Born and raised in Colombia, Juan Felipe Restrepo flew to LA seven years ago dreaming of an acting career in the city of angels.
Since he was a child, Restrepo was always attracted to arts in a general form, starting with drawing and painting, then music that led to his real path, acting, which came later, during his teen years. One day, watching movies and TVshows, he realized that he would memorize entire movies after watching them only one time, then would rewatch them with his family or friends, who were then very impressed with his performance. This is when he realized his true call for acting. Being an actor was giving him the opportunity to choose whoever he wanted to be, not just one person, but embodying his characters and having numerous lives at the same time, discovering different views on life and different opinions on numerous subjects. Who has never dreamed of this?
As an introvert it was the perfect path for Restrepo. Defining himself as an introvert with extrovert qualities, he always forced himself to talk to strangers and opening in unknown environments and having his friends dragging him to social events.
One of the biggest productions he joined was Netflix’s big success “13 reasons why”. Where were you these last couple of years if you never heard about “13 reasons why”? We asked him about how the casting was different for this kind of tvshows whereas than others: “ Well, it is funny because the process is very much the same for any studio or network production. You usually have the first call to audition. Depending on how casting is working, they can either ask you for a self-taped audition or bring you in the room for a read. In my case it was a self tape, I should say, depending on the role they might bring you for a callback and so on until they narrow it down to the actor who books the role.
After your audition is when the “waiting game” starts. I personally have been working on not waiting for the phone to ring, I try to forget about the audition
after it’s done and either focus on my hobbies, myself or on the next audition. That way it’s not such a torture the whole day waiting to hear back from casting.”
Always very humble about his experience, Restrepo has been part of many cast these last few years, such as TV movie “Young, Stalked and Pregnant” (Diego), TV Mini Series “Becoming Famous” (Caleb), romance “Before The Dawn” (David), and many more.
Having spent most of his life in Bogota and practicing Spanish has his native language, he had to learn English and when asked which language is easier or more convenient for him in his job, he humbly answers : “It’s such a wonderful thing for me to know more than one language because I’ve realized it’s an advantage. I can act in both English and Spanish, sometimes I even use both at the same time, depending on the project. When I first moved to LA, I was worried I wouldn’t get cast because English wasn’t my first language. But when I graduated and I started going out for roles, I found out there are a lot of Latino filmmakers out there. There are Spanish speakers who want to tell Latino stories, increase the amount of representation that we have, and their scripts, producers, directors and cast are mainly Latino.”
Making what he thought would be a weakness a strength, Restrepo truly understood the meaning of hardwork and determination in the city of angels, making his own American Dream come true.
Restrepo sure has some very interesting projects coming up such as a feature film that is going through the festival circuit at the moment named “AGUANTA”; which tells the story of a Latino teenager who loses his dad because of the deportation raids from ICE in the US. The character is defeated by life situations multiple times throughout the story and has to come to terms with his faith, caring for his family, and his own life.