A) The whole dynamic of the whole cast and crew is just so amazing, I wouldn’t even call it work! Kissing scenes can tend to get a little awkward, but thankfully with Jordan it is not that way whatsoever. He’s just so down to earth, love hanging out with him, and I’m a big fan of “Matiana.”
Q) Have you loved playing blonde Mariana?
A) I have loved playing blonde Mariana! I’ve never done anything like that before in my life, because I’ve never dyed my hair before. That was a big change for me. Working with the wig was just a really fun process; something I had never really done. I had a really fun time with Esmeralda; that’s what we named the wig. It was good to me all season.
Q) How would you say you and your character are alike?
A) I would say we’re alike in the sense that we both can tend to be a little naive, and people pleasers in some situations. I know with her originality she tends to have a little trouble with that, and finding who she is. Thankfully I’ve never had to go that drastic, but I can relate to her in some sense. She’s very sassy, and she’s got some great comebacks. I’d like to think that I’m that way, too.
Q) What can we expect from your character in the next few episodes?
A) Well, as you can see, she’s made a very drastic change by changing her hair. You’re going to see the reasoning behind her hair change, and it’s going to come into play. With the dance team and this new group of friends, she’s really been struggling to find out who she is, and in these next two episodes you will definitely see who she is.
Q) What is your favorite episode of this season?
A) Definitely the finale, so you’ll have to tune into that one! I’ve always loved cliffhangers and stuff like that. I just love being on the edge of my seat, and you definitely will.
Q) Will her relationship with Mat help her with those recent identity insecurities?
A) I think he’s a big influence in that; he has been from the start. At first, she’s even commented, “Why are you all up in my grill?” But he really helped her open her eyes, and come in touch with her Hispanic side, for that matter. You can definitely see that in this next episode when Mat takes her to a Mexican festival. She’s not very comfortable at first, but it definitely helps her come into touch with who she is.
Q) Will there be any new developments with Mariana and her relationship with Ana now that she’s attempting to make amends and stay clean and sober?
A) There might be, and that might have some influence on her coming more into touch with who she is, and what this blonde hair means to her. You might see a little comeback.
Q) What’s it like working with Rosie O’Donnell?
A) I have only worked with her in one scene, believe it or not! I haven’t been on set for most of the Girls United scenes. I talk to her behind the scenes, and she is just the most lovely person; always talking about her kids. She’s so family oriented and so sweet. I love being on set with her — I wish I had the chance to work with her more. She’s just so awesome!
Q) What other guest stars would you like to have on the show?
A) I was really rooting for Bailee Madison. I just knew she and Maia Mitchell needed to play siblings in some other project, and I was so happy that she got to guest star. I think that just makes my life, because they are literally the spitting image of one another. [laughs]
Q) Why do you think Mariana and Jesus are having such different experiences with their identities?
A) I think it has to deal with the fact that the only strong, Hispanic woman that she’s ever really had in her life is her mom. After everything that’s happened with that, she’s just shut herself off, she’s got a new group of friends, and when someone makes that comment about her only making the team because she’s Latin, it really struck home. It really started this identity crisis. She’s dabbled with that in the first season. She’s always willing to try something new with piercing her nose and now it’s dying her hair. I’m really excited for her to come to, and realize that she’s enough and she doesn’t need to pretend to be anyone she’s not to make other people happy.
Q) Will you be attending the Teen Choice Awards? Who are you looking forward to see the most?
A) Magic! is going to be performing, and “Rude” was my summer song, so I’m just really excited to see them perform live. I’m just going to be so excited to be there!
Q) What’s it like to be on such an innovative show and represent such a strong family dynamic?
A) That is one of the big things that really drew me to this project to begin with. It deals with such universal topics that aren’t really represented on TV, so I thought that this was really groundbreaking in its own. It’s been a really fun process and fun ride and it’s such a blessing to be a part of. That’s the best thing, at the end of the day, is to have people come up and say that they relate to a certain character or storyline, or that they grew up in the foster system and they’re really proud that something they can relate to is on the air. It’s always a really cool thing to hear.
Q) What is it like working on set?
A) It is a constant party, let me tell you. The dynamic of the whole cast and crew is just amazing. From the get-go, we all bonded from the pilot, and we haven’t stopped. Between takes, we’re constantly laughing; it’s just a lot of fun!
Q) What has it been like to have Ashley Argota on the show?
A) So fun! I actually go way back with her. We share a mutual friend so I’ve known her for a couple years now. We have never had the chance to work together, so this was really fun to have her on set. Again, kind of like Rosie and like Bailee, my storylines never really cross so I never really get to see them. But, whenever I do it’s so much fun. I love her, and I love her character!
Q) What was it like auditioning for The Fosters?
A) My auditioning process was actually really strange. I was actually on The Secret Life of the American Teenager filming the last season, and the creator had called me and she wanted to tell me in person that it was no longer being picked up for another season and that it was ending. I had moved out to L.A. for it, so I was really bummed. I got on the phone with my agent and told him, “I need to get out there, I need to start auditioning again.” He told me about The Fosters, and they had already been through their auditioning process. I thought they had already probably had someone in mind, but I just wouldn’t let that happen. I put myself on tape just to make myself feel better, and it ended up working out. I found out the next day that I had booked it, so it was a huge blessing to hop from one amazing project to another. It was a really weird auditioning process; I’ve never had anything like it!
Q) What’s your favorite scene that you’ve filmed?
A) I always say this one, it’s my absolute favorite just because I love Lena, and I feel like she always has the right things to say. On Episode 9 of Season 1; it’s when Stef was shot and is in the hospital. Mariana’s feeling really low, she feels like this is all her fault and that her moms aren’t going to want her anymore. Lena sits her down and tells her that DNA doesn’t make a family, love does. I think that was exactly what she needed to hear at that moment, and so many people in the world. I go back to that scene all the time. I absolutely love it.
Q) What do we have to look forward to in the upcoming season?
A) You are going to see the reasoning behind Mariana’s blonde do. You’ve seen Jude and Connor struggle with maintaining a friendship because of Connor’s dad not approving of Jude, so you will see more of that; it’ll get a little deeper into that. Rosie O’Donnell is going to be making another appearance on the finale, so that’s going to be exciting. Callie’s forced to ask her dad for some help as far as a fundraiser, so that’s going to be fun.
Q) Who is the most hilarious out of the whole cast?
A) I would have to say Teri Polo. It is a constant comedy show with that woman. She’s crazy, and she makes 5:18 a.m. call times a hoot. She can always make anyone laugh, bring up everyone’s mood during a long day. She’s just so funny, she’s just always constantly cracking me up.
Q) What do you think of the prominent social media presence around The Fosters?
A) It’s amazing! I love going on Instagram and seeing all of the edits that they do of scenes, and they’ll clash them with different memes. I love being able to talk to fans every Monday; that’s been really fun, to just interact and see how they’re liking the episode. It’s really fun to get that one-on-one relationship with everyone.
Q) If you could take one day and go anywhere, where would you want to go and what would you do while you were there?
A) I would probably go to Fiji. I’ve always wanted to go to Fiji and I would just swim all day. I’ve never actually been out of North America, so that’s something really big on my bucket list, is just to go travel, and Fiji is way up there on that list.