“Looking” Star Raúl Castillo Plays Closeted Boxer Fighting Inner Demons In “Kiss Me”

“I know who you are, Kid.”

Every Wednesday, we’ll be sharing short films that illuminate queer life. Welcome to #HumpdayShorts.

Before he was playing Jonathan Groff’s boyfriend on Looking, Raúl Castillo played Kid Vargas, a boxer with a secret, in the 2012 short film Kiss Me.

Film School Shorts/YouTube

Director Jules Nurrish won Best Student Short Film at the 2012 BendFilm Festival for the short, set in the Latino boxing world in East Los Angeles.

Castillo’s character is struggling with the aftermath of a recent violent match, but his life outside of the ring is filling him with just as much turmoil. The film finds him trying to maintain a relationship with his wife and son while struggling to accept the fact that he’s a gay man.
 

 
Nurrish, who was honored as a “Brit to Watch” by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 2011, won the Alexis Award for Best Emerging Filmmaker when she debuted the queer short at the Palm Springs International Shortfest. The director is now reportedly in development on her first feature film, Feint, based on the story in Kiss Me.

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.
@adamsalandra