a lot. I'm ok with that though. I love, LOVE what I do!Question:
You've had many great guest-starring TV roles, which was your favorite?Philip Anthony-Rodriguez
: I would have to say Tom Chapman on the series "24". I got to play a super soldier/slash scientist in a key storyline during season 7. So, I got to dazzle folks with my tech mumbo-jumbo as a brilliant scientist AND kick butt whenever I needed too! It was also such a pleasure to work and co-star alongside Jon Voight, who is one of my favorite actors! He was such a class-act and I learned quite a bit from him as well. Always great to get tips from the best!Question:
What do you enjoy most about voice work? Philip Anthony-Rodriguez
: The thing I enjoy most about my voiceover work is that, more than being on screen, it allows me to become SO many cool and different characters! I do a lot of video games and I've portrayed everything from a space marine, to an alien, to a radio talk show host and even an old absent-minded professor. It gives me an opportunity to create and perform such diverse voices. It's something I've always been able to do since I was a kid. How lucky am I that I get to BE so many different people and convey that just through my voice? That, plus it's great to just roll out of bed with nothing but a tee-shirt and jeans on and jump right into a recording booth to work! Right after I brush my teeth and take a shower of course! I'm not THAT gross! Ha!Question:
What influences your voice for characters when participating in voice work?Philip Anthony-Rodriguez
: Oh boy, that's a good question! I am influenced by just about EVERYTHING and everyone I come across on a daily basis! Whether I'm at the gym, getting a Starbucks or buying groceries, I study people like crazy, I'm a people watcher (without being a weirdo-haha) so I like to take in certain characteristics of people and kind of "store them" in my memory like a computer file. Then I just dive into that file later on and see if it's something I can bring to a character I'm auditioning for. It's a lot of fun, believe me.Question:
What originally inspired you to head into the acting industry? Philip Anthony-Rodriguez
: I've ALWAYS been a big fan of movies and TV ever since I was a kid. Like many other children growing up, I would pretend to be different characters with friends or my siblings. I'd play cowboys and Indians, pretend to be Han Solo in Star Wars or be as smooth and cool as James Bond. I'd watch movies and different characters and mimic their moves, their voices, their style. I knew at a VERY early age that not only did I want to do what those guys did on screen, I knew I could be just as good doing it. The rest, as they say, is history!
Interview by Brooke Hunter
Photo Credit: Cheriefoto.com