LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 13: Josh Segarra attends the FYC Emmy

INTERVIEW: Josh Segarra on Bringing His Puerto Rican Pride Into Every Character He Plays

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 13: Josh Segarra attends the FYC Emmy "The Big Door Prize" screening and Q&A at the Think Apple TV+ FYC Space at Goya Studios. "The Big Door Prize" season one is now streaming globally on Apple TV+ (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Getty Images for AppleTV+)

Josh Segarra has become a familiar face on our TV screens. Fresh from a recent appearance as Manny in Abbot Elementary, the actor – who shared with Remezcla that he was rooting for Gregory and Janine long before the two took that final leap – Segarra, who has also appeared in shows like Chicago P.D, Arrow, She-Hulk and most recently Apple TV+’s The Big Door Prize was thinking about the next project, even if he wasn’t sure what that was.

“There’s a saying in sports that’s like, which championship is your favorite? And I think Tom Brady answered the next one.” Segarra answered with a smile. “So, I think I apply that to what I do. There are a million things I want to do, but everything in its own time.”

And Segarra has had different calls, that’s for sure.  “Definitely getting that phone call, asking if I’d be willing and ready to do the salmon ladder for Arrow was a different reaction than going to play a district employee in Abbott Elementary,” he joked. “I wasn’t too worried about going to the Ninja Warrior gym for Abbott Elementary.”

But, Segarra admits, “each job brings its own challenges.” And one of the biggest ones for a Latine actor always ends up being how to bring or not to bring your identity into every role. In this regard, Segarra admitted that “it’s impossible for me not to bring up who I am into every character that I play. I like to think of every character that I play as if Josh were raised in that person’s upbringing. So, who’s Josh? Josh is a Puerto Rican kid from Orlando, Florida.”

But it’s not just that, it’s the little things. “I was raised on rice and beans. So that’s going to be a part of every character I play.” And, the actor added, “Sometimes we get to see a little bit more of that.” For example, Segarra appeared on a show called Sirens, which aired on the USA Network. On that show, he played a character called Billy Cepeda. “And Billy got to show a Puerto Rican Pentecostal church that he was a part of. Billy got to talk about his Puerto Rican brothers and sisters and his cousins. He got to talk about certain traditions. So that’s one form of representation.”

For Segarra, it doesn’t stop there. “And then I hope that the other form of representation is that when you don’t see a Puerto Rican kid from Orlando, Florida, you know that a Puerto Rican kid from Orlando, Florida is out there doing his thing. And he’s out there playing different characters. And I’m trying to be different people from walks of life.”

It’s not perfect, but Josh Segarra hopes it means something, and that it’s making a difference for everyone in the Latine community who might need a role model, or a reason to believe they can also do it. “So, you know, anybody that’s out there watching, just know how much pride I have in coming from where I come from.”