Seasoned actress Paula Velasquez delves deep into her favorite acting tips, and shares some of her most memorable moments on set to date.
HELLO PAULA VELASQUEZ, WELCOME TO ABOUT INSIDER! THANK YOU FOR TAKING TIME TO SPEAK WITH US TODAY. CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR WONDERFUL ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE. WHO INSPIRED YOU TO BE AN ACTOR?
Thank you so much for having me! This might sound really interesting, but when I was a kid, I used to love Beauty and the Beast so much. In elementary school I performed the musical as Belle and completely became obsessed with her character. I loved impersonating her and being her. I remember I used to watch the movie over and over because I just loved her character. So, I have to give that character the credit of what made me realize acting was a true passion. But the person that truly made me just go for it and move all the way to LA to pursue my dreams was Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody. I remember watching his performance and I was so shocked and moved by his preparation as an actor. I could not stop thinking about it afterwards and I remember telling my mom “That is exactly what I want to do, impact people’s lives and move them”.
WHAT KIND OF PROJECTS ARE YOU DRAWN TO?
I love working on projects that come from a feminist perspective or touch upon those subjects. I think it is very important to create awareness out there about what is like to be a woman, you can totally tell when a movie is made from a feminist perspective or from a women’s perspective. Working with female directors or writers moves me so much and makes me feel very passionate about the project.
WHAT GENRE DO YOU LEAN TOWARDS?
My favorite genre is and will always be psychological thrillers. There is something so beautifully twisted and raw about that genre that captivates me. Since I was a kid, I used to watch a lot of Spanish cinema and mostly psychological thrillers because my parents loved them too. Now, that I am mature and an actor, watching those movies makes me think so much and so in depth, because they make you question a lot of things and I love trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
WHEN YOU RECEIVE AN AUDITION, HOW DO YOU BREAK DOWN THE SCRIPT?
I first read the character description and read the script in order to get a feeling of who this character is. Then I read the other characters lines in order to see how they view or feel about the character. I read their actions and how they interact with the space and other people.
DO YOU DO ANYTHING SPECIAL TO GET INTO CHARACTER? IS THERE A SPECIFIC PROCESS?
I love doing improv and coming up with lines or things that I feel the character would do. I would talk to myself in character and see what comes up, what feels right and what doesn’t. I also journal a lot and come with a huge backstory of the character’s life and that usually helps so much to discover really important things that will make me embody the character to the fullest. It is a very personal and private preparation for me, very internal.
DO YOU HAVE A “GO TO” AUDITION OUTFIT?
Definitely. There is specifically an outfit that I wear a lot for certain auditions. Especially for young roles, I have a very specific shirt that makes me feel very young and innocent, so I always wear that one for that.
HOW DO YOU OVERCOME PERFORMANCE NERVES?
I actually use those nerves and anxiety for the performance, and it makes it so much better because it is all adrenaline and energy that can help you channel emotions way better. It is a REAL emotion, so I just embrace it and let it guide me and it always works.
IF YOU COULD CHOOSE ONE ROLE TO PLAY, PAST OR FUTURE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I would love to play Selena one day, she is such an icon, and her story is so heartbreaking but so important to tell. I hope one day I can get to play her.
WHAT ACTORS DO YOU LOOK UP TO?
There are so many actors that I look up to, but some of them are: Florence Pugh, Nicole Kidman, Viola Davis, Rami Malek, Austin Butler, Zendaya, Mario Casas, etc.
BEST OR MOST MEMORABLE SHOWBIZ MOMENT SO FAR?
Working with the Goo Goo Dolls was definitely so memorable. They are so down to earth and kind. It really helped me humble myself even more because seeing people in the industry that are so known being very humble moves you so much.
TELL US SOMETHING PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I am terrified of horror films. I can’t watch horror films because they really trigger me. I love psychological thrillers so much, but horror films are something that I have never been able to fully enjoy. And it is crazy because as an actor you would be more comfortable watching them because you know how they are made, but until this day I haven’t been able to.
WHAT IS ONE MOTTO YOU LIVE BY?
All things pass. That has been my motto for the past four years and it has helped me so much to see things in a different way or to embrace the moment because everything is all temporary, it keeps me present.
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