Exclusive Interview: Laura Gómez
Orange is The New black has proven to be one of the hottest shows of 2013. With talented and top notch performances from such a large cast, it’s undeniable that every character has played their part in making OITNB a success. Drawing from her experiences in Off Broadway plays and Law & Order, Laura Gomez talks about playing her character to the fullest in Litchfield’s Lockup as Blanca Florez.
Laura picked a cute little boutique cafe on 23rd Street, where they have amazingly delicious macaroons, for her inteview and we had a very casual and nice conversation. Here’s the interview.
KR: I’m with Laura Gómez today and will be asking her questions! Hi Laura!
LG: Hi Team OITNB!
KR: Please tell us about becoming Blanca Flores…what was your audition like?
LG: Well, it was interesting because the role of Blanca was described as “Crazy Dominican woman with a cell phone.”So, I thought “You know what I’m not going to be glamorous,” so I wore no make up.
KR: Did you go in with the crazy hair?
LG: I didn’t know that I would become THAT. [KR and LG laugh] but I just went as raw as possible and they had me read the scene where I’m talking on the phone with Diablo.
LG: And that was the audition. I had no idea! I thought that this woman was crazy talking to the devil just like all of us thought.
KR: Oh wow!
LG: It went great and I really went for it. I remember the Casting Director Jane Euston saying “That was great…You might be too pretty for the role though–
LG: –But there will be other roles, don’t worry about it!” And then I thought oh well… And then they called me the next day!
KR: The next day!? That was fast!
LG: Yeah the next day! They called my manager, Tsu Tsu Stanton, and she called me and said “honey, you got it!”
KR: That’s really awesome! How did you celebrate?
LR: I was very excited, although I really didn’t know it would become THIS.
KR: Yeah, but you knew you would be working with Jenji [Kohan], right?
LG: Well, I knew a few things… I knew it was a Netflix Original show. So I was excited because of that, not even knowing it would become this big! It was exciting as an actor to get work, but I was also very busy working on a short film that I was doing at the time so it was like oh great! And then it became this OMG! THANK YOU! [laughs]
KR: [Laughs] Awesome! Tell us about your first day on set?
LG: It was exciting because I’ve done a lot of independent work and I’ve worked in the theater, but his was like my first big studio work…
KR: Oh, wow!
LG: I mean I’ve done a couple things like I did a little role in Law and Order but this was a recurring role and I was supposed to be there a few times!
LG: I remember meeting Danielle [Brooks] AKA Taystee.
LG: Yes! The first day I came on set. We actually sat together in the dressing room. She was adorable and she has been adorable! I met her and Taylor [Schilling] on my first day of shooting.
KR: So how was it meeting Taylor?
LG: Taylor was very professional and also very sweet. She’s very reserved… But, that was because she had so much to do that I always figure that she remains very focused.
KR: Ah I see…
LG: And you can imagine how it was at the beginning…
LG: But it’s always been a friendly environment. Danielle though is a bit like Taystee.
[Both laughs historically]
LG: [Cont] She’s so outgoing and lovely.
KR: So can you tell us about the funny moments?
LG: The funny moments. You know what? The first scene that I actually shot was the “Boo!” [LG and KR laugh]
KR: The Boo. Hahaha!
LG: Yeah, the “Boo” to Taylor’s character. I actually didn’t know what was going to happen. She’s a great actress and her character has so many layers. It was the first day on set for me and I think the first day on set, period! It was directed by Michael Trim who was the executive producer! He directed the pilot. I mean, the boo itself… It was such a random thing.
KR: Did you guys laugh a lot?
LG: Yeah, we laughed and we also had a lot of funny moments behind the scene. But, everyone was trying to focus to get through the scene. Sometimes in comedy you have to be more focused not to laugh. I think I met Danielle, Taylor… Oh, and Natasha Lyonne was there… hmmm who else?
LG: Yes, Lorna!
KR: Yael Stone! She’s so cute!
LG: She’s so sweet! Very sweet!
KR: I couldn’t even tell that she was Australian! I got fooled [Laughs]
LG: I KNOW! Her accent is so great in the show. You couldn’t even guess!
KR: I thought she had this Staten Island accent or something [Laughs]
LG: I know [Laughs] She’s perfect!
KR: If you could switch roles for a day, who would you want to play? Maybe for a day.
LG: Gosh, I love Pennsatucky.
KR: Oooooh…Yeah! So please tell us about some of the other projects you’re working on?
LG: Well, I recently shot my second short film called ” Hallelujah.” It’s a project that I wrote, and I’m producing, directing, AND STARRING as well!
KR: Yeah! Like it on Facebook!
LG: That’s right! It’s on Facebook.com/HallelujahTheMovie I’m very excited! My first short film won an award from NYU. It’s called “To Kill a Roach.” They gave me technical equipment for my second short as a prize.
LG: Yeah and I’m working with super talented actors, like Alfredo Narciso [the lead character], and then Berto Colón [who plays Elizabeth Rodríguez’ boyfriend on OITNB] has a cameo in the film. I think it’s going to be a very beautiful film.
KR: I can’t wait to learn more about it. So your fans should like the Facebook page!
LG: Yes…Facebook.com/HallelujahTheMovie.com or HallelujahTheMovie.com
KR: Let’s take a question from fans. From @SammyanthaJones “Your favorite scene to film?”
LG: I’d have to say, the one where I eat the toilet paper..[LR and KG laugh] First of all, I meant the writers are so brilliant. The things they come up with… and I’m always trying to shock Piper…It seems that’s what I do.
KR: How many takes for that scene?
LG: Not that many! I ate it… Rolling… Then I spit it out!
KR: To all your fans: she didn’t actually eat it, guys! [Laughs]
LG: Well, I kinda had half of it I think! No, not really. [Laughs]
KR: So that was the second question. Your fan wanted to know if you had to eat it. [Laughs] Now, the third question, How is Laura Prepon on and off set?
LG: We didn’t have a scene together but I met her on set. I feel that she did such a wonderful job with that character.
KR: I agree! I totally believed that she was a lesbian. [Laughs]
LG: Yes! The relationship was so beautiful…that she was in love with this person.
LG: I liked her work on the show a lot. I didn’t really get to interact with her that much but my impression of her is that she’s very professional and always focused on her work.
KR: How long does it take for the hair department to do Blanca’s hair? This question is from @DayaDiazOITNB
LG: OK…I have got to give a big shout out to my make up and hair ladies. I have to. It’s not that long. You’d be surprised.
LG: No. Apparently I have more hair than I thought! I have a lot of hair and that is all mine.
KR: What?!? Whoa!
LG: [Chuckles] Yes, the talented ladies at the hair department tease it.
KR: Wow. I thought you had to wear a wig or something.
LG: No… Angel (Head of the Hair Department) and her assistant worked on it and it took about 15 minutes to do my hair… maybe less.
KR: So just the one person. Interesting.
LG: Yes and they kept retouching as it went by. And I have the lovely Ingrid, who does my make up. Although, Vanessa who was head of the makeup department in season 1, came up with the idea to do an homage to Frida Kahlo, and we created the Unibrow. When she asked me what I tought I was like… Ehh… I guess so? [chuckles]
KR: And you are coming back for season 2 for sure, right? Because I saw a photo on Instagram with your name on the dressing room.
LG: Well, I can’t say much, but yes, Blanca is around!Part of the brilliance of the writers is that they keep writing as the show goes on, so we don’t even know ourselves what’s going to happen. It’s going to be a surprise. So far I still can’t say what’s happening with Blanca.
KR: To be continued…
LG: I love it. I love that I don’t know. I love that I have to wait like the fans for Season 2 as well!
KR: Alrighty. So your reactions are more organic… and raw?
LG: They are! I may have an idea of where they’re going and it’s not going in that direction at all. In season 1, I had no idea what was happening with the Cell Phone!
LG and KR: [Chuckles]
KR: That’s a twist!
LG: Right?! I knew portions, of the episodes that I was on, but I also discovered things about my character’s storyline –at least from the other characters’ points of view- as I saw the show and I’m like… “Ahhh so this is what happened when I wasn’t on set.”
KR: Like Taylor[Schilling / Piper Chapman]’s been using the phone?
LG: I knew there was something with the Tutu. It was really funny all the things going around the pictures that my character sent to her man. It’s brilliant writing.
KR: So what would you like to tell your fans?
LG: First of all, thank you so much! I’ve been recognized a couple of times and they called me Diablo Girl… it’s so funny. I feel so lucky to be a part of a show that’s been such a success. Mostly because there are so many talented women on the show that are minorities and the writing is so out of the box. I’m just so grateful to the fans! Obviously we’re going to keep going!
KR: YES! Season 7…8…9…10!
LG: I think they’re going to be smart in some way whenever they have to stop but obviously it’s been proven that all these fans are out there and waiting for more. I’ve been asked questions like…how did she charge the phone? I have no idea!
KG: Oh yeah!
[KR and LG laugh]
LG: YES. I Was asked that question on Twitter, and I was asked “How is Diablo?” The first time I saw him I was like…yes, that’s Diablo! What the casting director of this show did is off the hook! It’s one of the best cast shows I’ve seen. Thank you fans! You are pretty amazing…and please keep us on the air!
KR: Yes and support Laura, guys!
KR: Thank you!
LG: Thank YOU!