Sitting at the Starbucks at Ventura Blvd. and Vantage in Studio City, I talked to Rene about his major recurring role on TNT's "MAJOR CRIMES" and how it has changed his life.
I met Rene six years ago when he was a Server at the Cheesecake Factory/The Grove. Even then, he exhibited an abundance of 'star-quality'; that 'IT factor' that so few people possess. Rene exudes it.
Today he lives in North Hollywood and he's humble with his new found success. And fame.
Waide- Tell me about Major Crimes... how did you get the role? The audition?
Rene- I signed with Gersh... that's very new... They've been amazing. I got lucky with a great rep. My manager is Tim Taylor. I also have a Team in New York... I go to this audition just for three episodes. After the audition, they called me back. The scene was for me in a morgue looking at the body of my dead sister. There's nothing there at the audition, so I had to really focus and just see my sister there. That was also the first scene I shot with them. I was crying... to think it was my sister there in a morgue. It's very emotional... It was a very intense process. Got called back three times... on the third call back I was crying to the point of exhaustion in the room... I was only booked for three episodes, but the creator, James Duff, an incredible human being, he just kept writing me in. He wasn't sure what to do with my character, so he decided to make me the love interest for Rusty Beck.
Waide- Google it and the kiss will pop up!
Rene- Yes! I know! It's fascinating. I didn't realize how big the show was... Major Crimes has a huge following.
Waide- I know. A world wide audience. Your famous. Congratulations! You've got quite a fan base.
Rene- It's pretty awesome. It's the first time I'm experiencing something so big. It's nice to get feedback... feels good.
Waide- What's it like working with Mary McDonnell?
Rene- ... Mary is a sweetheart. Oh my God, the first time I met her... you can feel her energy, her light. She's like this warm light... amazing. I love sitting down with her. She helps me out a lot. She knows what's going on. She brings the best out of you at all times.
Waide- Academy Award Nominee, she knows how to break down a script.
Rene- She's amazing, Waide. The cool thing is, I asked her, 'Mary would you help me break down my script?' and she said, 'yes!' She takes time out and teaches me. Waide, she doesn't have to do that. I've seen the amount of work she has to do everyday... how do you do this and still have a life? And, she'll tell me, 'there's a way to do it, Rene. I'll show you.' She's awesome. Loving. Motherly. The entire cast cares genuinely for one another. We're a family. Cast and crew. Even off work, we hang out with each other.
Waide- What are your next projects?
Rene- Right now, the major thing is going back to 'Major Crimes.' I love going to work there. It doesn't feel like work.
Waide- That's because you love what you're doing.
Rene- I do! I've got a new publicist. I've got the right people handling me right now. Good magazine coverage.
Waide- Your character... Let's zero in on that... They, the writers, just decided to make you gay?
Rene- James, the Showrunner. I didn't even know till the fifth episode... remember, they don't tell you anything... they don't tell you what is going to happened script to script... so, we are learning as the viewers are learning... at the table read, Gustavo and Rusty are sitting down watching 'the trial' happen and Gustavo holds his wrist... so, small things like that... Gus is going there... there is a beautiful art to him. It's amazing to play this character who starts off so defeated... going through this emotional journey... and he gets this new love and he feels he can live again. A beautiful journey. I'm loving him. Seeing him bloom and grow...
(There is a long pause as Rene reflects.)
Waide- What's your favorite color?
Rene- Blue. Because it makes me happy.
Waide- What's your favorite book?
Rene- "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. That book changed my life.
Waide- What's your favorite film?
Rene- "A Bronx Tale"!
Waide- What's your Happy Place Song?
Rene- Happy Place Song?
Waide- The song that no matter where you are, when you hear it, it takes you to that Happy Place...
Rene- ... I don't know... I don't know if I've got one...
Waide- OK... you don't have to (We both laugh at this)... I'm going to give you three words. You tell me in a word or two what's the first thing that pops in your head...
Waide- Mary McDonnell.
Rene- Mother. Mother Mary.
Rene- (He bursts into laughter) ... Oh. My. God. Jesus Christ... Somebody save us!
(Now we're both laughing hysterically.)
Waide- That's more than one or two (We're still laughing)... Is there anything you'd like to add regarding your Art?
Rene- I'm writing a love story right now. Based on a real life experience that happened to me. I'm very new to writing, I have many writer friends who are helping and mentoring. I think it's a great story to tell and I want to star in the film adaptation. It's personal and a lot harder than I thought it would be.
Waide- Well, good writing is hard.
Waide- And everyone has their own opinion.
Rene- Exactly. Right now, I'm in the Treatment phase... I'm also writing a feature and sometime this year, I'll be going to New York for a feature called "Asher." I'm in talks with three projects... One, a true story where I would play a heroine addict. I'm looking forward to reaching deep into this character. His pain.
Waide- Any theatre?
Rene- No. It's all 'Major Crimes' right now.
Waide- One more word and you tell me what comes to mind...
Rene- I like this.
Waide- Marriage Equality.
Rene- I am a lover and I am passionate... Love is Life... Love is God... How can anyone ever tell you don't Love God. Love is beautiful. Of course, marry!
Waide- There's that clip on Google where Gus kisses Rusty. It's quite beautiful. It was very authentic. It didn't look like you were about to throw-up in his face or get sick.
Rene- Absolutely. When I'm on set, I am Gus. And Gus is in love with Rusty. They've both gone through so much together that they can't help but to be in love. That's what that scene was about. It's beautiful.
Waide- Your acting classes have paid off!
Rene- Thank God! I was training with Marta DuBois... I never had reservations regarding the character Gus. I just wanted to be loyal to him. Give him life. Playing a gay man is beautiful. It's work.
Waide- Who's your movie star crush?
Rene- ... Wow, I don't think I have one... Who's yours?
Waide- Jeremy Renner. I make it quite clear on my Facebook page, too. I think he's brilliant. If I ever met him, I'd probably be tongue tied for the first couple of minutes.
Rene- (Breaks into laughter) OK, I'll say Zoe Saldana. She's awesome. She's beautiful. Sexy. Strong.
Waide- Where were you born?
Rene- I'm Puerto Rican.
Waide- Anything personal you'd like to say to the Artist?
Rene- Yes... This is to all artists... there's always going to be a bad day. Ask yourself why are you doing this? Because you love it and you are doing it to better humanity. Make a positive impact. It's your Dharma. Discover who you are. That's the most important part of the journey. Everything else is not important. Remember, we chose this.
Waide- Thank you, Rene.
Rene photographed by Darrin Van Gorder www.dvgphotography.com
For more about Mr. Rosado's social media presence:
Facebook- Rene Rosado