How This Hilarious, Heartwarming Family Comedy Will Make You Feel ‘Less Alone’ On Primo’s Henry Esteve

Henry Esteve is a hottie and a delight!

You may be familiar with his stint as Javi on Freeform’s Grown-ish, but he’ll make you laugh and make you feel all family as Uncle Mike on Freeform’s new coming-of-age series, Primo.

It is a series inspired by the life of writer, journalist and show creator Shea Serrano and executive produced by comedy TV veteran Mike Schur.

Henry Esteve - Headshot 1 (wide)

So, yes, after the massive success of Jury Duty, FreeVee may have delivered its second comedy of the season, a heartfelt, feel-good hit.

Seriously, we love watching it.


We were fortunate enough to catch up with the multi-talented, laid-back star to chat about working with the comic legend, her inspiration for Uncle Mike, working with Christina Vidal, and her own advice for up-and-comers. I was lucky enough to talk. Check it out!

So what attracted you to Primo?

First there was the role and the script, and then right after that, in quick succession, it was seeing who I got to work with. Shea Serrano and Mike Schur. Mike is such a seasoned, incredible storyteller and a kind of comedy god on TV.

And then Shea, I’ve known Shea through sports podcasts and his books, and it was very exciting. I think Shea is really embedded in the culture, and I thought she would be a great friend to work with.

Henry Esteve as Mike - Primo

How important is it to have a series like Primo that is a coming-of-age story of a brown boy with a loving family? Honestly, you don’t see those stories very often.

Yes. I think it’s important to grow the Brown family on TV and help the next generation under them.

PRIMO is really about breaking generational cycles. And it comes out of them that they want Rafa to be much better than them. They’re like, “Do what I did, do what I did.” But all they’re really thinking is a way to give Rafa the best life he can. And I think he does.

We know the show is about Shia, so he breaks all those cycles and eventually becomes Shia Serrano. So I think it’s an important story to tell. And I love that it’s being told in a cool, funny, heartfelt way.

Family Dinner - First

it is. it’s so weird. I was very interested in how you transitioned from being grown-ish to the role of adulthood with being a helping mentor to your nephew’s adolescence. Was it fun going from one end of the spectrum to the other?

Yes. I loved my time on Grow-ish, but I’m excited to be an adult on screen. So it was nice to finally be able to play a character of my age.

I believe. You both do very well. But yeah, I can totally understand it. Mike is such a fun character, and he’s someone who, well, he thinks differently, I’ll put it that way.


Primo - Henry Esteve

He thinks a little differently from the average person but is also very disciplined and family oriented. So what did you enjoy the most playing that type of character and what challenged you the most?

My favorite parts of Mike, at least comedically, were his inability to be wrong about anything and simply doubling down. So, as the season progressed, I played into that, and I found her vulnerability and allergic reaction, which I found hilarious. So those were definitely my favourites.

The most challenging was trusting that I was not overdoing it. Mike, the way he moves and grabs things, he’s such a beast about it. I came up with this idea; It started when I was making it with someone I grew up with. I was like, what does this person remind me of? And he reminded me of a chimpanzee.

Ok, this is an interesting option!

They were constantly scratching themselves, and it was very chimpy, always catching dirt. His hands were huge. So I started doing weird things, believing it wasn’t going far enough and keeping it still like a human, but being able to use all those things.

Henry Esteve - Headshot 2

No, I get it. [Laughs] I completely understand. I have a relative who carries herself like they still haven’t really grown into their bodies, so I know what you were going for there.

Yes, even Stephanie, our head of hair department. One day I was sitting in a chair, and she said, can I ask you a question? I was like, what’s up? And she’s like, that one-finger head-scratcher thing. is that you, or is that mike? Do you do this in real life? And I was like, “Yeah, it’s working.”

Now the dynamic is, of course, hilarious between all of us brothers. So was that a natural fit with all of you, or did you have to work at it? How do you keep a straight face during some of those scenes?

It’s difficult. It’s hard to keep a straight face. We were on a text thread that she kept us on for a few weeks but never met. No one had met each other before. We didn’t even study chemistry.

Five Uncles - Primo

I never would have guessed it.

I know. this is madness. This speaks of Shur’s ability to understand what will work. He has done this many times. He was able to look at the actors and be like, “Cool. I know they’ll fit,” but we went straight into it. And then we quickly got into those roles.

There is a scene when Rollie and Mike go to the flea market. I felt bad with that guest star because I couldn’t keep a straight face. I had to apologize to him and be like, “Dude, I can’t look you in the eye. I’m so sorry. It’s not for me to say these words and break down. I’m just going to check your ear. Okay?”

Now, was there anyone you wish you’d gotten more work? It was a good balance with all of you.

Ryan and Mike don’t get enough screen time together. We have certs throughout the series, but it seems to me that Ryan and Mike don’t get enough time together; They are the two youngest brothers and the two most estranged brothers. I’d love to do a road trip with Ryan or something.

youngest uncle - tall - primo

Christina Vidal is clearly no stranger to coming-of-age stories because I remember very well Taina growing up. So what was it like to top him, playing the glue that holds it all together?

She is very good at it too. She was great at playing Dream—yes, Christina’s awesome. I loved having Christina on set.

Christina, I grew up, she’s going to hate that I said that, but I grew up watching Christina; I had to tell him long ago; I had to get it out of the way where I was like, “Yo, I saw Brink’s when I was 11 or something, and I was in love with you.” I tried to buy rollerblades from my mom. He wanted me to skate.

But yeah, Christina is great as Dream, and she’s like that in real life too. She hosted a dinner for the cast and invited everyone. She is keeping everyone together.

dream opens - long - first

Is there a particular storyline that you enjoyed the most or that resonated with you?

I love the roofing bit. I’m a big fan of petty revenge; Even if someone is taking revenge on me, I find it ridiculous. I see someone take me and be like, play it cool, and laugh about it. So yeah, just a little bit of a ceiling, I really enjoyed it. We had Melissa Romero directing that episode, which she’s great and really let us have fun with it.

Looks like you guys are enjoying it. And I could see that it was something that my brothers did. I love how everyone knows not to even bother attending.

Do not engage in revenge.

Uncle - First

Do you have any tips or any that help you navigate your adolescence like Mike helped Rafa?

I had an elder brother who was ten years older than me.

Oh wow. Yes. That’s a good age difference.

Yes, it was a big gap. So he was really a father figure in those years.

And through high school, he’s been such a sweet brother. He was great at wanting to hang out with me. I never felt that little brother was left out. He always used to drag me into his work and say, “Yo, I’m picking you up. Let’s go. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that at that age.”[Laughs]

Henry Esteve - Headshot 1

What is some advice you wish you could give to your younger self?

Oh, that’s a good question. Pay attention to yourself. When you’re young, you waste a lot of time focusing on other people and trying to figure out what other people think and your place in the hierarchy of social groups. And I think once you figure out who you are, those things sort themselves out.

Why should people join PRIMO?

That’s all someone asked me. The show is about love; It’s about family. It’s also heartwarming if you watch Primo and you don’t feel a little better after it, I guess we failed, but I don’t think that happens.

I believe this is a show you can watch, and right after, you’ll feel a little less lonely. Lord, who became passionate, a little less alone in the world. But it does make you feel like you’ve got a little company.

Junior Fest - First

Yes, you guys capture it very well. It was fun to watch while I was watching it, and of course, it made me wish I had a huge family, just for the fun of it.

mike you want a big family? This is really cute!

It was really cute that way. Do you have any other projects you are working on that you can share with us?

No, we’re waiting for season two to see what happens with him. And in the meantime, I have a few shows in development and strike now, but there are a few things I’m working on and then sculpting. I should start sculpting more now that I have more time. But I’ve been away from sculpting for a while.

Henry Esteve - Headshot 3

How will the theater be now? Are you interested in joining again?

Oh I’m dying Yes, we’ll see. Theater-wise there is potentially something at the end of the year; I’m waiting to see what happens with Primo season two as it will take precedence.

But yes, I am looking forward to getting back on stage. I lost i love it This is my favorite place.

Well, I’ve got my fingers crossed for season two news of Primo. And, of course, everything is up in the air with the writer’s strike, so hopefully we get the best results with this.

Thank you! And yes, let’s hope that AMPTP starts giving importance to the interests of the employees who make their products as much as they give importance to the interests of their shareholders.

You can get the full season of Primo on FreeVee!

Hit the comments with your thoughts and reactions.

If you haven’t checked out the series yet, take a look at the promo below!

*** This interview has been edited for length and clarity ***

jasmine blue is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and drinking way too much tea. His eclectic tastes with complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories and an appreciation of guilty pleasures make him an unpredictable audience. You’ll definitely find him obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and interacting with fellow fanatics and readers. follow him Twitter,

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