Fernanda Romero – The Eye

June 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

Moving from her home in Mexico City in 2003 to study fashion design in the California, Fernanda Romero never aspired to become a telenovela star, TV host, movie actress, or model. Five years later, she’s all of the above and more.

While taking classes in fashion at Santa Monica College, Romero, who was working on some jean campaigns at the time, was introduced to a casting director who thought she would be perfect for the modeling the same style clothing she was marketing.

A career in the entertainment industry came natural to Romero as she started her career in print and television ads for Rock and Republic, Clean and Clear, Pepsi, Apple, and JC Penny.

Although she was having fun as a model, Romero wanted more. Enrolling in acting classes paid off when she was introduced to the world of Spanish TV by landing a role in the Telemundo telenovela “El alma herida.” One more novela and eight movies later and Romero has surprised herself by what she has accomplished.

In her most recent film, “The Eye,” which was released on DVD last week, Romero stars as Ana Christina Martinez, a young girl from Mexico who is haunted by supernatural images. After Ana’s death, her eyes are donated to a blind girl (Jessica Alba) who begins to see the same bizarre visions.

During our interview, Romero talked about what makes Mexico City special to her, what it was like working with Jessica Alba, and how shy she can get during a photo shoot.

You’ve worked as a singer, dancer, actress, TV hostess, and model. How do you keep everything balanced?

I’m going crazy. (Laughing) It’s hard, but I am dedicated to what I do. I love what I do so I try to balance it out – a little bit here, a little bit there. My priority is acting though. I love acting so when I take on a project I am 100 percent devoted to that.

What led you to acting?

When I was a little girl I always like the arts. I was in theater in school and would always sing. I liked it but I didn’t think I would be doing it as a career. It’s destiny.

What do you miss most about Mexico City?

The energy and the people. I go back home and see all my family. I miss the culture. You don’t appreciate a lot of things when you have them. I got to appreciate my family and friends more and the flavor of Mexico. I like to go back there to refuel.

As a Latina actress, is Jessica Alba someone you look up to in the industry?

Absolutely. She is a great girl. My experience with her was great. She has had a great career.

What was the experience like working with someone as talented as Guillermo Arriaga (screenwriter for “Babel,” “Amores Perros”) for his first film as a director “The Burning Plain?”

For me it was an amazing experience. I was my first time working with a Mexican director. I was so glad it was him. He is very good with his actors. It was an honor to work with him. With him and Charlize [Theron], it was really a great time.

I just saw your video photo shoot for Maxim Magazine today.

Oh, don’t tell me that. I get so shy about that video.

Well, Maxim is known for their sexy and tastefully revealing photos, so how comfortable do you have to be with yourself when the photographer asks you to remove another piece of clothing?

Oh my God, I am very particular with that. Between shots I am wearing a jumper. I may not look very shy, but I am. They tell me, “Okay, we have to make it a little sexier” and I’m like, “Really? Aww, I don’t want to take any more clothes off.”

Is your family old-fashioned? What do they think about the modeling part of your career?

In the beginning it was kind of weird for them because we are part of the Latin culture. They didn’t think I could get a career as an actress. They wanted me to get a typical job, find a good boy, get married, and yada, yada, yada. Now, they got used to it and support me. They know that this is what I want to do.

Other than being attractive, what makes a good model?

Being in the moment and having fun with it. I like to have a good connection with the photographer. I like to go with the flow. I don’t like attitude and don’t like divas. When people are having a good time, it’s the best photo shoot.

So, you don’t want to be the next big Latina diva?

No, I like to keep myself really rounded. I like to help people and keep my feet on the ground. It’s important to me not to forget who I am.

The Eye

February 3, 2008 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Jessica Alba, Alessandro Nivola, Parker Posey
Directed by: David Moreau (“Ills”) and Xavier Palud (“Ills”)
Written by: Sebastian Gutierrez (“Snakes on a Plane”)

If there’s anything that Hollywood can currently do without (other than striking writers), it’s more Japanese and Chinese horror film remakes. Taking a page from “The Grudge,” “The Ring,” and both their unneeded sequels, “The Eye,” a modernized version of the Hong-Kong film “Jian Gui,” delivers a substandard plot and disguises it with unoriginal visual effects and cheap scare tactics.

The film follows Sydney Wells (Alba), a blind violin player who undergoes surgery to replace her eyes, which were damaged while playing with fireworks when she was a little girl. Although the transplant is a success from a medical standpoint, Sydney becomes terrorized by images she begins to see both in her dreams and while awake.

Not only are ghosts appearing and reappearing right in front of her (there’s a quick reference to “The Sixth Sense” in the middle of the film although I’m not too sure it was intentional), Sydney is also waking up every morning at 1:06 a.m. Gasp, I guess. Aren’t these delusional internal clocks getting a bit worn out in the horror genre?

Turning to eye specialist Dr. Paul Faulkner (Alessandro Nivola), who is supposed to help her retrain her corneas, Sydney becomes increasingly curious as to whose eyes she has inherited and what secrets this person hid away before dying. In a superfluous role, Parker Posey plays Sydney’s sister Helen and does nothing for the picture except lend her name for the credits. There is another story behind the relationship of the two women (Helen seems to feel guilty around her sibling possibly because she blames herself for the childhood accident?), but French directors David Moreau and Xavier Palud never bother to explain.

Written by screenwriter Sebastian Gutierrez (“Gothika,” “Snakes on a Plane”), “The Eye” has some interesting ideas embedded deep inside the lankiness of its actual storyline. Instead of building on its strengths, Gutierrez, along with Moreau and Palud, downplay Sydney’s physical condition and focus more on her mental instability, which comes to us in heavy doses of dream sequences and cliché editing. It would have been much more interesting to watch Sydney struggle with her new vision before inundating us with the dead.

Mark another missed opportunity for Alba. She has yet to prove that she is more than a pretty face in the industry. Until she grabs hold of a role that will give her something with substance to work with, her claim to fame just might be the “100 Hot Babes Lists” she always manages to top.