She started her career in the entertainment industry as a singer, but América Olivo is now realizing her love for acting is too strong to ignore.
A graduate of the Juilliard School in New York, Olivo, 31, has toured and performed around the world with everyone from Ricky Martin and Ozomatli to Enrique Iglesias and Marc Anthony. After signing a record deal with DreamWorks to produce a Spanish-English pop album with her band Soluna, Olivo found her way to acting when the group disbanded in 2004.
In the remake of “Friday the 13th,” her first major film release, Olivo plays Amanda, the “quintessential sexy teenage girl” who ends up meeting serial killer Jason Voorhees while hanging out at Camp Crystal Lake.
Olivo, who is part Chilean and Spanish, spoke to me about the role she says gave her nightmares for weeks.
How did you get involved in the remake of “Friday the 13th?”
I was on the set of another movie and I get a call that I needed to replace someone who had dropped out of [Friday the 13th]. The next day, I’m on a plane to Texas and they’re changing my hair color and putting fake fingernails on me and throwing me out in the middle of nowhere.
How do Amanda and Jason end up meeting?
Amanda is hooking up with her boyfriend in the woods. The thing is, Jason isn’t a fan of kids having sex. It really pisses him off. He never let’s the kids finish what they are doing. He always interrupts. During the interruption, I meet Jason and we don’t get along so well. (Laughs)
Is this film going to have an effect on you the next time you decide to go camping?
As long as there isn’t a man with a machete anywhere near me, I can handle it. If I do go camping, I definitely won’t sleep and I’m not going to be having any sex! I guess there would probably be a new fear.
Other than guys with machetes, what scares you?
I was scared of Jason for a while. I had the worst nightmares because of [my scene] and had to get over that. I’m scared of serial killers in real life. I have to play one in my next movie (“Neighbor”) so I’ve been studying them. After this experience and the next one, I think I’m putting a security system on my house. I think I might get a gun. There’s some scary stuff out there.
Who are you studying to get into character?
I’ve actually been modeling my character after Casey Anthony, the girl who didn’t report her daughter missing. (Subsequently, Anthony has been charge with her daughter Kaylee’s murder). She is the girl next door who you would never suspect to do such terrible things. It’s going to be the biggest challenge of my acting career because I have to be devoid of emotion.