Paula Velasquez is no stranger to the bright lights of Hollywood. The Venezuelan-born actress has appeared in numerous productions so far, and she is literally just getting started. Filmoria caught up with Paula to learn more about the Hollywood starlet.
Can you tell us about your early beginnings growing up?
Growing up in Venezuela was definitely beautiful. I have a pretty big and united family so growing up in that ambience and culture of love and community definitely has shaped me in the person I am today. Also, my family is very much into dancing and the arts so having that surrounding while I was a kid made me love dancing and made me appreciate artistic expression even more. I grew up with two younger brothers that are very different from me, I was always the wild kind that would go out and climb trees or bring animals into the house, or make a band with my friends, etc. I was always very creative, and my parents always gave me the space to experiment with that creativity and it has impacted so much to who I am today.
From Venezuela to La La Land, how have you found the transition?
After Venezuela I lived in Mexico, actually I lived in Mexico for most of my life, since I was seven until I was eighteen. But definitely it was a big transition, it was the first time living on my own and in a completely different country than my family. Also, the language was a huge thing for me, not speaking Spanish everyday was such a challenge because at that time my brain worked in Spanish mostly. Living in Mexico and living in LA has such a different feeling to it, the culture is so different, the people and their lifestyles are so different, but you get to adapt and find beauty in both of them.
Are there any creature comforts you miss from home?
I definitely miss having my family close to me the most. It has been such a challenge to be away from them, but it also keeps me going and motivates me more every day. Making such sacrifice helps me to strive even more for my goals and dreams.
You have been the face of so many projects. Which have been your favorite?
That is such a hard question, I would say that I have loved every single project I have been a part of. But one character that truly has moved me so much and it was a huge challenge for me was Johanna from ‘This is Water’. Stepping into a challenge of playing an eighteen-year-old girl that is homeless was an extremely difficult, raw challenge but it was so worth it. I learned so much and I got to get out of my comfort zone to the max.
You’re the lead actress in ‘The Real Murders of Orange County.’ Can you tell us about the role you played?
Yes, it is based on a true story and my character’s name is Sarah Ramirez who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. It was a harsh story and character, but it was insane getting to discover her personality and all the fear that she had inside because of this person that terrified her.
We read that you love a psychological thriller film. Do you find it easier to work on that genre of movie to that of say a romantic comedy?
I wouldn’t say the word is easier, I think every genre has its challenge, or every character has its own complexity. I think every project is a new challenge no matter the genre, all of them help you grow and find parts of yourself that you have never acknowledge before.
Do you think you may like to dabble in directing in the future?
I actually directed one episode of a show a couple of years ago and it was very eye opening to this field. I completely loved it; it helped me get more creative with my craft and see experiment with something that I have never done before. I would love to direct more things in the future because it is so rich, and you get to put your own vision into something so big as a movie.
When you are not working on your craft, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy learning more about the human behavior and how we work. I love listening to podcasts that talk about who we are as people, understanding the self and human connection, etc. I also enjoy writing a lot, I love writing scripts or coming up with creative ideas and play around with them. I love being in contact with nature as well, going on hikes, going to the beach, etc. Doing things that help me connect with my inner self in a deeper level.
What can we expect to see you doing over the next few months?
Working on some films and projects acting wise, but also the possibility getting to write and produce more films of my own makes me very excited.
How can people find and follow your journey?