At only 12-years-old, the brilliant actor Raphael Alejandro has proven himself to be an absolute showstopper in every project that he works on. Fans know the wonderful Raphael Alejandro for portraying the fun-loving character of Matteo Silva in Disney Channel’s highly-acclaimed series, BUNK’D. Throughout the past couple of seasons of the show, we’ve seen how cautious Matteo has learned to face his fears at Camp Kikiwaka and evolve as a character. From trying to take care of a mosquito problem at the camp, to creating a robot named Otis, there is never a dull moment with Matteo at Camp Kikiwaka and he always brings so much fun and amusement to the show. Fans get to look forward to even more laughs and excitement with Matteo in BUNK’D as Disney Channel recently announced a fifth season renewal of the series. Needless to say, seeing the outstanding Raphael Alejandro on our TV screens always brings us so much joy.
Raphael Alejandro’s successes are well beyond his years and he has already built up an incredibly impressive acting resume. At the ripe age of five, Alejandro landed his first TV role in the award-winning show, Once Upon a Time, where he played the role of Robin Hood’s son, Roland. The gifted actor once again wowed viewers in the film, How to be a Latin Lover, where he worked alongside the prolific actor Eugenio Derbez and profound actress Salma Hayek. Raphael Alejandro won a special place in viewers’ hearts through his adorable role as Hugo in the film. Viewers couldn’t help but want to give Alejandro a tight hug after watching the sweet film. The extraordinary Raphael Alejandro is also a familiar face in the movie, Kindergarten Cop 2. With every role that he takes on, Alejandro continues to solidify himself as a remarkable actor who is destined to have an everlasting career in the entertainment industry.
The awe-inspiring accomplishments do not stop there! Raphael Alejandro can also be seen in the much-anticipated Disney film, Jungle Cruise, which is set to release October 2021. Based on the Disney theme park ride of the same name, Jungle Cruise follows Dr. Lily Houghton (played by Emily Blunt) and skipper Frank Wolff (played by Dwayne Johnson) as they travel down the Amazon in a small riverboat. During their adventurous journey, they encounter dangerous animals and reptiles along the way as they search for an ancient tree that holds the power to heal. Alejandro stars as Zaqueu in the film and we know that he will once again mesmerize fans with this excellent role.
Despite being very busy with his endless list of acting achievements, Raphael Alejandro continues to prioritize his education. The well-rounded, young man can speak a total of four languages (Portuguese, French, Spanish and English) and he also devotes his time towards bringing awareness to environmental issues. It goes without saying, there isn’t something that Raphael Alejandro can’t do. He is one of the hardest working individuals and his work ethic is truly admirable.
Alexisjoyvipaccess had a sensational time interviewing Raphael Alejandro all about what his favorite episode is that he’s worked on from BUNK’D, what he would like to see happen to his character in the fifth season of the show, what it was like for him working alongside Eugenio Derbez and Salma Hayek in How to be a Latin Lover, and so much more only in our VIPAccessEXCLUSIVE interview. Raphael Alejandro even talked about a moment that sticks out to him the most from working on Disney’s Jungle Cruise movie – see what he had to say in our VIPAccessEXCLUSIVE interview below.
Read my VIPAccessEXCLUSIVE interview with the fantastic Raphael Alejandro below and be sure to catch him in all new episodes of BUNK’D airing on Friday nights on the Disney Channel!
Alexisjoyvipaccess: Congratulations on all of the incredible success with your career! First off, can you tell us what inspired you to focus your life around acting?
Raphael Alejandro: Thank you very much! My older sister, Dalila Bela, and my big brother, Bruce Salomon, were the ones that inspired me to focus my life around acting. My sister started acting at the age of five and my brother at the age of four, so when I turned four, I wanted to try acting as well, and I ended up falling in love with it, so I decided to continue.
Alexisjoyvipaccess: You star as fan-favorite character Matteo in Disney Channel’s hit series, BUNK’D. What is your favorite part about playing your awesome character?
Raphael Alejandro: I love playing Matteo because even though we have many similar traits like enjoying learning, especially science, and being a germ freak, we have many different qualities that give me a challenge as an actor to portray those differences correctly. One of our main differences is that Matteo is fearful of everything, but I actually like adventure and exploring new possibilities. So, to portray Matteo accurately, I have to put myself into his shoes of being afraid of new and exciting experiences, and that challenge is my favorite part about playing him.
Alexisjoyvipaccess: Do you have a favorite episode that you have worked on from BUNK’D?
Raphael Alejandro: This question is a little tricky to answer because I have a few favorite episodes. I loved doing our Halloween episode called “In Your Wildest Screams” because all the cast work together in the same storyline. I also enjoyed working on the episode “Snow Cups and Fisticuffs” for the reason that I got to play a detective. Another one of my favorites is the episode “Whisper Toots” because I played a character, Franky Whisper, who is completely different from Matteo. But, I have to say that my ultimate favorite episode to do was “My Fairy Lady” where I learned a bit of ASL because our guest star was a girl who is deaf, Shaylee Mansfield, and in this episode, Matteo acted as her translator to her character, Gwen. Learning a bit of ASL to do this episode was pretty special.
Alexisjoyvipaccess: BUNK’D has made Disney Channel history with its recent pickup of a fifth season. If you could see anything happen to your character in this upcoming, new season, what would you like it to be?
Raphael Alejandro: I think that Matteo’s character changed a lot from season three to season four. In season three, he really didn’t like being at camp and he was against trying anything new; but in season four, as the season progresses, Matteo starts to enjoy being at camp more with his friends and he becomes a little, just a little, more adventurous. What I would like to see in season five is that Matteo continues his growth to become more brave and to also learn how to not be such a germ freak.
Alexisjoyvipaccess: You also star in Disney’s much-anticipated, upcoming film, Jungle Cruise. Can you tell us what the experience was like for you working on that movie?
Raphael Alejandro: Working on this movie alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Emily Blunt and Paul Giamatti was a fantastic experience. They are such amazing people as professionals and as human beings. They treated me with a lot of respect. We had a great time during our breaks talking and playing word games.
Alexisjoyvipaccess: Is there a moment that sticks out to you the most from working on Jungle Cruise?
Raphael Alejandro: One of the moments that sticks out from working on Jungle Cruise was celebrating Paul Giamatti’s birthday on set. During one of our breaks, the production brought him a cake and we all sang “Happy Birthday” to him. This was a special moment that I will never forget.
Alexisjoyvipaccess: To add onto your many accomplishments, you also starred in the comedy film, How to be a Latin Lover. What was it like for you working alongside Eugenio Derbez and Salma Hayek?
Raphael Alejandro: Working with Eugenio Derbez and Salma Hayek in the movie How to be a Latin Lover was such a gratifying experience. They are such great actors and amazing people. I learned quite a bit from acting with them. Eugenio is really funny. He is great with improvisation. And Salma is an incredible actor, always so focused and very prepared for anything. When I heard that Salma was going to be my mom, I freaked. I kept wondering how our relationship would be. Well, I didn’t have to worry about a thing. The first time that I met Salma on set, she treated me like I was her own son. She gave me a big hug and at that moment, all of my worries disappeared. We always had a great time on set doing lots of jokes and fun games. I loved working with them and hopefully we could do that again in the near future.
Alexisjoyvipaccess: If you could work alongside any other actor or actress in a future project, who would you like it to be?
Raphael Alejandro: One actor that I would love to work with is Paul Giamatti again. I really enjoyed working with him on Jungle Cruise and I will be very happy if our paths cross again. Also, I’m a big fan of Spider-Man and Marvel, so another actor that I would love to work with is Robert Downey Jr. I would also enjoy to work with Margot Robbie because she is incredibly talented. Last but not least, Tom Hanks and Scarlett Johansson are also on my list of actors that I would like to work in the future.
Alexisjoyvipaccess: Lastly, if you could bring out one message to all of your fans, what message would that be?
Raphael Alejandro: A message that I would like to say to my fans is to believe in themselves and never give up on their dreams. With hard work and determination, we can achieve anything we like. Also, I believe that it’s very important to appreciate everyone that supported you to achieve your dreams and goals. One of my favorite sayings is from Spider-Man: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Always remember where you came from, so when you accomplish your dreams and become successful, you can stay humble and help others realize their dreams as well.