Check out our interview with Freeform’s “Grown-ish” actor Henri Esteve who can be seen as Javier, a gorgeous grad student whom Ana (Francia Raisa) interns with at Cal U. A well-educated Cuban Republican activist, Javi is able to cross party lines with his unwavering morals and his James Dean mystique. Despite having everything in common on paper, ‘Ana’ will find that ‘Javi’ challenges her in a way she never expected — both in the workplace and out.

Follow Henri @henrijesteve

How did you get started into acting?

I started by doing theatre in and around NYC. But I guess I really started when I made the decision to move to NYC after high school. That’s when I started to pursue it.

Tell us about your work on Freeform’s “Grown-ish?”

I play Javi, a 1st generation Cuban-American. He is a grad-student and a political activist.

How do you prepare for a role?

It’s different for every role. For me I try to find like the essence, like the “seed” of who somebody is. Then I start building out from there.

What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?

I just want to tell stories that matter. Stories that make people feel seen or heard or scared or angry. I want to be a part of projects that are about people rather than about plots. If that makes sense.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

The time between “action” and “cut”.

How would your best friend describe you?

Hopefully as his best friend.

What is your favorite healthy food?


And your favorite cheat food?


How would you explain your fashion style?

Grungy Americana.

What is your own definition of happiness?

Good question. I don’t know. I’m trying to figure it out but I think it’s feeling fulfilled.

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?

Never meet your heroes!!

Best advice ever given?

One time, I was getting my car towed to the shop. As I was sitting in the cab of this tow truck, I began to talk to the driver. He told me a story about how his mistakes changed the trajectory of his life, and that “there’s no rewind button”. Those four words always stuck with me.

Do you support any charity?

I’ve recently gotten involved with the JED Foundation, to help bring awareness to mental health.

Favorite song? Why?

This has changed with what I needed music to do for me during each era of my life. Like sometimes I felt unmotivated and needed music to push me through things, sometimes I’ve felt super anxious and needed music to ground me or lonely and music could keep you company. I can’t choose a favorite it’s like choosing a favorite kid. Kinda? But if it was like one and only song that I am allowed to hear for the rest of my days, probably some like Jackson 5 happy song.

What do you think of Social Media?

I don’t like it. I think when used well it is a great tool. But unfortunately I think it is creating a sort of negative feedback loop and making us all turn into little scavengers just scrolling for dopamine. Too dark?

Where we can follow you?

With the above said, please scavenge for dopamine @henrijesteve on Instagram Thank you.

Book: Old man and The Sea. Or The Fountainhead

Quote: A man can be destroyed but not defeated. – Hemingway

Movie: Not a fair question. But right now I’ll say —The Intouchables.

Tv Series: Breaking Bad, forever.

Favorite Food: Italian

Travel Destination: Bali

Sports Team: Miami Heat



Photo credit – Ryan West Photo