Brandon Larracuente says ‘Party of Five’ reboot ‘humanizes’ immigration issues

The Party of Five reboot is here and it follows the five Acosta children as they navigate daily life struggles to survive as a family unit after their parents are deported back to Mexico.

The new iteration of the series stars Brandon Larracuente as Emilio Acosta, an aspiring musician and the eldest son of Gloria and Javier Acosta.

Emilio crossed the Mexican border into the United States nearly 25 years ago with his parents in hopes of a better life.

Although Emilio is the oldest, he’s the least responsible of the siblings and had been enjoying living away from home and all the freedom that came with it — until his parents were deported and he quickly had to act as the head of the household.

This version of Party of Five is still a story of a young family bound by adversity but retold through the lens of current-day themes and cultural conversations in the United States.

Global News spoke to Larracuente about his character Emilio, the potential pressure in shooting a reboot, the contrast between his experiences on Party of Five and 13 Reasons Why, in which he played Jeff Atkins, and much more.

Global News: Can you tell me a bit about Emilio?
Brandon Larracuente: I play Emilio Acosta and he’s the eldest sibling out of the five. Prior to meeting him in the pilot, he’s a musician, an aspiring musician who has moved out of the house a couple years before to pursue his dreams because he had a big falling out with his father. His father really didn’t support his dreams of being a musician. He wanted him to work at the restaurant and to get a real job. That caused a big rift between the relationship, which is why when we first meet him, he’s not living at home. Then what happens is in the pilot, because of their sudden deportation, now he’s forced — despite him really wanting to — become the sole caretaker of the family.

Did you feel a lot of pressure with this role considering this show is a reboot?
No, because I know it’s the same title and same creators, but really, for the most part, it’s a completely different story. I think what really took some of the pressure off was the fact that I never went back to watch the original. I just wanted to bring something new and fresh into this without trying to replicate something that was already done so well many years ago.

Episode 1 is really emotional when your parents get taken from the restaurant by the police and Valentina calls all of the siblings. Do you feel the reboot speaks to the climate in the United States right now?
I think it does. Amy and Chris and the rest of the writers, they were constantly getting storylines from the headlines. They were pulling them straight from the headlines every single day. We were all trying to keep up to date with what was going on in today’s political climate as storylines came to us. I think it does a really fine job at humanizing an immigration issue that many people really aren’t aware of and just don’t want to talk about.

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