One on One with Actress Isabella Gomez of “One Day at at Time”
Latin Times Magazine: Good, great my name is Jolie and I am the publisher and editor for Latin Times Magazine were a bilingual publication and I know that a lot of our readers, which are online and in print, are going to love getting to know you a little bit. I’ve had the pleasure of watching the show before and now, and I just want to say I think you’re doing a wonderful job, Congratulations
Isabella Gomez: Thank you so much Latin Times Magazine: Well, let me start off by asking you to share a little bit about yourself, your background and how you got started in show business.
Isabella Gomez: Great, well I was born in Medellin Colombia, and I’m not entirely sure how I started in it. When I was 5 or 6 I went up to my parent and said, “Hey, I wanna act”. And my mom had a friend in the industry and he helped me get started with commercials, and a little bit of theatre and stuff like that. I really fell in love with it, but the opportunities in Colombia were few and far in between and not so much for kids, [yes], so then we moved to Florida when I was ten years old, and that’s when I started training. I went to this school called Lisa Maile. and I did every single class that you could take there, and then I moved on to a personal coach, who is like my second mom and that’s when I started taking it a lot more seriously. I went to a theatre school too, and when I was 15, I came out for my first pilot season, I was in LA for 7 weeks, and I booked a reoccurring on Matador, and the bug bit me! So soon after that we relocated to LA, I started training a lot harder, 6 months after being here I booked “One day at a Time”…
Latin Times Magazine: That’s wonderful, how did you feel when you found out that you got the part of Elena? Isabella Gomez: It’s actually funny because, my manager called me, it was a few days after I had done my test. My manager and I talk all the time, so it wasn’t abnormal for him to be calling me, and he put my agent on the phone, which I didn’t think anything of either, and they started reading me a blooper, but it had a lot of legal words that I had no idea what they meant, and then when they were done I was like, ‘Okay , cool, goodnight, bye…’ they were like what are you doing? I’m like what do you mean what am I doing? And they told me I got the part and I was like, Crazy, No way! It was so exciting, I couldn’t believe it, I had to ask “are you sure?” It didn’t hit me until I was on the first rehearsal, and I was like, oh wow I’m going to be playing this character
Latin Times Magazine: Haha, you probably had to pinch yourself Isabella Gomez: A couple times yea
Latin Times Magazine: Well you know you guys have such a great cast, so how was your nervousness level on your first day on the set knowing that you were just minutes away from filming with these iconic actors? Isabella Gomez: You know, luckily, the magnitude of them didn’t really hit me until later either. It didn’t hit me, once you get to start knowing actors, you realize that really are just people and that was really nice because had I been thinking about how incredible these people are, I probably would’ve been a lot more nervous. Really, I was nervous more about myself, in the sense of I had never been a series regular, and there is no one who teaches you how to do that, you just have to show up and see what you have to do. Also, I had always considered myself a dramatic actress, I never thought I’d do comedy. So here I am sitting with a cast of very gifted comedy actors and that’s what I was nervous about, I was like ‘Oh my god, what if Im not funny, what if they don’t like me..’ But it went over okay!
Latin Times Magazine: Well your now an Icon to many young Latina’s too, how does it feel to be look at as a role model?
Isabella Gomez: Its really, really, humbling and really eye opening. When we filmed the first season, because its Netflix and all the episodes go out at once, we were kind of in our own little bubble because nobody, you know, saw it, so we were doing it kind of for ourselves, and it’s hard to understand the impact that something is going to have when you’re doing it in a bubble like that. Now that it’s after, it’s been surreal to have people come up to me and tell me that I’m a role model for them, especially because I always say Elena was written by the writers, the concept of her came from the writers, I’m the vessel but really they are responsible for her. It’s really humbling that people come to me for that, especially when its older people. I’ve had quite a few women in their 20s and 30s come up to me and be like, “If I had had troubles like Elena when I was 15, my life would have been a lot better’, and that is what really gets me. To know that I am that for these 15 year olds now and I get to portray her, its the most humbling thing in the world.
Latin Times Magazine: I bet, what do you think are some of the similarities between you and Elena? Isabella Gomez: I think Elena and I are both quite stubborn, we both are passionate about what we believe and will fight to the end to protect what we believe in. I’d like to say something from the seasons of playing her, I’m a little bit more cultured. What else? Were both goofy, were both a little nerdy, were both really happy.
Latin Times Magazine: That’s good, Tell me what’s your favorite part of the show, or character, other than Elena and why you enjoy the show so much.. Isabella Gomez: God that’s so hard I think every character has something really special, but I really, really love Schneider. In my defense, I think Schneider is genuinely one of the best bros I met in my life. So obviously that influences it, but I think he’s one of the unsung heroes of the show, I don’t think people understand how difficult comedy is and especially with a character like his, it could so easily be too big or be a caricature or just not good. It rides a fine line of being too big, and I think Todd Grinnell is a Genius the way he plays Schneider and especially to play, he’s the only character that’s the same from the 70’s, not the same character but he kept the name, he has to live up to a legend..
Latin Times Magazine: From season 1 walking into season 2, how do you think your role has grown or evolved? Isabella Gomez: I think Elena has been through a lot in season 1. Obviously as we see in season 1 she deals with figuring out her sexuality, and how her family accepts it and in the finale we know that her dad is dead. That’s hard on anybody especially a 15 year old girl. I think she is tougher now but she is also more vulnerable in the sense that she now knows first-hand, rejection she felt it from her own father. I think she is guarded but also tougher.
Latin Times Magazine: That’s good, who has been for you, your biggest role model? Isabella Gomez: Biggest role model? I think it would be both of my parents…My dad’s family was very, very poor growing up and my mom was a teen mom, she got pregnant when she was 18 in a very catholic family. They have overcome so much and not only that, but when your kid tells you they want to be an actor, most parents are not cool with that, they want them to have a quote on quote “real job” [Secured, yea] but my parents not only supported me, through everything I wanted to do, but they also moved to another country and left everything so they can support me. They’re financially stable, they’re educated they know two languages, they made it another country, and they are really cultured and intelligent and they’re my role models.
Latin Times Magazine: That’s wonderful, your very lucky to have them. Is there anything else that you want to mention? Something that your looking forward to, or anything you want us to know? Isabella Gomez: God, see, because season 2’s not out yet, lol
Latin Times Magazine: Haha, no spoiler alerts right Isabella Gomez: Can’t, you are just going to have to watch!