Dominican actress and host of mun2’s “The Chicas Project” stars in the new comedy “Next Day Air.”
Since you’re the one usually asking all the questions as the host of “The Chicas Project” and “Vivo,” how does it feel doing press for the movie and being on the other side?
It feels marvelous darling. I’m having such a great time. It’s fun being on the other end of the spectrum. Being the one that’s always doing the interviewing, you kind of know what the interviewer is looking for and you give it your all. Plus, it’s fun not to have to do the whole reporter-style, legs crossed, fingers intertwined kind of thing. I can let loose a little more.
How did you get involved in the film since you don’t have a background in the industry?
I knew [director] Benny Boom from a couple of years ago because he’s well known in the music-video world. When he got the script and he was casting for his movie, they couldn’t find the girl they wanted to play Chita. Benny knows I’m from New York and that I’m Dominican, so he thought of me. So he called me and asked what kind of experience I have acting. I told him, “To be quite honest with you, none.” He was like, “Well, whatever. Doesn’t matter girl. Come audition. I think this part fits you perfectly.” So, I went in and auditioned and afterwards I was so nervous I just took off and went home because I thought it was over. On my way back home they called me and asked me to come back and read for them again. I did well and got the part.
I heard they wrote your character as a brother before decided there was too much testosterone in the script.
I’m so happy they changed their mind and that Chita was not Chito. Also, I think it brought a different element to the movie because the relationship between Chita and Jesus is funny. It’s an explosive relationship. It’s a love/hate relationship. They go back and forth.
Is acting something you want to keep doing now that you’ve gotten a taste?
It would be a dream to keep acting! I’m fairly young to start a career in entertainment. Although I wasn’t expecting it, I think I caught the acting bug. I can’t say it was always in my plans, but it’s definitely in my plans now. I plan on being a working Latina actress in Hollywood for many more years to come.
What kind of challenges do you expect as a new Latina actress?
I don’t foresee challenges in my career. I expect the best. I never expect the worst. I always go in with a positive mind. I’m reading a script right now and the chick I’m reading for is not Latina. Nowadays it doesn’t matter. It’s 2009. Maybe three or four years ago if it wasn’t a Latina reading for a chola role you probably wouldn’t get the part. But now we have Salma Hayek, Jennifer Lopez, Penelope Cruz that have paved the way for young Latina actress like me. Latinas are such a hot commodity now and will continue to be so. I hope that didn’t sound cocky. Sure, we might have to fight a little harder for the parts, but that’s okay. We have it in us.
How comfortable are you with your sexuality and are you going to let that define who you are as an actress?
I don’t ever flaunt my beauty or whatever you want to call it. I don’t walk in a room and expect anything but the respect that I deserve for my talent, not for how I look. If I were to ever read for a part where there is nudity, at this point in my career, I wouldn’t take the role because I don’t want to put myself out like that. But in the future, you never know. Right now I’m trying to establish myself as a talent in Hollywood and what I represent as a Latina, not the sexiest body in a magazine somewhere.