Christopher Martinez and His Recipe for Warped!’s Success

Ahead of the premiere of Nickelodeon’s brand new show Warped!, TEENPLICITY spoke with the cast to get to know their characters, what audiences can expect from the series, and so much more! Check out what Christopher Martinez has to say about his character Hurley below!

It happens on occasion that despite having the best of intentions, someone’s actions can make things go awry. For Hurley in Nickelodeon’s newest series Warped!, this happens to him more than once.

Portrayed by Christopher Martinez, a creative genius in his own right, Hurley is a lovable guy and loyal friend, though sometimes he tends to get too invested in his ideas or the group’s situations.

“Hurley is the type of person who loves to help his friends get out of difficult situations. No matter how bad the idea is, he’ll always come up with something,” Christopher says. “He’s the one who means the best but sometimes ends up doing the worst. He overreacts to situations and is always trying to invent something at the pizza parlor that’s going to make him rich and famous.”

The actor adds of his character, “His heart is always in the best place but his imagination gets the best of him. He is a genius in his own mind and is never on the same page as everyone else. When something goes wrong, Hurley definitely had something to do with it.”

Unlike the other characters who know all there is about comics in Warped!, Christopher says that his character isn’t up-to-date on all of the comic book characters, though he is absolutely an avid gamer.

Gaming is just another thing that Christopher has in common with his character, after food.

“First of all, we both love pizza. We both love cooking!” he says of how he is similar to his character. “One of the many perks of being Hurley is that I get to eat a lot of food on set. Pizza, meatballs, breadsticks, marshmallows. So as a foodie of sorts, it’s definitely been a yummy experience. We both love to play video games and are crazy about game consoles.” However, that’s where the similarities end for the most part.

“I would dare to say that I think I’m a little smarter than he is. He doesn’t show a lot of common sense and he’s impulsive, but that’s what makes him lovable in my opinion.” He admits with a laugh, “I probably wouldn’t make half the decisions he makes!”

Through his good decisions and even his admittedly bad ones, Hurley can always count on Milo to stick by his side. “Hurley and Milo have known each other since they were little and have been through many adventures together. So we’re the best of friends and will always be there for one another,” Christopher says. “We are comfortable enough to poke fun and play jokes, but we give each other room to make mistakes.”

The actor uses an example from an episode in which Hurley uses a drone to deliver pizzas. “The invention sounds smart, but it’s executed horribly! Milo calls this out but still lets Hurley explore his creations. They’re very supportive of each other and Hurley will come to his defense in any sort of situation.”

When he talks of Hurley’s long friendship with Milo, Christopher imagines them as Joey and Ross from Friends, but as teenagers.

Episode 101, “Pilot”, Pictured – Hurley (Christopher Martinez), Darby (Ariana Molkara), and Milo (Anton Starkman) in WARPED! on NICKELODEON. Photo: Bill Inoshita/Nickelodeon, ©2020 VIACOM INTERNATIONAL, INC., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

His friendships with Darby and Ruby are just as strong, even if they haven’t known each other quite as long. On one hand, Hurley and Darby have known each other since elementary school, according to Christopher. “[Hurley and Darby] have always had these quirky personality traits that they’re both comfortable with. They’re good friends as well. They kind of dance around the comic book store getting involved in everything that happens.”

On the other hand, Hurley’s friendship with Ruby is still new but they find common ground in their similar personalities. “Hurley and Ruby are the two who live in their own world and most of the time make matters worse. So they have a great time at the store, but no one knows what they’ll come up with when faced with a problem.”

Some of the problems Hurley faces stem directly from either his cooking, like the ghost pepper pizza he creates, or his inventiveness, like using a drone to deliver pizza. When TEENPLICITY challenged Christopher to channel his inner Hurley and create a dish that his character would make for the likes of Gordon Ramsey, he combined both aspects of his character to rise to the occasion.

“For sure Hurley would set out to make a pizza with a completely out of the ordinary topping just to impress Mr. Ramsey. Maybe like a beef Wellington pizza combination,” the actor ponders. “But it probably wouldn’t go well. He would definitely botch the recipe. Or maybe it would be incredible – Hurley performs culinary miracles when he’s under pressure. So there is some hope that he and Gordon Ramsey would be the best of friends.”

I dreamed of being on the other side and here it is.

Another character that Hurley could become good friends with is Crazy Steve.

When asked who he would want to guest star on the show, Christopher named Jerry Trainor, a Nickelodeon staple. “I would hope that he would reprise his role as Crazy Steve from Drake & Josh. He would make me laugh so hard, and that would honestly be a childhood dream accomplished,” he says. “Crazy Steve would 100% get along with Hurley because yelling and cooking always go hand-in-hand. Just look at Gordon Ramsey.”

With all the talk of guest stars on the show, Christopher does tease about one coming up this season on Warped!.

“There’s one episode that we have a really cool set for,” he says when asked about a favorite moment in the show so far that he’s excited for audiences to see. “The set is a movie set and we have a surprise guest star. Not sure if I could say anything more than that, but I’m so excited for audiences to finally see it! It was definitely one of our favorite episodes to shoot.”

The excitement for audiences doesn’t end there. Some of the moments he’s excited most for viewers to finally see have to deal with himself and his co-stars having a giggle.

“There are many funny moments where we’d all break character and just laugh. So I’m excited for everyone to see those scenes and hope they enjoy them too.” The special effects are another thing he can’t wait for audiences to see. He says, “We have so many fun scenes that rely heavily on special effects and it was so fun to shoot. Many slime moments! That was probably what was also so fun about this season, as we would always wonder who was going to get covered in something in the next episode.”

In fact, he adds that Ariana Molkara, who portrays Darby in the series, wouldn’t get covered in the slime or other things. “We would beg for it to happen to her. Needless to say, she did eventually get her chance,” he says, adding at the end, “muahaha.”

WARPED! SEASON 1 KEY ART & GALLERY SHOOT: Pictured: Christopher Martinez as Hurley in WARPED! on Nickelodeon. Tobin Yelland/Nickelodeon. © 2021 Viacom International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Most of the hijinks will, no doubt, have to deal with the in-show comic book shop Warped! and/or it’s paraphernalia. And while his character may not know as much about comics as the others, Christopher is a big fan in real life.

When asked which comic book character he’d love to be, the actor is stuck between two options: the Green Lantern and Spider-Man. “Yes, I know two totally different universes but they’re both so cool! Spider-Man obviously because the man swings from buildings!” he explains. “It’s so cool and Peter Parker looks like such a fun and nerdy character to play. Green Lantern – Hal Jordan – is such a cool character too,” he adds. “The power of the ring that chooses him is extraordinary, and the way he works with aliens is really cool! I have a drawing that I got from New York Comic-Con one year in which an artist drew me as the Green Lantern, which absolutely blew my mind.”

When it comes to comic book films, though, Christopher’s gaze is set firmly on Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, specifically the second installment The Dark Knight as his favorite. “I absolutely love The Dark Knight. Something about it just always has me watching it at least four times a year. Heath Ledger puts on one of my favorite portrayals of the Joker and it’s terrifying but so cool to watch.” He adds, “I’m also a huge Christopher Nolan nerd, so since he was the director of this, it’s another reason why I love it.”

The actor also points out The Dark Knight Rises, the third film of Nolan’s trilogy, as another one he admires. “They are the coolest films based on a comic book.”

Something that is super cool about Christopher that Warped! audiences might not know is that he used to be the one asking celebrities questions. Teaming up with his brother Sebastian, they had a YouTube channel titled “iKidsNowdotcom” where they researched and interviewed celebrities like Zendaya and Olivia Holt.

Asking the actor what it feels like to be the one on the other side of the questions years later, he says, “It’s crazy!”

He continues, “We did the interviews for so many years and I was always so starstruck no matter who it was. We always did our research in order to ask meaningful questions. To be on the other end of the interview is something that I would pretend to do at home. It’s how we’d get some of our ideas too. It kind of feels like I’ve come full circle and I’m loving it!”

It was definitely one of our favorite episodes to shoot.

Christopher adds that doing the interviews answered many questions he had as a kid. “It also showed my brother and I that we could go further with what we had started; we could keep pursuing things. I was always terrified of being in front of the camera when I was little, so my brother did most of the interviewing. I was behind the camera many times. Eventually, the fear went away and I began to enjoy being on camera and asking questions. So to be interviewed by [TEENPLICITY] now is so exciting. I dreamed of being on the other side and here it is.”

If he could interview one more person, no matter if he or his brother already had in the past or not, who would he pick?

His answer is definite and sure as he chooses Ariana Grande. “My brother Sebastian was the one who interviewed her during her time on Victorious because I was on tour with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular,” he explains. “It’s kind of funny because a part of his interview with her was trending as a meme for a while. She was so sweet and patient with him back then and she was already a big star. She’s had an amazing career at such a young age,” he gushes. “It’s incredible how she made the jump from being a child actor on TV to a huge music star. What a voice she has! Her talent and focus are admirable, so I’d love to hear how she does it all. I’m sure she has a lot of good advice!”

Although he missed out on the interview with Ariana Grande, it’s hard to feel sad because it was for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, possibly one of the most anticipated holiday events of the year. First performing as a part of the show when he was just seven, Christopher rejoined the production at 14, continuing to wow audiences.

WARPED! SEASON 1 KEY ART & GALLERY SHOOT: Pictured: Christopher Martinez (Hurley) in WARPED! on Nickelodeon. Tobin Yelland/Nickelodeon. © 2021 Viacom International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“Getting to perform on stage has always been one of my favorite things to do as an actor,” he says. “Performing live on a stage like Radio City was such an honor, and it was scary at the same time. You had one chance every night to get it right because you wanted to give the audience what they paid for. The thought of singing on stage in front of six thousand people every night is nerve wracking. But seeing and hearing the enormous audience from the stage was a dream.”

His work on Warped!, though different circumstances, is still thrilling and it’s an experience that Christopher refers to as a dream. “It’s a different environment and a much more subtle type of acting. I’ve learned a lot of things about acting for television in the last year. You of course want to get the scene right on the first take, but you get the chance to do it over and correct something with each take. Something you can’t do on stage. Emotions and actions need to be bigger on stage so people in the back of the theater can understand what you’re doing. It’s the little nuances that make for better performances in either medium.”

What also makes Warped! such a unique experience is the strong bond between everyone on set.

When TEENPLICITY asked him if there were any questions about Warped! that he hasn’t been asked yet and really wants to be, there was an opportunity for him to answer it now. While Christopher couldn’t choose just one question, he did let slip the kinds of things he loves to talk about – and therefore can’t get asked enough about!

“I love talking about behind the scenes and my crazy talented castmates. Those peeps are my best friends now and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to do this show with. I think overall, between the cast and crew, we formed such a tight-knit community in 13 episodes. Working with all of them just felt like I knew them for 20 years. The chemistry between all of us makes it feel like a family and that’s important for me,” he shares.

Warped! premieres on Nickelodeon on Thursday, January 20th at 7:30pm, with new episodes premiering every Thursday at 7:30pm!

For all things Christopher Martinez, be sure to follow him on Instagram!

26. Television and radio production graduate. || I think some people underestimate the range and variety of things that interest younger generations. I'm determined not to.

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