“Mauricio! Oye! Mauricio Henao, Mauricio”, roared a group of five guys approaching quickly from in front of us. It was dark, and we were in a group and walking the busy streets of New York but none of that prevented the sighting of Mauricio Henao by five Latinos, all in their glee and ecstatic to have spotted the 30-year-old Colombian actor, male model, and telenovela star.
New York though, was not my intro to Mauricio Henao’s allure. In 2014 while in the Dominican Republic for Dominicana Moda, I first met Mauricio, or I should say spotted him. It was during Mauricio Alebrino’s fashion show (and if you don’t know this DR designer, this is why Sagaboi exists). Mauricio was one of three major Latin American celebrities on the catwalk. A former active male model himself, he looked at home on the runway and mid-second step the uproar served as an alert to the maddening love for Generalissimo Mau.
After the show, backstage didn’t offer much of a chance to chat but a casual encounter spawned a conversation on social media which spiraled into multiple DMs, jokes and a meet-up in New York to shoot a fashion feature starring his good looks, blue steel, and demure personality.
While known across Latin America, the rest of the world has probably seen Mauricio Henao’s face but have not been introduced to him fully. So, I thought it best to throw a few random questions his way in hopes of shedding more light on this Colombiano.
GC: You were born in Colombia and moved to New York and then Miami. When?
MH: We moved from Colombia to the U.S. in 1998. It was for a better living qualities, [the U.S. was] safer. Unfortunately, in Colombia, the violence was getting worse and my family decided to move. However, Colombia nowadays is much safer and I visit as often as I can.
GC: Do you miss Colombia?
MH: Yes, I do! I miss it very much, I visit often since I have family there, I also go there for work sometimes. Mostly and in general I miss my culture, food, music, etc.
GC: You’re an immigrant. Thoughts on the recent sentiments on immigrants and immigration?
MH: I don’t get involved in politics much, but I believe it’s just sad to see so much hate, and racism when this country was built by immigrants and continues to be. We are hard working honest, people. As much as they want to get us out, I’m sure it is not going to happen.
GC: Tell us about your foray into acting, and also modeling.
MH: I always knew that I wanted to be in the entertainment business. My mama always said that as a kid I used to be the goofy one “the family clown”… Haha.
Once I finished high school I was scouted by New York Model Management and decided to give modeling a try. I worked for many seasons, traveling and I used to work a lot in Miami. While in Miami, I met the casting directors for NBC Telemundo and they invited me to study acting. I thought it was a great opportunity to learn and see if it was something I liked, so I moved to Miami and found my craft… my passion for acting.
Telemundo gave me the basics and I took from there. Today I’m still working for them exclusively.
GC: Bring us up to speed, what’s a telenovela?
MH: A telenovela is a dramatic story told in a series of events where love and revenge take place.
Lately, though, I’ve been working on a new series, and right now I am in Señora Acero, – the 2nd and 3rd season – and this year I will be shooting the 4th season. These are completely different projects from telenovelas, and acting-wise it’s more organic, credible and I enjoy them much more.
GC: I saw you playing a Jesus-esque character on IG.
MH: Yes… Haha. I was filming a Jesus Christ movie back in November in Spain, played Apostle Santiago, a very religious and respected story. And I also played a very bloody killer character in Señora Acero.
GC: Favorite actor/actress.
MH: I believe that Ryan Gosling and Di Caprio are great actors, every character they play are definitely a must watch. I look up to them.
GC: What about a crush?
MH: Haha… there are a couple but I keep it to myself. Shhhh.
GC: What was your first kiss on-screen, was she a good kisser?
MH: To be honest, I don’t remember when my first kiss was. Haha. On scene, I get to kiss more than in real life and my co-workers think I’m a good kisser. I leave it up to them.
GC: Single, dating, relationship?
MH: Currently, I am dating, yes. I am single, happy, and enjoying work friends and family. Love will come at some point when I find the right one.
GC: I was told to ask you this: “sex on the first date?”.
MH: If we click yeah, why not. I go with the flow and if not the first, there surely will be more kisses, especially on the following ones.
GC: What about relationship rules?
MH: I don’t have specific rules, just respect. And I need my alone time, sometimes.
GC: Second and last one from your fans: “How do you sleep, naked or clothed?”.
MH: I sleep in my underwear.
GC: How would you describe your style, Mauricio?
MH: I’m not an expert in fashion but I like to look good and smell great. I define my style just very sophisticated, sometimes edgy, and risky.
GC: What’s the dream for your life?
MH: My dream for my life is to just keep doing what I love to do, you have to enjoy your craft to be able to succeed at it. I’m sure acting will be present my entire life though.
GC: Advice wise, what’s the best piece you’ve been given?
MH: Stay humble, and thankful. I have been doing that for years and I know it is what has kept me here working over and over again.
GC: And what piece of advice do you have to give?
MH: Keep knocking doors, prepare yourself and don’t give up. I still get many no’s and that’s fine because it keeps focus and helps me to get better at it.