Anthony Turpel chatted about reprising his role as ‘Felix Westen’ in Hulu teen drama Love, Victor. The show’s second season is now streaming as of June 11.
Once again, Anthony plays the loyal neighbour and best friend to title character Victor Salazar (Michael Cimino), while also navigating his own romantic drama in the sophomore season. Prior to Love, Victor, you may also recognise Anthony Turpel from other projects such as No Good Nick on Netflix.
In this new interview, Anthony chatted about returning to Felix for a second run, the character’s newfound love triangle and whether the approach to playing Felix has changed, as well as so much more. Read on below for Anthony’s full interview with Courageous Nerd.
Welcome back Anthony and thank you for taking the time to speak with us again.
Anthony Turpel (AT): Yeah, no problem, no problem! Happy to see ya. It’s been a minute.
It’s been about a year since we last spoke; since then you’ve filmed the second season of Love, Victor which premiered on June 11. What else has changed for you in that time?
AT: Weirdly, not much, I would say. I’ve just been working and hanging out with the cast. That’s what I was doing last year too. I’ve been having a blast. Season 2 has been a lot of fun, we’re all really proud of it. It was just such an interesting, weird, strange experience for being in the industry as long as I have, switching to such a drastic degree. Other than that, not much has changed.
From the last interview, it was clear you have a lot of respect for your character, Felix. Were you excited about returning to the role and has your approach to playing Felix changed?
AT: Yeah! Super excited first of all to reprise that role. Also, yeah, it has changed. Felix has changed, or he’s more developed. You see more of his personal life. We see a different side to him that kind of explains why he’s helping everybody but doesn’t really talk about himself, until like episode 9 of Season 1. It was definitely a different approach, for sure.
In addition to the whole Season 1 cast returning, there are also newcomers such as Anthony Keyvan (“Rahim”) and Ava Capri (“Lucy”) playing major roles. Would you say their characters’ arrival has changed some of the character dynamics?
AT: They’ve been incredible. We talk about reality TV every time we speak! I’ve been watching Love, Island with Anthony [Keyvan]. His friendship is incredible, I love him to death. Ava as well, just both amazing actors and so happy they were able to join the cast. When they came on, it felt like they were always there to begin with. It was just more great people, which is always a great thing.
We also meet Felix’s mother this season, played by Breaking Bad actress Betsy Brandt (Marie Schrader). We recently chatted to Besty’s Breaking Bad co-star RJ Mitte, who briefly mentioned his experience working with her. When did you find out it would be Betsy playing “Dawn” and were you a fan of Breaking Bad beforehand?
AT: Yeah, I was [a fan of Breaking Bad] and I’m sure he said the same exact thing I’m going to say. She’s incredible, honestly. Like, incredible. Being able to work with her alone was an honour. She is an amazing actress and I think because she’s so good, it boosted my performance as well. I’ve really got to thank her for that. And she’s so kind, so lovely. I have not one bad thing to say about her.
Season 2 also shows Felix’s growth over the course of the show, having started out completely single in Season 1. Did you expect to have two girls falling for Felix and did Pilar’s new affection for him take you, Anthony, by surprise?
AT: Yeah, a little bit. I was surprised… Pilar and Felix, at first. We had that one episode in the first season and we were just hanging out. I didn’t know where they were going to take that and now we do. I’m more surprised that Felix is just… pulling, man! He’s getting girls and you don’t expect him to. I think he’s just so genuine that people are attracted to that.
The triangle thing was a bit of a surprise but I think it made sense for Felix, 100%.
Obviously, Victor comes out to the whole school early in Season 2. Although there is brief conflict with some members of the basketball team, do you think Creekwood has changed or become more accepting since Simon Spier was a student there?
AT: Yeah, they dyed their hair pink… which by the way, I was so jealous. I really wanted to do that. It wasn’t going to happen, but I’ve wanted to dye my hair for a while now. There’s definitely more support there than Love, Simon. I definitely think the school has progressed, sort of. It’s still a rumour mill kind of thing and there’s still really nasty kids. But, I think overall, yeah.
Production for Season 2 also took place during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Just from a practical sense, as Felix was required to be up close to several characters, such as Lake or Pilar or while filming at Benji’s cabin, were there any difficulties?
AT: Oh yeah, there was. We sat in these pods and would just sit there… basically, they would call us out. With kissing scenes or anything like that… if you kissed someone, you had to use mouthwash every single time and spit into a bottle. Tuck it under a bed while we’re filming, then pull it out and do it again. We had a great health and safety team, everyone was protected so I’m very thankful for that.
Before Victor arrived, it’s fair to say that Felix’s life was quite different, as he obviously didn’t have a girlfriend, best friend or the surrogate family of the Salazars. Do you think this is something Felix has recognised himself?
AT: Yeah, I think he definitely has. We didn’t really explore what was Felix’s life before, but we got a hint of it in Season 2. Trying to pay bills, trying to be the parent to his parent. I definitely think there was a huge shift in the fact that he has someone to go to, at all. I think the biggest shift is him having people and having friends and be able to talk to people about it.
Since Love, Victor has a few different storylines going on simultaneously, is there anyone from the cast that you would want more scenes with?
AT: Everybody, really. I really want to work with Mason [Gooding] more. I loved working with him and we got a little bit of that during I believe episode 4 when we were in that shack and he was telling me to shave. I would love to have more scenes with him. I would love scenes with Ava [Capri], Anthony [Keyvan]. They’re all fabulous actors and I would be privileged to work with any single one of them.
Outside of Love, Victor, are there any other projects you can discuss at this time?
AT: I just did a This Is Us spot, which was super fun. It was only like two days and I was like a PA or something. It was a blast. People on that set are incredible. There was an impersonator of Mr. Rogers and it was so weird. It felt like I was talking to the real guy, he was just so good at the Mr. Rogers persona. He has a Bed & Breakfast with 26 different rooms and every single room has a different type of wood. That was a lot of fun.
Professionally or personally, what do you hope to accomplish with the rest of 2021?
AT: Ooh, that’s a good question. I guess being present is my biggest thing. Especially in my life, I’m not sure if other people can relate… thinking about the future or reliving the past, it’s hard to stay in the moment. When you’re going back and forth like that, you miss things. I’m trying to be grounded and just be calm and happy. Just try to enjoy where I’m at. That’s kind of my main goal, just to enjoy life. That’s really what I’m focusing on, at least on me.
Career-wise, I’ll just work. I’m very fortunate and lucky to be where I’m at, I’m just very thankful.
To round this off, what would you want to say to fans of Love, Victor about the experience of the past two seasons?
AT: It’s been incredible, honestly. I know it’s been a tough year for everyone. I’m just thankful I had amazing people by my side the whole time. I’m really lucky with this cast because I really, really appreciate them. I can go to them for anything, so I’m really thankful. This year would have been a lot harder if I didn’t have them. Honestly, it’s going to be weird to say, this year has been an okay one.
It’s been good. I have friends but also being able to work is a privilege, you know. I’ve been doing this for 10 years. Everyone who’s an actor out there knows… when you work, it’s fantastic. When you don’t, it’s the worst. There’s a lot of waiting involved. I’m just really thankful that I was able to do my job, do what I love and I’m happy to have been able to have this experience, at all.
Once again, thanks for taking the time to chat, Anthony. Take care and stay safe!
AT: You too, you too.