Check out our interview with Disney’s Bunk’d & Jungle Cruise talented actor Raphael Alejandro.
Raphael brings his comedic timing as a lead on the Disney Channel series “Bunk’d” where he portrays ‘Matteo,’ a cautious kid who is learning to face his fears while at Camp Kikiwaka. The series was just picked up for a 5th season!
He’ll also be seen as ‘Zaqueu’ in Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” (July 2021) where a small riverboat takes a group of travelers through a jungle filled with dangerous animals and reptiles alongside Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt.
Follow Raphael at @raphaelalejandro22
Hi Raphael , please tell us a little about you?
Hi! I was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I speak four languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish and French. I love to learn, especially Science. I enjoy talking to others and sharing facts about interesting things I know. I’m a foodie and I enjoy traveling.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Intellectual, Passionate, Loyal
How did you get started into acting?
I’m the youngest of 3 siblings. My older sister, Dalila Bela, started acting at the age of 5 and my brother, Bruce Salomon, started acting at the age of 4, so when I turned 4, I wanted to try acting as well and I ended up falling in love with it and decided to continue.
How has this changed your life?
I think that my life changed a lot, especially when it comes to school. I went to regular school until 2nd Grade and after that I started homeschooling. I had to learn how to create my own school work schedule and be disciplined to do my assignments so I don’t fall behind, but one big advantage of home schooling is that it gives me the flexibility to do what I love, be an actor.
Tell us about your work in Disney Channel hit series “Bunk’d?”
Bunk’d is a show about summer camp, Camp Kikiwaka, where the campers and counselors experience many crazy adventures that can only happen at camp. It’s a show that talks about friendship, family and enjoying life.
And about your role as Matteo?
Matteo, my character, is a shy and cautious kid. He loves learning, especially Science; he is a scaredy cat and a germ freak. He started his journey at Camp Kikiwaka not really wanting to be there, but the more he spent time with his fellow campers, Finn (Will Buie Jr.), Destiny (Mallory James Mahoney) and Gwen (Scarlett Estevez), the counselors Noah (Israel Jonhson) and Ava (Shelby Simmons) and of course the camp owner Lou (Miranda May), Matteo slowly became more adventurous and he began to like going to camp.
How was working alongside big names like Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt?
Working on Jungle Cruise alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Emily Blunt and Paul Giamatti was a fantastic experience. They are such amazing people as professionals and as human beings. They treated me with a lot of respect. We had a great time during our breaks talking and playing word games.
How do you prepare for a role?
To prepare for a role, I read the lines, think about what kind of characteristics my role has and how he is going to react in the scenes. Then I memorize and practice my lines with my sister, Dalila Bela, or my brother, Bruce Salomon, who are actors as well, because they can give a different opinion that will help me with my interpretation of the character. I also try to find a character from a movie or TV show that has similar characteristics as the role I’m playing so I can have a point of reference. And the rest is just letting it go and having fun.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I like to play all kinds of roles. It all depends on the challenges that those roles will impose. I like to do roles that I have to get out of my comfort zone and that I can explore something that I’m usually not.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
What I love about being an actor is that I could tell the story of the character I’m playing through their own eyes. Every role helps me to understand and acknowledge different perspectives, so I not only grow as an actor but as a person as well. By doing so, I can use my past experiences in the new roles to come. The challenge of portraying something different from me and convincing the audience that this is who I am is the most rewarding part of my work.
What’s next for Raphael Alejandro in 2020?
Well, Bunk’d was picked up for a 5th season, so hopefully I will be working on that as soon as this quarantine will be over. I also have two Disney Channel animation projects that I’m a part off. I’m also involved with a breast cancer foundation to promote awareness and get funds for breast cancer research.
What is your own definition of happiness?
I think that happiness is something that makes you feel good inside and brings a smile to your face. It’s love and being loved. It’s to care for something and see it grow and flourish. It’s to help those in need. It’s to love yourself, be comfortable in your own skin and do things that you enjoy.
Best advice ever given?
I think that “Be Yourself” and “Follow Your Heart” are the best advice that I was given.
Do you support any charity?
Yes, I do. I support a breast cancer awareness and research charity called Susan G. Komen.
Favorite song? Why?
I like “I don’t care” from Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber because I feel that it carries a very nice message of being yourself and following your heart that I pretty much relate too. Every time I hear it, it makes me happy.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: “With great power comes great responsibility”
Favorite Singer/Artist: Ed Sheeran
Movie: The Usual Suspects and I also like all the Toy Story movies.
Travel Destination: Italy
Sports Team: The Denver Broncos and the L.A. Dodgers.
Tv Show: Parks & Recreation and Malcolm in the Middle
Book: “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park
Photo credit – Lilly K Photography