Rising Star Andrew Matarazzo: “Film and TV are supposed to show different aspects of life and humanity — different worlds and cultures; So, it just seems like a no-brainer to include all types of stories and people and points of views”

Yitzi Weiner
Oct 11 · 6 min read

Well, film and TV are supposed to show different aspects of life and humanity — different worlds and cultures. So, it just seems like a no-brainer to include all types of stories and people and points of views. Our world is like that, and that’s what people can relate to. It’s important that these things are exposed to people who may not interact with it in their day-to-day. It teaches and opens people I think.


had the pleasure to interview Andrew Matarazzo. Andrew is best known for his TV roles as Gabe on Teen Wolf (2017) and Flaco on Jane the Virgin (2017). Upon being accepted into the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Acting Program at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Andrew moved to Los Angeles. During his time there, he landed roles in several shorts that debuted at festivals such as Tribeca and Cannes. He went on to study under Oscar-winning actor Tim Robbins and soon earned TV roles on Faking It (2014), Girls (2015), Royal Pains (2015), Criminal Minds (2015), and Speechless (2017). When Andrew was finally cast in MTV’s hit show Teen Wolf, he was originally meant for a two-episode guest spot but was later written into the show’s final season for the remaining seven episodes.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

think I’ve always been very extraverted and theatrical growing up. I’d put on shows for my parents at home and made fake movies with my friends, but I really found a place for all that in my middle school drama class. That was my intro to acting, but I only really started taking it seriously when I had seen a specific performance of River Phoenix’s in Stand by Me, and it really shifted my perception that I had to wait till I was an adult to be a serious actor. I started really focusing on the work. Even in middle school, I would put memorizing lines over going to a friend’s birthday. I ventured into community theater, and in high school I started preparing to audition for the top ten acting college programs. I spent a while in London studying Shakespeare and eventually got into some great schools and classes that led me to L.A.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
The very first big audition I went out on when I got to L.A. was for an MTV show. I had never been in front of a casting director before, and I was starting with a big one, Alyson Silverberg. I was so nervous and had no idea what I was doing. I was messing up lines, totally flustered in front of her, and she was trying to throw notes at me, but I was so new to it that I caved. I was so embarrassed about how it went that I would purposely decline auditions that she was casting even the following year when I was more experienced because I was so scared of her not liking me still. Two years after that, I finally went to an audition she was casting. It ended up being my very first guest star role that booked, on the show Faking It. So, it was a huge moment for me, considering she was the first casting director I ever met and feared and the first one to cast me in a significant part years later. Full circle.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I think a big lesson I had to learn was not overworking simple scenes. I came from classical training and theater, and there’s different aspects to how you approach a play and a TV or film script. I had a lot of trouble wanting to work hard and have “craft,” but I was applying it at the wrong times. Sometimes it was just a matter of having a conversation in the scene, but my brain was so wired to do tons of work. Needless to say, it was burning me out. I learned where that was valued and where it was not needed.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

Well, film and TV are supposed to show different aspects of life and humanity — different worlds and cultures. So, it just seems like a no-brainer to include all types of stories and people and points of views. Our world is like that, and that’s what people can relate to. It’s important that these things are exposed to people who may not interact with it in their day-to-day. It teaches and opens people I think.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why.

One, there isn’t just one path to success. There’s no “right way.” Two, what’s yours will find you. Three, politics and connections may get you seen, but the hard work gets you the job. Four, the only thing you can control is how much time and work you put into every audition. The rest is beyond you. Five, keep a small circle of people who recharge your energy and support you. Anyone who takes your energy away needs to go.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I always say do not compare your path to anyone else’s. For some it may take years for a big break, and then they explode and last. Some people get it right away but then disappear. You just never know. Just keep focused on yourself and your work, and realize it’s not a race.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would love to see people sticking up for one another more and strangers being more open and kind to other strangers. I think most people just want to be seen and heard and make connections, but we’re all so comfortable in our own lanes. It would be nice to really see the openness and mixing of different circles of people, in all aspects.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My mom has always given me immense confidence and support. Even at such a young age, she trusted that I knew what I wanted to do and always nurtured and supported me in my pursuit of it. To this day she will always find a way to get me through tough periods and stay focused on what I’m trying to achieve. Not everyone has a support system like that, so I am very lucky.

Is there a person in the world or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them.

A lot of my idols are no longer with us, but I think I would love to sit down with either Cate Blanchett or Daniel Day-Lewis and just pick their brains about their work and how they tackle their roles.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram: @andrewmatarazzo
Twitter: @andrewmatarazzo
YouTube: www.Youtube.com/AndrewMatarazzoMusic

Facebook: www.facebook.com/actorandrewmatarazzo

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Yitzi Weiner

Written by

A “Positive” Influencer, Founder & Editor of Authority Magazine, CEO of Thought Leader Incubator

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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