Back in September, Sofía Vergara, the Modern Family star and world’s highest-paid actress, somehow suddenly found herself date-less when it came time for the Emmy Awards, after it turned out her husband, Joe Manganiello, had some movie-filming duties. Rather than face the red carpet alone, though, Vergara brought along her only child—a win-win, really, especially for the internet, which went into a frenzy about just how hot 26-year-old Manolo is, and, importantly, giving Manolo the chance to meet one of the many women he idolizes: Jessica Lange.
It wasn’t the first time Manolo, the son of Joe Gonzalez, Vergara’s childhood sweetheart whom she was married to in the early 90’s, stepped into the spotlight: He’s long been modeling alongside his mother, gallantly taking one for the team in cringe-y 90’s ads and even family commercials for Head & Shoulders. Last December, however, after graduating from Emerson College, Manolo struck out a modeling career of his own, starting with a shoot in Paper magazine last December that was inspired by Pedro Almodóvar.
The oeuvre of Almodóvar is not Manolo’s only area of interest. Going by his Instagram—where he regularly flexes his liberal arts degree with captions about the cultural ramifications of Picasso’s Blue Period (hashtag #YouthIsWastedOnThoseWithColagen), not to mention his regular #DailyHistory posts, which provide in-depth detail into everything from the murder of Franz Ferdinand to century-old revolts led by the Bolsheviks—Manolo is first and foremost a fanboy of grand dame actresses like Lange and Cher. You can find his freak-outs over both of them on his account, with the hashtags #WheresJessicaLange and #SheGetsMe.
Manolo, however, does not discriminate with his fandom: The model also loves Guns N’Roses, Disneyland, cotton candy, and above all, to use his words, “making a fool of” himself, as evidenced by his Halloween costume (a taco) and the images of himself he shares with his now nearly 300,000 followers.
Modeling and cracking jokes isn’t all Manolo’s up to these days: He’s also been working on his acting career, most recently starring as a high school class president in the series Guilty Party and gearing up to release two films next year, one of which, Pistachio, seems to star him as a cowboy.
But his chief preoccupation is still relentlessly fanboying over—and teasing—his mother, who’s frequently mistaken for his sister, in part because she’s happy to play along simply to bother him. Manolo, for his part, usually sticks to unflattering paparazzi photos of himself next to her from his youth, though occasionally he shoots back with yet another of his favorite things: memes.
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