Francia Full Interview

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Yesterday we got a chance to interview The Secret Life of the American Teenager’s Francia Raisa, who plays Adrien Lee on the show. She was great to talk to so have fun reading this! =]

Moderator Thank you. We’ll go to the line of Kenn Gold with Media Boulevard. Please go ahead.

K. Gold Hello. I really want to thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. It’s great.

F. Raisa Thank you for having me.

K. Gold The first question we had for you, I was wondering if you could talk about what the success of the show has meant to you, both professionally and personally. I mean what’s it like having a show this successful for your career and what does it mean to you personally?

F. Raisa Well, personally it feels like I’ve achieved a lot. I’ve only been in this business for four years, so that’s a short amount of time for an actor and to have a TV show and to have a successful show, I just feel like I’ve accomplished one of my goals. I feel really proud of myself and my family is proud of me, so that’s great.

Professionally it’s helped me a lot actually. A lot of people are in tune with the show because of its success and they’re aware of it and if they haven’t seen it they’ve at least heard of it, so it gives me more of an opportunity to meet people and people have me in mind for their projects and stuff, so we’ll see what happens with it along the way.

K. Gold Great. Can you tell us, without going into any spoilers, maybe just in general terms what Adrian is going to be up to for the rest of the season?

F. Raisa Well, Adrian gets a new love interest and it’s a pretty interesting one, so we’ll see how you guys react about it.

K. Gold Okay. We’ll have to look for that, definitely. Can you tell us among the teens in the high school who are you the most like or who were you the most like? Are you like Adrian or like maybe one of the others a little more?

F. Raisa I was like Amy inside, but I acted like Adrian, except for the slutty part. I didn’t do that, but as far as the cocky part and just being a little vindictive and being sneaky and stuff, I did act like her a couple of times and then how emotional she gets at times about her family and just stuff in general. I was a lot like her, so I’d compare myself more to Adrian.

K. Gold Great. Just one more and then I’ll let someone else jump in here. Who among your co-stars have you enjoyed working with the most or which scenes have you had the most fun doing I guess?

F. Raisa That’s a tough one, because I love working with everyone. I mean me and Megan had a car scene one night and we were there until like midnight or 1:00 in the morning and we had so much fun together and then with Daren; he’s such a dork, so we have fun together. I mean those are the two people that I mainly have scenes with, but everyone is just so much fun, so it’s hard to choose.

K. Gold All right. Great. Thank you very much.

F. Raisa Thank you.

Moderator Thank you. We’ll go to Lauren Becker with Shooting Stars Magazine. Please go ahead.

L. Becker Hello. Thank you for being here today.

F. Raisa Thank you.

L. Becker I was wondering, for the character Adrian Lee did you put a certain amount of your actual self or people that you knew into the role or did you just kind of try to make her her own specific person?

F. Raisa It’s funny, because every time I run into people from high school I always tell them; because I went to Alemany High School and I always say, “Wow, did that school help me a lot with my character,” because I knew a lot of people similar to Adrian and then I did put myself a little into her. I mean I feel like in every character we put a little of ourselves into it, so that helped me a lot.

L. Becker For the show in general where do you think you see it kind of going for your character or just the show?

F. Raisa I see her, hopefully, getting together with Ricky and finally being happy and seeing her family get together and her having a change of heart of how she’s living her life and the way she’s acting.

L. Becker I read that you were going to be in a film, but I haven’t really heard much about it, so do you know when it will be released or anything about that?

F. Raisa Girl, I have no idea. I just finished it in August. They’re probably editing and doing everything right now, so I have no word because they’re all in Spain, so we’ll see.

L. Becker That’s cool. On our site, we talk about music and books a lot, so is there anything that you’re personally a fan of at the moment that you think people should check out?

F. Raisa Well, as far as books, I’ve always been a fan of To Kill a Mockingbird. I love that book, so please check it out. It’s a great book. Music and stuff, I’m really into hip-hop and R&B. R&B is like my favorite.

L. Becker Cool. Thank you very much.

F. Raisa Thank you.

Moderator Thank you. We’ll go to the line of Sarah Fulghum with TotallyHer.com. Please go ahead.

S. Fulghum Hello. It’s great to talk with you today.

F. Raisa Hello. Nice talking to you, too.

S. Fulghum I was wondering what made you want to be a part of this show.

F. Raisa The whole concept. I really enjoy the whole concept of just everything; every character had different issues that they dealt with, realistic issues that teens deal with, especially Adrian. I really wanted to play her because I saw it so much in high school. I went through it. I saw it. I cried about it and I really felt like it was great that a show like this finally came up in the air and it was realistic and people could relate to it, because I know when I dealt with stuff if I saw someone else going through it it was easier for me to deal with it, so I personally think it’s great for teenagers and I wish I had it when I was in high school.

S. Fulghum Me, too. I was wondering, even though you relate a lot with your character Adrian, did you have any reservations about playing the part?

F. Raisa No, none at all whatsoever. I mean everything they throw at me I’m like, “Go for it. Let’s go for it,” because I was that girl. Like I said before, when you see someone else going through it it makes you think about it in a different way, like you can never give yourself advice. You can never follow advice you give to other people; it’s only when you see it happening to someone else that you’re like, “Okay. I see now what can happen, what can become of this,” you know?

S. Fulghum Yes. The clothing on the show, do you have any input on the clothes that your character wears?

F. Raisa Yes I do. She actually dresses the exact same way I do.

S. Fulghum Nice.

F. Raisa Yes. It’s fun. I told them, no skirts. I don’t wear skirts; the tops, as long as they make my figure look good then it’s all good.

S. Fulghum Right on. Thank you for answering my questions.

F. Raisa Thank you.

Moderator Thank you. We’ll go to the line of Troy Rogers with TheDeadbolt.com. Please go ahead.

T. Rogers Hello, Francia.

F. Raisa Hello.

T. Rogers Thank you for taking the time.

F. Raisa No problem.

T. Rogers I was wondering what are your thoughts on what the younger viewers might think about teenage pregnancy.

F. Raisa There’s been a lot of contradiction. Some people are like, “High school is not like this. It’s so stupid, blah, blah, blah,” but other people are like, “This is true.” I hope that they look at the teen pregnancy and they really think about their actions before they do anything. I know that sex is going on a lot in high school. I know because my sister is still in high school.

She’s a sophomore and she has told me stories that her classmates have done and it blows my mind, so I really hope that they look at the pregnancy. She only did it once. It lasted two seconds and look what happened. The rest of her life changed. So I really hope that they look at that and they’re like, “Okay, maybe I should cool down a bit.”

T. Rogers Right on. Also, what would you like to see happen with Adrian this season?

F. Raisa I want her to change her life around a little bit. She’s a very smart girl and I hope that people see more of that in her. She’s really emotional. She’s really a sweet gal. I mean you see a little bit of that when she’s at home and she breaks down to her dad and to Ricky a bit, so I hope she comes out, but I mean she’s fun. I love playing her. I love playing her when she’s bad and she has those moments, but I do want to see her change her life around with her family and stuff.

T. Rogers What is the best part about playing her?

F. Raisa The bad stuff. When I say raunchy stuff or like when I flirted with the counselor in the first season. That was fun. I mean, come on, everyone has a little Adrian in them and we all want to do it at some point.

T. Rogers Right on. You mentioned Megan and Daren. I was wondering, which of the adult cast members do you like playing with the most?

F. Raisa I love Mark Derwin. He is so funny. I can’t work because he’s hysterical. He’s great. Then I really love working with Paola Turbay, who plays my mother. She’s just really smart and I enjoy talking to her and she gives great advice and stuff. I mean they’re all great and Philip as well, who plays my father, he is a teenager at heart.

T. Rogers That’s all I have for now. I’ll come back and ask some more questions.

F. Raisa All right. Thank you.

T. Rogers Thank you.

Moderator Thank you. We’ll go to the line of Alex Boisvert with TeenHollywood411.com. Please go ahead.

A. Boisvert Hello. First question: What are some funny or embarrassing moments that you guys have had on the set?

F. Raisa Wow. Funny moments. We played a prank on Allen, who plays Henry on the show. We kept telling him that he needed to be on set when he really didn’t need to be there and the director kept pushing him aside and kept putting him behind the camera and he was just standing there like a loser, being like, “Okay, what’s going on? What am I doing? You don’t need me,” but even the ADs and everyone were in on it. That was the funniest part, because of his reaction and stuff like that.

Embarrassing moments: I’m really bad at thinking of those, but I mean we just have fun moments. I think one time we impersonated Brittney Spears and Megan played Brittney Spears and me and Amy Rider were her dancers. I mean we do silly stuff like that.

A. Boisvert The next question is if you could remake any movie or TV show what would it be and who would you play?

F. Raisa Selena and I’d play Selena.

A. Boisvert Okay. What was your inspiration to start acting?

F. Raisa Soap operas, Spanish soap operas. I saw them and I was like, “That’s what I want to do for the rest of my life.” Then when I got older I saw the movie 13 and I saw the message that it sent to people and that made me want to do it even more, because I was like film and acting and just all of that send such a big message and has such an impact on people I want to
be a part of that.

A. Boisvert All right. Thank you, last question. This is a question from one of your fans that was sent in. “What is it like being on a show that’s so popular that not only does the show have a fan site, but you have a fan site now as well?”

F. Raisa It’s weird. It’s awesome, but it’s weird. I mean it’s weird walking down the street and people are pointing at you and whispering and they’re like, “Oh, my gosh. I love you. You’re my role model.”

I’m like, “Really? Me? Little old me?” It’s awkward, but it’s fun. I enjoy it.

A. Boisvert All right. Well, thank you very much.

F. Raisa Thank you.

Moderator Thank you. We’ll go to the line of Troy Rogers with TheDeadbolt.com . Please go ahead.

T. Rogers I also wanted to know how does it feel to be just as popular as like Gossip Girl and 90210.

F. Raisa Amazing. I’m not going to lie; I was a little worried just because all of the advertisement and stuff that Gossip Girl and 90210 have. Gossip Girl was such a popular book. I mean I even read it growing up, so I was really nervous, especially when we got on their time slot and knowing that we’re up there and our ratings are even better than theirs, it’s a great feeling. I really enjoy it. I’m not going to lie.

T. Rogers Well, yes, you guys are in a pretty good spot.

F. Raisa Yes.

T. Rogers Also, I wanted to know about Jason Priestly. What was it like working with him and is he coming back for more do you know?

F. Raisa I love working with him. I hope he’s coming back for more. I haven’t heard that he wasn’t. I mean we have a different director every episode and we’re almost done, so hopefully for the next season he comes back, but I think the fact that he was an actor helps a lot.

I mean when I had a scene where my dad walked in; I saw my dad for the first time and really I was looking at nothing. I didn’t see any man walking to the door; I didn’t see anything and he narrated the whole thing for me so I could really imagine it. I know some directors would be like, “Okay. He’s there. Go.” That doesn’t help at all, so the fact that he narrated and he really helped me get into that place and he made sure everyone was quiet. He’s so much fun and amazing. I love working with him.

T. Rogers All right. I also want to know what do you think is realistic about the show, I mean in relation to like real high school?

F. Raisa Everything.

T. Rogers Really?

F. Raisa Yes. Everything, believe it or not. I mean it’s just like what Adrian goes through and what Grace goes through and Amy and stuff. I mean, it’s realistic and I think we just deal with it in a realistic way. I’m not saying that everyone deals with it the same after the show or whatever, but we’re just realistic about the stuff. Believe it or not, it happens. I went to school with a couple of girls that got pregnant during high school. I know one that had four abortions by the time we graduated.

T. Rogers Wow!

F. Raisa Yes. You have those Adrians and you have those Graces and you have those Amys. I mean it happens.

T. Rogers How many guys did you know that were like Ricky?

F. Raisa Oh, a few. One broke my heart …

T. Rogers Really?

F. Raisa Yes. I actually went through kind of what Adrian went through. I loved the guy and he didn’t want me. I was like, “Maybe if I have sex with him and I lose my virginity to him he’ll love me.” Before that I found out that he was dating someone else at the same time he was dating me, so I didn’t sleep with him and I realized even if I did he would have never wanted me.

T. Rogers Probably not. Yes. That’s kind of a blow to the ego.

F. Raisa Yes.

T. Rogers That’s pretty much all I have for you. I just wanted to thank you again.

F. Raisa Thank you.

T. Rogers Good luck with the show.

F. Raisa Thank you very much.

Moderator Thank you. We’ll go back to the line of Alex Boisvert with TeenHollywood411.com. Please go ahead.

A. Boisvert Hello again.

F. Raisa Hello.

A. Boisvert So which episode of the show so far has been your favorite?

F. Raisa It hasn’t come up; the next episode that’s about to show up. I have a really intense scene with Ricky and I really got to go deep in there and picture something that I never wanted to picture. It was fun. It was a challenge for me and I really enjoyed that. I love challenges, so the next one.

A. Boisvert Cool. How did you first get discovered?

F. Raisa I was a dancer at a studio called Millennium. I still dance there. I was back-up dancing for an artist and I met these two girls, who were also back-up dancing. One was actually dating him and they were telling me how they were into commercials and they did TV shows and they did print work and all of this stuff. I was like, “Whoa! I kind of want to get into that, too. How do you do that?” They told me about their manager and coincidentally she was looking for a Latin girl who spoke Spanish. I met with her, signed with her and shortly after that I booked Bring It On.

A. Boisvert Very cool. Is there an actor or actress that you look or looked up to?

F. Raisa Oh, yes. I definitely, definitely look up to Jennifer Lopez and her career, how it skyrocketed. I definitely look up to Angelina Jolie. I love Adam Sandler and I love all of his work, DeCaprio; I mean all of the amazing ones.

A. Boisvert Do you have any other passions besides acting?

F. Raisa Dance. I love dancing and I actually love writing. I forgot that I wrote actually and then I found a paper that I had written in high school and I was like, Wow! I’m a pretty good writer, so I’m going to start getting back into that.

A. Boisvert Okay. Last question: Is there any actor or actress you would love to work with?

F. Raisa If I worked with Angelina Jolie I would cry.

A. Boisvert All right. Well, thank you very much.

F. Raisa Thank you.

Moderator Thank you. Our next question is from Lauren Becker with Shooting Stars Magazine. Please go ahead.

L. Becker Hello. Well, I know for the show they usually have different directors for the episodes, but I was wondering if you could work with a certain director or have somebody guest star on the show who would you like to be involved with with that.

F. Raisa I mean, come on, who wouldn’t want Steven Spielberg directing, right? So that’s one.

L. Becker True.

F. Raisa As a guest star, I mean if I could have Johnny Depp on there, I mean hello, but actually, I would really like to see Jason Priestly guest star on it. He directed and like I said, I really enjoyed working with him, but guest starring, I think that’d be really interesting, especially it would have been nice if he played someone’s dad. I don’t know.

L. Becker That would be very cool. I was wondering for any future work if there’s anything specific that you wanted to go into, like a certain kind of genre for film or something different?

F. Raisa I mean in the future I, obviously, definitely want to do a dance film or something involving martial arts, but I really like where I’m going right now as far as hitting teenagers and setting an example for them and stuff like that. So films like 13 or so I would love to do.

L. Becker Definitely. Okay. Thank you very much.

F. Raisa Thank you.

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