Who is Marcel Ruiz?
Marcel Ruiz is a Puerto Rican-American actor famous for portraying Alex Alvarez in the Netflix reboot of ‘One Day at a Time’. A native of Old San Juan, Ruiz was born into the region’s film fraternity. Both of his parents are filmmakers and they introduced him to the industry at a young age. He started appearing in commercials when he was a child. At the age of nine, he relocated to Los Angeles with his family. Acting was initially a hobby for Ruiz but as time went on, it became his career. He made his television debut in January 2017 in ‘One Day at a Time’. Ruiz’s Alex Alvarez is a bright and intelligent young person who is pursuing his high school education. The critically acclaimed show has helped Ruiz find his footing in America’s entertainment industry. In 2017, he appeared in FX’s crime-drama ‘Snowfall’. Ruiz is set to make his cinematic debut with the upcoming biographical drama film, ‘Breakthrough’.
Marcel Ruiz started his career in the entertainment industry in Puerto Rico as a child model and appeared in commercials for several advertising campaigns. He also got the chance to be featured in other types of projects. After his family moved to USA, he wanted to continue acting but language proved to be a tall barrier to overcome. However, he still appeared in Spanish commercials. As his English got better, his confidence to audition for English-speaking roles grew as well. For Ruiz, acting has always been an enjoyable activity to pursue. However, as he got older, it became his career.
He has stated that securing the role of Alex Alvarez in ‘One Day at a Time’ was a long and stressful process for him. He first sent in a self-tape to the casting directors for the show but did not hear back from them for a couple of weeks. Eventually, they did reach out and told him that he had been selected for in-person auditions. On the day he was finally cast, his parents surprised him by taking him for an ice cream.
Created by Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce, the show ‘One Day at a Time’ is based on a CBS sitcom of the same name that ran from 1975 to 1984. The 2017 version diverts from the original in the sense that it goes beyond telling the story of a single mother raising her two children and deals with relevant social issues, such as mental illness, immigration, sexism, homophobia, and racism. It has a 97% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has received numerous awards for the two seasons it has aired to date. Ruiz was nominated for the Imagen Foundation Award for the Best Young Actor-Television in 2017 and 2018.
In 2017, he guest-starred in FX’s ‘Snowfall’. He is set to debut on the big screen with ‘Breakthrough’, a biographical drama also starring Chrissy Metz and Topher Grace.
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Marcel Ruiz was born on July 9, 2003, in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Carlitos Ruiz and Mariem Perez Riera. He has a younger sister named Lucia. Ruiz’s parents are well-known personalities in the Puerto Rican film industry. His maternal grandfather is the singer and comedian Silverio Perez while his maternal grandmother is the singer and painter Roxana Riera. Mariem had a bohemian upbringing and used to be a child actor herself. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in film direction from the University of Miami, she decided to continue her studies in documentary cinema and earned a degree from New York University. She then moved to Cuba where she attended the International School of Film and Television (EICTV) in La Havana. A few years later, she moved back to Puerto Rico and began her career as a documentary filmmaker and editor. The subjects of her films are most often political but she has worked on other types of projects as well, including ‘Talento de Barrio’, a crime-drama starring popular rapper Daddy Yankee. It is in Puerto Rico that she met Carlitos, who also has a background in theater. Carlitos received his BFA in filmmaking from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He subsequently began his career directing videos and commercials. Carlitos has won several awards for his short film thesis, ‘Paper Ball’. He has directed commercials for brands, such as Direct TV, Mazda, Subway, Verizon, Coca-Cola, Coors Light, Pepsi, and Blockbuster. In 2007, he and Mariem released their debut feature film, ‘Lovesickness’. Premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, the film garnered multiple awards there, including Best Opera Prima, Audience Award, Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress.
Marcel was nine years old when his family decided to move to USA. They eventually settled in Los Angeles, California. Initially, Ruiz could not communicate in English. However, that changed after his schooling in Los Angeles and he became fluent in the language. Ruiz is also a very athletic young man and plays soccer and basketball.