Interview With Francia Raisa From The Secret Life Of The American Teenager

Francia Raisa Photo

12 Questions with Francia Raisa, one of the stars of The Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC Family. Catch the series premiere Tuesday, July 1st on ABC Family at 8/7c.
•    What about The Secret Life of the American Teenager drew you in?  The other cast members, the writing, the network?     

The writing really drew me in.  I thought it was funny and creative, and the concept in general drew me in because it hit me close to home, since I am a teenager.    
•    What does a viewer need to know about the show and your character, Adrian, before watching the show?  

There is a back-story to every character’s personality on the show, so that is something to definitely pay attention to.  My character Adrian is very confident.  She acts a certain way that not everyone agrees with all the time, and she is a little controversial.  Her family life is also something to pay close attention to, she is a good student but she is neglected by her parents and that is a lot of the reason why she acts the way she does.  

•    You play a majorette on the show – and it shows a little bit of the less geeky side of marching band, which I appreciate as a former band “geek”!  Did you have to do any sort of training?  Were you ever a part of the band?

No, I haven’t done any training.  I wasn’t part of the band in high school, however I was a cheerleader and I was a flyer [the girl you throw up in the air.] But for the baton, the only training I can think of is our writer Brenda Hampton showed me up with it!  

•    How far into shooting the first season are you?  What is the feeling like on set?  Is it a great working environment?         

We are shooting the 8th episode at the moment – and there are ten total in session one.  I am used to the hours and schedule now, but at first it was weird and awkward because I have never been on set for a television show before, just for movies.  I am usually on location for a film.  But now I am really comfortable and it blows my mind how realistic the set looks on TV.  It is a great working environment, the cast is amazing and I love being on set.   

•    How is this role different from ones you’ve played before?

In this role I get to be flirty and sexy, usually I play the tomboy or a crazy Latina girl!  

•    Why do you think it’s important that people tune into this show?

I think it is important for adults and parents to watch the show so they have a better idea of what may be going on in their child’s life [or in the life of a typical high school teen] and that some of their actions may effect their children’s decisions.  I think it is important for teens to watch the show because I am sure a lot of our viewers may have had similar experiences that we will cover in the show, and they may be able to relate to them.  It will be nice to have a show on the air that will open the eyes of adults, and relate to teens.  It has been a long time since a show like this has come around.   

•    What made you want to become an actor?  Was there a person, a feeling, something you did that made you say, “This is what I want to do”?

When I was really little I used to watch soap operas and I said to myself ‘this is what I want to do when I grow up,’ and here I am today!

•    Who are you dying to work with?  What actors and actresses are your favorites?

Some female actress I would love to work with is Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lopez, and some male actors are Johnny Depp and Adam Sandler.  They are all so inspiring and I definitely look up to them all.  

•    Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  10 years?  Whose career would you love to have?

I hope to be a successful actress and hopefully the show will still be on!  I also have been doing films; I have to finish up one in Spain very soon, so I hope to still be doing movies alongside of TV.  I just want to do what I love, which is acting.  

•    What shows are you watching when you have downtime?  During the regular season, and during the summer?

I watch Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, Moment of Truth, Novellas (Latino Show), Ugly Betty, Gossip Girl and of course I will be watching my show when it airs, I am so excited.  

•    Do you have any quirks, or rituals you do before a day of shooting?

I have to be in full hair, make-up and wardrobe and review my lines in front of the mirror in my trailer by myself or I feel off that day. The mirror is my friend (laughs.)

•    Anything else you want readers and fans to know?

I want my fans to know to keep an open mind about the show, and I promise I am not just saying this because I am in the show!  I truly believe this is a great show, that it is going to make a big impact in television today, and I would watch it even if I were not a member of the cast.  I also want my fans to know how much a love them and appreciate them, and thank you so much for your support over the past few years.