Mark Indelicato

Betty Suarez isn't the only one facing big changes this season on Ugly Betty. Her nephew, Justin, is starting high school, and it's not going to be easy. TVGuide.com caught up with Mark Indelicato, who told us why things get tricky for Justin, how his mom is faring with his struggles and who he turns to for help.

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TVGuide.com: How does Justin like high school?
Mark Indelicato: Justin is a freshman in high school this year and he's not what the other kids are. The kids are superficial and don't look at him for who he is. You're new in a school, you're around people you don't know, you're intimidated by kids who've been there longer than you. So that's kind of the gist of his whole problem.

TVGuide.com: As a teenager yourself, can you relate?
Indelicato: I am a sophomore in high school, so I know what it feels like. It's a comedic show, but they're not sugarcoating it at all — it's real. The way they are portraying Justin is something, I think, that could change someone's life. I'm trying to portray this as reality because I've seen this happen. I'm in it, so I know exactly what's going on there.

TVGuide.com: Who does Justin turn to for help during all this?
Indelicato: Marc helps him out. I think he sees that Marc went through the same type of thing. He went to a public school and dealt with being different. I think he's kind of a role model. Justin just loves fashion and is fascinated by Mode and the people who work there. And I think Marc is there to be a mentor and to say, "Look, it's OK to be different, it's OK to not be a jock and not do what everyone else is doing. Do your own thing because you're going to be great no matter what." And that's a big thing for Justin.

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TVGuide.com: How does Hilda feel about Justin going to Marc instead of his mother?
Indelicato: She wants to protect him so much, but she can't anymore because he's growing up and she can't really tell him what to do. It's hard for her, but I think it's something every mom goes through. She's really trying to cope with him taking that step towards being a young adult and making his own decisions and fighting his own battles.

TVGuide.com: What else can we expect to see this season?
Indelicato: This is the year of change and progression, and there's a lot of change with Justin and Hilda. And Betty has her new look as she's coming into being more of a professional. I know a lot of the show is about Betty working at Mode, but this year is going to be a lot of the family as well.

The new season of Ugly Betty airs Fridays at 9/8c on ABC. Catch encore airings Thursdays at 7/6c on TV Guide Network.