An Interview with EJ Bonilla

at . Comments
EJ Bonilla
EJ Bonilla has portrayed Rafe Rivera on Guiding Light for almost seven months now.

Soap Opera Digest recently sat down with the young actor to discuss his time on the soap opera...

Soap Opera Digest: How are things? You're busy!
EJ Bonilla: I just wrapped on a production — a movie. It's called Don't Let Me Drown. It's a love story. I got the lead because I'm awesome [laughs]! My character is Lalo Aguilar; he's Mexican-American. It takes place after 9/11 and these [two] teenage kids and their families are affected by it in one way or another. The girl lost her sister and the other kid is sort of quiet and mellow and they just find each other, basically.

I've been with this project since way before I even knew about Guiding Light. I've been with it for like two-and-a-half years. It finally got funded and we finally got to make it, so when I first signed my contract [with GL], they knew about it. That's why I've been able to do it. I can admit it, it's awesome.

Digest: Speaking of Rafe, he's been having a rough time of it lately since Daisy's abortion. He's acting out and drinking again.
Bonilla: Part of it is he's just angry that [Daisy, Bonnie Dennison] did this, and part of it is that he's mad that he wasn't there to help her and that she couldn't trust him to tell him. He felt safe [with her] and that was really different, so it scares him that this person that he got so close to hurt him like that and lied to him or couldn't trust him the way he trusted her. If that's the case, then how real was [their love]?

That's scary for anyone. It's sort of freaking him out that his mom, the one who's always tried to put him in check, isn't. So he's free to really make his own mistakes completely now, so that's sort of weirding him out! He didn't really want to fall back into the alcohol thing, but he did.

Digest: It's common for teen storylines in soaps to address the alcohol issue. Will viewers see Rafe spin out of control?
Bonilla: I hope not! I think Rafe's smart enough that he realizes he doesn't need [alcohol]. It's just that easy way out, that quick fix. Once you sober up, you're sort of worse off than you were beforehand. I'd like to see him do better in school and get back on track and realize that if something goes wrong, it goes wrong and the bottle isn't going to do anything.

Digest: You recently experienced your first big Guiding Light fan event at the luncheon in October. How have fans reacted to the Riveras being in Springfield?
Bonilla: What I've heard a lot ... and from people of color, they're like, “Awesome! We needed some spice up in there [laughs]!”

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


Think E.J. did a great job in "Don't let me down"...... However, I would hope to someday watch a Mexican play the part of a Mexican.... As I said, E.J. was right on the money. He played a very convincing role as "Lalo" and the story line was a very feel good story regarding the diversity of Spanish speaking groups. I personally don't care for the terms "Latin" or "hispanic" What I do know is all of us were under spaniard rule. The first people of each country or Island invaded by the spaniards were the Indigenous used as slaves and when the Indigenous began to die off, the spaniards imported African slaves to EVERY COUNTRY that it was colonizing. Mexico was the only spaniard colony that allowed miscegenation (mixing of the bloods) so mixing or miscegenation began way back in the early 1500's. The children of an African man slave & and Indigenous woman were born FREE. The spaniard law in Mexico read: the children of a slave father and Indigenous Free Mother are
born FREE.... Needless to say MISCEGENATION was the rule of the day. These free children of African fathers and Indigenous mothers were labeled by the spaniards as "JAROCHOS in the Veracruz area, Zambos in the state of Guerrero, Cambujos in Oaxaca, Cochos in the state of Michoacan, Loros in Chiapas and Chinacos in Puebla. These terms had one meaning, DIRTY FILTY PIGS.....The spaniards had no love for the children of mixed Indigenous/African blood and it showed in the way these FREE children roamed the streets begging. Mexico being a much bigger country than any of the Island nations meant there were many more Indigenous for mixing of the blood... It didn't take very long for the Taino & Qisqueyano brothers and sisters to be all but killed off by the whiteman's smallpox. In Cuba not much mixing of blood occurred because of the many deaths of the Taino. Many slaves were interchanged between Mexico's port city Veracruz and Cuba's Habana..... Today there is only 2% visibly Afro Mejicanos on the coastal areas of southern Mex. while everyone else, approx. 97% are of all 3 bloods... Not many admit this, especially in the north of Mexico were German immigrants entered and along with them they brought their "POLKA" which has been assimilated into the music of N. Mex. Those of german heritage say the writtings of Mexican Anthropologist, Gonzalo A. Beltran in his book written in 1944 " "La poblacion Negra de Mexjico"... He travelled to spain and researched all historical ship's manifest headed to "NUEVA ESPANA" AKA MEXICO..... These ships manifest show that between 1515-1757 over 500,000 West African slaves were imported to NUEVA ESPANA AKA Mejico..... During the height of spains colonization, there were 35 African slaves to each spaniard, this scared spain (fear of uprisings) like the up rising of Nyanga, an Angolan prince who led the uprising with other slaves and Indigenous.... He created the first free community in North America late 1500's( Mexico is a part of N. America) Some 300 years later, 1829, Vicente Guerrero, a man of Indigenous/African blood led Mexico's revolution against spain and won. Vicente Guerrero was the 2nd president of Free Mexico and he was the first black president of Mexico / North America... Barrack Obama is the second black president of North America, the first was an Afro Mejicano.... As I said earlier, the german immigrants don't accept the fact that Mexico was a slave country.... Personally I don't care what the german immigrants of Mexico think! As far as I'm concerned they aren't true Mexicans. True Mexicans are the people who built Mexico during the colonial days which came to an end along with slavery in 1829, these germans didn't arrive to Mexico until 1868 and they were invited by the left over spaniards that hid in Texas and Colorado. Both Texas and Colorado were also Mexico but both were so far north that the new governing Mexican people of colonial mexico (Afro mestizos) this term includes all 3 bloods. They felt the spanish who were hiding up north were not a threat.... Unfortunately they were a big threat. They tricked Vicente Gurrero into getting on board a ship headed for spain to meet with the king of spain ( THEY MURDERED HIM) Today the term Jarocho is used with pride in Veracruz. Everyone in Veracruz (Jarochos) know they are of all 3 bloods. the people in the north, DENY their African roots and cling to the german polka to convince themselves that they have european blood.... Again, as far as I'm concerned the germans can go back to germany or keep their mouths shut.... They were not in Mexico building Mexico. They came after all the work was done.... I don't like the sound of their polka anyway. I love the "Son Jarocho" of Veracruz.....