Arturo Castro is not gay, doesn’t have a thick accent, and – disappointingly for some fans who recognize him from Broad City, where he plays Jaime, Ilana Glazer’s roommate – he doesn’t sell weed. What he actually does, apart from appear on Broad City (whose second season is currently in production), is teach drama to underprivileged kids in the Bronx with ENACT.org; write, produce, and star in the webseries 2040; act in movies like the upcoming indie comedy Sun Belt Express; and generally live life as the kind of charming, delightful guy who takes his costars to meet his mother in Guatemala and repeatedly mentions how grateful he is to be on a show as excellent as Broad City. Famously sat down with him at a cafe in Brooklyn to talk about celebrity crushes, where he reminisced about the pink Power Ranger and became aware of his feelings for Amy Poehler.
FAMOUSLY: Who was your first celebrity crush? You grew up with a different–
ARTURO CASTRO: No, I grew up with American culture. I watched a lot of TV.
Right, but not as an American.
Right, not as an American, but I had cable and I had sisters. So they watched a lot of My-So Called Life, stuff like that. But I’d have to say my first celebrity crush was Brooke Shields. Blue Lagoon, dude. Remember Blue Lagoon? I was a kid, mind you.
Blue Lagoon! But that was kinda old even when you were a kid.
Of course it was old when I was a kid! But still, she looked like that. Brooke Shields, and the pink Power Ranger. Kimberly! We all liked Kimberly.
But the first one where I was like “I’m in love with this woman, and I would move to that island and procreate with this woman;” I didn’t know how you procreated, but we would’ve held each other from behind. I wanted to move to that island. Brooke Shields was beautiful! I should YouTube clips of it, because the way I remember her was mesmerizing.
I think she was really young at the time, so going back and watching it now would be weird to be attracted to her.
Yeah, now, but when I was 6, she was an older woman.
And the Pink Ranger.
In Guatemala, we didn’t get Power Rangers, or at least the cable I had, but the marketing was so good that I had all the paraphernalia. I was obsessed with it. I had all the stuff without ever having seen the show. I had the gloves.
I had those too!
Yeah, like “Go go Power Rangers” and you (we both bang our hands together, go “pssh pssh pssh!”) Yeah, those were awesome!
I had the red ones.
Me too! The red Power Ranger. They were the shit, dude! Why wouldn’t you want to buy such a good product? In fact, I wanna buy them again. Now, mind you, I was a pretty chubby kid, so my crushes with girls, they didn’t really crush back until I was like 14. So I lived vicariously through whoever was making love to a Power Ranger.
Right, the red Power Ranger.
Oh was he? Probably. Definitely. Somebody was shtupping her. So I had all the paraphernalia, and then I saw my first episode in Orlando, and I saw Kimberly, the pink Power Ranger, and I was like “you are the love of my life.” And I had the red gloves, like “let us join in a holy union!” They were definitely ethnically inappropriate, though, now that l look back on it.
Oh, yeah, it was racist.
It was racist as shit. You know all that racist stuff you see as a kid, and then you go back and look at it, like “the yellow Ranger was Asian, dude?” Really fucked up. How did they get away with that? What is this telling kids? “You can’t be the red one, because you’re black.” Did you like Kimberly?
That was a couple of years before my sexual awakening.
I mean, I just wanted to kiss her. You motherfucker, I can see the headlines now, “Arturo Castro’s Sexual Awakening, Kapow!” I wasn’t talking about my sexual awakening, I was talking about how I like the Pink Ranger! Stop taking my innocence! At one of the Broad City live shows, they were interviewing me and asked me who was my first crush, and I said my kindergarten teacher, this girl named Heidi, who would sit me on her lap and feed me Fruit Loops, and one day I saw she had a boyfriend because he picked her up, and they kissed on the lips, and I refused to receive Fruit Loops from her ever again. But as I was telling them that she would sit me on her lap and feed me Fruit Loops, they were like, “uhh…” and I was like, “guys, was I okay? Was that alright?”
Who’s a current celebrity crush?
I do have a disclaimer to read to you that my girlfriend sent me. She’s French, so I’m going to do it in her voice with the misspellings and stuff: “Remember to mention your extremely beautiful, intelligent, and crazy, crazy girlfriend, who will hurt any female breathing thing who gets too close to you.” But yes, current celebrity crushes.
So yeah, disclaimer, this is all hypothetical.
And my girlfriend knows kung fu, and she has access to me at my most vulnerable. She knows where I sleep. My current crush… that’s hard… I should have thought about this before… who’s yours?
I keep thinking Scarlett Johansson, but it’s not her.
I had that too, with Jennifer Hudson.
No, not Hudson, what’s her name, everybody loves her, Jennifer…
Lawrence, yeah. I thought that, but that was, like, implanted in my brain. It wasn’t that I actually liked her. January Jones, I think she’s super hot, I find her very attractive. Something about her I really like. Olivia Wilde also is very beautiful. I have a crush that I feel like, “woo!” like if she talked to me, I would freak out. I also love funny women. You know what, I’m gonna go with January Jones. And I know as soon as I step out, I’ll remember somebody else, but for now I have to say there’s something so sexy about her. Like there’s something, like, almost dead inside but not?
Yeah, but not! Like “If I could just…”
“I know that I could ignite the flame.”
Like if she likes you, she actually likes you.
You know what’s funny? We’re saying January Jones and Olivia Wilde, and they’ve both been with Jason Sudeikis. Maybe we think, “well, they like funny, quirky guys, we have a chance.” Jason Sudeikis, he just seems like a normal guy!
Have you met anybody while doing Broad City who left you starstruck?
Amy Poehler, of course. Jesus Christ. The first time I showed up on set… Less so now, but I still get starstruck when I see her. There’s something… I might have a little bit of a crush on Amy Poehler, actually. You know how I said l like funny women? And she’s quite pretty.
She has this aura of goodness around her, and she’s very attractive, but not in an inappropriate way – please don’t fire me, Amy! The first time I met her, I remember I went to the Broad City set for the pilot, and we were about to shoot the scene where Ilana’s puking in the bathroom, so I had my onesie, by the way, the costume department on Broad City nails it, I would love to wear the shit that Jaime wears. So anyway, I went upstairs, and there’s Amy. And so I was trying to play it cool, like I don’t know if she doesn’t like being looked in the eye, so I came in quietly and sat down in front of her, and she taps me on the shoulder, and says “Arturo, thank you so much for being here,” and she gives me a huge hug, and all that came out of me was “Ha ha! No se ingles!” She’s a sparkly human being.