(photos via Promotion People)
1. I know you, but some people may not.
So could you please introduce yourself to the world?
"My name is Rafael but I usually go by Raf Rogers. I was born in Brazil and grew up in Ottawa to a postal worker and a Portuguese translator. I was in French immersion all through elementary to high school and subsequently don't know how to do math in english. I grew up speaking French, Portuguese and English which has given me an ease in learning new languages. I speak Spanish and a bit of German and know how to say “you're very beautiful” in 12 languages. I love Basketball, improv, comic books and can jump my own height. My ideal role would be a funny and charming action hero – so basically Chris Pratt."
2. What was your first job in the entertainment industry?
Also, what did you do before that?
"I saw a posting for background actors and they were desperate. I was so excited. It was a weekend of night shoots in Montreal on an indy film – I was so gung ho back then. I was amazed to be around actors I'd seen on TV. It felt like such a privilege to be on set; I didn't realize they weren't paying me, except in pizza – which I also love despite being lactose intolerant. Thankfully, my sister was living in Montreal at the time so I had a place to stay. Although I was always drawn to comedy on tv, I actually had planned on being an artist first. When I realized that wasn't going to work out I thought about studying business."
3. Did you study acting before getting into the industry?
"My first acting class was in my teens at a community centre and then at the Ottawa School of Speech And Drama. I then started hanging out with some friends that started an improv group. We did ”Who's Line Is It Anyway” style improv games. After that, I decided to try something more and applied for what I thought, at the time, was a prestigious acting program in Vancouver. The day before I was set to leave, the school called me to say they didn't have enough participants so the summer intensive was cancelled. I went to Vancouver anyway and after a few days of taking in the beauty, I got antsy and looked up other schools. I found VADA and their classes taught me the foundations of TV and Film. I enjoyed it so much, I decided to move to Vancouver."
4. If you could work with anyone you'd want,
who would that person be and why?
"That's a great and tough question! Donald Glover because I have been a huge fan since I stumbled upon Community and then found out he also raps and sings and writes and I think his mind and work ethic are beyond reproach. Chris Pratt because he's transitioned from being a comedic actor to an action star, and has found a way to mix humour and drama well. Not to disparage him but he seems like a man child... I mean I just want hangout with the guy. As far as directors go, I would love to work with Christopher Nolan and Aaron Sorkin, because I think they are some of the best writers of our age. Christopher Nolan's stories are so deep and intricate and the fact that he and his brother write their projects makes them seem so much more invested in it. Aaron blends humour and jargon so well, he's very clever... I loved Newsroom! And Adam McKay, because he's the King of Comedy... some would say Judd Apatow whom I also would love to work with... but McKay can do both wild wacky pushing limits crazy town comedy and he is also so creative that he can take what could be a super dry subject matter and make it ridiculously and grippingly entertaining."
5. What does a normal day in your life looks like?
"There's no real normal day in this business, every day can be different. I am trying to give myself a bit of a personal schedule; I go to the gym, do some reading, watch shows for research and fun and work one of my many ”day jobs”. I'm also writing a narrative podcast with friends about a kid who is searching for his long lost mother; in space. I am in an improv group and we rehearse and have shows regularly. Auditions pop up and it's hard to slot time in for those if your schedule is too fixed. So I keep things fairly loose."
6. Where is your favourite place to be and why?
"This might sound weird, but I love being in the shower or bath. I was once asked by a date what my hobby is and I answered <Does taking a shower count?>. It's the place I can relax and be warm and think. When I go anywhere, I am particularly conscious of the shower situation, because it's that important."
7. If you could, what would be the one piece of advice
you would want to give to your younger self?
"Take lots of chances and don't give up. When I was a kid, my sister was in the Nutcracker ballet at a prestigious theatre in Ottawa. I was asked if I wanted to be a Rat in the ballet but I was too scared to do it. I am realizing opportunities I missed out on and that failing is actually a great way to learn more, so embrace it."
8. What is one of the best pieces of advice that you've been given?
Who was the person that gave it to you?
"Always bring back your costumes at the end of the day, because they appreciate it.. so not exactly that, but it's what lead me to the idea of how can you be additive. This was echoed in a class I took with Director, Micheal Nankin. He told us about working on a show called Roar. He said one day, one of the leads didn't show up and the other lead asked <What can I do (to help)? Can I stand like this, can we do this coverage of me, can we skip to this scene...>, so that they wouldn't lose the day. I really respect and admire that and try to bring that to all parts of my life. That helpful actor was Heath Ledger."
9. What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
"The rap and cartoon I wrote for one of my high school friends' wedding. I remember finishing the song a week or two before and the video, the morning of the wedding. I think it's pretty dope and I am proud of the fact that I created this without a musical background or any training.. and that I was able to make it accessible in a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air sort of way."
10. If you could book any role in the next years to come,
what would that dream role be?
"I really like spaghetti westerns and old samurai movies, I'd love to do something like that. There aren't many of those types of films being made these days and I can't recall that I've ever seen one with a latin person involved. I'm also a comic book nerd, so I'd love to be a superhero of any kind."
11. Is there anything you can disclose about any new project?
"I have a pivotal role as Yale in the upcoming Hallmark Channel Christmas movie entitled It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas airing on December 21st 2019. I play the role of Yale, the Mayor of East Riverton’s chief of staff. My character Yale is Hallmark’s first outwardly gay character that is <just a dude who likes dudes> and who is fastidious, organized yet a little goofy. Raf joins Eric Mabius (Signed Sealed Delivered, Ugly Betty), Tricia Helfer (Lucifer, Battlestar Galactica), April Telek (Rogue, Hell on Wheels), and Michael Kopsa (Apollo 18, The Chronicle Mystery Series). It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas is the story of the towns of East and West Riverton that split up a number of years ago. Long-time rivals Sarah Reed (Tricia Helfer) and Liam Clark (Eric Mabius) are Mayors of the respective communities. Hyper-competitive, the two are always jockeying to outsmart and outmaneuver one another. However, as they do battle to win a crucial Christmas competition that will determine which of their towns will get a desperately needed new factory, they begin to put their differences aside and find that there's more at stake than just winning... namely, the true spirit of Christmas, and true love... emotions that will transform their lives and the lives of their townships."
12. What is the best part about life on set?
"Aside from the actual scenes and acting, my favourite part is the friendships you make between takes. I love being jokey and it's great to meet like-minded folks you can joke around and be weird and speak in different accents and dialects with. It's like summer camp... I've never been so I don't actually know... but it's what I assume summer camp is like; a bunch of people having a ton of fun and getting into hi-jinx."
13. In the end, is there anything you'd like to say to the people who support you?
"Were you thinking of Ralph Macchio, made a mistake and now you're too embarrassed to back out? All kidding aside: I've had tremendous support over the years and I'm very grateful to everyone who's given me a hand or stepped on mine. It lifted me when I was down or fuelled my fire when I got complacent. Thanks for the support, couldn't have done it without you."
Raf Rogers is an actor best known for his work on projects like: It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, Arrow, Supernatural,
iZombie and Once Upon A Time, Great Retro Chic Revival, Girlfriend Experience, Adventures In Babysitting, Valley of the Boom, The Terror.
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Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movie It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas is airing on December 21st.