“I remember as a kid I used to force my friends to record short videos at home and we’d have to prepare a role and act as different characters. It was fun, but we did take it seriously. Ever since I was a kid, acting was just what I loved and wanted to do!”
On Instagram, he’s already an established social media star. In the fashion world, a respected prescriber. But Manu Rios is a social media superstar, who refuses to be put in a box. Not satisfied with nearly 10 million Instagram followers and an ardent online fanbase, the 22-year-old is now determined to rehabilitate his global influencer label and branch out to new horizons. Gifted with an array of artistic talents, Rios has already made an outstanding foray into professional acting, after recently starring in Netflix’s hit Spanish teen-thriller ‘Elite’, to great critical acclaim. Taking on the role of Patrick Blanco in season four, Rios plays the new student joining Las Encinas, Elite’s fictional high school whose student body continues to navigate the brutal reality of teenage hormones and the even more brutal reality of teenage homicide. And it was Rios’ raw portrayal of the former, through Patrick’s polyamorous relationship with Omar and Ander, that set the internet ablaze. Rios catapulted from 5.6M Instagram followers to 9.7M in a blink.
Covering our Winter 2021 issue, Manu Rios talks about his social media beginnings, becoming an actor, the pressures that come with having such a huge online presence, and why he believes the world needs to express more kindness.