Hayley Orrantia – The Goldbergs (TV)

February 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

On “The Goldbergs,” an ABC comedy series set in the ’80s, actress Hayley Orrantia, 19, plays Erica, the family’s oldest child and only daughter and easily the best dressed of the Goldberg clan. The show, which is based on the real life of creator Adam F. Goldberg, also stars Chicago-born comedian Jeff Garlin (TV’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and Wendi McLendon-Covey (“Bridesmaids”).

During an interview with Orrantia, whose father’s side of the family comes from Chihuahua, we talked about some of the things she’s enjoyed experiencing on the show, especially since she was not born until the ’90s, not to mention the one piece of fashion from the ’80s she’ll never put on in her lifetime.

“The Goldbergs” airs Tuesdays on ABC at 8 p.m. CT.

You were born in 1994. What was the most interesting part of going back to a decade like the 80s?

The fashion has definitely been a big thing for me and my character. I know the hair and makeup and wardrobe people on set really like working with me. They can have more fun with my character because she’s young and vibrant. Erica is a really popular and trendy girl, so that’s really been the most impactful thing for me on the show.

Is there an Erica Goldberg in creator Adam F. Goldberg’s real life and have you had the chance to meet her?

Actually, my character is based on Adam’s oldest brother, Eric Goldberg. They wanted to have more girls in [the cast], so he decided to make his older brother an older sister. Eric did come on set one week, but I, unfortunately, was not there. Hopefully, before the season is up, I’ll get a chance to meet him.

Was there something specific about the 80s that you found odd and can’t understand why it was ever popular?

For me, it comes back to fashion. I really don’t understand jelly shoes – those see-through, glittery, sandal-type things that girls wear. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why they were ever popular. But some of my friends have them because apparently they’re coming back in style, which I think is horrible. I like the music and everything, and the fashion isn’t that bad, but when it comes to those damn jelly shoes…

I read a blog the other day that said there were five fashion trends from the 1980s that apparently made a comeback in 2013. Jelly shoes, however, didn’t make the list, so we’ll have to look out for those now. Anyway, what I’d like to do is name those five fashion trends and have you tell me if you or your friends rocked any of these out last year, OK?

OK.

Shoulder pads?

(Laughs) No.

Long gym socks?

Sort of. I think they’ve started to make cooler patterns. Some of my friends have been wearing them a lot.

Mom jeans turned into shorts?

So, like those high-waist type shorts?

Yeah, exactly.

Absolutely. Those are very popular. All of my friends have them. I actually don’t have a pair, but I’ll probably be getting some soon. Those are definitely popular among me and my friends.

Anything neon?

This is so lame, but for me, growing up, especially in middle school, I always wanted to dress like a rainbow –colored gothic kid. (Laughs) So, when I was younger, I thought that was the coolest thing ever. So, I actually have a lot of neon stuff. I try not to wear as much anymore, but I still have it in my closet.

Leggings with over-sized shirts?

Yeah, those are popular, too. My friends wear them. I wear them.

What do you wear now that probably won’t go over too well with a younger generation in, say, the year 2040?

(Laughs) I feel because it’s so popular now, it’ll be the Bohemian, hippie-style clothing where everything is baggy. I’m sure when we look back on it in 30 years, we’re going to be like, “We looked like homeless people.”

Personally, I don’t get why young girls wear granny glasses.

I don’t either. I think, for some reason, my generation right now is very into vintage anything – the whole hipster phase. So, I think that goes along with it. They’re like, “Oh, look, these are my grandma’s original glasses from high school.” I don’t know.

I, myself, am a child of the ’80s, so I have a special place in my heart for 80s movies even though I know a lot of them are really cheesy. Is there a movie or TV show you grew up with in the ’90s that you might be a little embarrassed to admit you liked now?

Oh, absolutely. I watched a lot of TV shows and movies on the Disney Channel. I remember the movie “Life-Size” with Tyra Banks and Lindsay Lohan. I actually just heard they are doing a remake of that. I got excited about it because me and my friends loved that movie growing up.

In one of your recent tweets you say that you were meant to be born in the ’70s because of the music you like. So, if you could pick any decade to live in, would it be the ’70s?

I guess it would depend. I mean, ’70s music is so fun. Me and my mom have so much fun when we hear that music. We always have ’70s parties with friends back home in Texas.

The show is narrated by Patton Oswald. Have you gotten a chance to meet him yet?

I did! I met him at a table read for an early episode. I only met him for a brief moment, but he was a really cool guy. I think his voice is perfect for the role. I’ve seen his other stuff before and I think he’s a great actor. I’m happy to have him on the show.

Bitsie Tulloch – The Artist (DVD)

June 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

In the Academy Award-winning film “The Artist,” Bitsie Tulloch plays Norma, an actress in the 1920s starring in a silent movie with a veteran actor (Jean Dujardin) who has no interest in evolving with the industry and making movies with sound.

During an interview with me, Tulloch, 31, best known for her role on the TV show “Grimm,” talked to me about her minor role in a film that received so much critical acclaim and about her little-known-about Spanish background.

“The Artist” is available on DVD and Blu-ray June 26.

Did you ever imagine you’d be in a film that won an Academy Award for Best Picture of the Year?

You know, I knew the film was going to be amazing based on the script and my experience filming it, but I really thought a silent film in 2011 was going to be a tough sell. It was exciting to see how far it went. I think it really deserved to win Best Picture. It was really thrilling. I wasn’t expecting it.

And all your scenes in the film are with Jean Dujardin. I was really happy for him when he won the Oscar for Best Actor.

Yeah, it’s amazing to just thinking about our time filming only a year and a half ago and now he has been up on stage to receive an Academy Award. I feel really blessed to be a part of the film.

Now, I have to ask, why didn’t help him out of the quicksand?

Oh, because I would’ve died if I had! (Laughs) That was a tough scene to film because it wasn’t actually sand, it was silt. It was so fine and made everyone cough and got into everyone’s eyes. Everybody on the crew was able to wear masks except for Jean and I. We were dying. That scene ended up taking two days partly because we couldn’t get through it.

Was it a challenge to play an actress from the silent era?

It was different. I watched a lot of silent films to get prepared for it. It was a little challenging because the gestures are so important. It’s harder to convey emotion with just your facial expressions. [Director] Michel [Hazanavicius] was fun to work with. He always had music blaring to keep the cast and crew in the mood of that time period.

Can you tell me more about your Spanish heritage?

My family came over fromSpainabout nine generations ago. I was born in San Diego, but by the time I was four days old I was on a flight back to Spain because that’s where my family was living at the time. My mother’s side of the family is primarily Spanish and my great-grandma is Mexican. I’ve lived in Guatemala and Uruguay and Argentina. My sister looks Latina. She looks like my mother. I don’t look like her at all, expect I got her cheekbones and my hair is very, very dark like hers. They dye it red for “Grimm,” but it is very dark. I definitely look like my dad’s side of the family more.

Not many people know about your ethnic background. Does it play a part in your life now?

It does. I think Latin American cultures are really rich and fascinating. I like the pomp and circumstance of some of their rituals and ceremonies. I definitely have some stereotypical qualities of being a Latina. I talk with my hands, which means I knock stuff over all the time. Also, Spanish was my first language growing up. It takes practice to speak it now, but every time I’m back in Spain, I’m speaking fluently. My accent is pretty good.

What do you remember most about living inSpainandLatin America?

Well, I don’t remember Spain that well, but it has since become my favorite country to visit. I remember going to my little Argentine all-girls prep school. I got kicked out in grade school because I staged a riot because I wanted more library time. My mother is very Roman Catholic. We had a 500-year-old wooden statue of Christ in the house. But living in those places was great. I never knew anything different. We moved around a lot and experienced different cultures. It’s just what my childhood was.

I read you went to school at Harvard University. What were your initial plans if they weren’t to become an actress?

My initial plans were to get a Master’s in art history and be a curator in my own gallery. What happened was I got burned out my senior year. It was a hard year for me. My parents were getting a divorce. I decided to take a year off from academia. I went out to L.A. because I had some friends there. I had a girl friend who wanted to be an actress, but was too scared to go to acting class. So, I told her I would go with her. She ended up never acting, and I never looked back. I loved it so much.

“Grimm” was picked up for a second season, so congratulations on that. What kind of TV influenced you growing up?

I never really watched TV when I was younger. We weren’t really allowed to watch TV when I lived in South America. My mom was always big on reading, which is a major reason I am still an avid reader. We had very minimal time in front of the TV. I don’t even remember watching it until middle school or high school. But then I would watch shows like My So Called Life, which is sort of serendipitous because one of my first TV shows was a show called Quarterlife, which was produced by the same people that had done My So Called Life.

“Grimm,” of course, pulls inspiration from the Brother’s Grimm fairytales. Growing up in Spain and Latin America, were you exposed to fairytales from those cultures?

Well, one of the great things about Latin American culture is that if you look at an author like Gabriel García Márquez, there is a supernatural element to even his tales. It is definitely fascinating. Most of the stories I read were Spanish versions of “Cinderella” and stuff like that. But there is a fairytale, magical element to all Latin American literature.

Tell me about your work with the Corazón de Vida Foundation.

Well, one of the reasons I was interested in the organization is because of my Latin background. I knew I could do a lot with them. They support orphanages in Baja. Whatever I can do to draw attention to their cause is really great. It’s one of the perks of being an actress.

Karen Rodríguez – American Idol (Season 10)

January 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

A contestant on Season 10 of “American Idol” last year, Karen Rodríguez is now ready to be a fan of the show for the first time as a regular viewer.

“I rarely watched the show before Season 10,” Rodríguez admitted to me during an interview to help promote Season 11, which premiered last week. “Now, I know what it’s like to be there, so I’m probably going to want to see everything.”

Last season, Rodríguez, who is half Dominican and half Peruvian, finished in 12th place after making it to the semifinals. She was commended by many Latino viewers for making a bold choice to sing in both English and Spanish during the competition.

During our interview, Rodríguez talked about why she connects more with Spanish-language music and what it’s really like singing in front of someone like Jennifer Lopez.

“American Idol” airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. on Fox.

Last season when you were a contestant, why was it so important for you to perform in both English and Spanish?

Spanish is my first language. My parents are from the Dominican Republic and Peru. They both came to the U.S. to seek opportunities. For me to have an opportunity like “American Idol” speaks volumes. A lot Latinos are still coming over here to the U.S. to seek those same dreams, but there are so many out there who don’t feel like they’re represented. I wanted to be their voice and speak for all of them. I want to tell them, “You can be President. You can get that job. You can be the net big pop star.”

Did you ever worry you would disconnect yourself from the TV audience who were not bilingual?

No, because I feel like I have the best of both worlds. I am Latina and I am an American. Eventually when I do become the artist I know I can be I’m going to want to sing in both languages. I wanted to show people who I am from the very beginning. I want them to know I’ve been real this whole time.

When you sing in Spanish does it feel different than when you sing in English? Do you deliver the songs differently?

I think Spanish music is so much different than English music, especially the Spanish music I grew up hearing and singing. I think I might connect with Spanish a little more. Spanish music tends to have more emotion. There is a lot of pain in boleros and rancheras. When singers like Celia Cruz or Marc Anthony sing a song in Spanish about heartbreak, they leave their pain on the stage. You can hear the cries in their voices. That’s what I try to deliver as well.

What was it like singing in front of someone you idolize like Jennifer Lopez?

How many people get to sing in front of their idol every week? I had been following her career since I was eight years old. I grew up listening to all her songs and buying her albums. To have her there and develop a relationship with her through music was great. She’s been one of my guides in my career.

Last year was the first year Simon Cowell was not on the judges’ panel. Some critics said the judges were too easy on the contestants. Even Jennifer Lopez has stated the judges are going to be tougher this season. Did you feel like you received enough constructive criticism or would you have liked more?

I think it was the first time for Steven [Tyler] and Jennifer so they were trying different things out. Personally, I loved the judges when I was on the show. It was like they were doing comedy. We knew we weren’t going to go on stage and feel like we were going to be attacked. Contestants that had Simon judging them probably felt a little scared. For me, I just tried to go out there and do what I do. If they liked it, that was great. If they didn’t, they would tell us with care and love. I think that’s something everyone needs from their mentors. At the end of the day, I knew that when I performed on stage I was going to leave with a smile on my face.