Mark Indelicato Interview -- JustJared.com Exclusive
Ugly Betty star Mark Indelicato plays America Ferrera‘s fashion-conscious nephew Justin Suarez on the hit ABC series. JustJared.com had the pleasure of interviewing the 14-year-old actor, who wants to give Miley Cyrus a bit of fashion advice, start up a music career and do the “Angelina Jolie” thing. Check it:
JJ: Hi, Mark! Where are you calling from?
MI: At home on the Upper East Side. It’s fun, it’s a little quiet, but…it’s fun. I’ve lived here since the end of August. The hardest part about moving from nice California weather was the freezing cold New York.
JJ: Is it harder for you to dress fashionably in colder weather?
MI: Probably. I do own a lot of short sleeve shirts, so I have to do a lot of layering. But hey, whatever!
JJ: What was your first acting gig?
MI: I did community theater, which was my first time actually performing. My first community theater job was for The Wizard of Oz, and it was really fun. I played one of the Munchkin people in Oz. But my first professional job was a commercial for Raymour and Flannigan furniture. I think it was a Raymour and Flannigan / Feed the Hungry campaign that they did. If people bought furniture, then R&F would donate money. It was really long time ago, like eight years ago.
I never ever played the lead role in a play, except at school. I guess the industry that we’re in, boys that look like me don’t get the lead role.
JJ: Do you have a problem with that?
MI: No, because people usually love the supporting cast.
JJ: Are your parents supportive of all of your acting endeavors?
MI: Of course! If they weren’t, I don’t think that they’d move with me to New York.
(Click inside to read the rest of Mark‘s interview with JustJared.com…)
JJ: Where do you like to go shopping in the city?
MI: Definitely Urban Outfitters – it’s one of my favorites, American Apparel, lots of vintage stores. After moving to New York, I started to love vintage shopping. My friends just kind of take me downtown.
JJ: Have you made any splurges for your own wardrobe?
MI: I actually just went on a huge shopping spree. I went to Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor – I spent a lot of money.
JJ: Where are those in New York?
MI: I actually didn’t go in New York, I was home in Pennsylvania for the weekend
and my family lives near King of Prussia mall, which is the third largest mall in the country. So I went there and did some major shopping. It was great, it felt so good to pick out a new wardrobe.
JJ: On the set of Ugly Betty, what’s your favorite prop?
MI: No one has ever asked me that before! We do a lot of eating in the show, so I’ve gotten very close with those red plates. You know, Justin doesn’t really have a prop that he uses a lot, but I always have a different school bag, which I find really funny, because I don’t know how Justin can afford to have a new bag every time you see him. But they’re cute. They’re cute little canvas bags. So I think that’s probably my favorite prop – all the different school bags. I don’t know how he affords them.
JJ: Do you read [costar] Michael Urie’s blog?
MI: I’ve read it a few times, but I actually haven’t read it lately.
JJ: Do you know what Twitter is?
MI: Twitter? Oh, someone should explain that to me. I don’t know what it is, but I just got used to Facebook. And already people tell me I have to get Twitter. I’m not going to get a Twitter until my friends are begging me to get one. (JJ Note: Looks like Mark’s friends begged because Mark has a Twitter page now! Follow him @MarkIndelicato!)
JJ: What kind of school do you attend now? Best/worst subjects?
MI: I go to a professional performing arts school, and then when I’m working, I have a teacher that’s on set with me. I do really well in science, but I just don’t like it. It’s boring to me. My favorite class is probably Spanish – it’s fun all around.
JJ: What are you learning right now?
MI: We just finished Greek Mythology. We finished Oedipus, which was kind of boring, but still better than math and science. We’re starting Ancient Rome next.
JJ: Are you a bookworm?
MI: Definitely not. I used to…but it’s just something that you do because you like it, or you don’t, and I just stopped reading a lot of books. I mean, I read books that I have to read for school, but I don’t actually pick up a book and read for fun. On my time off, I go to movies, hang out with friends, go shopping…just little things.
JJ: Do you play any instruments?
JJ: Who are your role models?
MI: That’s a good one…I have a few. I mean, America Ferrera is definitely one of my biggest role models right now, and she has been for the last three years. Like a big sister, someone I can look up to and aspire to be.
But I don’t really look at celebrities as role models – I just don’t see them like that. I guess it’s because I’m in that world so I know that no one is perfect. So, because I work with America, I’ve gotten really close to her, and I feel like I look up to her a lot.
JJ: Besides the Ugly Betty cast, who are some of your favorite actors?
MI: Angelina Jolie is my favorite. I’ve never met her before, but I just know she’s amazing. I definitely like the cast of Grey’s Anatomy. As far as movie stars go, it’s the very typical, you know, movie stars. Like Julia Roberts. People like that, you can’t even talk about them without getting jealous.
JJ: Do you want to take your career into movies?
MI: I do. I want to do music, too. I really do. It’s something that everyone’s doing, and I want to do it too! Probably a pop-ish, techno-esque kind of thing. I haven’t set my head on what I want, it’s just a matter of someone putting it out there and saying, this is what we want you to do.
JJ: What kind of music do you listen to?
MI: I listen to so many different kinds of music – I mean, I listen to everything. I listen to everything from Bon Jovi to Taylor Swift. It just goes everywhere. I’m really open to different kinds of music, too, I don’t like to limit myself to pop.
JJ: Who in the music industry has the closest sound that you’d want to create?
MI: That’s the thing, I want to do something new. I don’t want to just copy anyone, so there’s really no one out there right now. Maybe a fusion…it’s like, I want to be commercial, so imagine Disney people mixed with underground techno people… mixed with sass. An example of an underground techno person would be that French artist Yelle. She’s all in French, so I can’t understand a word she’s saying, but her beats are really cool, and that’s something that I want to do…but mix Disney in there, and that’s what I want.
JJ: When you start doing movies, what kind of movies do you want to do?
MI: I want to do drama – no one really sees that. People just think I’m the funny guy and I can’t do anything else, and that’s just not true. And I want to do an action movie so badly, it just has to happen at some point in my career. I have to do an action movie. Like, I want to do the Angelina Jolie thing – the guns and the blowing things up.
JJ: You have to be in really good shape for that. Do you play sports? Work out?
MI: I am willing. Anything it takes.
JJ: Do you exercise?
MI: I do…sometimes. (laughs) I mean, I’m not like a religious exerciser. My parents go down to the gym everyday now, and I’m the one that stays upstairs. But I definitely need to start exercising.
JJ: You’ve talked about expanding into a jean line, has that progressed at all?
MI: Yeah, it has. It’s just a matter of meeting with different people, talking with them to see if they have the same vision as I have. It’s a matter of connecting with someone, and that’s what I really need to find.
JJ: Who are the jeans catering to?
MI: Boys that are on the skinnier side, and girls that are on the curvier side. So it’s not the stereotypical baggy jeans for boys and tight jeans for girls. That’s definitely not what I want to do. I want to do the reverse of what people would think.
JJ: What was the last movie you saw, and did you like it?
MI: I just saw Taken (with Liam Neeson and Famke Janssen). It was amazing, I loved it.
JJ: Favorite Disney movie?
MI: The Little Mermaid. Does that count? I liked [the musical too.] Everyone I talked to said it wasn’t good, but, I love The Little Mermaid, so, whatever.
JJ: What’s your favorite musical?
MI: I just went to go see Westside Story, so that’s probably my new favorite.
JJ: Favorite candy?
MI: Oh, that’s a hard one. I love Hershey bars, they are my favorite. Milk chocolate.
JJ: Favorite breakfast food?
MI: I don’t eat breakfast. I know it’s the most important meal of the day but my body doesn’t respond to it well. When I was in elementary school, my mom used to shove food down my throat in the morning, and she’d get a call from the nurse everyday saying that I threw up. So my mom tried to get me to just drink Ovaltine or something in the morning, just to have something in my stomach. So lunch is like, my first real meal of the day. I cannot eat anything in the morning, my body…I can only eat about two hours after I wake up.
JJ: Favorite ice cream?
MI: Favorite plain flavor is coffee, favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor is Chunky Monkey.
JJ: Which TV show would you want to guest star on?
MI: I definitely want to guest star on Gossip Girl. Like, I’m not even kidding. I’m kind of obsessed with that show, and I’m not afraid to tell anyone because everyone is obsessed with Gossip Girl. I like Blair…I don’t like Chuck. No, I mean, I like Blair and Chuck together, but I don’t like Chuck. I like Dan. He’s a little boring, but I don’t know. Blair is my favorite character. She knows how to blackmail people, which is so cool.
JJ: Have you ever Googled yourself and looked at fansites?
MI: I have Googled myself before! It’s so conceited, I don’t know why I did that. My friends actually found a fansite of mine, and they all registered to be in it.
JJ: When you look back on your own red carpet pictures, would there be any fashion disasters?
MI: Yeah. It was when I first moved to LA and it was the first event that I ever went to, and I thought I was all cute. I thought I was all dressed up, but it was casual. In LA, everything is so casual, so I got so dressed up for nothing. I looked like a total tool. It was really bad. It was not cute. It was a pair of white pants…something that you would wear to a wedding on an island! White pants, and mint green shirt, and weird shoes…I don’t even know.
JJ: Are there certain colors or prints that you stay away from on the red carpet?
MI: I don’t wear mint green anymore! And I don’t wear orange or yellow on the red carpet because my skin kind of blends in with them.
JJ: What ethnicity are you?
MI: I’m Italian and Puerto Rican.
JJ: Do you speak any foreign languages?
MI: No…not yet, at least.
JJ: Are you learning any languages in school?
MI: I’m trying to get ahead in math and sciences, so I decided to take advanced classes in that so that I can take a language next year.
JJ: What grade are you in?
JJ: Who’s the coolest person you’ve met in the industry?
MI: I recently met [designer] Tommy Hilfiger. He was so nice. I wear his clothes…I don’t wear them a lot anymore, but I used to. I used to be in a polo shirt phase.
JJ: What kind of fashion phase are you in now?
MI: I’m really into jeans. It’s kind of more for comfort…So, like, comfort and oversized are really in for me right now. So I might wear an oversized sweater and skinny jeans with my Chuck Taylors, put on my sunglasses and go. Everyone’s doing their version of the Chuck Taylors. Like, Ed Hardy did some, and they’re ugly. I don’t wear Ed Hardy clothes…one of my friends does, and it’s just ugly. I told her that she can’t wear it because it’s so ugly…it makes my eyes bleed.
JJ: Are there celebrities that you like to look at on the red carpet who look like a hot mess all the time?
MI: There’s many. Miley Cyrus? Like, I know she’s Hannah Montana and that’s really great. I’m really happy for her. But I’m like, Miley, please just dress nice. It breaks my heart.
JJ: What sort of fashion advice would you give her?
MI: Miley, I love you! But you don’t have to wear a sparkly dress all the time! You can wear something that’s plain, really, it’s okay. No one is going to be mad at you. I love her though. I’m going to go see the Hannah Montana Movie when it comes out, it actually looks really good.
But everyone has their hot mess moments, I just told you mine! So I can’t really say anyone is a hot mess all the time.
Ugly Betty airs @ 8PM ET/PT on Thursdays.
Also pictured here: Mark at a screening of Our City, My Story during the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival at Tribeca Performing Arts Center on May 1 in New York City.