Photo Credit: Ronnie Nelson
Photo Credit: Richard Foreman/HBO Looking Season 2
Full Name: Francisco Javier Alvarez
Occupation: Actor / Writer
Hometown: Miami, FL
What made you want to be an actor?
I think the original inspiration sprung from being around my artsy family: my mom was a dancer and two of my three sisters are dancers, with another sister in the fashion world and a dad who’s steeped himself in film history. I was always taken with storytelling, whether on screen or stage, with a special attention to the extreme possibilities of the human body.
What is it like being on a hit TV show and living the actor’s dream?
It’s been an incredible blessing! We’re in the middle of shooting Season 2 right now in SF and the city is buzzing. So many people have expressed their love for our little show – we get stopped at bars, games, even on the street in the middle of takes! It’s a dream to be working on such a well-written show, one that is slowly starting to burrow its way into people’s hearts as they start discovering it on HBOGo or OnDemand.
Favorite role you’ve tackled?
I think the Shakespeare roles are the ones where you really feel the dexterity and mental aptitude it takes to propel a grand story forward, and how it really taxes you. I loved Hamlet; he’s very much an artichoke with increasingly delicious layers. We did it in repertory with a Spanish translation as well, and that proved to be incredibly challenging yet richly rewarding. Performances would influence each other, and I found that I was very much in dialogue with how each individual language choice would affect Hamlet’s arc in either production.
Photo Credit: Gary Sweetman
Your dream role?
I don’t know if I have one definitively, but I am always chasing the words: what’s surprising me, what seems bold and exciting, what contains the lessons to be learned from my generation’s experience in this specific time.
Hobbies outside of acting?
My mom always used to point out that I always had a book on me, and that continues on. I devour music; I’m starting to amass a pretty bad-ass collection of records too. I’m continuing to collaborate on writing projects with friends, some for the theatre, some for stranger places. Mostly, I love engaging with people: nights at the theatre with my wife, beers with my boys watching the Heat (Miami Heat), sharing meals with good friends.
Most inspired by?
Camus’ books, Lumet’s movies, my wife’s smile.
If you could meet 3 people from history?
Favorite time of day?
I’m always striving for whatever is the Success of the Day. It’s a tough business, and NYC can be harsh at times, so I try to take stock and derive positivity for whatever absolutely made my day today, whether it’s as big as booking a job or as small as getting a stellar cup of coffee.
Funniest dating story?
Probably from high school: I remember seeing “City of Angels” in the movie theatre with a cute girl I was seeing, and really getting so wrapped up in the movie that when she leaned in for the kiss during a pivotal scene, I said, “Not right now, let’s wait ‘til it’s over.” How could I pass up making out with a cute girl for a Nicholas Cage movie? I was clueless at 16.
Your best date?
Easily, my first date with my eventual wife. I asked her for coffee, then blindsided her with dinner where we chatted and laughed for 3 hours. After a friend’s poetry reading, I walked her home and went in for the kiss right outside her apartment. I remember holding onto her as her knees buckled. Still haven’t let go.
Most romantic thing you’ve ever done for a girl?
Many years ago, I had a bizarre dizzy spell and ended up in the ER the night before the surprise birthday party I had planned for my wife (my then-girlfriend) in the East Village. Fourteen hours and eight stitches later, I still managed to take her to the party. She probably thought I was crazy.
Current favorite song?
Thom Yorke’s “Truth Ray” off of his newest solo record Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes.