WARNING: Major Grown-ish season 3 spoilers
The third season of Freeform’s Grown-ish recently ended with some heart-pumping developments — both good and bad for the characters.
Major kudos to the reunion of Zoey and college graduate Aaron. No more will they or won’t they and no more on and off situation. Looks like these two are official. Took them long enough!
In other news…by the end of the third season, Sky’s off to the Olympics while twin sis Jazz stays home after failing to make the Summer Games. Jazz also broke up with her boyfriend. RIP Jazz and Doug. (Who knows for how long this time?)
Meanwhile, Nomi reconnected with Phil, her baby daddy. She came clean and let him know their one night stand produced a child. Now we wait for his reaction to the news.
Vivek and his girlfriend are potentially in some serious trouble with the law. On the way to Vegas a cop pulls them over…we have to wait to see if said cop found Vivek’s bag of drugs.
And then there’s Ana and her man, Javi. The two are still together, but they are on supremely shaky ground. Ana thinks the grad student/activist is cheating on her with somebody named, well, “Somebody.” That’s the moniker she spied on his phone when she secretly checked his texts. We have to wait until season four to figure out where these two are headed.
Needless to say this is a very painful way to go into hiatus…with so many questions lingering. Grown-ish actor Henri Esteve, who plays Javi, put it best. In our recent email interview with him, he predicted how fans are going to feel after watching the season three finale….
“You know that feeling, when you wish there was one more episode. Just one more so you don’t have to wonder until the next season comes out? That is the feeling I think people will have! Bright side, people only have to wait till this summer for season four!”
As Javier on Grown-ish, Esteve’s character continually challenged Ana during the third season. He especially helped the undergrad reconnect with her religious and spiritual self.
In real life, Esteve’s originally from Miami, Florida but when he was 17, he left the Sunshine State to move to New York where he studied at the Lee Strasberg Theater & Film Institute. And since we’re all about the small screen here at TV Goodness, his previous TV credits include ABC’s Revenge and Amazon’s Homecoming. He appeared in the first season, which starred Julia Roberts.
Via email, we asked Esteve about his life, career and, of course, his role on Grown-ish.
TV Goodness: How did you come to the decision to move to New York City to study acting at such a young age? What compelled you?
Henri Esteve: At that time, I didn’t see the point in waiting at all. The way I looked at it is — if I knew I wanted to act and for that to be my focus, I needed to be in NYC or LA. I needed to be around acting. At the time I was really interested in theatre so I chose NYC.
TV Goodness: And how did NYC treat you when you first got there? Was it an easy transition from Miami?
Esteve: Ha. I mean, those first couple winters beat me up! But besides weather, the transition was really easy for me. NYC felt like home really quickly. It’s still my favorite city in the world.
TV Goodness: Talk about filming season three of Grown-ish — what was the experience like as a whole?
Esteve: It’s always cool to come onto something that people already know, and that has [a] fan base. I also got to work with friends of mine, and that’s one of the best feelings for me. To be able to professionally work with people you’re close to is a dream come true.
TV Goodness: What is it about Javi that you enjoy playing? How much do you relate to him?
Esteve: Javi has a certain composure that I really like. He doesn’t really get bothered by things — he is more focused on the bigger picture. I’m a “wear my heart on my sleeve” type of person. So I end up being more emotional than he is.
TV Goodness: In season three, we discovered Javi’s celibate. What were your thoughts when you found out about this aspect of your character?
Esteve: I knew early on that they were playing with that idea, so I wasn’t shocked by it. I love it. I love when shows are brave enough to show the human side of something. Javi is so far removed from what the cliche idea of a celibate man would be, and that makes it way more honest and interesting to play. If it was some sort of stereotype, I would’ve hated it.
TV Goodness: Why is this such an important part of who he is?
Esteve: It’s a sign of his commitment to his faith. The man we meet on the show, is really figuring out who he is now, and a big part of that puzzle for him was faith.
TV Goodness: Javi’s beliefs have helped challenge Ana and it’s led her to reopen her relationship with God. How do you think Ana challenges Javi?
Esteve: I think the obvious one is — Javi falling in love with Ana makes the celibacy much harder to keep under control. But past that, this is Javi’s first relationship since he’s found God. So all this growth he’s had, is finally being put to the test. I think partners and relationships end up being a mirror for you to see where you’re at evolution wise.
TV Goodness: What’s it like working with Francia Raísa (Ana)?
Esteve: Francia is great. I think we have a really nice back and forth in scenes, she’ll constantly try new things so I have to adjust and try something different again.
TV Goodness: Why do you think Javi and Ana are a couple to root for? What do you think their biggest obstacle is?
Esteve: They challenge each other and both want to be challenged, I think that’s a sign of a good relationship and I think there is something really romantic to me about them both being Cuban and from Miami and finding each other in Los Angeles. Like they found a piece of home while on the other side of the country.
TV Goodness: Javi is an activist so he fits right in with many of the other characters on this show. Why do you feel it’s important for young people to see this side of college students?
Esteve: We’re in such an important time in the world right now where conversations are being had, stigmas are being attacked, and the flawed systems and social constructs of the past are finally being exposed. I think for that exposure to turn into lasting change, we need young people to be concerned and educated and involved politically. I feel like there is a “the youth can change the world” quote I should throw in here, but I can’t think of one.
TV Goodness: What did you learn about yourself or about acting from being on ABC’s Revenge?
Esteve: That I could really do this professionally. Like you always think you can do something, and then when you finally do it maybe it doesn’t feel right or you don’t really enjoy it like you thought you would. I really love being on set.
TV Goodness: What did you learn about yourself or about acting from being on Amazon’s Homecoming?
Esteve: Preparation is everything! Julia Roberts was just so prepared and had so many ideas ready as she came in the room, so watching her work and her level of preparation taught me a lot.
TV Goodness: What’s the most recent show you binged and why did you love it?
Esteve: Ted Lasso. It’s just got so much heart. I haven’t rooted for a character that much in a long time.
TV Goodness: What’s a show currently on TV or in the streaming universe that you’d love to be on and why?
Esteve: Ozark. I just love the world; I want to do some drama again and everyone on that show gives such great performances every episode.
TV Goodness: What’s next for you?
Esteve: Filming season four of Grown-ish right now!
Esteve dropped one last tease about Javi and Ana: “there are definitely some unexpected turns coming next season.”
New episodes of Grown-ish return to Freeform this summer.
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