Leading lady Alexandra Rosario, who stars in the new hit drama film “California Dreams,” currently out on all digital platforms, chats life in New York as a Latin actress, making movies and her passion for TV sitcoms.
Thank you for taking time to speak with us today. Congratulations on your latest movie ‘California Dreams.’ You were born in the Dominican Republic. Can you tell us a little about life as an actor there?
Thank You! Right now, in the Dominican Republic, there is an emerging film industry, which is expanding year after year and creating more opportunities for actors in both film and theatre. However, in 2008 when I had moved to pursue acting in the U.S , the Dominican Republic film industry was still very incipient and the opportunities for actors were mostly in theatre and commercials. I did work in both areas there before moving to America to expand my career.
The drama-film ‘California Dreams’ follows the story of four women who are trying to achieve Hollywood fame, despite the setbacks of life. Can you tell us about your character Valentina?
I play the lead character, Valentina. She is a woman of great depth and courage who has the dream of succeeding as an actress and devotes her life to this goal. Upon moving to Hollywood, she soon realizes the way she envisioned things fall far from the reality she encounters. This takes a toll in her vulnerable heart, leading her on unexpected paths and consequences.
As a star in the Latin community, did you find it hard to break ground as an actress in America?
In general, it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance for anyone to break ground in this industry regardless of their ethnicity. I don’t think it has been particularly more challenging for being a Latina, as in the past years the inclusion of diversity in film and television has been quite remarkable. One thing I have worked on consistently as a Latina actress is my speech, to soothe my native accent and open myself up to more roles.
You have co-starred in some notable TV shows and movies. Can you tell us a little about some of your favorite roles to date, and why?
I enjoyed being Valentina in “California Dreams,” going through her journey and living her faith in her dreams even against all odds taught me a lot. I also have enjoyed my roles in different TV sitcoms, such as Madeleine in “Chicos de Alquiler,” a sassy and fun woman who is the boss to a group of guys with big personalities and comically puts her foot down, very occasionally, when things get out of control.
From Santo Domingo to the bustling city of New York, both are so different. Can you tell us some of your favorite Manhattan hang-outs?
I love New York, I enjoy the museums, specially the MOMA and the MET. Broadway shows, this week I watched “A Bronx Tale” and it was amazing! And I also love going to some of the good restaurants in the city, walking the streets of Soho and the east side, and frequenting Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.
Aside from acting, you actively volunteer for different charities and causes in New York. Can you tell us more about your volunteer work?
Sure. I am a BookPALS (Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools) volunteer of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. As part of this program I read stories, once week, to a Pre-K class in a public school of the lower east side. It’s such a fulfilling and rewarding thing to do! I also volunteer frequently for the Behind the Book organization, as an art coach or writing coach for students at different levels.
When you aren’t making movies, TV shows, or lending your time to charity, what do you enjoy to do to relax?
I love reading, doing Pilates or other workouts, dancing, spending quality time with my family and loved ones and going to the movies, theatre or new restaurants.
What’s next for you?
Next month I start another season of the Spanish TV sitcom “Chicos de Alquiler,” a new feature film in the summer and a web-series about Dominican culture in New York. I enjoy stating busy and am always open for other good projects.
Catch Alexandra Rosario in “California Dreams,” available on all digital download platforms.