New Yorkers are known for a number of things, but the most important one: being real. With a genuine enthusiasm and gregariousness that demands attention all signs indicate that Victor Rasuk is a New Yorker to the bone. Currently starring in HBO’s How to Make It in America, Rasuk (pronounced: rah-SOOK’) is gracious and focused in a way that only someone who’s tasted success and savors it can be.
The Harlem-born Rasuk first came to the attention of the indie film world with his role in Five Feet High and Rising. His pluck garnered him accolades and awards at Sundance and Cannes. More importantly it gained him another role: the main character, coincidentally named – Victor in 2003’s Raising Victor Vargas. With the feature-length film, this time around everyone stood up and took notice.
Shockingly, Rasuk just happened to stumble upon acting. His first encounter was during a school trip to see John Leguizamo’s Broadway show “Freak.” “When I saw that, I was like, that’s how I wanted to make people feel. He hit it on the money and it was such an amazing piece,” he recalls. That same summer, an adolescent Rasuk came upon some NYU students filming their short films in his Lower East Side neighborhood. He boldly asked to be in their movie and they quickly agreed recognizing that the curly-haired Dominican kid “would totally be a character” in one of their films. After appearing in a few of the students’ shorts, Rasuk was officially taken with the craft.
He was so hooked that Rasuk decided to formally study acting. Rather than go to traditional high school, he attended, The Professional Performing Arts School, with a who’s who of rising stars: castmates Melonie Diaz and Judy Marte from Raising Victor Vargas and Jesse Eisenberg from The Social Network.
With over a dozen films from indie thrillers like Haven with Orlando Bloom and historical biopics like Steven Soderbergh’s Che with Benicio del Toro, as well as several television credits under his belt, Rasuk is teetering on the edge of greatness. What’s fueling his energy these days is the newest season of the hit HBO show. As Cameron “Cam” Calderon, Rasuk stars with a cast of characters who are all peddling their dreams and hustling to make it in New York City. Rasuk recently sat down with ‘LLERO to talk about the new season, his idols and how he’s making it in America.