Arturo Castro: Una Estrella en Ascenso
Although Arturo Castro has been working in the industry for over a decade, his recent string of success has made him a television staple. Castro was born in Guatemala on the twenty-sixth of November in 1985, where he grew up in a house full of women, three sisters, and a mom, “they’re extremely funny women,” stated Castro as he was speaking on developing his comedic skills. Prior to leaving his home in Guatemala, Castro had a little taste of the future limelight he has now come to shine under. Every Saturday, he hosted his own show on the national network titled Conexion, “we did a countdown, and they’d take us to cool places like DJ school.” At age nineteen, he moved to New York City to study at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Following graduation, he did a steady stream of short films, typical of newly graduated actors in this time, and was featured in the play Che and the Risky Revolution at The Castillo Theater. The play is a historical fantasy about revolutionary Che Guevara’s last days, where he is reunited with his old friend, Fidel Castro, to dream about what a beautiful future a new revolution could bring. During this time, he also appeared in the Pulitzer Prize-nominated play Elliot A Soldier's Fugue and Ghost Dancer at the Mint Theater
Castro got his first big break in Comedy Central’s Broad City. Created by and starring Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, the show follows two women in New York City and how they turn their mundane lives into something hysterical. Castro plays Jamie Castro, Ilana’s roommate, a flamboyant stoner. Jamie became a fan favorite, and Castro was beginning to get recognized by people out in the world. The show ran for fifty episodes throughout five seasons, with Castro appearing in twenty-five amongst all five seasons.
While still being a series regular on Broad City, he did hits on the television shows The Good Wife and Sex Drugs & Rock & Roll and started his own Comedy Central web series Alternatino, which was a sketch show that sought to bring together Latin America and American humor. He was featured in Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which examined the realities of war versus public perception. The film also featured Steve Martin (The Jerk, Only Murders in the Building), Vin Diesel (Find Me Guilty, The Fast and the Furious), and Kristen Stewart (Twilight, Spencer). During this time, he also had a small part in the comedy Snatched, which starred Amy Schumer (Trainwreck, I Feel Pretty) and Goldie Hawn (Foul Play, Overboard). His most notable credit, however, came in 2017 with season three of Netflix’s hit series Narcos. The final season of the show, season three, details the aftermath of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar’s death and the DEA’s fight with the Cali cartel. Arturo appeared in all ten episodes of the season as David Rodriguez son of Cali Cartel boss Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela. The series finale was highly anticipated and met with favorable reviews.
With the end of Broad City in 2019, Comedy Central decided to pick up Alternatino as regular programming, now rebranded as Alternatino with Arturo Castro. The show was written and developed by Arturo and maintained its sketch formula with Castro playing a wide variety of characters no matter their gender. A second season was planned but then put on hold during the pandemic. In 2020 the streaming service Qubi announced that it had picked up the show for its second season, but it has yet to materialize. The entire first season is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
With Alternatino with Arturo Castro in limbo, Castro went to work on other projects. Appearing in Andrea di Stefano’s The Informer starring Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day, Gone Girl), Disney’s live-action Lady and the Tramp, and three episodes of HBO’s hit tech-comedy Silicon Valley.
“[P]art of the joy of this show is that my character just happens to be Latin… My ethnicity has nothing to do with the inner struggles of the character, which is really rare." In 2021 Arturo joined the cast of Joseph Gordon Levitt’s Mr. Corman that aired on Apple TV+. The show focused on the emotional lives of Josh Corman and his close friend Victor. Working with Goron-Levitt was a dream come true for Castro, “I've been seeing this guy perform since I was a teenager, and I couldn't believe I got a chance to work with him.”
Mr. Corman was something Castro was really happy to be a part of and spoke of its importance, “...it's a really human show. It's a show that tells you it's okay not to be okay and that there are people around you that are willing to listen and to go through it with you. I think that's so important, particularly right now, after we all went through something collective together. To me, the show is a healing experience for anybody that watches it."
Arturo can most recently be seen in Amazon Prime’s well-received action-drama The Terminal List starring Chris Pratt (Moneyball, Guardians of the Galaxy). Castro appeared in three episodes as Jordan Goff, who is the editor of a new alt-media organization more interested in getting a quick story than an entirely truthful one. The plot of the show revolves around a Navy Seal commander seeking revenge against the politicians, Pentagon bureaucrats, and the Mexican Sicarios who got his men and family killed - all while a young reporter is trying to get his story told. All eight pulse-pounding episodes are available to stream now.
Make sure to keep an eye out for Arturo Castro in the upcoming comedy-horror film The Menu. Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit, The Northman) and Nicholas Holt (About a Boy, Mad Max: Fury Road) star as a young couple who travel to an island in order to dine at an exclusive restaurant where the chef, played by Ralph Fiennes (In Bruges, Schindler’s List), has prepared a few surprises. Directed by Mark Mylod (Entourage, Succession), The Menu will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2022 and will be available to the masses November 18th. Watch the trailer here.
The Actors Society has no doubt that Arturo Castro will continue to grow as a performer, and we all look forward to his continued success.