Victor Rasuk looks at his new role in ABC’s The Baker and the Beauty as an imitation of real life.
In one of the most anticipated Latin family shows this spring, ABC’s The Bake and the Beauty is a family show about a regular baker who falls in love with a celebrity as their world collides.
Starring alongside Rasuk, the cast includes Nathalie Kelley (Dynasty), Dan Bucatinsky (Second Act), Carlos Gomez (Madam Secretary), Georgina Reilly (City on a Hill), David Del Rio (Grease Live!), Lisa Vidal (Being Mary Jane) and Belissa Escobedo.
Rasuk sat down exclusively with LRM Online at the Television Critics Association (TCA) earlier this month after introducing the show to the media. We talked about baking, his character, and the premise of the show.
He has appeared in a variety of films, including Lords of Dowtown, 2014’s Godzilla, and Fifty Shades of Grey. Last year, he was in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan as Disco.
The premiere date for The Baker and the Beauty will be on April 13 at 10 p.m., following ABC’s newest Bachelor franchise series called The Bachelor Presents: Listen To Your Heart.
For more information on The Baker and the Beauty, visit its Facebook page here.
Read the exclusive interview below.
LRM Online: Congratulations on The Baker and the Beauty. First of all, what attracted you to something like this?
Victor Rasuk: What attracted me to something like this is that my family’s from the Dominican Republic. It’s about a Cuban family, but also I’m the oldest of my siblings. The first thing that I read that popped off the page was Daniel is the oldest of his siblings. I understand the pressures of always trying to be the example.
Again, I also grew up in this business. Or rather, I phased into the business. I knew what it felt like to be around famous people. The script caught an authentic storyline in terms of how Daniel and Noa meet.
LRM Online: Is there a big difference between Dominican and Cuban families?
Victor Rasuk: I don’t think there’s a big difference between any of the Caribbean countries. I don’t think there’s a big difference with Puerto Rico, Cuba, DR, and other Spanish speaking countries. To answer that question–there’s no difference. When I say no difference, I mean in food and culture and even in the dialects that we use.
LRM Online: Did you watch any of the episodes from the Israeli show before?
I did not watch the Israeli version of The Baker and the Beauty, because I’m the type of actor with my process to come up with my ideas. Naturally, as human beings, when we watch something, we tend to emulate it in one form or another. It’s in the back of our minds. I felt that it was going to throw me off. I wanted to create my own Daniel.
Especially, drawing from that, I’m Dominican. I grew up speaking Spanish. It’s about understanding the day to day of what and who he is.
LRM Online: Tell us on how you make Daniel as your own for yourself.
Victor Rasuk: Again, I’m the oldest of my siblings. There’s a level of innate confidence. That confidence comes to you innately, because you always are the example since you were a kid. Your siblings look up to you. That was the first thing that I made, like as my own.
I’ve also been through breakups. I’m sure you’ve been through breakups. There’s a scene where Vanessa and I break up. I relate to things like that because I’ve been through unfortunately a lot of breakups.
Like I said before, I put everything that I went through. I didn’t hold back, and I didn’t merely want to act. I wanted to be [that character]. Victor Rasuk needed to go through these same things that Daniel went through.
There’s some level of acting. I need to have a certain level of acting because there’s a camera with a hundred people around you. Then it’s another thing when you want to be [the character] with that level of confidence.
Mainly, I’ve been doing this for 18 years. I said, “You know what? I’m not going to come up with a habit that he comes up with. I’m not going to try this new accent.” I’m just going to be Vic and see how that comes across. I got fortunate because I think I’m in a place in my career where I’ve been doing this for 18 years. As I said, I’ve been through breakups and all those other things. I’m just going to embody that and accept it.
LRM Online: How much of this is going to be sort of like a relationship show, or how much is this going to be a family show?
Victor Rasuk: Funny, it’s more of a question for Dean [Georgaris]. I will answer this question. When I watched the show, I feel like we’re watching two different shows.
It’s a relationship one. It’s like how Modern Family does a great job with all these storylines, but you still engage in every storyline. I feel like we’re watching two different shows. Like you just said. It’s going to be a relationship show and a family show at the same time. You’ll have me and Noa’s world. Then you have the family’s world. You’re either following in one episode, my little brother, my little sister, and her sexuality. My parents want to expand the bakery. There are just so many storylines.
To answer your question, I think that the show is going to be about both. We’re going to explore both.
LRM Online: How much baking are you doing on this show? [Laughs].
Victor Rasuk: I am, and I’m not. I’ll explain why.
I learned how to bake. The only thing is that there’s a time-lapse. What I’m putting into [the oven] is a real pre-made [delectable] by me or from a consultant on set. So it’s pre-made. When we’re filming and when it comes out–there’s a time-lapse. It’s not made by me, because we’re not going to wait 45 minutes for it to bake. We don’t have that kind of time on a series. That’s why I can never give a real answer. But, that’s called acting. I want people to know that the effort is there, and I also respect the profession and the art of baking.
I saw this excellent documentary called Kings of Pastry. It’s a world-renowned documentary that played at all these festivals. When I saw that documentary, there’s a big competition of bakers in France. When I saw this documentary, I was like, “Oh, my God! These guys take this baking as seriously as I take my acting.”
Let me give it the time and effort. I do say that I learned because I respect the art of it.
LRM Online: Do know how to bake in real life, right?
Victor Rasuk: I do. I’m not great at it, but I do. As I was saying on the panel, I found this thing called Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. I loved it because it makes things so much easier. I’m good with instructions. As long as you give me the ingredients, I’ll put my Latin flavor on it.
LRM Online: Now, you said you were from New York. How is the adjustment to Puerto Rico for yourself?
Victor Rasuk: That’s not a fair question. Only because I was born and raised in New York, I grew up in a Puerto Rican neighborhood, and my extended family is in Puerto Rico. So I’ve been going to Puerto Rico since I was a kid.
I also shot at two other films there. I was in the Che Guevara movie with Benicio del Toro. Then I shot this like Jennifer Lopez-produced like a music film. It was a reggaeton movie called Feel the Noise. So I spent a lot of time there, and I loved it by the way. I love shooting in Puerto Rico.
LRM Online: We know this is going to be an all-Latin cast. What do you think this show needs to do to overcome that stigma and be popular?
Victor Rasuk: The show needs to do is keep sticking to the universal themes that you, me, anyone else, or rather America will relate to. The reason why we got in such a great response with the pilot is that you may relate to my character as somebody in North Dakota might relate with my mom’s character. As long as we keep it authentic and American, with the things that we love, the things that we fight over the things or that the things we worry about. I think we’ll be just fine.
Source: LRM Online Exclusive