Hollywood newcomer and one of the top non-binary Latinx actors to watch in the new year, Damian Terriquez (He/They) is ready to set 2023 on fire with roles in Netflix’s That 90’s Show, (released worldwide this week!) and will later to be seen as one of the leads in the upcoming Netflix series Glamorous starring opposite Kim Cattrall, expected to be released in late May/ early June 2023.
Set in Wisconsin in 1995, That 90’s Show follows Leia Forman, daughter of Eric (Topher Grace) and Donna (Laura Prepon), who is visiting her grandparents for the summer and bonds with a new generation of Point Place kids under the watchful eye of Kitty and the stern glare of Red. Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll never dies, it just changes clothes.
WATCH: That 90’s Show Trailer
Recently announced through Deadline, Netflix’s Glamorous is a new series celebrating queerness and the community. Starring Miss Benny, the show follows a young gender non-conforming queer man named Marco throughout his journey to figure himself out. Terriquez’s character ‘Dizmal’ is a drag performer at the nightclub where the show is centered, and is the charming and fun, lovable friend to Marco. The show will also feature well known drag queens such as Monét X Change (Winner, RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars 7), Priyanka (Winner, Canada’s Drag Race), Charlene Incarnate (Drag Performer, featured in Wig), and more.
We caught up with Terriquez, who opened up about their early aspirations, 90’s fashion faves, their must-have makeup look, and more.
Let’s talk TV first! So excited about Netflix’s That 90’s Show! (My favorite era!) What are your thoughts about the 90’s… the style, the fashion, the beauty trends?
While I’m technically a 90’s baby, I am more of one of those cusp babies that grew up more in the 2000’s. My sister, however, brought the 90’s with her while we were growing up. My favorite style from the 90’s is definitely all of the relaxed fitting denim. I still wear mom-style jeans and love an oversized T-shirt with loose denim for errand days. My favorite overall fashion moment is hard to pick but I would probably give it up to Salma Hayek at the 1999 Cannes amfAR Gala. She talks about putting that look together in a video for Vogue and I have always loved that red carpet look. Having lived through it, I didn’t necessarily prepare in terms of the time period aspect. However, the hair & makeup, costumes and production design teams definitely put in their time because once I got there it was like stepping through a time machine.
You began as a dancer? How has that experience helped you take on your most recent roles?
I did! Having danced has helped me maintain the stamina while working on these characters. So much of acting is waiting around for when you get a chance to explode with the character and it can be really easy to lose steam not even halfway through the day. So, dance helped in that way, but also in being able to take direction. If your teacher says to lift your leg higher you, do it, and so having been a dancer I feel it’s easier to understand notes and be able to implement them in the performance immediately.
Tell me about your early days and your desire to perform.
I did not come from a particularly artistic family. And we definitely did not have the funds to explore certain outlets for the sake of seeing how it goes. In the same way, I didn’t really understand that this was something that could be a career, let alone an option for myself. When I was in high school I was misdiagnosed with an illness that left me hospitalized for months and when I went back into school a teacher suggested I do the school musical as a way to bounce back. From there I met the dance team at the school (they were our chorus) and the following semester I joined the dance team. That led to me going to a studio and competing; eventually ranking internationally. By that point I still thought that I would get a business degree (which I now have) and join the traditional workforce. It wasn’t until after I graduated university that even thought about pursuing anything in entertainment.
Have you picked up any great makeup or hair tips or tricks while on set?
Oh, absolutely! My hair was the longest it’s ever been while filming Glamorous and I didn’t really know how to maintain it. I learned how to blow out my hair – which I had never needed to do. I learned that light hairspray helps your hair enough to hold its shape but keeps it bouncy. Personally, I learned that I love makeup that is monochrome with an outfit. I have nothing against contrasty makeup or a pop of color, I just really love how that monochrome looks. In terms of actual application, I learned that I did not know how to put on enough mascara and eventually learned how to get an eyeliner pencil in my water line. I’m still working on liquid liner for a cat eye though.
What has been the most rewarding part of your career so far?
Definitely how openly the industry has received me. The idea of there being one homogenous “Hollywood” or “Industry” isn’t really true. So, I suppose a more accurate way to say that the most rewarding part of this so far has been meeting those who have helped me along the way. Before I decided to fully commit to this, I was psyching myself out and putting so much weight on things that have turned out to not be true. I worried what it would be like pursuing this as a Mexican American, as a non-binary person, as a young person. And I have been incredibly lucky to have met everyone that has helped me navigate this crazy past year.
With your rapidly growing fame, how important is it to use your platform to speak out about issues like gender identity?
I think it’s our social responsibility to help those who come after us just as people who came before helped. That can look a myriad of different ways and sometimes it can just be existing in spaces we haven’t before. So, I’m excited to see what these next few years have to offer, how things change, and how shows like Glamorous will be a part of that change.