Arturo Castro: 5 Things to Know About Broad City's Breakout Roommate
The actor who plays Ilana Glazer's hilarious roommate shines in his own Comedy Central web series
If you’re a Broad City fan, you’d likely recognize actor Arturo Castro as Jaimé (pronounced “Hi-meh”) Castro, Ilana Glazer’s bubbly, stoner, drug-dealing, flamboyant roommate.
On the past season, he became the focal point of the episode “Citizen Ship,” where Jaimé, a Venezuelan immigrant, gets his American citizenship. He donned American flag contact lenses, a red, white and blue coat and a bow tie. There are GIFS after GIFS dedicated to his Broad City lines (“This is how we cheers in Latin American” and “It’s the gummy bears”). When he recently appeared in an AT&T commercial, without his Broad City foreign accent, fans were quick to call it out, with one Tweeting: “I’m convinced that it’s Jaimé, and he is so high he forgot his accent.”
While you might not know the name Arturo Castro yet, with a supporting role in Ang Lee‘s upcoming film Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and his own Comedy Central web series Alternatino currently on the site, the actor’s profile is on the rise. Here’s a few things you should know:
1. He was basically the Carson Daly of Guatemala.
Castro honed his funny side by growing up in a house full of women with his three sisters and mom in Guatemala. “They’re extremely funny women,” he says. His first big on-camera break came working as a TV host on a TRL-inspired show, Conexion. “I hosted every Saturday morning,” he says. “We did a countdown, and they’d take us to cool places like DJ school.” But soon, a teacher spotted his talent and suggested he come to New York to give acting a shot.
2. He doesn’t have an accent, and he’s not gay.
“Sometimes people are a little bummed that I don’t actually talk like Jaimé,” says Castro. “When I see their faces drop I try to put it on for like a second. And then my girlfriend is like, ‘What are you doing?’ ” Still, he has a lot in common with his Broad City character – a part he nabbed on his first pilot audition. “I read Jaimé, and I thought, ‘This guy and I have a lot in common.’ My mind gets blown by almost everything because I’m still a poor boy from a small country. The other day I discovered the word ‘burgundy’ and I was like, ‘Whoa! That makes total sense. What a wonderful word.’ ”
3. Jaimé is part human, part puppy.
To portray the character of Jaimé, Castro tries to capture his “joie de vivre“: “He’s almost like a puppy,” he says. “He’s so wide-eyed about everything. I don’t play him ironically. I don’t make fun of Jaimé. He’s really a part of me.”
4. Glazer and Jacobson know the way to their cast’s heart is through sweets.
As anyone who watches the show can imagine, being on the set of Broad City is pretty hilarious. Luckily for Castro and crew, Glazer and Jacobson make an extra effort to keep spirits up. “One day they bought crack pies and truffles from Momofuku Milk Bar for the whole crew, just because. And that really causes a sense of loyalty on their set.”
5. Glazer crashed a wedding with him once.
“Ilana wanted to go on vacation with her boyfriend somewhere cool and exotic,” says Castro, who suggested his home country. “In Guatemala nobody knows Broad City because they don’t get Comedy Central over there. We all met in this beautiful colonial city for my friend’s wedding one night. It was a blast. My friend was like, ‘Sweet, whoever is giving you a job, is a friend of mine.’ ” It also didn’t hurt that Glazer is the ideal wedding guest. “You have to meet Ilana in real life. She is so much fun to be around. No one would ever say, ‘Dude, who is this wall flower you are bringing along?’ ”
BONUS! His new project Alternatino merges Latin America and American humor.
In October, Castro launched his Comedy Central web series Alernatino, which was recently picked up for a second season that starts filming in January. “I thought it was a great concept to marry these two cultures – Latin American and American – through comedy and laughter,” says Castro, who started writing the sketch show on notepads during boot camp for his upcoming film. “There’s a lot of excitement at the network of having this perspective because it’s very current and it’s very timely.” In the first three episodes, Castro plays a sexy Spanish voiceover artist, a foul-mouthed son who upsets the ladies in his family, and a nerdy guy who’s real life becomes a dramatic Telenovela. The second season starts filming in January.