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Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?
A) I just finished six months of shooting in Atlanta for the show "Single Ladies."
Q) Please tell us what is new this season on "Single Ladies" and about your character Raquel.
A) The newest thing about the show is the arrival of my character, Raquel. Raquel comes from a very privileged family from high society Atlanta, but she's not pretentious at all. She's been trying to get out of her trappings. She was in a relationship for eight years with a character named Victor. In the first episode of the season, you met Raquel and Victor at their engagement party. Raquel walks in on Victor cheating on her. It's one of those things where bad things happen, but good things come from it. It propels her into this complete journey of figuring out who she is and what she wants. The first thing that she realizes is that although she's been in this relationship for years with someone from another prominent family and although it would make his family happy (and her family as well) to continue to get married she realizes she could never marry a man like this. Not only has he cheated, she realizes that throughout those eight years it's been more of a friendship than a passionate relationship. Raquel starts questioning herself and starts standing up for herself against her mother who wants to see her in the "high society life." Raquel wants to follow her dreams and, for the first time, she is going to stand up and speak about what she wants, what kind of person she wants to be, what kind of man she wants to be with and what she wants to do for her career. She's tired of trying to live up to everyone else's expectations. She's lost who she is. So, for the first time, she is going to start reevaluating and rediscovering who she is and what she wants. Season two is about Raquel figuring out who she is and what she wants out of life.
Q) What was it about the show that made you want to be a part of it?
A) Initially, my fans and Twitter and Facebook followers were the ones who let me know that there was a great show they thought I'd be perfect for. I was just receiving so many tweets and Facebook messages about the show. I had seen the original pilot for the show, but because of working on "All My Children" I wasn't able to keep up with the series. When I started to read the press of the show and what the show was about, it sounded fun! It focuses on three girlfriends with three distinctive tastes, ideas, the moral of life and relationships that I thought it was really realistic. I grew up in New York and I've got some great girlfriends. We all have complete different ideas of what a marriage should be, what a relationship should be and we all have different careers and different desires and wants. It seemed very realistic. Another big part of the show, which fans are very aware of, is fashion. I grew up modeling so I have a background in modeling. So, that was super interesting to me. I also loved the show was based in Atlanta. It was a fresh idea. I don't think that anyone else has put Atlanta on the map the way this show has. It's kind of brought the attention that Atlanta needs. It's a great city with great energy and there are tons of fun things to do and "Single Ladies" was representing that.
Q) What do you find challenging about playing Raquel?
A) Sometimes Raquel can be very naive. Like I said, I'm from New York so I don't have that same kind of outlook on things. Also, she's the kind of person who doesn't second guess people until you give her a reason to. Me, I'm always thinking "This could go one way or another." Raquel automatically assumes the best and sometimes that leaves her disappointed. I think that's been the biggest challenge, to remember this character has this complete different outlook on life than I do.
Q) You joined a cast that already had been working together for a season. What was it like when you began working with them?
A) The cast has been so amazing! When I first got here (actually, even before I got here), when it was announced I was joining the cast my castmates called or emailed me. They gave me little pieces of advice like what clothes to bring. LisaRae told me to pack warm clothes because in the winter it does get cold in Atlanta. Travis Winfrey emailed me and welcomed me. He gave me a little back-story about everybody and Charity [Shea] was the first one to let me know where the healthy places to eat were. Everyone, throughout the season, has done little things to make me feel like part of the family. It was a real easy transition.
Q) What have been some of your favorite moments from filming "Single Ladies?"
A) There are so many! We run around and joke about each other and play jokes on each other. We have so much fun that there are so many moments together that I couldn't think of just one. We are constantly between takes just laughing and cracking jokes on each other.
Q) What was it like getting to work with William Levy on the show?
A) He's such a sweetheart! I'm part Latina so I was aware of his success in the Spanish market. I just didn't know what he was going to be like though because he's so successful at what he's been doing previous to his big American debut. He's such a humble, chill, laid back guy. He loves to eat! Boy, that man loves to eat! He was on set the other day and at nine in the morning he was eating Pop-Tarts. I was like, "Really? That's how you start your day?" He's got a big sweet tooth!
Q) What do you think it is about the show that makes it such a fan favorite?
A) I think it's very real. I think there is a perfect mix though between what's real and what's fantasy. I think it's very relatable because, as a woman, if you look at your life and your girlfriends you are all very different. At the end though, we all want the same thing and that's kind of what the show is about. At the end, we're all looking to be successful and happy with our lives, careers and relationships. We all just follow a different path to get there. So, I think the show is super relatable. Stacy A. Littlejohn, our head writer and creator did a really good job of writing these characters that I think women at home can say, "Oh, that's me! I'm Raquel!", "I'm Keisha!" or "I wish I could be more like April!" I think it's the fact they can identify with a character or how they'd like to be more like a character is what makes it a fan favorite.
Q) You are also in the upcoming movie Magic Mike. Can you tell us about your character Ruby?
A) My role in Magic Mike is really small. It's a cute couple of scenes with Channing Tatum and Alex Pettyfer. To be on the set like that and to work with an amazing director, Steven Soderbergh, though was a highlight. Coming on to an amazing project, watching Steven work and sitting around just taking note of everyone's different approaches to putting the piece together was really interesting. Channing is so sweet and so humble. He came in the morning super friendly and welcoming. He'd say, "Hi! Welcome! Thank you for being here!" Just seeing people who have had that success for so many years in this business still be humble and friendly is always refreshing and it reminds you that there are still good people out there.
Q) You are active on the social networking site Twitter. Why is it such an important place for you to connect with fans and promote your work?
A) I love to talk to and tweet with the people who have been following and supporting what I do for many reasons. I get a lot of my news from Twitter because I'm on the set fifteen or sixteen hours a day. So, there isn't much time to turn on the news or sit down and read a newspaper. I think a lot of people get entertainment news and a lot of world news via social media. For me, on a personal level, I just love being able to talk to my fans and the people who have been following my work. I love getting their opinion on what they liked, what they really appreciated or what they'd like to see for characters that I've played. Before, when I played Randi on "All My Children," I'd get a really good sense of what the audience wanted to see what happened with my character. It filled me with ideas for what to go back to my writers and say, like, "I really know the people watching our show would like to see this happen." Hopefully, I can help make them even happier when discussing these ideas with my writers because they do consider things. It's just a way to stay connected with people who invest in soap operas every day or "Single Ladies" (whatever the work I'm doing). There is the opportunity to say "Thank you for supporting what I do. I hear you and I appreciate you, as well."
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?
A) I just appreciate them so much and they help drive me to continue doing better. Their support is my drive in what I do. Knowing they invest their time means a lot to me and I try to make them happy.