Netflix is producing more Gen Z crushes than Riverdale at this point.
Nico Hiraga is the latest swoon-worthy heartthrob taking over our screens thanks to his recent role as Seth in the hit film Moxie. But who is the actor and skateboarder making everybody swoon? Get to know the rising star.
Who is Nico Hiraga?
Hiraga was born on Dec. 19, 1997, and is of Japanese heritage.
He hails from San Francisco, and acting isn’t his only skill. He’s also a skateboarder and even toured with Tyler, the Creator, and Odd Future in 2015.
“I was always kind of the odd one out,” Hiraga told SSense. “I went to a super bougie, preppy school. I always sagged my pants. Parents didn’t like me. My mom would get pissed! So I was like, ‘Alright, I’m going to start skating.’”
Hiraga is part of a skate crew called Illegal Civilization or Illegal Civ. In an interview with i-D, founder Mikey Alfred described it as “a skate company where we make clothes and videos. And we use our platform to tell kids they can do anything they want as long as they work hard, be positive, and be nice to people.”
You’ve probably seen Hiraga before on the big screen.
Hiraga has been able to combine his skate and acting skills on the big screen. He plays a skateboarder in Moxie, Skate Kitchen and in the forthcoming North Hollywood, written and directed by Illegal Civ’s Alfred.
He also appeared in Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut Booksmart as Tanner, the successful soccer player (who, yes, also skateboards).
“Skating was my main focus, but then I tore a ligament in my ankle. I was f***ed. I was out of the game. When I was injured, I got a manager. I booked a film out in New York called Skate Kitchen,” Hiraga explained to i-D about his foray into acting.
Everyone is falling in love with Hiraga again now that he’s in Netflix’s Moxie.
In Amy Poehler’s Moxie, Hiraga plays Seth, a skateboarder and the love interest of the film’s lead Vivian, a high school girl who starts a zine to push back against the patriarchy.
Not only was Hiraga stoked to play a cool character like Seth — a charming, feminist, American Girl-doll-collecting outsider — but he was also happy to bring a positive rep to skateboarders and Asian men.
“I like that Seth is f***ing Asian,” Hiraga told Teen Vogue. “That’s sick. I remember reading the audition. […] I was like, ‘I don’t know, man. I’m reading this script and this Seth dude seems pretty built out for some white dude in Hollywood.'”
His manager reassured him that he would be fairly considered and the rest is history.
“I can give skateboarding a good name in the Hollywood industry, especially if I’m playing this good character, Seth and he’s the good guy and happens to skate then I’m all for it because already off the bat, a lot of skateboarders as a whole don’t really have best name for themselves. I think they’re represented [as] wild in society,” Hiraga said.
So what’s next? Hiraga is poised to star in another female-led project: The Power, an Amazon series based on Naomi Alderman’s book of the same name.
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