To Victor Go the Spoils: December 2014 Watch!
Victor Rasuk opens up about starring on Stalker, his no-sex-on-set rule, and—oh yeah!—a little movie called Fifty Shades of Grey
If you don’t know who Victor Rasuk is, you will soon. He’s starring in not only the hotly anticipated Stalker on CBS but also the even-more-hotly anticipated film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. Oh, and he was also in a little movie called Godzilla. And Jobs. And Che. So, wait a minute—you don’t know who Victor Rasuk is? Dominican-American, raised in New York, 30 years old? Cam from How to Make It in America? Tony Alva from Lords of Dogtown? Are you even listening right now? You’re not, are you? You’re still thinking about Fifty Shades. Fine, then—let’s get to it. Meet Victor …
Watch!: So, Stalker is pretty terrifying. What drew you to it?
Victor Rasuk: Kevin Williamson. I was already such a big a fan of a lot of things he had written. And I knew I wanted to do something a little different because I came off a TV show [How to Make It] that was a half-hour comedy, a little on the lighter side, and I wanted to do something more mature, more dark.
Watch!: Have you ever played a cop?
Rasuk: Never! When I had my first meeting with Kevin before I got the part, he said, “Have you even played a cop before?” I was like, “No, but I played a lot of military guys and that sort of world.” [Laughs.] I was trying to convince him those worlds are somewhat similar. But I guess the pitch worked out.
Watch!: How do you guys keep it light on set amid such creepy fare?
Rasuk: It’s funny because someone like Dylan McDermott … when you watch his work, you take him so seriously, but that dude is so funny! In between takes, people would be shocked at how funny he is. He knows how to not take himself too seriously. It really makes the work environment not so melodramatic every single moment.
Watch!: What kind of stuff does he do?
Rasuk: We look at funny YouTube videos, so he’ll find stuff and play it for everyone. There’s this guy on YouTube named Maurica [Rodriguez] who does this impression of a transsexual guy from the Lower East Side, and the actor is so funny that we literally play it on blast every time in between breaks. So that’s just an ongoing joke—we try to do that character’s accent.
Watch!: Let’s talk Fifty Shades. What can you say without being assassinated by the producers?
Rasuk: I’ve been sworn to secrecy but I will say this: I was really happy when the teaser trailer came out, because when I first got the role and started working with Dakota Johnson, there were a lot of haters about her being cast as Anastasia. As soon as she started reading and we started working together, I was already saying to my friends, “Dude, she’s a fantastic Anastasia.” And then the teaser came out and everyone was like, “She’s a great Anastasia!” I was like, “I told you!”
Watch!: How was Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey?
Rasuk: Great. It’s funny—there’s a scene in the teaser when he pushes me, and I remember in the first few takes he was pushing me lightly. And he was like, “Hey man, can I really push you on this one?” And I was like, “Dude, of course! I’ve been working out the last couple of months!” And he pushed me so hard that I almost tumbled and fell on my ass. It was the first day of shooting and I thought I was going to be recast because I had a broken hipbone. But it was fun. I think people are really going to enjoy Jamie and Dakota’s chemistry.
Watch!: What did your friends say when you got the part of Jose?
Rasuk: It was such a huge deal when anyone got cast, so I think everybody was more shocked that I was on every media outlet when it was announced. A lot of women in my family had read the book and it was a huge relief that everybody knew I wasn’t going to get naked in the movie, because that would have been really awkward.
Watch!: You didn’t have to strip down?
Rasuk: No, because in the book, Jose doesn’t get naked, or show any sort of, you know … [Laughs.]
Watch!: Did you offer?
Rasuk: I did not, no! It was one of those things where I’m not going to change anything, I’m just happy to be a part of it. But if that’s one of the things, then I’ll do that!
Watch!: What did you think of the book?
Rasuk: I know a lot of critics think it’s mediocre and high schoolish, but I actually really enjoyed it. I like that you go through her journey of every moment that goes by. It’s a coming-of-age story, you know? I’ve always been attracted to those.
Watch!: Did you ever worry the film might become another Showgirls?
Rasuk: No. I think the movie is exactly what everyone is expecting from the book. They expect to see the book and I think they did it—but in a very tasteful way. But also you have to remember, no one’s seen the movie! So I can’t tell you yet.
Watch!: Has doing this movie brought a lot of tabloid glare?
Rasuk: When it was first announced, there were definitely some media outlets that were saying, “Oh, did you know that new star from Fifty Shades has dated X, Y and Z?” But I don’t have any paparazzi following me. I try to keep my life really private in that sense. I don’t really go out or anything like that.
Watch!: So what do you do in your downtime?
Rasuk: When I’m not working, I’m always traveling. I was just in Cuba; I went to Brazil a couple of years ago; I’m going to Paris. … I just feel like there’s so much to see, and I think the older I’m getting, the crankier I get when it comes to traveling. So I’m just trying to get every single city and every single place right now while I can, before I give up.
Watch!: I read an interview from Complex magazine a few years ago where you said no matter how many hot girls there are on set, you “never dip your pen in company ink.”
Rasuk: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah—you can’t do that, man. I remember that quote, because How to Make It was so huge in New York, and we had so many beautiful women who would come in as extras or a day role on our show. That’s why I said that.
Watch!: Did working on a movie like Fifty Shades—where so much of it is about sex—make you rethink that policy?
Rasuk: You can’t rock the boat no matter what job or how big. I stick by it! [Laughs.] You can’t do it—even after Fifty Shades.