'Riverdale' and 'Shazam!' Star Ross Butler Talks Having More Representation in Hollywood (Exclusive)

Ross Butler is an actor on the rise. Along with appearing in TV shows such as Riverdale and 13 Reasons Why, the 32-year-old has also starred in films such as Shazam! and To All the Boys: Always and Forever. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Butler opened up about having more representation in Hollywood. 

"When I was a kid, you never saw any of this," Butler exclusively told PopCulture. "Whenever you saw any Asian people in movies it was always martial arts or they were always the nerd character. I've said this in a lot of interviews in the past, but you saw this up until literally five years ago. You never saw Asian jocks on TV. You never saw just Asian Americans being portrayed as Asian Americans. Where it's headed now, is now we're leading films and there are films that are showing a lot more about, I guess, how unserious we can be. How funny we can be, as well. It's a great change."

Butler continues to support representation in TV and films by appearing in an Old Spice commercial for the "Men Have Skin Too" campaign. The commercial features an all-Asian cast and is directed by Clayton Tony Au. "When I was growing up, I saw the Old Spice commercials with Mustafa and Terry Crews," Butler stated. "Those were some of the most memorable commercials that I remember, with the whistle and the horse and everything, but I never saw any Asian guys. I never saw myself represented. Now that we have an Asian Old Spice guy, we're just including that Asian American men have skin too."

Now that Ross Butler is part of the Old Spice family, he can focus on other projects, specifically, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which will be released on March, 17. And as his career continues to get bigger, Butler has one goal in mind. "The biggest goal going forward, and this is the goal I've had from the beginning, is changing the way we think about Asian representation, not just Asian representation," Butler said. "What I mean is, in the Asian community, we're still focused on Asians playing Asian roles. The status quo right now is if there's an Asian lead in a movie, usually, the rest of the cast is Asian. To me, we need those stories. Those are important. But to me, that's still keeping us separate. It's making us feel like we're our own entity, whereas where I'm pushing for is Asian representation in movies where we're not necessarily Asian, we're not just Asian American. I mean, we are Asian American."