ANA DELA CRUZ: My favorite memories on the set of FGIL was the great intimate conversations we all had with each other on set. Where we were from; how long we lived in LA; our families; hopes; dreams etc…
I love connecting with people like that. We might seem so different on the outside but when you take the time to find out about the other person we are all the same. We all have the same hopes and dreams.
You spend a lot of hours on set and having to make those connections that turn into wonderful friendships that last way beyond the production is Gold. I remember thinking good thoughts to myself on the first day of shooting. I said "Self" were gonna have a good time working on this movie. And I was right.
I'm sure I could call anyone of the friends I made on FGIL and borrow $1,000 today without hesitation. That's how close we got… We'll maybe not. But we still got close.
ADC: This film is directed by Petter Herro who is another wonderful director. I got to work with Callie Ott who is the star of the film. She is as sweet as she is talented. I also share the screen with another fine actor, Nick Stellate, who plays my better half on the force, Detective Richardson.
I always loved horror films growing up even though I secretly hated and still hate getting scared. It's a love hate thing. Films like THE EXORCIST, THE SHINING, ROSEMARY'S BABY, POLTERGEIST almost scared the Spanish out of me. I still can't sleep at night without the lights on.
When the opportunity came up to audition for the role of Detective Michaels, I thought it would be fun to work on an old fashioned slasher movie. It was my first role as a detective, and I enjoyed the playing one. The film is scheduled to be released in December 2016 so look out for it "If You Dare."
SJ: In addition to working on film and commercials, you've been cast on many TV shows like JANE THE VIRGIN, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, and EAST LOS HIGH to name a few. What can you tell us about working on TV shows?
ADC: TV is fast. Very fast. You definitely need your big girl running shoes on. From the time you get your sides which is usually the night before, to the audition the next day to being on set, it can be only a matter of a few days for the process from start to finish. Also, there's no time to sit and chat on set and find out what each other's favorite colors are. I do like taking my time and thinking about the role and what I can bring to it so I tend to favor film over TV.
I have been blessed to work on really fantastic TV shows the last couple of years. I had an opportunity to play a detective as well on EAST LOS HIGH on the HULU Channel which aired this July. I worked on the last four episodes of the show. There were lots of last-minute rewrites and changes, but like I said you have to have your big girl shoes on and run with punches.
ADC: Commercials are fun to work on. Especially when there SAG. Why?… RESIDUALS!!! It's a gift that keeps on giving till it's pulled off the air. It's a great way to supplement your earnings as an actor and have fun with your fellow actors on set too. I have meet a lot of great people working on commercials.
I've been lucky to work with some really great directors this year on three SAG national spots. Spike Lee directed the STEP ON UP spot with Cedric the Entertainer and two Audi spots directed by Australian film director Craig Gillespie who had a big film release entitled 'Finest Hours' earlier this year.
I have taken commercial classes in the past to help me be more confident in the room, though it's always a work in progress. Commercials are so subjective that the variables to booking a job are so many you never really know how to cover all the basis in an audition. Having confidence in what you're doing and being yourself is what's going to get you a great audition. What happens after that is up to the gods.
SJ: Who inspires you in your career?
ADC: I get inspired by many things around me. Lots of actors like Tom Hanks, Tom Hardy, Leonardo DiCaprio to name a few make me want to be a better actor. I love how brave they are. Fearless! Art inspires me like poetry, paintings, music, and dance. Watching my peers in class overcome obstacles they have been working on for weeks inspires me. Reading about how other actors overcome fears and anxiety in this business inspires me. Talking to moms who are parents like me and listening how they juggle the two without pulling their hair out inspires me. I get inspired by how people overcome adversities and obstacles. It's not that misery likes company, but I find comfort knowing others have found a way to work out difficulties in the business and in their personal lives and keep moving forwards. It gives me hope.
SL: What advice would you give to people who wish to pursue an acting career?
ADC: Not sure if I qualify to give advice when I'm always asking for advice but here it goes anyway. Ready?
Study the craft and work on it as much as you can. Find yourself a teacher that inspires you. Find yourself a teacher that inspires you like Stephen Book, Amy Lyndon, or Wendy Davis here in LA. Study with someone that will help you break down a scene like Craig Wallace in Santa Monica. He teaches a great script analysis class. Don't worry about being the best. Promise yourself you'll be brave even if you're not. It's ok to be scared. Just do your best. If you prayed to stop wanting to be an actor and can't seem to shake the urge then dammit, Act!
SL: Is there anything else you'd like to talk about that we haven't discussed?
ADC: I want to continue to learn and grow as an artist. I want to continue to work with my full ability. I want to enjoy my life's journey whether that includes being in the business or not. I want to enjoy the ride and whatever come with it. I want to be able to stop, smell the roses and pluck the peddles on the path I'm taking in life. Who knows where that might lead me. As long as my family is with me, I'll be ok.
SJ: What's next for Ana Dela Cruz?
ADC: I worked on a film called THE UNTITLED ARIZONA PROJECT directed by Justin Barber. Don't have much information about the release of this film as of now. I worked on this film this past August with a pinched nerve in my lower back. It was a challenge to work that day because of the pain I was in but I needed to be a trooper for the crew so I just kept swimming.
I will be working on a film in Atlanta, Georgia next month entitled ONE UNITED directed by Terry Loane. Look out for it next year. I'll also be coming back to shoot another episode of JANE THE VIRGIN with the lovely Gina Rodriguez. Always great to work on that show.