October 30, 2012 6:06pm PT by Philiana Ng
'Parenthood's' New Kid: Meet the Actor Behind Victor
The newest addition to the Braverman clan, Julia (Erika Christensen) and Joel's (Sam Jaeger) adopted son Victor, found his place in the family when he became the unexpected hero on Parenthood by driving in the game-winning runs during a tense baseball game.
Though it took a while for Victor, played by actor Xolo Mariduena, to be fully accepted, with Julia no longer a working lawyer, her time and effort will shift to Victor. The road, as Mariduena told The Hollywood Reporter in a recent chat, will not be smooth.
On the flip side, the young actor praised his castmates. "They're very easy to get to know and very open people," he said, revealing who he enjoyed working with most. "The kids are great on the show but I like [working with] Jason Ritter and Sam."
Here are six things to look out for in season four, as well as intel on the Bravermans' newest addition and the actor who plays him:
1. The baseball scene felt real: It came at a pivotal point in Victor's arc, symbolizing the young Braverman overcoming a fear and obstacle that had previously served as a crutch. "That was my favorite scene because the whole cast and crew were there," said Mariduena. "It didn't feel like we were filming [a TV show]. It felt like the game was really happening." Another recent highlight, Mariduena said, was Braverman patriarch Zeke (Craig T. Nelson) getting arrested.
2. Julia's unemployment causes major stress on the family: "Even though she quit her job, she's not going to go down any time soon," he shares, "and she's going to drive everyone crazy." And while Julia's need to have things in order isn't much of a surprise, her unemployment will magnify that tenfold. "She's becoming even more of a control freak," Mariduena said. "She's even more stressed out." With Julia helping out around the house more, Joel's role as stay-at-home dad is rendered obsolete. "Now Julia is the stay-at-home mom and Joel doesn't know what to do anymore," he said. "He starts looking for other things to do, to get out of the house."
3. It's Victor vs. Julia: So much so that Victor and Julia will get into their first big shouting match. "Julia is trying to control everyone's fun [time] and meals and emotions, and they won't be able to control their anger with each other," he said.
4. A sibling bond forming?: "I haven't seen Sydney and Victor get close," Mariduena admitted of the siblings' dynamic, adding that actress Savannah Paige Rae is "really cool in real life." At the moment, the Sydney-Victor relationship is "a rivalry between both of them." "Things are getting a little better," he hinted, "but not too much."
5. Amusement park fun: It's not out of the question for Parenthood to indulge in the occasional kid fun and Mariduena is hoping that's the case in season four. His ultimate episode? A trip to the amusement park or bowling or Disneyland or a trip to the arcade.
6. Welcome to the family: "He's getting a lot of attention from everyone in the family, except for Sidney," he said. "That helps Victor out because I don't think he's gotten a lot of attention before."
Parenthood airs 10 p.m. Tuesdays on NBC.