‘She’s Gotta Have It’ is returning to Netflix for season two and so you know what that means! Actor, Rafael V. DeLeon is returning with his best friend, Mars Blackmon (portrayed Anthony Ramos) and we couldn’t be more excited. We caught up with the young star on the rise to discuss his experience on the hit show, what you can expect to see from his character Manny in the second season, and what you can expect to see from him in the future!
Tell us about yourself. What made you want to get into the world of entertainment?
Well, I was born in Washington D.C. and I grew up in Prince George’s County, Maryland. I lived in D.C., Philadelphia, and New York now. For me, I think that part of why I wanted to pursue a career in entertainment was that I grew up playing sports: basketball in high school and in college. In some way, even when you’re performing athletically, you are still front and center. For me, I’ve always had a passion for the creative space and specifically film and television. I decided to move to New York and pursue the entertainment space officially.
How has your experience been thus far on Netflix’s She’s Gotta Have It and what can viewers expect to see from your character, Manny in season two?
I’ve been in New York for over five years now and I’ve always wanted to work on a project in Brooklyn. I’ve lived in Brooklyn since I moved to New York and there have been many shows that I’ve admired that have been filmed in Brooklyn (ex. Empire) so I’ve always aspired to shoot something in Brooklyn.
There isn’t anyone more Brooklyn than Spike Lee so when he cast me in ‘She’s Gotta Have It,’ it was a highlight for me. I’m happy to be working with the Oscar award-winning director; it is something I am really grateful for. A lot of times, when we would shoot on set, I would have really early call times but ironically, the locations were right up the block. Some days I was able to walk to set because I was right there in Brooklyn.
In season two, my character has a bit more of an expansive role in some ways. I can’t spoil too much but Manny is going with some of the things that happened to Mars and doing his best to be a good friend to him.
Tell us what you enjoy doing outside of acting.
I enjoy trading equities, I like trading stocks. I was introduced by a friend of mine. It’s interesting because I was listening to Nipsey Hussle two years ago and some of what his message was to save money and invest. I thought to myself, what can I do? How can I save money? I spoke with a friend with more experience, and they gave me the basic ideas and concepts. Once I started, it became something that I really enjoyed and became passionate about. There’s nothing like passive income so for me, it has been something I really enjoy. I also like chess from time to time. There are times where I would go to Union Square Park here in Manhattan and try to play against some of the guys sitting out there, I have not won yet (laughs) but I am hopeful.
What can we expect to see from Rafael V. DeLeon in the future?
I’m actively auditioning and working on a project with a friend of mine. We’ve been meeting to storyboard and plan that out. I have some things in the independent space that I am working on creatively. Hopefully, we will start auditioning in the fall.
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Feature Image by Timothy Rosado | all images provided by Presse Public Relations