Josie Loren – Make It or Break It (Season 2)

July 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

Currently in her second season of the ABC Family TV series “Make It or Break It,” actress Josie Loren has seen a major change to her character Kaylie Cruz, a talented young gymnast training for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

When she first took on the role in 2009, Loren described Kaylie as “very naïve and boy crazy.” Now, she says, the character has evolved into someone more like herself.

“Before she was completely unfocused,” Loren, 23, told me by phone after shooting an episode for the new season. “Now, she’s a serious competitor and has set really high goals. She’s determined and very hard working.”

During our interview, Loren, who is of Cuban descent, talked about her natural competitiveness and what sports she actually likes to play despite her lack of hand-eye coordination.

You describe your character Kaylie now as someone who is goal orientated. Would you consider yourself similar to her with your own acting career?

Yes. When I first started on “Make It or Break It” I didn’t think Kaylie was anything like me. It was hard to play her because she was very foreign to me. Now, I understand Kaylie a lot more. I know what it means to set a goal and put everything you have into it and sometimes go a little overboard in trying to get it because you want it so bad. I know where she is coming from.

You have a background in gymnastics. Have your skills improved even more now that you’re in the second season of the show?

I’d be lying if I said yes. (Laughs) We train a lot, but it’s more like workouts. We don’t really learn skills. They’re just so protective of us on set. They don’t want us to get hurt, so everything is kept really basic.

Would you say you’re in the best shape of your career right now?

Oh, definitely. I’m pretty sure I have a lot more muscle mass. It’s a different lifestyle. You feel better. You feel a lot more energized and good about yourself.

The last time we talked you describe yourself as someone who is very competitive. Have you been able to test your competitive nature in your career yet, maybe during auditions?

Not really because I haven’t had time to audition. Our hours are really long every day. Shooting interferes with other projects and scheduling. But I’m actually really excited in a strange way to get back in the saddle and audition again. I really like auditioning. I guess that is the competitive nature in me.

What about being competitive in sports? Are there any you play?

It’s funny because I’m very fit and athletic, but I have absolutely no hand-eye coordination. I will work my butt off and play with lots of passion, but I’m just bad at sports. I can bike ride and hike and rock climb. I can do those things. But when you put a ball into it, it’s over. Oh, I do enjoy kickball. I think that’s a sport I might be good at.

Do you enjoy watching any sports?

I’m a huge UCLA basketball fan.

Are you going to school there right now?

I go back this month. I’ll be off for six weeks from the show and it’s perfectly matched for summer session C at UCLA. I’m a mass media communications major and Spanish minor.

You were recently named by OK! Magazine as one of Hollywood’s sexiest singles. Is that kind of recognition something you embrace?

Yeah, I was obviously shocked and flattered by the whole thing. I think just as long as it’s not bad publicity it’s OK. I would be mortified if anything negative came out about me. Any positive publicity is great for the show.

But it’s also a double-edge sword, don’t you think? You can be loved by OK! Magazine one week and the next week everything changes. How do you plan on confronting this since you’re now part of young Hollywood?

I don’t think I have big enough fame in Hollywood for that to happen, but I’m sure it will. It will be hard when it does but you just have to recognize that it comes with the business unfortunately. Some days you’re on top and other days you’re at the bottom. I think the times where you are at the bottom of the totem pole will make you appreciate when things are good.

Josie Loren – Make It or Break It (Season 1)

January 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

When actress Josie Loren received a text message from her “Make It or Break It” co-star Chelsea Hobbs last July that read, “I’m so excited for another 10,” she really didn’t know what her friend was talking about.

A few minutes later, Loren’s manager and agent called her and explained. Her TV show “Make It or Break It,” which debuted on ABC Family in June 2009, was picked up for another 10 episodes.

“Getting picked up for the first 10 is kind of a network call; they think the show is something that could do well,” said Loren, 22, who was born Josie López before changing her name a couple years ago. “But when you get picked up for another 10, it’s because the fans really love it and people want it back.”

In the show, Loren, who was born and raised in Miami and is of Cuban descent, plays Kaylie Cruz, a female gymnast who is training to make it to the Olympics.

“Make It or Break It” airs on ABC Family Monday nights at 8 p.m.

You’ve done some TV in the last four years, but how does it feel to have a “home base” now?

You’re grateful for every set that you work on, but it’s so nice to be on one set consistently. You feel like you are part of a family. You’re with them all the time. It literally becomes your home away from home.

When did you know acting was what you wanted to devote your life to?

Ever since I was 5, I was doing monologues and musical theater. It’s always been a lot of fun. I really love being on stage. When I came to L.A., my acting teacher really fueled the fire for acting. I really learned to open up as a person and fell in love with it.

Are you naturally athletic or is that something you had to work on for the show?

I was a gymnast when I was younger. I knew the world of gymnastic and had that in me already. I was also a competitive cheerleader. I knew what it was like to tumble and be under pressure. It was easy to get into that competitive nature.

Sounds like you don’t like to lose.

Actually, my friends won’t play board games or charades with me because they say I’m a tyrant. I hate losing. It all comes from my family. We call it the López blood. When you play a game with us, we fight to the death to win. It’s only helped me here in L.A. because Lord knows this is a really competitive industry.

You’re a 22-year-old actress right in the middle of all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. How do you plan to stay away from falling into any negative side of the industry that you might face as you become more popular?

Luckily, I haven’t had any negative press yet. I know it will come because it comes with the territory. The only thing you can do is stay true to yourself. I always try to live by the morals my parents instilled in me since I was little. I feel [that] if I follow what they’ve always taught me, I’ll be fine.

When did you change your last name from López to Loren and why did you make that decision?

It happened when I was a sophomore in college. My agent told me it was getting difficult to get me auditions for roles that were not Hispanic roles just because of my name. When you go to auditions, sometimes casting directors or producers can’t see past a last name like López. Changing my name has helped me audition for other things. It’s just broadened the roles I can go out for.

Do you feel it’s unfortunate that people can’t see past a last name?

I do think it’s unfortunate that I had to change my Hispanic name. But if it’s what I have to do to get my foot in the door now and help other Hispanic actors in the future, I think it’s for the best. My last name may be Loren, but I am extremely proud of my Cuban heritage. I pronounce it loud and proud. I would never abandon that.

How did you come up with Loren?

Actually, I didn’t come up with it. I was in a dorm room with two of my best friends and we were throwing names back and forth and my friend came up with it. She’s thrilled she came up with my new last name.

So, when your name is up in lights, she’s going to point to it and remind you that she made it happen, right?

She won’t let me forget it! She’ll probably say, “Look how far it’s gotten you!”

Candace Cameron – Make it or Break it

December 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Interviews

While she admits she will always be remembered for playing D.J. Tanner on the hit ’90s TV show “Full House,” actress Candace Cameron is making sure people aren’t overlooking the work she is doing now.

After taking a six-year hiatus to raise three children, Cameron, 33, returned to TV in 2007 to star in an episode of “That’s So Raven” alongside fellow ex-child star Raven-Symone. After a couple of small movies, she has found another homebase with ABC Family’s TV show “Make it or Break it.” The show follows a group of female gymnasts as they train for the Olympics and face everyday teenage problems. Cameron plays Summer Van Horne, the step-mother of one of the hopeful Olympians.

During a conference call with me, Cameron talked about her return to TV and whether or not her strong Christian faith limits her as an actress.

You took a six-year break from acting back in 2001. Now that you are coming back into it has it been an easy transition since you have a familiar name or did it feel like you were starting from scratch all over again?

No, Hollywood embraced me and gave me a very warm welcome back. When I decided to come back to work, it didn’t take long at all. It was basically a little reintroduction, “Hey, I’m back,” and everyone wanted to see what I looked like. From what most people say, I pretty much look the same as I did even ten years ago. I haven’t aged too much. Aside from people just seeing what I look like, it was a very warm welcome. The calls started coming in right away. I didn’t have to fight hard at all, which is a beautiful place to be; I’m grateful for it.

You’ve said that you hold a high standard when choosing roles because of your Christian faith. Does it ever feel like you might be limited as an actress by doing this or is it not something you think about?

I definitely am limited, absolutely, but that’s okay. I’m the one that’s limiting myself and I’m limiting myself by choice. I want to do things that either will have a message at the end of the day, a good moral message, or things that will encourage people or families in a positive direction. Not that everything is going to be perfect or everything’s happy; there are always struggles and conflict in television or movies and participating in those are great. I don’t have to do everything that holds the exact same viewpoint that I have, but at the end of the day, for me, I want it to have a positive reflection or redemption at the end of it; something learned from the situation. Yes, I’m limited, but that’s completely fine with me.

You have a whole new fan base with “Make it or Break it,” but you also have those fans who followed you during your “Full House” days. Has the change in this fan base impacted you in any way?

I’m still recognized from “Full House.” I think I will be my entire career and that’s still where the majority of my fans are from. It is pretty fun for me when some of the younger kids come up to me say, “Aren’t you that lady from ‘Make It or Break It?’”  That tickles me to death. I love having new fans that know me from this show – that’s always a fun thing, but I’m forever grateful and love my “Full House” fans.  I guess I haven’t seen a huge, dramatic change in fans from being on the show. I think I’ve got a great group of core fans that have just followed me for a long time; it’s quite flattering and I’m appreciative of them all.

Do you find yourself mentoring the younger actresses on the set? What is your relationship like with them?

They’re such sweet girls; I’ve been having so much fun getting to know them as people and as actresses and seeing what they do and their different styles, even their different levels of experience.  It’s different for all of them.  I try to be an example to them just by doing what I do, to be professional on the set and to know my lines and to be there when I’m asked to be there and not hold anything up.  It’s nothing that I’ll sit down and talk to them about and to mentor in that way.  They’re learning as well, but I think for me that’s the best way I can do that is just living that example for them.  Hopefully they can reap some of my experience by seeing it. 

With the Winter Olympics coming up in Vancouver, when hockey starts, does that cause a split in your house? Do you root for the U.S. and [your husband] Valeri roots for Russia?

I’m an American and will root for everything American except when it comes to hockey.  I’m not a traitor, but my husband did play in two Olympic Games and of course I was rooting for Russia when he played in those games. I have a silver and a bronze medal sitting in my home. I’m incredibly proud of him and those medals. Even though he’s not playing in the Olympics again, my heart’s going to be with Russia because that’s his team and he won those medals with Russia. It’s the only team in the winter sports, hockey, when my heart goes with Russia.