You Still Can’t Think of Fleetwood Mac, Cranberry Juice, or Skating Without Thinking of Nathan Apodaca

Four years after finding viral fame, Complex caught up with Nathan Apodaca on what he's been up to since.

Man in white shirt and tie with a necklace, smiling at an event
Gabe Ginsberg / Getty Images
Man in white shirt and tie with a necklace, smiling at an event

This is Going Viral: A space where the internet’s biggest stars share what it’s like to find fame online.

It’s rare for a meme to transcend into Internet iconography. And it’s even rarer to have one that feels truly timeless. But whenever the TikTok of the guy drinking cranberry juice while skateboarding and listening to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” hits the timeline again, millions will tune in like it’s their first time watching. 

The guy in question is Nathan Apodaca, better known by his social media handle DoggFace, a 41-year-old laborer-turned-TikTok sensation-turned-actor from Idaho. At the height of the pandemic’s colossal impact and grief in 2020, Apodaca unknowingly gave millions (upon millions) of people exactly what they needed to see online—pure vibes. His viral video that saw him skateboarding on a highway at sunset quickly amassed a mythic tier of success, earning 93 million plays on TikTok (at the time of writing). It inspired a trend where users replicated Apodaca’s video, landed him a partnership with Ocean Spray, and even got Stevie Nicks to not only hop on the trend but to also join TikTok. “Dreams” charted in the top 20 of Billboard’s Hot 100 for the first time in years, and a unique lane of Internet history was made. 

“It’s just awesome and crazy that it’s been four years and we’re still riding the wave,” Apodaca says in a video call with Complex. The newly cemented actor recently got back on the board again for another TikTok collaboration celebrating the release of biopic Bob Marley: One Love. In it, Apodaca goes back to his famed spot and dares to eat a bucket of popcorn this time around while skating to Marley’s “Could You Be Loved.” And based on its close to nearing a million hits, audiences clearly missed watching him do his thing. 

“To get out there and to recreate this video again for Bob Marley and in that manner, it’s just awesome that people get to see it again,” Apodaca says. “It’s definitely gonna get me back on the board again, vibing with everybody still.” In case you hadn’t already realized, Apodoca is the epitome of vibes personified, and it’s practically impossible to not get the itch to live out your life the best way you can after seeing any of his videos. 

We caught up with Apodoca on what he’s been up to for the past four years, what it’s like becoming an Internet hero, and how he’s still riding out the wave, cranberry juice in hand.  

To kick things off, we have to talk about your Bob Marley: One Love video. What was it like filming that with the popcorn flying everywhere and bringing back your original video to life? 


It's hard to be cold while listening to Bob Marley 🎶 #ParamountPartner Get tickets to see Bob Marley: One Love in theatres Wednesday #BobMarleyMovie #OneLoveMovie You won't want to miss it! @Bob Marley: One Love

♬ original sound - doggface208

That was fun. I think that added character, the popcorn flying everywhere. [I went] back to the spot where I filmed the original video. It’s funny because every time I go there to skate or just anything, people notice me and they’ll honk, scream, pull over, and take pictures. The vibe that I bring, it’s insane that it still carries on and everybody still loves it. They saw me carrying popcorn and they were like, “Oh what’s this,” and then I just explained it to them a little bit: “It’s for Bob Marley” this and that. 

Everyone in the comments underneath the post seemed so excited to see you skating again. How does it feel to still see such massive support for this? 

It’s awesome. I love it. They all want me on a skateboard, vibing out. And there’s a lot of things that I put out there like dancing, acting, then skating. I try to touch down on a little bit of everything that I love doing in life, and skating is one of them. 

To get out there and to recreate this video again for Bob Marley and in that manner, it’s just awesome that people get to see it again, and it’s definitely gonna get me back on the board again, vibing with everybody still. 

I was curious, what drew you to TikTok in the first place? 

I was at work doing my thing, and I came home one time and I saw my daughter doing a little dance move and recording herself. And this was when it was, not TikTok. So I started doing it with her, and we started getting on some videos. I think it was during Christmas when it transitioned into TikTok, and she introduced it to me again. Then after a week, she was like, “OK, you’re flooding my account. You need to get your own account.”

So she made me an account, and I just started doing videos periodically throughout the day. And then I did a dance that was trending at the time, and I went viral for that. And I think I gained 60,000 followers overnight. I ended up telling my daughters, “OK, I’m cool. I’m done. I did it. I went viral, that’s something you guys didn’t think I could do.” And then my oldest daughter was like, “No, you need to stay in it and keep doing what you’re doing and get some more followers.” And I was like, “Well, I don’t know. Why not?” 

After that is when I started doing it on the regular because I was just gonna quit it and stop it. It took about a year to get to 750,000 followers, and then that’s when [the video of me skating hit]. 

What even is it like waking up and opening your phone to see that you’ve gone absolutely viral?

It blew my mind. I went to work the next day like normal, and I started getting texts from everybody. My phone was blowing [up] and I was like, “What the heck is going on here?”

It was awesome that everybody was happy, laughing, just commenting, redoing the video. It blew my mind that it was catching everybody around the world—not just nationwide, it was worldwide. And to be a normal fool from Idaho, it’s crazy to be noticed like that by everyone around the world. 

My mom was texting me, “Why are you putting your videos on Facebook?” And I was like, “I don’t put my videos on Facebook.” She was like, “Well, it’s all over Facebook. Everybody’s going crazy, and you need to figure this out.” Then I was like, “I don’t know what’s going on, so I’m going back to work.” [Laughs]

I feel like a common experience I’ve heard from people who have gone viral is that urgency to seize the opportunity while you can. 

You either catch the ball or you fumble it, you know what I mean? I was just like,”‘I’m gonna have fun with it, and let’s just ride with this and see what happens.” I got denied in some things and accepted in a lot of other things, found what worked and what didn’t. Here I am still, and it’s awesome.  

So what have the past four years been like since? 

Ever since the video, I’ve just been continuing the vibe, bringing it around to everybody, trying to vibe out with as many people as I can in this world. I’ve been blessed to be getting meet and greets. And I’ve been blessed to get into the acting game as well. I’m on Reservation Dogs, Lopez vs. Lopez. I just got done doing a reading for a movie, so I hope I’ll be announcing that. 

It’s just awesome and crazy that it’s been four years and we’re still riding the wave. I’m still bringing a good vibe with everybody, and it just blows my mind that I can bring that vibe to everybody. I’m just happy that I’m the one that gets to do that. 

Was acting always something you wanted to do?

Definitely. It’s not what I went out and started TikTik for; it’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do when I was little. I didn’t really go on pursuing it or anything because being from Idaho, not many opportunities come around our way. 

Do you feel like you lean more into comedy or drama? 

I’m with whatever, but definitely comedy is one of my things. We haven’t had a stoner comedy come out for years now, like something really memorable. I definitely want to jump on something like that with somebody out there and make something for the history books. It’d be awesome.

When you experience something as intense as becoming famous overnight, how do you maneuver the really loud moments where everyone’s tuning in and the quieter moments after when things start to calm down a little bit?  

I feel like I’m still the same person. It definitely goes up and dies down, and I’m still getting recognized everywhere I go. It blows my mind that a regular nobody, a laborer from Idaho, can get recognized. Social media is a trip. It’s very powerful; it can blow anybody up as long as you do it right. As long as you wanna be on it.  

I mean you’re sort of immortal through this one video. You’re going to exist on the Internet forever. 

Everywhere I go I hear, “Oh, you’re the cranberry guy,” “Oh, you did that thing?” “Oh, you’re the juice guy.” And then sometimes, “Oh, you’re the orange juice guy!” I’m like, wait a minute. [Laughs

The other thing that’s amazing about it is it’s all races, you know? All ages. I was at Walmart once, and I got stopped by a 17-year-old in front of me who wanted a picture. Turned around, there was an 89-year-old, and she was like, “I know who you are too! I would love a picture too!” The diversity in that, it’s just awesome and so cool that I can bring a vibe to the world and help everybody try to smile and remember that you only have one life to live. So you might as well live it.

What’s your best life advice then? 

I think it’s to remember to get out and live life. You only have one life, and everybody just walks around like they got 20 lives to live. They don’t remember that it can be taken from you within a twinkle of an eye. Keep those who love you close and those who are toxic away because life is short and you need to help your life shine. Keep people with you that will help you along the way. Have fun. Be yourself. And go out and not feed on hate or listen to hate.  

For everyone that’s curious, what do you hope is next in store for you? 

I want to have a movie, either a documentary or something based on my little experience that I’ve had. Definitely get into as many movies as I can. Music—I got a Canada tour going on. I wanna be a one-hit wonder, you know? I don’t care—let me get that one hit. 

And more videos of the skateboarding. I feel like everyone definitely wants to have a big old skate. I want to skate around the world. I want Ocean Spray to reach out to me and bring the vibe back, and bring it with everybody around the world. I think there’s something there. 

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