Exclusive Interview: Connor Del Rio From Cartoon Network’s Level Up Talks Season 2, Crazy Dante & More

Have you missed Level Up and the gang’s crazy antics? Well, no need to wait any longer because the show returns for its second season tonight, October 23rd, at a new time 7:30pm on Cartoon Network. The premiere episode entitled “Little HQ of Horrors” finds the gang fighting a plant from the game that Wyatt (Gaelan Connell) unwisely brought over to win a “competition” between him and Joaquin (Isaiah Lehtinen).

Among some of the craziness of this episode includes this awesome quote by Wyatt, “Nemesass, that’s sass for my nemesis,” and Dante (Connor Del Rio) getting a new favorite word, “truffles.”

Speaking of Dante, TV Equals got a chance to talk to Connor Del Rio about this new season of Level Up and what new shenanigans we can expect from Dante.

So if you can’t get enough of these guys like me, check out the interview below and don’t forget to tune in tonight for a brand new Level Up.

TV Equals: Congratulations on the second season.

Connor Del Rio: Thank you very much. It was a ton of fun to shoot, as always.

What’s coming up for the guys and Angie in the second season?

Connor Del Rio: Well, it’s going to be a hectic second season, I have to tell you. I want to say that the show has managed to get crazier. There’s actually an episode where there’s kind of this mutation that takes over the entire school. So there’s a leak that affects everybody in the entire school, which really causes some nerves to break within the group because this is something, this outbreak is something that could break news to everybody that we are leak hunters and everybody could find out what we’ve been up to. It turns out that only one person in our group doesn’t get affected by the mutation and has to rid of it from everybody. I won’t tell you who though.

There’s also one of my favorite episodes, it’s actually about Angie. She unknowingly enters herself into a contest with a Glamazon where it’s pretty much a fight to the death and that’s the reward. These female Glamazons on their Glamazonian island, like they love it. They’re like, ‘Oh, man, if you get put to death it’s great. That’s the best reward you can ever get.’ So she ends up having to do a Glamazon fight to the death. Hopefully she wins. I won’t tell you that either.

And then another one that’s really cool, ‘A Leak Among Us’ is an episode coming up, and basically there’s been a leak that’s been living in the real world for years now and we haven’t known about it. We have to make this pretty darn tough decision to let him stay or go, and there’s a lot of family values portrayed in that episode. The leak’s father comes out from the game and tries to tell him that they miss him and they want him back in the game, but he likes the real world. So there’s some pretty tough decisions made in that episode which is very cool.

What kind of shenanigans is Dante going to get into?

Connor Del Rio: Well, if there’s anything we learned from the first season it’s that Dante likes to eat a lot. He likes to wear wacky things and he’s pretty much all over the place, and this season, believe it or not, he’s actually gotten crazier.

Can he get crazier?

Connor Del Rio: It’s hard, but it happens. It really did happen. There’s a really cool episode that…well, let’s say that there’s a debate between Wyatt’s team and Dante’s team. Now on any ordinary episode of ‘Level Up,’ who would you think was going to win?

Wyatt.

Connor Del Rio: Wyatt’s team, right? Well, what if I was to tell you that maybe Dante gets something out of the game that changes his mindset, and what if I was to tell you that Dante can scrape the floor with Wyatt’s debate with any question asked?

That sounds like fun.

Connor Del Rio: It sounds like fun, right? So that’s a real different side that everyone is going to get to see with Dante this year, in an upcoming episode that was really fun to film for me. I got to pretty much play a whole different character, in a way.

And another one is…because Dante is very creative in his own very strange way and he likes to make these little animations and some of these animations of his own monsters and creations actually end up leaking out into the real world. One of those creations happens to be a different version of himself, which is probably himself times three hundred. I got to play that as well. So I would get to play two different characters in certain scenes which is really fun to do.

Were you exhausted by the end of the day?

Connor Del Rio: There were some days where I had to go back and forth like four or five times and I think it’s always going to be exhausting, but it’s so much fun. It’s not like back when I was ten and my mom was making me move everything to the basement because the carpet cleaners were coming or something. This is filming and making people laugh. So as much as it might be exhausting it’s so much fun and what I love to do.

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Do you guys ever get to improv on the show and does that ever make it into the episodes?

Connor Del Rio: We do. I love our writers because they’re very open to that. Obviously this isn’t like ‘Best In Show’ where they get guidelines and they improvise entire scenes. It’s not like that. Our writers are still very specific with everything and they do a great job of coming up with these episodes, but there are scenes where we’ll look at each other and we’ll come up with something funny and we’ll improvise it and a lot of times it will make it into the show. They really like it when we do that and kind of open up the world and gets everybody very comfortable.

I don’t know if you remember Mr. Spenader, one of our teachers in the show. He’s not the alpha of teachers. But with him, I remember the first time I really improvised in the show was with him. Every time he’d walk into the classroom I gave him a different line. So he’d come in and say, ‘Hey, guys. Who’s ready to learn,’ and I’d just boo him. He’d be like, ‘Alright. It looks like twenty nine out of thirty of you want to learn today.’ He would say something different every time and so I just gave him a different line every time. ‘You’re not even a real teacher.’ He was like, ‘I was on leave because my wife was pregnant.’ It’s really fun to play around like that because it kind of gets everybody really comfortable on the set. I think it gives them more confidence as well.

It definitely translates on the screen –

Connor Del Rio: I think people can tell. You can usually tell when you see something that was improv’d and that was done completely done on the spot, at least when I watch stuff. I was raised doing improv. That was my childhood.

If you did a ‘Freaky Friday’ episode, which character of the gang would you like to play?

Connor Del Rio: I think I’d want to play…oh, that’s a tough one. I’d definitely want to play Lyle because in my mind Lyle is…although I guess everybody is the polar opposite of Dante. I think Lyle is really the polar opposite of Dante. Dante doesn’t really care about how he looks physically or what he wears. Whereas Lyle probably gets up three hours before school starts to make sure that everything is in proper order with his wardrobe. I think it’d be more fun to be Lyle, just to see what it’s like to have every girl stare at you while you’re walking by and every guy handshake you and life is just going through slow motion because you’re so cool. I think that’d be pretty interesting, and oh, then I wouldn’t have braces. That’s the best part. I wouldn’t have braces for a day. That’d be a great ‘Freaky Friday.’ I never thought about that. That’d be cool.

What’s been the most surprising part of being on this show so far?

Connor Del Rio: That would be the ability that our writers have to come up with these crazy interesting, awesome leaks and ideas and how they really make them a part of our story. Like, the first episode that’s going to be coming out for season two is called ‘A Little HQ of Horrors.’ If you remember ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ this has to do with a leak that is a plant. It’s a ton of fun, but I just like how the writers were able to create these awesome relationships between Lyle and Wyatt and how they have to come up with their project and how they kind of not necessarily cheat, but they take advantage of the game to try to get that A. Then you have me and Angie who can just not work together. I’m the most incompetent partner.

Poor Angie is stuck with Dante.

Connor Del Rio: Yeah, she’s stuck with Dante, and so you get these really fun two person relationships for that episode and it all has to do with this leak at the plant. That’s one of my favorite episodes. I just think it’s a ton of fun. That’s really the most surprising part for me, how these writers are able to come up with these incredibly clever and different leaks every episode. It’s a lot to deal with.

If you could talk to Dante, what would you tell him?

Connor Del Rio: I would tell him not to worry, that his braces are going to come off in no time, that school will be over soon and then you’ll have to make a decision to go to college, which you should because you’ll have a lot of fun there. And that as fun as fighting leaks is, someday the real world is going to come and you’re going to have to get a real job. You’re going to have to make a living on your own because you can’t get money out of Conqueror Of All Worlds and bring it into the real world. I don’t remember the last person that used Monopoly money and got away with it.

Oh, you’re just bringing him down. [laughs]

Connor Del Rio: I feel like Dante could use some grounding. It’s a fraudulent world he lives in.

Does he need grounding? I don’t know.

Connor Del Rio: Maybe in a couple of years. I think right now he’s cool. I’ll give him that talk in a couple of years.

If you could guest star on any other show, which one would it be?

Connor Del Rio: It has be ‘Regular Show.’ I know I’d just be letting in my voice and maybe a weird caricature of myself or playing a completely random character, but I just love that show. I love the sound of all their voices. I think it’s all so comical and perfectly done. It’s so random. I just love that kind of stuff and I would kill to be on that kind of show. It’d be awesome.

You’re on Cartoon Network. Make that happen.

Connor Del Rio: I know, right? Don’t I have like a leg up in this place?

This is your channel.

Connor Del Rio: You know what, that’s it. When we’re [done with this interview] I’m going to Cartoon Network headquarters and I’m getting on ‘Regular Show.’ I have to make it happen. [laughs]

Level Up airs on Tuesdays at 7:30pm on Cartoon Network.

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