Diego Boneta was 15 years old when he was close to starring in “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.” “They did the audition in Mexico City,” the “Father of the Bride” actor tells me on this week’s episode of the “Just for Variety” podcast. “They flew me to L.A. to test. It was my first feature film audition and my first audition, period! … It was between me and Ben Barnes.”
Barnes landed the role, but the experience inspired the Mexico City-raised Boneta to move to Los Angeles to pursue a Hollywood career: “I was trying to get auditions for Mexican films for years, and they would not see me because they’re like, ‘No, you don’t look Mexican enough.’”
Boneta first made a splash in 2012 starring opposite Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin and Julianne Hough in director Adam Shankman’s musical romance “Rock of Ages.” “Tom took me under his wing,” he recalls. “We did guitar lessons together … so we did jamming sessions together. In those sessions, it was a lot of Tom talking about working with Paul Newman and with Dustin Hoffman and what he learned from them.”
Boneta went on to appear in “Scream Queens” and “Terminator: Dark Fate” and in the titular role in Telemundo’s “Luis Miguel: The Series.” His production company Three Amigos signed an overall deal with Prime Video in April.
Boneta also hopes to make it on Broadway. He almost starred in a revival of “Evita” about three years ago, but his schedule didn’t allow for it. “That’s on my bucket list for sure,” he says. “What Hugh Jackman does — how he goes back and forth — that’s my dream.”
“Father of the Bride” has been a huge hit for HBO Max. Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan star as a couple on the verge of divorce whose attorney daughter (Adria Arjona) announces she and her boyfriend (Boneta) are getting married and moving to Mexico to work for a non-profit. Rounding out the cast are Isabela Merced and Chloe Fineman. The streamer reports that the film has captured the largest audience of any movie to stream exclusively on the platform.
‘It was Gaz Alazraki, our amazing director, who called me and was like, ‘Diego, I’m directing the remake of “Father of the Bride.”‘ At first. I was a bit skeptical, because it’s such a classic film, from the Spencer Tracy version to the Steve Martin version,” Boneta says. “And then, I read the script and realized that even though it’s a remake, it’s a completely different movie. There’s the divorce going on with Gloria’s character and Andy’s role, which is a big difference from the other movies. I didn’t want to be in a remake of, ‘Oh, it’s the same movie, but it’s a Latin remake.’”
Boneta first met Estefan when she was part of the table read of “Rock of Ages.” “She became like my godmother,” he says. Working with her on the movie was everything and more. “She is so humble and so down to earth and disciplined,” Boneta gushes. “She was willing to get her hands dirty to do whatever it takes for the role. It was truly amazing to watch. She would never complain about anything. Call times were at 4 a.m. every day and she was the first one on set. She’s a force to be reckoned with.”
You can hear the full interview with Boneta above. You can also find “Just for Variety” wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.
Charlie Carver may have played Ethan on “Teen Wolf” for two seasons, but the actor says he won’t be reprising the role for the upcoming movie reunion. “I’m booked and busy,” Carver tells me, adding, “I’m excited to see how it turns out, but I have other things going on. But who knows? Maybe there will be a ‘Teen Wolf’ movie sequel.”
In Apple TV+’s new “Loot,” Maya Rudolph plays Molly Novak, the wife of a billionaire tech mogul (Adam Scott) who finds out he’s having an affair. Scenes at the couple’s home were shot at the 105,000-square-foot The One, a Bel Air estate believed to be the biggest modern home in the U.S. (it sold for $126 million in March). “When I saw the indoor pool, I thought, ‘Oh, wow, the pool is beautiful,’” Rudolph told me at the show’s premiere at the DGA in West Hollywood. “But then they said, ‘There are six other pools.’ There’s a moat and a nightclub. And any house that has a candy room is definitely over the top.”
While Melinda Gates’ generous charitable donations following her split from Bill Gates come to mind when watching “Loot,” Rudolph says Molly isn’t based on any one person. “As this show was being developed, this show started writing itself,” she said. “It’s been really interesting to see real life mirror some things that are going on, but great for us and really fun because you can take elements of what’s going on in the real world and then you try to make them your own. It’s great for dialogue and talking about money and power and divorce and middle age.”
That said, Rudolph said she’d love to see Melinda Gates on the show if it’s picked up for a second season: “She’s pretty cool.”
I also caught up at the “Loot” premiere with Joel Kim Booster, who plays Molly’s assistant. Booster is riding high from the launch of his queer rom-com “Fire Island.” He revealed an unexpected development since the movie premiered on Hulu this month. “Some of my favorite porn stars have reached out to me, and that’s been great,” Booster said with a smile. “We’ve reached back and then some.” He named Sharok as the adult entertainer he was most happy to hear from.
Now that Nick Jonas and Shakira are judges on NBC’s “Dancing With Myself,” don’t be surprised if the music superstars hit the recording studio together. “I hope it will happen soon,” Jonas tells me. “I’m a huge fan of her music, like so many people are. I would love to work with her.”
Congrats to Orville Peck. The singer-songwriter – and one of this year’s Variety Power of Pride honorees – received the Tom of Finland Foundation’s Cultural Icon Award on June 19 at the Tom’s Bar leather and fetish party in Hollywood. “It’ a very special acknowledgement for me because I think especially these days, it’s really important for art to be subversive,” Peck said to the crowd, which included Dita Von Teese, adding, “A night like tonight shows us that as queer people we still have a space that is our own.” Previous icon award recipients include John Waters and Henry Rollins.