Fearless and energized,has embraced her new role in the Starz drama VIDA with hope that it will touch others as much as it has touched her. Willing to tackle roles that challenge perceptions and expand our minds, Chelsea is a woman that lives as she believes. That passion is admirable and we are invited to follow her on her incredible journey. In an exclusive interview, Chelsea previews her new series VIDA and shares a bit of the mindset that has helped her as she strives to achieve her goals.
What was the initial appeal for you about portraying Mari and working on VIDA?
CHELSEA: Reading the breakdown is what got me. Mari is such a badass and once I saw the breakdown I wanted in!
How would you describe who Mari is in the series?
CHELSEA: She is a young, woke chingona! She is an activist who cares so much about her community. She may not go about it in the best way but she has the right intention. Mari is just a badass!
What do you most admire about her?
CHELSEA: How she will stand up for what she believes in. Nothing is going to stop her, no matter what.
How would you describe VIDA for viewers interested in the show?
CHELSEA: It’s a show about family, being true to yourself, gentrification, the LGBTQ community, and it has some sexy in it! Everyone can relate to what’s going on in the show, that’s the best part for me.
What is it like working alongside the talented ensemble on VIDA?
CHELSEA: It is amazing! From day one we have been a family. It’s always great working with talented people but when those people have beautiful hearts it makes it so much easier.
Who do you get to work with most in the series and what is that experience like?
CHELSEA: Ramses Jimenez, who plays Tlaloc. It was a great experience. We didn’t know each other but we knew of each other, through mutual friends, so it was great to actually meet him. He was such a talent and very thoughtful.
Do you have any favorite scenes that you can share from working on the series so far?
CHELSEA: There are some scenes in episode 5 with Emma that I think are my favorite. Can’t say much so you have to tune in to find out!
How would you describe the Mari and Emma and Lyn dynamic through the series?
CHELSEA: Interesting – it is definitely not friendly.
How does Mari view Emma and Lyn?
CHELSEA: They are everything Mari doesn’t like of whats in the neighborhood. Whitetinas. Chipsters. They are complete opposites.
As an actor, what has been the one thing you haven taken away from the experience of working on VIDA?
CHELSEA: I would say confidence. Confidence in myself, in my art, in my body. Tanya put an amazing group of people together for this and the energy just lifts you up!
What is your proudest achievement working on VIDA?
CHELSEA: To be apart of a show talking about the east side of LA without having all these stereotypes.
You also worked on THE FOSTERS. What did you enjoy about working on that show?
CHELSEA: Everything. The cast and crew were awesome. I made new friends and got to learn roller derby!
What did you take away from that acting experience on THE FOSTERS?
CHELSEA: To be nice and welcoming. You hear stories about series regulars staying in their own bubble but everyone from the cast was great. I started right after so I took that with me.
You also worked on the Netflix film “Bright.” What did you enjoy about working on that film?
CHELSEA: Being able to work with David Ayer. He is such a great director, knows how to work with his actors. And of course being able to be on set with Will Smith. Just watching him work you learn from him.
What has surprised you most about your career so far?
CHELSEA: How lucky I’ve been. I’ve been able to work with Kevin Costner, Chris Weitz, Will Smith, Marcia Gay Harden, Angie Harmon and so many other amazing actors and directors that people dream about working with. Sometimes I feel like I need to pinch myself and make sure it’s not a dream.
At this stage of your career, what do you think you have learned from the roles and projects you have worked on?
CHELSEA: To always bring a little bit of yourself to the character. For me it help me make it real.
Then what are the perks of where you are in your career right now?
CHELSEA: Being able to be surrounded by amazing people. Also I think I’m old enough to really appreciate it.
Has there been any great advice you have gotten about working as an actor?
CHELSEA: Always be chasing after something, or be fighting for something. It make you have a little fire inside no matter what.
What advice would you offer to other upcoming and aspiring actors?
CHELSEA: Believe in yourself. Confidence goes along way.
At a time when women’s voices are rising to be heard and respected around the country and world, what do you recommend your fans do to lend support in that endeavor?
CHELSEA: Watch! You have to watch stuff written by women, directed by women, starring women!
To see how Chelsea engages and thrills in the new Starz series VIDA be sure to tune in for the premiere on Sunday, May 6th at 8:30 p.m. on Starz. To see exclusive clips and learn more about the show, you can follow the show on Twitter @VIDA_Starz.