Acapulco Star Enrique Arrizon says the Hit Series is a Huge Opportunity for the Latino Community
Dec 11, 2022
What? Julia accepted Chad’s awkward wedding proposal, thereby breaking Máximo’s heart? And what about Máximo’s sister Sara and that potential love interest she might have with a girlfriend? And how will Don Pablo’s death effect older Máximo? That’s pretty much where things left off at the end of Season One of Apple TV+’s global phenom Acapulco.
Created by Austin Winsberg, Eduardo Cisneros, and Jason Shuman, the series won audiences over with its How I Met Your Mother (ish) style, as modern-day mogul Máximo Gallardo (Eugenio Derbez) tells his teenage nephew Hugo (Raphael Alejandro) about dreaming big and the time he worked at a plush Acapulco resort, Las Colinas, in 1984.
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In the 1980s, young Máximo is played with boundless enthusiasm by Enrique Arrizon, who, in conversation, boasts undeniable zest and love for the series. In fact, he feels the show offers something valuable to all cultures, but particularly the Latino community.
“I think we all deserve this [show],” Arrizon said of Acapulco, “because oftentimes, the Latino community is mostly shown as criminals or Narcos or in dark stories. That is not us. We are more than that. We are flashy, vibrant, full of colors, full of values. We care. When we migrate, we take with us all our love, all our culture, and all our efforts.
“This [show] is a huge opportunity to be in the spotlight—imagine,” he said. “Because this is available in over 100 countries. People are more open to read subtitles, too. They’re craving new cultures. And this is obviously new.”
Upping the Ante in Season Two
Season Two of Acapulco picks up where the first season ended. Máximo finds himself having to create new boundaries with coworker Julia (Camila Perez), who seems willing to give marriage a go with Chad (Glee’s Chord Overstreet). If anything, maybe it will get more of an “in” with future, fickle mother-in-law/resort owner Diane (Jessica Collins), a former soap/workout queen and rival to Jane Fonda in the show.
I’m already sniffing a Physical crossover, but let’s not jump ahead.
“When I first read the scenes, it felt so familiar and I really wanted to be part of the show,” Arrizon said. “I was craving that. The characters jumped off the page, and thanks to the amazing writers, it was easy to have these dialogues that help you perform better. I’m glad the writers’ room is full of people from all around the world. It makes the show multicultural and diversified enough to reach a worldwide audience. That’s the best thing.”
Episode titles cull from the 1980s playlist—from “You Should Hear How She Talks About You” and “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” to “Love is a Battlefield” and “Always Something There to Remind Me.” Personally, I’ve appreciated the zest of actors Rodrigo Urquidi and Rosanna De Leon, who play poolside singers performing Spanish-language covers of popular Eighties ditties like “Eye of the Tiger” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” Talk about camp.
In Season Two, older and younger Máximo must face new challenges. Older Máximo contends with the loss of his mentor, resort manager Don Pablo (Damián Alcázar) and mending an unsettling past. What happened, Máximo? We’ll have to see. Meanwhile, now that it’s 1985 at the resort, young Máximo must still tend to his widowed mother, Nora (Vanessa Bauche), climb the career ladder as far as it will take him at Las Colinas, and, perhaps, brave a new love interest.
Arrizon said from the get-go, he immediately identified with some of the show’s broader themes: pursuing dreams, understanding emotions, and strengthening friendships.
“We all have dreams we want to pursue. I think people can relate to that because each one of the show’s characters are getting to know themselves better. They have different dreams, motivations, circumstances, and barriers, so the new season is one of growth. Our young characters are feeling all these emotions for the very first time. Imagine that. Obviously, they are wide open to make mistakes, but they meet great people and do things that will change their lives,” he said.
Related: Exclusive: Acapulco stars Chord Overstreet and Camila Perez Discuss Season Two of the Hit Bilingual Comedy
On Acting and Pursuing Dreams
Arrizon said he wanted to act ever since he was a kid. He’d performed in many school plays, often as the lead actor. “I think the teachers saw my enthusiasm, optimism, and discipline. It was within me and I embraced it.”
By 16, he started doing short films, TV commercials, and things snowballed. Roles in April’s Daughter, a well-received 2017 film from Mexico, and the Amazon original series An Unknown Enemy, caught the attention of producers of Acapulco and suddenly, Arrizon became young Máximo Gallardo, the hopeful, passionate, big dreamer whose love for his family and friends is downright infectious. And admired for that matter.
“I’m the luckiest man in the world and I’m very very excited for the new season,” Arrizon said of the road ahead. “I’ve been watching the ads and noticing the audience reactions. I feel blessed.”
In conversation, it’s challenging to know where Arrizon ends and Máximo begins. They seem one in the same. The actor and the character share the endless enthusiasm and bright-eyed optimism. It’s easy to see why Derbez, one of the series’ many executive producers, was charmed by the actor.
After the first season dropped in 2021, the bilingual show won audiences over to become a global phenomenon, thanks to its tropical locale and universal storylines that tugged on the heartstrings.
“I truly knew that it was going to be successful,” Arrizon shared. “For me, Acapulco is like living my dream for the second time, because I really knew we had enough quality to do a great show.”
He also appreciated Máximo’s passion, bravery, and devotion to family. “Máximo cares so much and he’s disciplined,” Arrizon added. “But even when there’s a lot of walls to face, he manages the situations with optimism. He’s a very charming and endearing character.”
Arrizon flashed a smile. “He can get away with anything.”
Season Two of Acapulco premieres October 21 on Apple TV+.
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