Photo by Ben Miller
BSCkids had the awesome opportunity to chat with the talented young actor Rio Mangini! He can currently be seen as ‘Ace’ in Nickelodeon’s “Bella and the Bulldogs which currently airs on Saturdays at 8:30pm on Nickelodeon. Rio can also be seen in One Crazy Cruise as Cameron opposite Sydney Park (“Instant Mom”) and Kira Kosarin (“The Thundermans”) out later this year.
Rio has previously been seen in “Marvin, Marvin,” “What If”, “Kickin’ It,” “See Dad Run,” “Good Luck Charlie,” and “Switched at Birth.” Rio is also a concert pianist, has performed at Carnegie Hall and composes EDM (Electronic Dance Music) in his free time.
BSCKids: Rio Mangini
When did you first decide you wanted to act? How supportive was your family about the decision?
When I was 7ish -The show that inspired me to act was iCarly. I lived off Nickelodeon shows, iCarly was MY thing back then. One day, I went to my mom, and I said,”Mom, I want to act, and I want to be in a show like Carly.” My mom said,”Well, you’re not very funny honey, go back to piano practice!” [insert punny laughter] hahaha
Tell us a little bit about your series, “Bella and the Bulldogs.” What makes it great and why should kids and families watch it?
Bella and the Bulldogs is a show about a girl cheerleader who becomes quarterback of the Silverado Bulldogs football team because of her extremely strong arm. It’s great for the whole family to watch because it is a very inspiring show, and I think a lot of kids will be able to learn from it. There are lots of great messages – friendship- loyalty- gender equality. It is also a hilarious show! Every joke is spot on! I’ve got to say, the writers are geniuses.
Can you tell us a little bit about your character, Ace, in the series?
Ace McFumbles is an “award winning” journalist – a kid news reporter for Silverado West School. He’s like a mini Ron Burgundy! And Ron Burgundy — is da bomb!!!! Ace is very confident and takes himself very seriously, but it comes out very silly and jokey. He wears all these great vintage suits- He also wears a mustache, which I think, is a great finishing touch for the character.
Do you share any similarities with you character?
Ace is really fun to play, but we don’t have many similarities, other than we are both silly, weird and take ourselves very seriously!
Were there any funny behind the scene stories you can share with us while filming?
Every day is a fun story at Bella and the Bulldogs set! Did u see the scene in the episode called TexFest which opens with Ace (me) on top of a horse in the middle of the school? Well when we were shooting the scene- uhm – how can I put this? Nature called the horse and there’s not a “horse mens room” so he “relieved himself” on our set school set! WITH me on him! I didn’t know what to do!
Season 1 has just finished airing and were about sot start shooting season 2. My family always says” OMG RIO! YOU ARE SO FUNNY ON BELLA AND THE BULLDOGS! I LOVE THE MUSTACHE!” (they are my family!) My friends also think it’s a great show. Sometimes the cast comes over to my place to watch the episodes, and it’s so fun!
What series has been your favorite to work on and why?
I HAVE been on “Kickin’ It”, “See Dad Run”, and “Good Luck Charlie”. ASIDE from Bella and the Bulldogs- I think Kickin’ It had all these karate scenes that were really interesting, and everyone was really nice. I’m happy because some of our crew on Bella worked on that show! So I get to keep working with them!
What would you say is your favorite Nickelodeon show of all time (past or present) and why (excluding your upcoming show of course)?
Well, iCarly was the reason I wanted to act, but Spongebob is still the best ever and ever! Spongebob is SO funny in the weirdest way, and it is really creative! Also, Patrick is my HOMEBOY!!!!
Who is currently playing on your iPod?
Who has been your favorite actor/actress you have met and what have you learned from them?
I haven’t met my favorite actor yet!! hahaha!! My favorite actor is Hugh Jackman, because he can do anything! He is a great singer, and actor. My cast is GREAT and i learn from them everyday.
Can you tell us some of your hobbies?
I am a concert pianist, I performed at Carnegie Hall twice- when I was 9. I was invited a third time, but I was busy with my acting career. I practice from 1 to 2 hours everyday. You know what they say: practice practice practice! Another one of my hobbies is drawing. I love being creative and expressing my….”special”…. mind on the paper. I cannot leave the house without a notebook and pen. I don’t like to color my drawings that much, but it does help sometimes. Another one of my hobbies is playing video games. But I guess every boy my age does that!!! My favorite video games are Super Mario Flash 2, Call of Duty Black Ops 2, and the Five Nights At Freddy’s trilogy. When I heard there was a 4th Five Nights at Freddy’s coming out, I literally jumped out of my chair, and woke my parental guardians! Another one of my hobbies is making EDM- Electronic Dance Music. I have a small studio in my house- I’m making a new sound- stay tuned!
How do you find time to spend on your hobbies and friends while going to school and acting?
I always find time….. always….. hahaha! Usually I do all of my unwinding during the weekend. On Sunday, I have improv class then my buds meet up for lunch, and then hangout after.
You are also a concert pianist who has performed at Carnegie hall! What made you switch from concert music to acting?
I never switched! I still practice 1 to 2 hours almost every day. My piano skills have helped in my EDM skills- and actually I think it helps my acting too!
Will you continue to perform classical music while acting?
Yup!! I have a few performances coming up. I’m playing Rachmaninov my current favorite classical composer, His songs are so great! I’ll always play classical- I’m a classical guy.
Any advice for other children getting into acting?
Always be prepared, listen to the directors and producers, and don’t look in the camera!!
If acting hadn’t worked out, what do you think your other career choice would be and why?
I honestly haven’t thought about that. I’m 12. Acting is working out just fine for now! thanks!! hahaha