We love Bunk’d and now that the series is picked up for another season we get to spend some more time in Camp Kikiwaka with Raphael Alejandro, who played Matteo. Not only is Raphael continuing his work on Bunk’d but he is also going to be playing Zaqueu in Disney’s Jungle Cruise in 2021. We got the opportunity to talk to him about his career and both the show and movie in an exclusive interview.
Raphael Alejandro brings his comedic timing as a lead on the Disney Channel series “Bunk’d” where he portrays ‘Matteo,’ a cautious kid who is learning to face his fears while at Camp Kikiwaka. The series was just picked up for a 5th season! He’ll also be seen as ‘Zaqueu’ in Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” (July 2021) where a small riverboat takes a group of travelers through a jungle filled with dangerous animals and reptiles alongside Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt.
BSCKids: Raphael, tell us a bit about your character on Bunk’d and how you got the role?
Raphael Alejandro: Matteo is a kid that likes to learn, especially about Science. He is also a germ freak and afraid of pretty much everything. At the beginning, he didn’t like to spend time at camp, but in Season 4, he started to enjoy camp a lot more.
I got the role of Matteo by doing an audition. After the initial audition, I did a private network screen-test and then I was hired to play Matteo. When I received the news that I got the role of Matteo, I was very excited to be a part of the Disney Channel family.
Do you have anything in common with your character?
Yes, I do. I like to learn as well, especially about Science and I have to confess that I’m a bit of a germ freak like Matteo.
How well did you know the original series of Jesse and the first few seasons of Bunk’d before you joined the show?
Not very well, I have to say. At the time, I was more interested in watching Good Luck Charlie or Kim Possible.
What has been your favorite episode of Bunk’d to film so far?
This question is a bit challenging for me to answer because I have many episodes that I enjoyed filming. One of those is the “In Your Wildest Screams” episode because all the cast worked together. Another of my favorites is the episode “Snow Cups and Fisticuffs”. In this episode it was so much fun playing a detective. The episode “Whisper Toots” is also one of my favorites because I played a character that was completely different from Matteo, Franky Whispers. I enjoyed the challenge of playing Matteo and Franky at the same time. But I think that the episode that I enjoyed filming the most was “My Fairy Lady”, where I needed to learn ASL since our guest star was a girl who is deaf, Shaylee Mansfield. In this episode I had a blast acting as a translator for Shaylee.
If you could guest star on any other Disney show which one would it be and why?
If Good Luck Charlie was still on, I would really enjoy being a guest star on their show. As far as the shows that are on now a days, I would like to guest star on Just Roll With It.
Tell us something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I think that people will be surprised to know that I’m a sneaker head. I love to collect Air Jordans.
Tell us about all the causes you support?
I have two causes that are dear to my heart. One is breast cancer research and awareness and the other is the environment, especially taking care of our oceans.
It is so exciting that you play ‘Zaqueu’ in Disney’s Jungle Cruise, how did you get that role?
For the role of Zaqueu, I did an in person audition with the Casting Director and after a while, I received a call from my agents and managers telling me and my family that I was hired to play Zaqueu. I was extremely happy to know that I would be acting alongside Dwayne Johnson.
How do you think you would do as a Jungle Cruise skipper in Disneyland?
I think that I would do pretty well because I like to talk and share lots of facts with people.
There has to be some fun behind the scenes stories that you can share with us?
One fun behind the scene story was when we sang Happy Birthday to Paul Giamatti on set. Paul Giamatti was very surprised when they brought him the cake and everyone came around him to sing and wish him Happy Birthday.
How was it working with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt?
I had a blast working with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. They are not only amazing actors, but incredible human beings. They treated me with a lot of respect and I enjoyed our conversations during our breaks.
Why should everyone be excited to watch Jungle Cruise?
Jungle Cruise will be surely a crowd pleaser because it is full of adventure and relatable moments for the whole family. And of course, we cannot forget Dwayne Johnson. I can’t wait to see it when it will be out in July 2021.
Thanks to Raphael Alejandro for talking about Disney’s Bunk’d And Jungle Cruise with us!