These ‘Party of Five’ Reboot Actors Almost Played Each Other’s Roles

Creating a TV family isn’t easy because you have to find not only individual actors but a group of actors who feel natural when they interact. The creators of Party of Five did it once before in the ‘90s Fox series. When they created the Acostas for Freeform’s reboot, they knew what they were looking for. 

Party of Five
L-R: Emily Tosta, Elle Paris Legaspi, Niko Guardado, Brandon Larracuente | Freeform/Jonathan Wenk

Brandon Larracuente plays the eldest Acosta, Emilio and Niko Guardado plays the second oldest boy, Beto. Both actors said they auditioned for the other’s roles, which would have been a different Party of Five. Here’s how they figured out the roles for which they were right. Party of Five airs Wednesdays Freeform.

‘Party of Five’ asked Brandon Larracuente to audition two days in a row

It was exciting enough for Brandon Larracuente to audition for Emilio, but then they asked him to read for Beto too.

“I initially went in for Emilio and the same day they told me that they wanted me to read for Beto the day after,” Larracuente said. “So the day after I read for Beto.”

Niko Guardado got his choice of auditions

Niko Guardado was preparing to audition for the role of Beto Acosta when he got the chance to try out for Emilio too.

Is Niko Guardado the new Scott Wolf?
Party of Five‘s Niko Guardado | Freeform/Jonathan Wenk

“I got an audition from my agent for Beto and I was reading the pilot,” Guardado said. “I was about halfway through and about 45 minutes later I got an audition from my manager for Emilio. I was like oh, I already got an audition for Beto. My manager was like, ‘Well, which one do you want to go in for?’”

Brandon Larracuente always wanted to play Emilio on ‘Party of Five’

Although he auditioned for both roles, Brandon Larracuente landed the role he truly wanted.

Party of Five: Brandon Larracuente
Party of Five‘s Brandon Larracuente | Freeform/Vu Ong

“I connected more to Emilio’s character,” Larracuente said. “One, being the eldest and Emilio’s more so a leader. I think he’s a leader in the family and that’s something that I can relate to my character. I tend to be the leader in any situation or group that I’m around.” 

Niko Guardado did not feel like Emilio

If Party of Five cast Niko Guardado as Emilio, they would have had to find a younger Beto but Guardado didn’t feel like an Emilio anyway.

“It didn’t fit,” Guardado said. “He was this rock star, ripped. I’m nowhere near ripped. It just felt way more organic to go for Beto. I automatically just connected and felt way more relatable and similar to Beto.”

The ‘Party of Five’ cast became a family immediately

Brandon Larracuente and Niko Guardado landed in the appropriate roles and the Acostas began to become a real family as Party of Five cast their siblings. They tried different combinations of actors, mixing and matching, but it was clear which ones were a family.

“At the screen test it was kind of instant,” Guardado said. “I didn’t really feel that way with anybody else ever in the room. And then after we’d gotten casted, we started hanging out as much as we could. When we weren’t filming we’d be playing board games in our room, playing card games, just talking, watching movies together, watching some of the old Party of Five together.”

Party of Five Reboot
L-R: Brandon Larracuente, Elle Paris Legaspi,, Niko Guardado, and Emily Tosta | Freeform/Nino Munoz

Larracuente also read with multiple combinations of actors, but he felt it the first time he read with Guardado, Elle Paris Legaspi and Emily Tosta.

“I knew when I left that room that day and was driving home. Something felt right. Since that day, we’ve gotten closer and closer. We were in Montreal filming the pilot in the chilling cold winter for about a month and we were all staying at the same hotel. Every single night after we got off the set, we would all shower and eat together. Then we would all meet up later on to run our lines. We’re there for each other not only when it comes to work and doing lines but also if any of them had a question or needed advice, they know that they can call me.”

Brandon Larracuente, interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 12/18/19