It’s Day 3 of our countdown to the premiere of With Love on Prime Video, and today we have an interview with Vincent Rodriguez III, who plays Henry on the series.
Henry is Jorge Jr’s (Mark Indelicato) accomplished, charismatic, and very handsome boyfriend. He’s about to meet the Diaz family on one of the biggest holidays of the year. Plus, he’s actually the first man that Jorge has brought home to meet his folks. The results of that meeting may surprise you. I know I was pleasantly surprised by it.
Vincent was great as Josh Chan on the musical dramedy series, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, so it made me very happy to see him in this series. During our chat, we talked about his character, the dynamic between Henry and Jorge Jr, and how With Love is filled with the joy we’ve all been craving during a time of uncertainty.
In the first episode, Henry feels like a calm, grounding force in Jorge Jr’s life, in contrast to the vivacious Diaz family. Is that something that carries through the season?
That’s one of Henry’s functions. Every story has different characters and they all have various archetypes and ways to lend themselves to the story. I think it’s also awesome and poetic how Henry’s a Filipino bisexual, 30-something dude in Portland who is successful on his own. He’s reached a certain point in his life and worked hard to get there. Then he hits a ceiling. It’s like, “Okay, I make a certain amount of money. I’m happy with who I am. I did the work, and I have a great life. What’s next?”
He meets Jorge Jr, who represents living your life out loud, unapologetically, and expressing yourself. That’s something that Henry maybe doesn’t have a lot of because trying to be a perfectionist can often paralyze you artistically. Henry is unexpressed, to a certain degree. His strong suit is being grounded.
There are many moments where he has to calm Jorge down because Jorge’s all over the place. But that’s also a beautiful depiction of couples, or relationships, whether it’s platonic, romantic, or familial. There’s a balance, and we all need that in our lives. Everyone has differences, but it doesn’t mean you can’t build bridges, understand one another, and unconditionally love one another. That is what Henry represents with Jorge. We have that repeated theme throughout the show. We have a difference of opinion, but we still love each other. This is heartbreaking, but we still love each other. Or I’m dealing with something, but we still love each other.
Why do you believe now is the perfect time for a series like this?
With Love has an abundance of joy and an underlying current of self-love, which translates to compassion for other people. It has a lot of underrepresented people in it. People who are not used to diversity, inclusivity, seeing queer and trans characters on screen, or even multi-generational love scenes are going to be in for a treat. Our show has that, and it’s done in a compelling, unique, and impactful way that is topical.
I can honestly say it’s a response to what we’ve been going through the last two years. That’s part of the reason why it meant so much to the cast to play these characters and tell these stories at this time, in the second year of the pandemic. [Series creator] Gloria Calderon Kellett wanted to make something that would feel like a remedy or a break from what we’ve been going through the past two years. With Love is a virtual hug through the screen.
After watching all five episodes, I was left wanting more of these characters and this story.
Cross your fingers, tell your friends. We don’t know what the future holds but we have high hopes, and we’re really excited for everyone to see the show.
All five episodes of With Love are available beginning this Friday, December 17th, on Prime Video in Canada and the US. And if you missed them, read our Day 1 interview with creator/EP/star Gloria Calderón Kellett, and Day 2 with stars Isis King and Todd Grinnell.
Photos courtesy of Prime Video