Adrián Núñez is a bilingual actor working in the English and Spanish market. He stars in the upcoming Netflix film Yucatan, which is currently streaming in North and South America. In Spain, the film is distributed by 20th Century Fox Espana and debuted as the number one box office film. Adrian plays the character of ‘Brandon’ in the comedy about competing con artists on a cruise ship sailing from Spain to Mexico. He co-stars alongside Rodrigo De la Serna (Motorcycle Diaries), Luis Tosar, and Stephanie Cayo. The film is directed by 2 time Goya winner, Daniel Monzon.
Adrián is better known for lead role in the film 30 Days with My Brother (opposite Omar Mora) and Spiral. He has had recurring roles in the television series Falling for Angels and Start Up (Adam Brody, Martin Freeman, Ron Perlman).
His passionate for the arts began at an early age, guiding him towards acting. Adrián studied at several renowned acting schools such as The Groundlings, The Bramon Garcia Braun Studio, and The Imagined Life by Diana Castle.
Born and raised in Puerto Rico to Cuban parents (Vivian and Adrián), he calls Los Angeles home. Both of his parents work in the jewelry business, with Adrián having worked for them. He graduated from high school Suma Cum Laude and went on to attend the University of Puerto Rico.
Hi Adrian, please tell us a little about you?
Hey, thanks so much for the interview!! I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, as well as lived in St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands) as a kid. My parents are Cuban and I’m the middle of 3 kids. I love horses and kiwis… What else…? I guess I’m a bit of a weirdo (aren’t we all though?) I think most people would say I’m really high energy, sociable and extroverted, which is true, but at the same time as I’ve gotten to know myself more, I’ve realized I’m also an introvert – I need my time alone to recharge and realign. That said, I’m an island kid, so I love being out in nature…love being barefoot and have been known to hug a tree here and there. Oh yeah, I love the ocean! Can’t be away from it for too long or else I start getting a bit sad…cuz I’m part Scorpio and whatever we feel, we reeeally feel, so now I know to keep that balance and harmony in my life. I love Love.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Lover, Dreamer, Goofball.
Who is your biggest supporter?
Well my #1 Fan, hands down, is my mom. She’s just on another level haha And my (very close) #2 fan and biggest supporter would definitely be my amazing husband. I’m really fortunate.
How did you get started in the industry?
I sort of pushed my way in by offering to give one of my best friends a ride to a commercial audition back home in Puerto Rico back when we were in high school – it was for Coke and I didn’t get it. Then a month later, I was home in bed the day after a surgery and my mom walks in with a sort of confused face saying “Someone’s on the phone asking for you…something about a commercial shoot?” – they had cast me, ironically, for a Pepsi commercial off of that tape. Needless to say my excitement caused some sharp pain – so worth it though – I was so happy. I convinced my mom to let me do it even though I was still recovering. Those 12 hours on set were some of the absolute most exciting hours of my life up to then. Being on set there at 16 years old…I had SO much fun – I just knew deep down at that point this was what I really wanted to do, but I kept it to myself for 5 more years.
What was your first acting role?
I was The Gingerbread Man in the highly acclaimed Antilles School 1st grade Christmas Rap Musical, “The Gingerbread Man” – very exciting time for me as well.
What is the best and worst part of being an actor?
Best? Being on set…co-creating with a group of other passionate child-adults who love to play.
Worst? Auditions. Need I say more?
Best advice ever given?
I was in one of many slumps along the way…one of the earlier ones…I was always super dedicated, focused and hardworking in school and sports – always used to getting results for my work…progressing and achieving my goals rather quickly. Acting really kicked my ass though – felt like it nearly killed my spirit…to the point where I would barely socialize or take any time to unwind and have fun because it felt like I hadn’t earned it – I became a bit depressed and I remember talking to my dad on the phone…even though he wasn’t a big fan of my pursuing this career back then, he told me that this was gonna be a long road and that I was going to need to learn to create balance in my life and to not forget to have fun and enjoy life along the way…boy was he right – took some years to truly understand that and get a real grasp of it – it’s so true though. Turns out it’s really all been about the process and who I’ve had the chance to grow into in order to reach my goals and have that balance and joy back in my life. Gracias papa!!
Tell us about your upcoming Netflix film “Yucatan,” and your role as Brendon?
Oh wow, where do I even start?! It’s been an incredibly amazing adventure…insane! I know it’ll always stand out as one of the most beautiful moments of my career and life. I often would literally stop on set, look around and think to myself…ok, sometimes out loud too…I’d be like “Am I really getting paid to do this?”
I play Brendon — He’s actually one of the most unique and layered characters I’ve had the privilege to play because he’s definitely whacky and funny, but he’s also got a very interesting turn…this depth to him – it really allowed me to explore and play so many different levels and sides of one same person, plus I got to dance in the film too, which I love and always wanted to do!
Brendon’s a dancer on a cruise ship…who also happens to be a con artist – he’s energetic, fun loving and carefree…but you don’t wanna mess with him – he’s truthful, loud and has sass for days haha but you know, he’s also got this deeper side to him…he has a big tender heart and he’s smarter than he seems…he knows what’s truly important in life and he’s at that point where he just wants to have that no matter how it looks – he just wants to be happy, give love and be loved.
The film’s this beautiful, colorful, and heartwarming adventure! It blends so many genres paying tribute to the classics of American cinema…So fun! It’s packed with whacky moments and characters that our beyond amazing writer/director, Daniel, allowed us to have loads of fun and play so freely with while also finding so much truth and humanity in… He was so great about studying all sides of these questionable characters, without judging them…he did this beautifully. It’s just a beautiful movie to watch – Oh my god, the scenery…we were on location in Spain, Brazil, Tenerife, México…and we shot on an actual cruise ship crossing the Atlantic and in the Mediterranean for 3 weeks…there’s so much variety and so many beautiful shots! The musical numbers add so much life and color! And the music – so good too!! And the performances…what can I say, my cast mates are all amazing.
It’s a comedy that has so much more…a powerful message and many heartfelt moments. It’s hard to sum it all up because it’s such a unique film – Anyway, I guess you’re just gonna have to watch it and see for yourself 😉
How was working alongside a very talented cast?
It was incredible. Kinda like working and being in grad school at the same time…but also just being in recess playing and running all over the place too haha It was amazing, for lack of better words…a true gift – And just everyone on the team…we were all locked up in cruise ship for 3 weeks…24/7…we were bound to either bond or throw someone overboard – fortunately it was the 1st haha it felt like a long fieldtrip with a bunch of grownup-kids. I made some friends for life. A true blessing.
What has been your most memorable experience from the set so far?
Shooting one of the scenes in Yucatán…it’s one of the cons we do – three of us were literally hanging upside down for the whole scene so we split it in two days…painful and literally nauseating…but it was so much fun that we really didn’t care. Our director was more worried about us than we were. Oh and a bonus one, in paying tribute to American classics, one of the scenes I got to shoot was like that iconic shot in Titanic at the front of the ship…except, I don’t know about Leo and Kate, but we were actually out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean…it was so cold and so beautiful!! Plus, I got to be “Latin Leo” for a moment – epic!
What other projects you have been part of?
My first film was “30 Days With My Brother”, an indie drama that hit theaters in 2016. It was an unexpected and very welcomed surprise to be the lead in my first movie and to have it make it to theaters… It was in English and the character was so different to mine in Yucatán… he was dark, brooding and troubled, but also had a kind heart that came out later in the story. It’s on iTunes in case you wanna check it out 😉 And then the pilot episode of a series called Falling for Angels that I’m also proud of.
Who is your favorite Actor/Actress? And why?
So hard to pick favorites with so much talent out there! Robin Williams was always very inspiring to me though – his ability to be both a comedic genius AND also play some of the most truthful and beautifully raw aspects and humanity of his characters in dramas…he was beautiful artist.
3 things you can’t leave your house without?
My little pocket-sized pouch with crystals in it. A hoody or jacket just in case – you know, I’m from the Caribbean…I get cold easily. Shoes? Because I kinda have to…
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Oprah. I actually met her once already…got not one, but TWO hugs from her, thank you very much. Outstanding hugger I must say haha I was working as a server at an event on her property… I’m looking forward to meeting her again in the near future. Her life’s work is very inspiring to me. The way she’s collaborating with so many people to help raise consciousness around the world…actively making a difference to actually bring more love, beauty and unity into the world…it’s what I wish to do with my life as well and I hope to one day get to co-create with her.
What music do you like?
I really like a wide breath of sounds – from pop and salsa, to reggae and medicine music from medicinal plant ceremonies…dance, classical…it’s all over the place haha depends on the mood. Lately I’m mostly into lyrics that are inspiring, uplifting and healing though, whatever the genre may be.
Your favorite song? Why?
IMAGINE by John Lennon. It really speaks to my heart. I really believe in that world he speaks of. I believe it’s possible. Actually, I believe we will get to see it. It starts with each of us believing it and then doing the inner work to create that world from the inside out. People are waking up to that notion. I feel great change is upon us and it’s so beautiful to see. Imagine Peace and Love…I can feel it…I can see it.
Your idea of a perfect Sunday is?
Ooo…! Ok, waking up to the light of the sun cuddled up with my hubby and pup…then going for a walk and morning meditation at the Lake Shrine Temple gardens in the Palisades. After that a hike to Escondido Falls in Malibu…stopping and climbing some trees barefoot…taking in the fresh air…and then off to the beach to play in the waves and layout under the sun with my friends…play some beach volley, do some yoga on the sand…maybe another short meditation…and then food!! Haha And finally wind down at home with some herb and a good movie in cuddle puddle of my closest friends and family…ahh, that’s livin’
What do you like to watch on tv?
Depends on the mood – mostly something that moves me and teaches me something…that inspires me. There’s so much good content out there. And then sometimes something that just makes me laugh and have fun…and when I can find something that covers all of that, it’s gold!
How’s a normal day in your life?
“Normal day”? What’s that? Haha I don’t think I’ve had a routine in about 6 years… not having a 9 to 5, being an artist and having personal projects in the works as well, it really makes for dynamic life.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Ooo! The new thing for me is having an avocado a day. They’re incredibly healthy and good for your heart chakra! I cut them in half, add some sea salt, maybe a bit of curry powder, lime goes well too…and then I eat it with a spoon straight out of the skin – yumm! Also, did you know avocados are berries? Just learned that haha
And your favorite cheat food?
Is popcorn a cheat food? I love chocolaty pastries and cake, Nutella, ice cream…list goes on – bigtime sweet tooth.
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
Wow, in a very different place, that’s for sure. I’m currently developing an app that goes hand in hand with a couple of other projects I have going in the holistic/conscious living and wellbeing industry. I also practice Sound Healing and perform SoundBaths…I’m tying all of that together and getting a non-profit going to bring yoga, sound healing, and meditation to artists, underserved communities, and hopefully prisons too. It’s a huge project that I’m so excited to be working on and really enjoying.
Do you support any charities?
I’ve supported various charities in different ways since I was kid…I’ve always loved being involved in helping others in one way or another – from assisting in equine therapy for children and adults with special needs, to donating to and visiting children with cancer.
Now my focus has shifted and my efforts are more dialed into raising consciousness and inspiring self-empowerment, love and unity in various ways. One of them is through the businesses and non-profit social/outreach program I mentioned above. The other is a new program I’ve started in which I offer a workshop to cultivate creativity and nurture the imagination. This is done through a fresh and unique blend of exercises and healing modalities ranging from breath work and sound healing, to meditation, movement, creative games and activities as well as a forgiveness exercise using empathetic imagination. It’s something I’m really excited about. The goal is to offer it to artists and anyone who is open to it. I hope to not only help expand creativity and imagination, but also to provide people with tools for healing and conscious living that will help empower them in all aspects of their lives.
Where we can follow you?
Favorite Music: Love music in general! Although I guess as an island kid at heart who loves good vibes and lyrics, reggae always gets me in a good mood
Quote: “When you change the way that you look at things, the things that you look at change.”
And “In all of nature, no storm can last forever.” – Lao Tzu
Change your thoughts, change yo
Holiday Destination: Bali’s really been calling me!
Drink: Café con leche por favor!
Celebrity Crush: Hahaha When I was kid I had a thing for the Olsen twins!
Sports Team: The Pirates of Kendall Miami! My 7 yo nephew’s baseball team 😉
Movie: Yucatán, of course! Also, I Heart Huckabees
Photos by David Gerry / Shandrew PR