Child star Xolo Maridueña. (Photo/Courtesy Olesja Mueller)

“Parenthood” child star shares why growing up in Hollywood is a dream come true

Xolo Maridueña may only be 11 years old, but the child star is determined to grow up to be a Hollywood heavyweight. He’s earned a soft spot in the hearts of “Parenthood” viewers playing shy foster kid Victor, but with an upcoming guest appearance in “Family Guy” and an upcoming movie, he’s well on his way towards becoming a big-time star like his idol Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

“I think he’s awesome,” confided Maridueña. “I think I could be like him one day. I definitely want to be an actor for my entire life.”

For Maridueña, who broke out into acting with commercials just two years ago (“I just decided one day I wanted to try acting and my mom said ok,” he says), being part of the “Parenthood” cast is a dream come true.

“It’s challenging and fun because I get to be someone completely different,” says Maridueña, who is of mixed Mexican, Cuban and Ecuadorian heritage. “And I really like being on set. All of us just click and everyone is very supportive – we’re like a family.”

While Maridueña does seem like a very self-assured actor, he is, after all, just a kid. He enjoys school and between takes on the “Parenthood” set, he likes to ride his scooter in the back lot. And he loves to make people laugh, he says, making comedy one of his favorite genres.

“It’s really fun to improvise and have fun,” Maridueña explains, who said the highlight of voicing the character of Diego on an upcoming episode of “Family Guy” was meeting show creator Seth MacFarlane. “And being on a cartoon is really cool. You have to act with the way you say things, not just the way you look.”

And now that Maridueña is taking a short break some his very busy schedule (“I get to go to a regular school again and see my friends a lot,” he says), he’ll get some time to enjoy with his family at home in Los Angeles.

“My oldest sister is happy to have me home,” says Maridueña, who has three sisters. “She’s all over me and gives me lots of hugs.”

And time at home means lots of yummy food too. The self-professed foodie counts spicy chorizo as one of his favorite foods and swears that his abuelita makes the best menudo in the world. After all, for Maridueña – whose first name means “Dog Star” in Nahuatl – family is the reason why he’s able to pursue his dreams.

“They make me feel good about what I’m doing,” says Maridueña. And if the whole acting thing doesn’t work out he says, he does have a backup plan: he’ll become a chemist or biologist.

“I love math and science,” he explains.

“But being on TV is way more cool than watching it.”

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