In its fourth and final season, the popular Disney Channel sitcom “Hannah Montana” (currently promoted as “Hannah Montana Forever”) has earned a dedicated following from many young viewers throughout the years. While the show features teen idol Miley Cyrus in the title role, it has been the collaborative effort from the entire cast that has made the series so successful.
Since making its debut in March 2006, one of the characters that immediately became a fan favorite was Rico Suave played by actor Moises Arias. While he was only a recurring character in Season 1, the popularity of Rico was evident when producers added him as a main character the following season.
During an interview with me, Arias, 16, who is of Colombian descent, talked about working on the final season and what he’s looking forward to now that this part of his career is behind him.
You have been on the show “Hannah Montana” for the last four years. What was it like shooting the final season?
Well, it was sad but we went through it like it was any other season. We are all a big family. We just enjoyed our time hanging out together.
What about shooting the final episode? Was there a lot of emotion when the cameras finally stopped rolling?
There was. It was crazy to hear, “That’s a wrap” for the whole season. When we heard that it was a shock. Everyone was taking pictures. Some people were crying. Everyone was giving each other hugs. I got like four hugs from everybody. But we’re all friends. We all have each other’s numbers and are still going to hang out. I’m never going to forget any of them.
Would you say your role as Rico Suave has been the one that has defined you as an actor for the last four years?
Definitely. Being on a show for four years does that. Rico is a great character and I’m happy to be known as him. He’s very funny and I had a lot of fun doing this character. It is the character most people recognize me for. Hopefully, I’ll be doing some other stuff soon but Rico will always be in my heart because it’s the first big role that I got.
How have you seen Rico change over the last four years and what can we look forward to as the final season continues?
Well, Rico has only grown like half and inch. (Laughs) Other than that, his voice got deeper. I think he got a little bit nicer. It’s going to be a great season full of surprises, different sets, and guest stars.
What are you going to take away from this experience to the next project?
Professionalism. I learned how to work well with other people. When that happens, things fall into place.
What are you looking forward to now that this part of your career is complete?
I just want to work more. Hopefully there are some auditions and meetings. We’re working on some projects now to see what I’m going to be doing later this year. I’m very excited for all that stuff. I’d really like to focus on some more film and do a character that is completely different – maybe a dramatic role.
During the last four seasons, did it ever surprise you how popular this show became?
The show got really big. It definitely surprised me. After four episodes people started coming up asking me for autographs and pictures. Now, it’s even a little harder to go out because we have such great fans.
Does it ever bother you when the media puts such a bright spotlight on Miley Cyrus and her career? Some critics say she growing up way too fast.
You just don’t listen to that stuff. Everybody is going to criticize. We’re people like everyone else. People are going to make mistakes. You just have to be yourself. That’s what she does. That is what’s great about Miley.
You’re only one year younger than Miley. Are you looking forward to three more years of being a teenager or would you rather skip past all that?
I really don’t want to lose this time. I like to live in the moment and see what happens for now.