Love, Victor’s Mateo Fernandez shares why representation on TV is so important

Mateo Fernandez can be seen in Hulu’s Love, Victor. The show’s second season will be released on Hulu on June 11th. Love, Victor is an American teen drama that is set in the world of the groundbreaking movie, Love, Simon. Mateo plays the character of Adrian Salazar, the youngest member of the Salazar family. YEM was able to speak with Mateo about his first time on set, representation within television, his relationship with his on screen siblings and more.

Young Entertainment Mag: Love, Victor was your acting debut, when was the first moment that you realized that acting was something that you really wanted to do?

 Mateo Fernandez: I always had an interest in acting. It was just something that I always thought of in the back of my head. I asked my parents when I was 7 and they found a great acting school close to where we live. I still attend there.

YEM: Do you remember what it was like to step on to a set for the first time? Was it similar to how you imagined it would be?

Mateo: The first time I entered a set was really great,  we were filming a car scene, that got deleted, but I got to see the green screen and all the special effects, it was very impressive.

YEM: Were you familiar with the movie Love, Simon before you auditioned for Love, Victor?

Mateo: No, actually. I didn’t watch the movie until after I got the part. It was a really good movie though. I loved it.

YEM: Love, Victor is centered around an LGBTQ Latino teen in a religious family, why do you think it is important for people to see this story unfold?

Mateo: Representation is such an important thing. Seeing yourself in the media is a great feeling but unfortunately not everyone experiences this. With Love Victor, many people are able to relate to the characters which is why Love, victor is an important show.

YEM: Your character Adrian is from a half Puerto Rican, half Colombian-American family, what does it mean to you to be able to represent a character of Latino descent on television?

Mateo: It is very important, because even though we have Spanish in common, there is so much diversity in Latin America in terms of culture, food, music, holidays, etc. I’m glad to see two cultures that are not often represented.

YEM: Adrian has a love of unboxing videos as well as an interest in magic, do you share any of these interests with him?

Mateo: Not really. I did love unboxing videos when I was younger, though. They were so fun to watch for some reason.

YEM: One of my favorite scenes is when your character splits the tension at Victor’s birthday party with the Elsa wand, what was it like filming that scene?

Mateo: That scene was one of my favorite scenes to film. It was a beautiful moment, I liked how the scene was written. Toys shouldn’t be attached to a gender.

YEM: With season two of the show coming out, what can we expect to see from your character and the show in general?

Mateo: In Season 1 finale, Armando and Isabel tell the kids they will separate. In Season 2 we’ll see how Adrian deals with his parents’ separation.

YEM: Adrian is the youngest child of the Salazar family; do you and your sibling co-stars have a sibling-like relationship off screen as well?

Mateo: Definitely. I love them so much. They’re so kind, they are like real siblings to me.

YEM: What is one of the biggest lessons that you have taken away from the show?

 Mateo: I’ve learned that sometimes it’s hard to be who you are, but in the end it is worth it.

YEM: What do you hope that others can learn from your character of Adrian?

Mateo: I hope that people learn that even when you are a little kid, you can still feel when there is conflict in your family.

YEM: Looking into the future, do you have any dream roles that you would love to play?

Mateo: I don’t know actually. I guess I’m up for anything. I’d really like to do a movie though since I’ve only been in a series regular. It’s always fun to try something new.

 See Mateo Fernandez in Love, Victor on Hulu!