Adrian Gonzalez was born in the south Texas border of Brownsville, TX and raised across the Rio Grande in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico.  Living in Mexico but crossing the border and going to school in Texas gave him a unique fully bilingual upbringing.  Upon graduating high school he moved to Evanston, IL to attend Northwestern University where he double majored in Theater and Psychology. He took his MCAT to pursue a career in medicine, but followed his instincts and pursued an acting career.

After Northwestern, Adrian moved to downtown Chicago.  He performed with various theaters throughout the city including Teatro Vista, The Artistic Home, Hubris Productions, Pegasus Players, The Side Project, and Goodman Theater. Adrian had much larger aspirations in mind after achieving a solid theatrical base of performance. He packed his car and relocated to Los Angeles, where he could now pursue and concentrate on film and television.

Since arriving in LA, Adrian has appeared in several television series, including The Mentalist, Bold & the Beautiful, Up All Night, 90210, NCIS, and NCIS LA.  He appeared as the rich playboy Santi Jr. in The Bridge episode “Vendetta”.  He’s worked on various sketches with Funny or Die and CollegeHumor, including the viral video Dora the Explorer and the Destiny Medallion where he plays the role of Diego.

I asked Adrian about his new show on TBS called “Your Family or Mine,” acting and more.

Art Eddy: Tell me about your character and the show.

Adrian Gonzalez: The show follows the perfect couple, Oliver and Kelli, and each week they alternate in visiting each other’s family. So essentially you get two shows about two crazy families all in one. I play Enzo, Kelli’s sister Shawni’s boyfriend. Enzo is the best. Everyone loves him, wants to be around him. He can do no wrong, especially in Gil’s eyes (Kelli and Shawni’s dad). He’s always happy and you’re not sure if he’s a little dumb or just foreign. He’s a lot fun!

AE: What was the audition process like for you?

AG: I was called in on a Friday and the job was starting that Monday. I want to say it was the third call and they hadn’t found anybody yet. I read twice for casting and then got pinned later that day. Monday came, and I hadn’t heard anything yet. The show had already begun rehearsing. Tuesday I was asked to come in again and make an adjustment to the characters accent. Tuesday night I got the offer and Wednesday I started work. It was all very last minute and a little crazy.

AE: What did you do to prepare for this role?

AG: If I tell you then I’d have to kill you. Kidding. I didn’t get a script beforehand.  All I had was the character breakdown and the sides. Essentially, I felt there was a lot of room to play with this character. I knew he had to have some sort of a South American accent and I started playing with it from there, finding jokes but making sure he stayed grounded.

AE: How did you build up a chemistry with the rest of the cast members?

AG: It was effortless. It really felt like a family. We’re together all week rehearsing and playing and everyone was really welcoming. Especially our leads, Kyle Howard and Kat Foster. They’re just really cool people. Ed Begley Jr who is a sitcom legend was also incredible to work with. This was my first time working in multi cam sitcom and I often went to him for advice. He’s the best.

AE: What TV shows are you into besides “Your Family or Mine?”

AG: I watch a lot of TV. I try to keep up with what’s current.  Game of Thrones, Daredevil, Jane the Virgin, Cristela, Broad City and Key & Peele are also hilarious.

AE: What got you into acting?

AG: I took a class in college and I got hooked. Tried taking more and they were only available to majors, so I made it a major. I was pre-med at the time and I was in the process of applying for medical school when I decided to take a year and give it a go. I never looked back.

AE: Do you remember your first role?

AG: It was a play in college called Finished from the Start. I was part of an ensemble called Los Desaparecidos, the disappeared. We were telling the story of the people of Chile that disappeared during Pinochet’s dictatorship. It was an intense process, but it made me fall in love with telling stories.

AE: What would your ultimate role be?

AG: To be able to portray someone like Desi Arnaz. He was way ahead of his time, created the multi cam setup that I love to work in and our show is shot in, and is Latino. He led an awesome life and struggled his way in Hollywood, especially because of being Latino, and still was able to achieve amazing success. It’s beautiful to see that times have progressed and I would love to tell his story and the influence he had in that change.  Also anything supernatural or in the sci-fi/fantasy world. I’ve always wanted to have magic powers like telepathy or teleportation and be able to do stunts. I’m active in my real life and would love to show that in some of my roles.

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