Diego Tinoco Digital Covershoot and Interview for FAULT Magazine

Diego Tinoco X FAULT Magazine

Diego Tinoco fault magazine cover photoshoot on my block

Jacket: Dsquared2 | Shirt: Calvin Klein | Denim: Dsquared2 | Sneakers: Nike | Necklace: Dalmata


Photography: Dennis Leupold @ADB agency 

Stylist: Enrique Melendez

Grooming: Sacha Quarles


Words: Miles Holder

While there is no shortage of teenager focused shows on TV right now, for many viewers across the globe, On My Block is the first in a long time to resemble a true depiction of life for young people in certain communities.
On My Block masterfully finds a way to depict true to life scenarios while still retaining moments of comedic gold and an ensemble cast where every story matters.

Diego Tinoco plays the role of Cesar Diaz, born into gang life while desperately trying to change his circumstances. Debatably the heartthrob on the show, Diego has no plans to sail through his career on this alone. While there are limits to how much he can have in common with his role on the show, Diego’s drive, passion and fire for everything he does is certainly one of them.

With season three out now on Netflix, we caught up with the young star to discuss his career, biggest hurdles and as always, his FAULTs.

Sweater: Laneus | Shorts: 3.1 Phillip Lim | Shoes: RAF Simons Adidas


What changes did you see in yourself as an actor this season compared to the first two?

Diego Tinoco: I would say I’m more comfortable, I thought I was going to get fired in my first four days on set in season one! I kept calling my mom like “I’m pretty sure I’m getting fired today, just letting you know I’m so scared!” But the show comes out to critical, acclaimed and wins awards. 

This season I felt so settled in my skin and settled in as an actor with the directors, the writers, producers and the cast – It just felt like home.


What did you find most challenging about this season?

Diego Tinoco: There was a lot of emotional scenes which I worked out with Ian Casselberry who plays my father on the show. We got to know each other and shared deep and personal memories so that when we filmed the scenes, I knew that I was fighting for real human beings and not just the characters. 

diego tinoco
Jacket and Shirt: Helmut Lang

With such critical acclaim, did you feel pressure to live up to the hype expected of you this season?

Diego Tinoco: There’s a lot of weight on all of our shoulders for sure. I called my dad and said “I can’t sleep some nights before shooting, what if I don’t get the scene right” and he told me “Diego, you’re 22 years old with a huge Netflix series, you’re going to be a little bit more overwhelmed but that’s why God chose you to do this because you know that you can handle it.”  

I’m not just doing it for myself but I’m doing it to provide a positive message. So that responsibility to the audience, the youth and my character was really important to me. It gets a little frustrating not being able to see the character go the way you want it to go, but at the end of the day, that’s what makes an actor an actor, I’ve got to make the writer’s words comes to life.

Left: Jacket: Helmut Lang | Rings and Bracelet: Armature

Right: Jacket: Dsared2 | Necklace: Dalmata

With your real-life not reflecting Cesar’s, where do you draw inspiration from?

Diego Tinoco: I didn’t grow up in gangs, but people around me did. Friends that I grew up with join gangs, I’ve had friends die from overdoses so this story doesn’t just happen in one area of the world – It’s universal. 

The main message is that you can be born into circumstances and try to push past them. I think we can all relate to that, I had that in my life and I still have that in my life.


With Cesar’s story being so important to so many, what happens when this character that you grew up these past years, veers off course?

Diego Tinoco: They don’t give us the ending script until four days before we shoot it. So the whole time I was shooting, I was like, “hell yeah, this is dope. It’s going to have a happy ending for once!” Then four days before it ends, they give us the last script and I’m like, “Oh my God, this is insanity and goes against everything that this show has been about!” 

I trust the writers in the creative process and trust whatever they have in store down the line. I just worried that fans were going to be disappointed with the choice. It’s all good, I just didn’t want people to be heartbroken. 

Left: Tank: Dries Van Noten | Jacket: Zegna

Right: Jacket: Zegna | Pants: Zegna | Shoes: Puma

What are the biggest misconceptions people have about you?

Diego Tinoco: I guess the big misconception is that I’m just another pretty face on the television screen. I’ve never really told anybody this, but I attend events I hear other actors say this about me.  

Once I stand my ground and call them out on it, they back off but I grew up in Riverside County and I’m not gonna smile in your face while you say something bad about me.

They think I’ll be out of this game after the show ends but that’s not going to happen. I care about my craft, this is just the beginning and if you look at my workmanship, I take big swings.


Jacket: Salvatore Santoro |  Eyewear: Kenzo

What is the big end goal you’re trying to achieve with your work? 

Diego Tinoco: I just want to take care of my mum. I had a little breakdown, where I was confused and I lost the ‘why’ of it all. When you lose the reason you’re working so hard, you can lose yourself. 

When you’re working so freaking hard, not getting any sleep it exhausts you. My Mum told me that I needed to push through and find my “why” again.

At that moment I realized, I’m doing this for her. She’s helped me through so much darkness she’s been through a lot of in her life. She’s my biggest I’m doing all this for her.


What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve had to climb in your acting career so far?

Diego Tinoco: I remember being nineteen in Hollywood, I’ve been to hundreds of auditions at this point and I just remember slowly losing everything back home. There was no guarantee that I would accomplish anything but I remember thinking, “I’m gonna stick to it”. 

My friend broke his lease and left, my girlfriend left me and once I had lost nearly everything the universe stepped in and I got the call for the chemistry read for On My Block the next day. 


Diego tinoco cesar on my block
Blazer: Dries Van Noten | Jewellery: Stylists own

What is your FAULT?

Diego Tinoco: We all have a little bit of jealousy at times. We all have a little bit of sadness. I would say my biggest is just forgetting that I’m a human being. Forgetting that anything and everything can happen good or bad and just to embrace it all. We aren’t going to be immortal, we might as well make the best of it just smile and be happy