Better known for his eight season run as foreign exchange student, Fez, on That 70’s Show Wilmer Valderrama has over two decades in the limelight and has transitioned from television to music and onto the silver screen. From indie projects and feature films to working with Robert Rodriguez on the From Dusk till Dawn television series Wilmer has become a fixture on Hollywood’s red carpet. As arguably one of the first actor’s to bring the slim suiting styles of Europe to American streets Wilmer is also quick to add that it’s function and accessibility that makes the look work. Sage fashion advice aside, Wilmer Valderrama dabbles in many aspects of entertainment and straddles both American and Latin culture.
Dusk till Dawn looks like an incredibly fun series to work on. Is a project like that something you look forward to get back to filming?
Lots of fun. The show is a blast to work on. I’ve always wanted to work with Robert Rodriguez, and at first it was very exciting. But, it turned to a friendship and then moved to a partnership. We talk and explore the show, and it’s a unique genre. Storytelling is strong, and our sets are expansive. It’s a lot of fun to work on, and it’s a lot like family.
Don Carlos is such a mercurial character. Bits of good sprinkled with a lot of bad. Is this a role you have fun with?
People like to say it’s the most fun to play either a blonde of a villain. I’m obviously now the blonde, but playing the villain is quite an opportunity. Especially because I’ve gotten to live as this interesting character for two years. There is a lot of unexpected things that Don Carlos comes across, and it’s always fun.
I watched Days of Wrath a while ago, and really enjoyed the film. Considering how memorable Fez was in That 70s Show how did you find new opportunities? Would you give any advice to any actors on how to migrate away from such iconic roles?
You really never know. That 70s Show was an incredibly opportunity, and there is always this fear of being typecast. I was fortunate to be in this pocket of teen culture along with Dawson’s Creek and other shows but when given the opportunity you need to rely on your training. Plus, whether it is a feature film or the festival route you need to seize any chance you get. That window to expand is small, and my vision has always been to be multi-faceted and to let the passion take over.
Yo Mamma. What happened? It was hilarious.
We had a nice three season run on MTV, and we did what we set out to do. It was my first show where I was responsible for the creation, production, and the hosting. We wanted to explore three sectors of the US where trash talking was biggest. New York and Los Angeles was obvious, and for the third season I wanted to go to the south. And Atlanta is a hotbed of entertainment. It was also a great way for my friends and I to talk shit to each other.
You’re always sharp on the red carpet. What are your rules for style?
Not too colorful, and always be comfortable. My pillars for fashion has been to wear something that is functional and to have purpose. The skinny suit is “in” right now, but you shouldn’t wear it for the sake of skinny. It should serve a function. For a red carpet event I like vintage Gucci. For the Latin Grammy’s I found a beautiful chocolate suit that was highlighted with different texture. The contrast made it appear skinny, and ultimately suits compliment posture. Oh, I’m also big on accessories. Shoes, ties, and socks. Shoes should always serve a function too. Less ceremonial, and more functional is what I prefer.
What designers do you follow?
Costume National, Gucci, Prada, Valentino, Dolce and Gabana, Saint Laurent, and All Saints. Dolce & Gabana really made me a nice slim suit. And Saint Laurent has the most beautiful jackets. Throw a varsity jacket or a leather moto and you look good and feel good. For every day I like All Saints because it can fit a lot of different aspects of my style.
I noticed a cameo in Sexy and I know It from LMFAO. Then I did some research and learned you have production credit, too. Any more musical goals?
Buddies and friends. That’s how I got started in music. Redfoo and I are friends and he had me listen to a few songs. I helped produce, and appeared in Sexy and I know it, and that lead to rewriting and producing other stuff. One day he sat me down and played “Shots” for me, and I knew it was perfect for the Latin market. We got together again, did some writing, and we produced Salude. It did really well, and for the music video we made it into a mini western movie. It was a blast, and that’s how I like to see music. I like working with friends, bringing people together, and having a good time.
So bringing friends together is your musical goal?
Yes. So we have this new project coming up. John H. Williams produced Shrek, and we’re working on Charming. It’s the untold story of Prince Charming and we have Demi Lovato, Avril Lavigne, and Ashley Tisdale as the princesses. I play the prince in the 3D cartoon, but the soundtrack is really about friends. I helped produce, and we got Fall Out Boy, Sia, Demi, and Avril all on board. It’s a lot of fun when you can create with your friends.
Being from Miami, and now living in Los Angeles what teams do you root for?
Lakers fan for life. There is the good and the bad. There is a lot of bad right now, but you have to remember that I have been in LA since 1994. So I know about the good, too. I also love going to a Dodgers game. I also have a lot of love for the Miami Heat, and to me Miami is very hard to beat. Miami is still the sexiest city.
Best meal in Los Angeles.
I love this place off of San Vicente and Melrose. If you don’t look too closely you can easily miss it. It’s called Zinque and it is amazing. Everything on there is good. You need to try everything. They have this dish called Le Bowl and it’s healthy and tastes great.
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