Disney actress Cerina Vincent talks about hit sitcom Stuck in the Middle, and playing Yellow Power Ranger
Disney Channel actress Cerina Vincent talks about playing Suzy Diaz on the latino based sitcom "Stuck in the Middle", and playing the Yellow Power Ranger Maya. Also Cerina remembers her cult classic film "Not Another Teen Movie".
You play the quirky mother Suzy Diaz on the Disney's Channel smash sitcom "Stuck in the Middle". The show is, about a 14-year-old Harley Diaz played by Jenna Ortega who maneuvers her way through the bustle of being a middle child in a family with six other siblings. What was the audition process like for Disney casting, and can you tell about your character Suzy?
The audition process was fascinating, actually. Before this, I couldn’t even get an audition to play a mom. When I got the material for Suzy, the mom of 7, I was elated. I knew in my heart that it was mine. I just had to convince the executives that it was. I come from a big, family and I feel incredibly maternal, so I really related to the quirkiness of Suzy. When I booked the pilot, and it was the greatest feeling in the world.
For a minute, before Disney picked up the show, they thought about replacing me with someone older and more Latina looking, etc. As a result, I had to re-audition for my role! It was a very stressful process but with a lot of patience, mediation (and wine) I ultimately got to keep my role. I love those kids deeply, and I think ultimately that it came through in the audition and I’m grateful that it’s my role.
The Disney Channel sitcom "Stuck in the Middle" stars 15-year-old Jenna Ortega from Jane the Virgin who quickly became, a household name after the series took off while, still in the first season. Can you tell what it's like working with Jenna, and do you guys hang-out offset?
Jenna is extraordinary. I met her when she was just 11 and now she’s this beautiful young woman. She’s so talented, smart and professional. She works so hard. She has a heart of gold and it’s no surprise to me that she’s a household name. Jenna has a long career ahead of her and I feel lucky that I get to play her mama on our wonderful Stuck in the Middle journey. As far as hanging out? We really don't hang out. We are so busy shooting the show and on weekends she has her own family and friends she needs to spend time with. But I love every juicy moment I get with her on set!
I was fascinated to learn at the age of sixteen you won the Miss Nevada Teen USA title which, must have been one exciting experience, because after that you also competed in the Miss Teen USA pageant. I'm interested to learn what you must do to prepare for the Miss Nevada Teen pageant, and how did you feel about people who don't agree with having women compete in pageants?
Yep! I was Miss Nevada Teen USA in 1996! I watched cousins and friends in the pageant when I was younger and I always wanted to enter. When I was 16, I asked my parents and they said “NO,” but I raised the money to enter, bought myself a dress, and WON! And then yes, I was off to Miss Teen USA. That was an interesting experience for me because I didn’t grow up a “beauty queen” like some of those other girls. I was pretty shy, but I actually did very well. They only had a top 10 that year for Miss Teen USA, but apparently I came in 11th or 12th?
As far as training... I loved to workout so I was in pretty great shape at the time and that’s about it! I practiced answers to typical pageant questions about politics, the environmental and social issues. At the time it was a pretty stressful process but looking back, it was a blast and an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience.
You're first big on-screen role was playing the Yellow Galaxy Ranger Maya in the 90's television series "Power Rangers Lost Galaxy" which, must have been a real trip to actually play a Power Ranger. What are some of your memories from that series and, what was like putting on that suite every week?
Yep! Power Rangers was my first series regular job and I learned SO much. Honestly, most of my memories are from just being tired! Ha! We worked 16 hour days, 5/6 days a week and I had to get up at 3am to be in makeup at 4:30! But I made life long friends with my other fellow rangers, the producers and crew too! The Power Ranger world is like a little family. Rangers, crew, fans… we are all one. Regarding the costumes: I always joke that no one looks great in yellow spandex but the suits were absolutely fun to wear.
My character was from a jungle planet so I wore a little leather shirt and half top every single day and then “morphed” into the yellow ranger suit. But little secret was that any time the helmets are on… that’s not us actors. When the helmet are on, they used really badass stuntman under the helmet!! We couldn’t make that show without those guys. They are some of the best martial artists in the business.
In 2001 you appeared the cult classic comedy "Not Another Teen Movie" playing the character of Areola who is nude throughout the whole film. Did you have any reservations about taking the role, and how do you feel about the film now looking back almost seventeen years later?
I did have some reservations about it. Actually, I first turned the role down—I didn’t think I could do it. But it came back to me, they offered it again and after a long talk with my family, I made the decision to do it. It’s a brilliantly funny movie with an incredible cast! It’s a spoof and I loved the concept of my character and working on the 5 different accents. It was all very professional and on a closed set. Everyone was sensitive towards me and great.
I was painfully nervous but shooting those scenes wasn’t as hard as it was for the movie to come out! When the movie came out to the world, I wasn’t quite prepared for the judgment! I got a few cruel comments and push back. But in the end it just made me stronger and more secure with myself and my body. I have no regrets.
Congratulations on becoming a published author with three books under your the Hot Chick series including How to Eat Like a Hot Chick, and How to Love Like a Hot Chick. How did you start writing books, and can you explain the Hot Chick series is all about?
Well, thank you! My co-author and best friend Jodi Lipper and I thought there needed to be a voice out there that made women feel good about themselves! We were tired of books with restrictive diets that seemed more like tabloid magazines that picked apart women bodies. We redefined the term “Hot Chick,”—It’s not about looking a certain way, it’s about an inner confidence. The books are irreverent and silly. They are uplifting and in the end, women of all ages have thanked us for making them finally feel beautiful and secure with themselves. Harper Collins is doing a reprint of How to Eat Like a Hot Chick and you can get them all at Barnes and Noble or Amazon!
You currently have a new film coming out called "Broken Memories" which, follows a beautiful and mysterious caretaker who helps a man battle his father's Alzheimer's. What did you learn about Alzheimer's from the film and, can you tell some more about your character?
I actually have a smaller role in this film but, I did appreciate the subject matter and I think it is important for all of us to have a better understanding about this horrible disease. Rance Howard gives a beautiful performance. I think I went into the film with a better understanding than most because I had an uncle who battled with Alzheimers. My aunt was his primary care giver and when you see what families dealing with Alzheimers actually go through I think one of the big take aways is how much love and care a family has to have to care for their loved one. It is a disease that fully affects everyone in the family, not just the patient.
What advice would you give someone looking to break into acting?
There are no rules in this business. If there was one sure way to make it, we’d all be rich and famous and be in and on the best films and television shows. It doesn’t work like that but that’s a good thing! Everyone gets to write their own story. It’s a hustle. It takes a lot of dedication and for me, meditation! Work hard and be kind to others. Get into acting classes. Read books. Make short films with your friends. And again, I can't express enough to always work hard and be kind. Thank you so much!
Watch full episodes of Stuck in the Middle on Disney Channel.com
Don't miss the world premiere of Stuck at Christmas (The Movie) premiering December 8, 2017
Follow Cerina on Instagram, and Twitter.
Rising teen sensation Molly Jackson discusses her role on Disney's Andi Mack and, shopping for the perfect outfit
Rising teen sensation Molly Jackson discusses her role on Disney's Andi Mack and, shopping for the perfect outfit. Also, Molly talks about getting an education while continuing her career in Hollywood.
Congratulations on your recurring role in Disney's popular hit show "Andi Mack" where you play Iris, a very sweet and, cheerful girl who has a crush on Cyrus. I personally found the relationship between Iris and Cyrus very intriguing in development of the overall arch of the series. Can you tell us about your audition process for Iris, and describe your character
It was a quicker process than most. I had a same day audition, and found out I booked it several days later. There wasn't even a callback. I flew out to film within the week. Iris is sweet and likable. She loves to look for the best in people.
At just 15 years old you've accomplished a ton of ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) work on some of Hollywood's biggest franchises including Finding Dory, Thor: The Dark World, and, most recently The Fate of the Furious. What exactly does ADR work on a feature film entail, and can you explain to our audience the process that takes place in the studio?
It usually takes 1-2 days to record. You can either be in the studio for 5 minutes for 10 hours. You are sometimes by yourself, but sometimes with a "loop group". They have you fill in lines, laughs, screams, and background dialogue. It is always a lot of fun.
One of the many things I found fascinating about your life is how seriously you take your education. You skipped the 5th Grade and passed the California High School Proficiency Exam while still working full time in the industry. How do you balance your school work with acting, and if a young teenager asked you about getting an education while acting what would you tell them
It is a hard balance, especially being in the 11th grade now. I tend to fall behind frequently, but I always catch up. I've managed to get straight A's all through high school (we'll see how long that lasts), but it has taken a ton of work. During the school year I don't get much free time/social time. I get to work with my friends though, so that fills in for the social time. A couple years ago I would have told them that school is the most important thing, but my views have shifted.
I definitely still believe in some type of education, but it doesn't have to be traditional. It can be community college, summer classes, or even just traveling. If you know that acting is what you want to do for the rest of your life, then why spend hours upon hours in school, when you could be mastering new skills that are relevant to your career. I plan on finishing high school, because I only need a few more credits, but I don't think I would retake this route. I also plan on still going to college, but not for acting. If I wanted to only be an actress the rest of my life I would probably not spend the money on college.
I'm sure auditions keep you pretty busy, but when you’re not on-set can you tell us what you like to do for fun?
I work out every chance I get. I'm pretty obsessed with fitness. I also love to travel, and do volunteer work. If I don't have time to leave the house I either read or watch "The Vampire Diaries".
You were born in born in Wurzburg, Germany to an American military family, but raised in Texas, and made your first television guest star appearance at the age of nine, playing the role of Little Stephanie in Nickelodeon's Victorious. How did you get starting acting at such a young age and, how involved is your mom in your career?
I started at a youth theater in El Paso, TX. I signed up for a summer camp, and just never stopped. I entered acting on my own free will, fortunately no one forced it on me. My mom is very involved not in coaching me or running my social medias, but managing my schedule and getting me places. I am thankful she doesn't live through my career; she lets this be my thing.
You also play Brianna another recurring character in Nickelodeon's hilarious sitcom "You also play Brianna, another recurring character in Nickelodeon's hilarious sitcom "Ricky, Dicky, Nicky, and Dawn" who runs with the cool fashion obsessed group at Edgewood Middle School. Our readers would be interested to learn what you do to prepare for an audition, and if we're to go shopping with Molly, what kind of clothes would you pick-out?
To prepare, I always memorize my lines and try to create individualized thoughts for each character. After I have that down, I practice the acting 4-5 times. I highly believe in not over-practicing, I feel like it throws me off. If they were to go shopping with me for an audition I would pick out solid color tops, non-ripped jeans, and a pair of converse. If they were to go shopping with me for everyday clothes it would look a little different. I would probably pick up some ripped skinny jeans, dark-toned fancier tops, heels, and a cute accent jacket.
You're also a proud vegan primarily for your love of animals and the added health benefits the vegan lifestyle provides. How many pets do you have, and how has becoming vegan changed your life?
I have 5 rescue dogs and 1 bearded dragon. I have so much more energy, and a lot of health problems that I previously had went away. It has made a huge impact on my health, and I keep seeing new benefits every day.
Watch Molly on the latest season of Andi Mack.
Also check-out Molly on Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn.
Follow Molly Jackson on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Breakout actress Natalie Sharp talks about her new comedy series Hit the Road, and working with Seinfeld's Jason Alexander. Also Natalie tell us about earning her B.A. from Loyola Marymount University.
Congratulations on the new comedy series "Hit the Road" for Audience Network which follows a chaotically dysfunctional family of would-be rock/pop stars traverse the country while in search of fame and fortune. Can you describe your character of Ria Swallow?
Ria is the sexy, sassy, bad-attitude, rebellious daughter. She knows what she wants, and she is determined to get it. Definitely not the best role model for her younger siblings… but at least she’s confident! She’s growing up and coming into her own, and with that… would do literally anything to get off of the crammed tour bus, and get as far away from her family as possible! She has the dreams of being a pop singer, following the paths of Christina Aguilera and Avril Lavigne!
The new comedy series also stars comic icon Jason Alexander from the 90's smash "Seinfeld" which, ran for 9 seasons. What's it like working with Jason, and do you have funny stories about working with him?
Working with Jason has been the ultimate dream experience. I have learned so much just by watching him! It is so fun to be able to play his troublesome, difficult daughter. I constantly get to challenge him, contradict him, throw him shade, and out-wit him! I remember it was pouring rain one day, and we were all crammed into this tent waiting for the crew to set up for the weather, and Jason started reciting riddle, after riddle. We all got so into it, it got pretty heated! He is also borderline a magician… who knew?!
You recently completed a feature film "Live Like Line" starring (Helen Hunt and William Hurt) which, is about the tragic death of star volleyball player Caroline "Line". The group of school girls must band together to win the state championship. What can you tell us about your character Mack?
Mack is the main hitter on the team. She is the true athlete, hoping to go pro. She is tough, and competitive and is one heck of a volleyball player (yes, I am tooting my own horn because the volleyball you see Mack playing, is actually played by me)! I have been playing volleyball all my life and so I was so excited to be a part of this project! What was also very cool about it, was that we were able to talk to the girls we portray in the film, and hear their story, and what they went through. Live Like Line is a very inspiring, important, film showcasing badass female athletes, and I am excited for the world to see it!
What advice would you give someone looking to break into acting?
If you love it, keep doing it. Trust yourself, and the never stop learning!
You were born and raised in Vancouver, BC and, started actually singing at the age of just six years old. How did you get your start in the singing and, when did you know you wanted to be an actress?
I am pretty sure I pointed to the screen (watching the Lizzie McGuire movie) and announced to my mom that I wanted to do that, ACT! But then HER interpretation of it was to put me into singing lessons (which I definitely needed because I was SO SHOW. Had the WORST stage fright!) As I got comfortable on stage, I transitioned to musical theatre, then theatre, which inevitably lead to TV and film!
Who are some of your favorite actors or actresses that you look up to?
Jake Gyllenhall, Jennifer Lawrence, Mila Kunis and Shailene Woodley!
You're currently finishing your BA in drama and a business degree at Loyola Marymount University which, must be tough while acting. How do you juggle finishing a business degree while being on set?
The workload can be overwhelming and stressful, but I have learned to go with the flow. I know what my priorities are, and so do my professors. I am very lucky to go to a school that tries to accommodate your professional life and education. After all, that’s what they want! They want you to go out and audition, and take those opportunities! Timing has definitely been on my side. Both Live Like Line and Hit The Road filmed over the summer, so luckily I didn’t have to miss any school!
What do you love the most, singing, dancing, or acting?
It is a toss up between singing and acting. With singing I feel more ‘free,’ but acting is much more of a challenge, which is why I love it and continue to work at it. I am constantly trying to push myself and see what I can do. Its exciting.
Watch "Hit the Road" only on the Audience network.