Watch out everyone as we have a new talented heartthrob on the rise! Playing in “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” and HBO’s “Ballers,” Rico Torres is making a name for himself. Not only does he showcase his talent on the big screen, this Jack of All Trades has also self-published a book entitled “Know YOUR Norms.” Listening to his gut every day, Torres doesn’t let anything stop him from rising to the top and here at BELLO, we are eager to see where his adventures take him next!

By Alexandra Bonnet

Tell us what it has been like working on the sets of “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” and HBO’s “Ballers.”  

It was amazing. Being on the sets of productions this big with talented actors such as the ones on these casts, I am truly blessed and don’t take these opportunities for granted. It really is eye opening to see what it takes to actually make a production successful. I was inspired even more being on set, because being around great people makes you great.

Share with us the story behind your self-published book “Know YOUR Norms.”

This book describes all the social norms that are in place today and the paradigm we are programmed into since day one. It really embraces awareness to all the labels, stereotypes and pressure society places on the average human being. The reader will realize they’ve been living a very average life by not being able to express themselves freely without having the whole world reject and mock them. This book will heavily emphasize to express, not impress society and free their minds from the prison of conformity. It’s something that has to be converted into a habit each and every day, but the first step is simply to become conscious that this happens throughout our lives.

What is the best advice someone has given to you when pursuing your dream?

Don’t listen to anybody. No matter what they say to you. If your gut tells you to do it, do it. Go see. Go do. Go experience for yourself. Life is too short to worry about what somebody else says you should or should not do.

Has acting always been your dream job?

Absolutely not. It actually became my dream job about two years ago. I NEVER thought about acting in my entire life. I went through life going to school to become a doctor. It wasn’t until I went to audition for the first time ever in front of two producers where I really felt the energy and passion to go towards acting rather than medicine. All it took was performing for the first time to see what I am capable of doing and how amazing I felt on the inside. Ever since then, it has been my dream job.

What was it like when you decided to not go to Med School and set out on your own?

It was like I was giving up everything for only God knows what. I’ve always been impulsive, but leaving all the many years of hard work and a Bachelor’s degree in pre-med was very difficult to do. Not only that, but telling my family that I was leaving all that behind to pursue a very unstable career as an actor wasn’t easy either. I sacrificed everything; my degree, family, girlfriend, peers, everything. I haven’t looked back since. I just followed my passion and my calling. The rest is history.

What are some obstacles you have faced and how did you overcome them?

Anorexia, Asthma, Bullying, Poverty, Immigrant Parents, Parents’ Divorce, Jaw Surgery, the list goes on. I overcame all of that by having grace. I don’t hold on to the past or what life throws at me because I know that there is somebody out there that have it worse. Someone is missing a leg, an arm, their sight, have cancer. Things could ALWAYS be worse. I just remind myself that being alive is a blessing. As long as I have the air in my lungs, I can get through anything.

Share with us a lifelong dream of yours. 

Being on a stage in front of millions of people, inspiring them to pursue their dreams despite adversity. I don’t just want to entertain, I want to change lives, each and every day.

Who/What motivates and inspires you every day?

God and the hope that I can change millions of lives in the future.

What comes next?

More films. More shows. More books. More businesses. More projects. More success. More happiness.

Photo Credit to Bobby Quillard

Make sure to check out his book!