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.