Spontaneous. Drama-making. Reassuring.
When discussing her character Vanessa on The CW’s hit show All American, Alondra Delgado uses those three phrases to tease the arc fans can expect from her appearances.
Talking in regards to the second episode, she says of Vanessa, “She is very reassuring to one of the characters. She makes him see many things about himself that he didn’t see before.” In a way, also, her role on All American has opened her own eyes to a completely new experience than she’s had before.
Proudly hailing from Puerto Rico, Alondra is no stranger to performing in front of the camera. She has starred in multiple films on the island and, since moving to Los Angeles five years ago, has continued to book projects in short films, television movies, and recurring roles in shows like FX’s Mayans M.C.
She states two major differences between filming in Puerto Rico and filming in Los Angeles: equipment and crew. “In Puerto Rico, it’s a smaller crew always, less equipment.” She says, “Here, there’s a lot more opportunities and a lot of new faces in every single project.” Alondra explains that while the industry tries to include new faces, Puerto Rico has less people involved with the filmmaking industry compared to the West Coast production hub. “Every single project, you see the same faces over and over again.” Aside from that, she finds the processes similar.
The topic of filming in Puerto Rico brings up a wistfulness in her voice. The actress shares that the industry on her home island is not like it was years ago and it is part of the reason she decided to move to Los Angeles. “There’s not a lot of opportunities,” she says.
“It was very difficult at first because I [have done] three short films and stuff like that, and in Puerto Rico, I was already being the lead in the feature films and starring on a TV show,” Alondra says of the challenges she faced in her career moving from Puerto Rico to Los Angeles. “It was different and it was difficult.”
As she explained in an interview with J-14, her many film and television credits in Puerto Rico didn’t hold as much weight in Los Angeles as it did back home. As well as that, her connections in the industry became very limited due to the difference in productions. Overcoming challenges like this takes patience, according to the actress.
“I have to be very patient and I have to trust that I was here for a reason and God had given me the opportunity to have all those blessings and things I have booked in Puerto Rico,” says Alondra. She continues, “If I trust myself and my talent, my talent will help me get those same things here. But obviously it will take time.”
She laughs for a moment as she admits, “I have to try to accept rejection multiple times because there’s a lot of auditions you go to and you hear no or you won’t hear anything at all. So I have to be patient and I just have to trust the process and trust myself, which is something that I have worked on throughout the year.” She goes on, “Now, the little things that I book or big things that I book, I just appreciate them because sometimes people have moved here like five years ago or more and have not been on national TV yet. So you have to really experience those moments and live them like they’re the biggest moments because they really are.”
With all her experiences in Puerto Rico and Hollywood under her belt, All American still stands as a unique time for her.
“I think this has been one of the first projects [I’ve worked on] where all of the cast is probably almost the same age,” she shares. “So it’s great because we have so much to relate to and talk about.” She also adds that she believes The CW drama series is the most popular show she has been on thus far. “It’s just excitement that you come to set every single day and you’re like, ‘Wow, I’m really doing this.’ Especially because I was a fan of the show.”
Alondra explains that while she has watched previous episodes of other shows she has appeared on, All American has been one she has been following from the beginning. “I knew everything – I knew the background, I knew the characters. So it was a lot easier to come in and interact with all the characters because I knew of them. It has been great because of that.”
She wants to be sexy, and cute, and she doesn’t care what people think about that. I find that’s great.
Her knowledge of the show before being cast is one advantage she has over her character. However, there is a common ground between herself and Vanessa as they’re both newcomers – herself on set and Vanessa at Beverly High.
“I think that was great because it played off very [well] because it relates to the story and the character. Of course I was so nervous to be on set because obviously they’ve known each other for years now. They’ve been on set every single day together. So I was a little bit nervous of how that was going to be.” the actress admits, though she needn’t have worried. “They were super friendly to me – very friendly and welcoming. I’ve had so much fun on set each and every day, and I think that helped me out too,” she says as she relates to her character. “Vanessa comes in and she’s liking this group of friends, because at the end [of the day], she gets to hang out with all of them and she likes them. So I think it played out very [well] at the same time [on-screen and off].”
Vanessa’s appearance, though, rocks quite a few boats and shakes the dynamics within the Beverly High squad.
“Obviously being the new kid, everyone has something to say about you and technically, yes, she does get in the middle of all the series regulars. She just wants to make friends but she has this drama and not everyone is going to end up liking her at the end,” Alondra teases. Fans saw a glimpse of this with the second episode where Olivia isn’t ready to welcome Vanessa to school just yet. While she doesn’t share exactly what drama her character causes, she does promise that it will eventually come to light. “One by one, everyone’s going to end up finding out.”
From the moment she was cast, fans were full sped ahead with trying to figure out the role Vanessa would play in the squad’s dynamics. By the premiere of season three, and before Vanessa was even introduced, some fans have come up with the theory that Asher cheated on Olivia over the summer with Vanessa. It is one of many theories Alondra has become familiar with from social media.
She recalls the theories she’s seen so far, like that she was with Jordan or Spencer or Asher. “Right now, everyone thinks that I have been with all the male characters and I’m like, ‘Oh my God!’” she shares with a laugh. She does concede on the topic of the theories, “Some people are going to be surprised, some people are not going to be that surprised.”
And then there are other theories fans have shared with her – like one that Coop might die – that have her nervous but also excited to be on the show because of all the fan enthusiasm and their passion for the show which results in studying even the most minute details in trailers or clips.
That passion from the fans has been overwhelmingly incredible for Alondra so far. “A lot of the fan pages are already including my character in it,” she says when she speaks to TEENPLICITY just one day after the season three premiere. She discusses how hard the fans go for the show and, while she is nervous for the appearance of her character Vanessa, she says of the fans, “I hope they like her still!”
The premiere of her episode was less than a week away at the time of her interview, and Alondra was excited.
“I still can’t believe it,” she says, slightly astonished still. “I was talking to my mom yesterday and we were watching [All American]. She’s like, ‘Okay, next week and you’re finally going to believe it is going to be real.’ Because it’s been three months already, but I’m so excited still. I can’t wait for it to come out.” She laughs as she recalls all her friends believing her character appeared in the premiere of season three and how they agonized over another week’s wait before she came on screen.
The whole experience has been exciting, according to the actress. “And honestly, [I’m] a little bit nervous too, on what people are going to say about me as an actress and because of my character Vanessa. Are people going to like her, you know? So, excitement, a little bit of nerves, I will say,” shares Alondra when talking about what going through her head before the second episode and her character’s introduction.
Discussing her character, Alondra says, “Vanessa’s going to be the new addition to the squad: she’s going to be involved with everyone’s favorite characters. She’s confident, she’s outgoing, she just wants to enjoy high school, but she is bringing a little bit of drama and changing the vibe in the whole squad.” The actress alludes to Vanessa’s importance this season but remains tight-lipped on any possible spoilers.
While she’s not sharing any secrets about the season, she is happily sharing what character she’d love to have Vanessa in more scenes with, if given the chance. That character is her favorite one on the series: Spencer.
One by one, everyone’s going to end up finding out.
“I’m at Beverly High, so I have scenes with him but not many,” she says of her choice. “I think I would love to have more scenes with his character, definitely. Especially because he’s my favorite character in the show.”
One of the ways to really see how Vanessa is as a character is to explore her wardrobe. During filming, Alondra has shared multiple snaps of her character’s fashion and shared some pictures from her trailer onto her Instagram. Vanessa’s wardrobe is very much an extension of the character’s personality.
“By the way, I love the outfits. I love them,” she gushes for a moment. “They’re very trendy and they’re sexy, in-fashion, which reflects her personality because she’s very outgoing. She’s confident, she’s herself. She wants to be sexy, and cute, and she doesn’t care what people think about that. I [think] that’s great.”
An important aspect of her fashion sense is how it also represents her culture. Alondra says, “[Vanessa’s style] also has a little bit of fire in her, and she’s Hispanic, so she’s bringing that within her. I feel great that they’re representing that through her in her outfits and her culture. I’m excited that I get to represent that.”
For the actress, getting to represent her own culture on the show has meant a lot to her.
“When they brought my character in, knowing that she’s going to be involved in many of the scenes and many of the episodes is great, because I get to bring that Hispanic side,” she says. “I’ve [had] a lot of fans also come to me like, ‘Yay, it’s about time!’ ‘Yeah, you’re representing us, that’s so great!’ And it means a lot for me and where I come from, knowing that I moved here five years ago and that I get to represent that and give hope to people from my island and people from Hispanic countries that yeah, we can do it as well, you know?”
Alondra hopes to take her work a step further as well. A writer and producer herself, she is taking what she has learned from her time working in Puerto Rico and in Los Angeles and using that to better her own creations.
“I think one of the things that I have learned is that we as creators, we do have to pay a lot of attention to the fans and the public because they are what really can make or break a project,” she says. “You need to pay attention to everything that’s going on currently, the trends, everything that people talk about. Those are things that you can incorporate in what you’re writing and creating.” The rising actress talks about how doing this helps her and how important it is to listen and hear what people need in the world. “At the end of the day, we always sit down and watch a movie and learn from it, and either learn something bad or something good, and then we implement that in our own lives,” she continues. “So I think listening to people [is very important]. It’s something that I have learned a lot [in] recent years.”
Hopefully people will love it and it can open different doors and break some stereotypes that people might have of me.
She laughs lightly as she goes on to say, “I’m going to try to incorporate [that in] my projects when I sit down and try to write.”
Being a creator and having such a passion for writing and storytelling, it’s no surprise then the amazing storytellers that Alondra hopes to collaborate with in the future.
“I would love to work with, obviously, Steven Spielberg. I would love for him to direct me. I would love to act with Meryl Streep!” she says excitedly. “But I would love to work in something that Nicholas Sparks has written because I’ve read most, if not all, of his novels and many of them have been turned into films. He is definitely a writer that has inspired me and I would love to collaborate with him.” The actress goes on to gush about how much she loves The Notebook. “It’s my favorite movie.”
When tasked with coming up with her dream role, whether it is one that has already been done in film or one she would want to originate, Alondra jokes and says, “I would love to be in The Notebook. I think I know all the lines already – I’m ready for it.” Though she laughs as she thinks of a remake of the iconic romantic film, she turns serious a few moments later. “I’ve always said that I want to do a very dramatic role that challenges me a lot.” For her, the roles that come to mind are the complexities within a strong female character who is an alcoholic or a drug addict. Part of this reason ties back to her personal life.
“I have people in my family who have been that and have struggled through that. I know a lot of people do,” she shares. However, she hopes that taking on a role as such would enable her to show the possibilities of a positive outcome after struggling through a dark situation, and hopefully inspire others through their own struggles.
Roles like that are definitely a possibility for Alondra, especially when thinking of where her career may be five years from now. “I would definitely love to star on my own show, to be a series regular on a show – that’s something that I have in mind and that’s one of my goals,” she says. “In five years, I want to try to do one feature film per year and I want to do a major feature film soon. I’ve done feature films before but they’ve all been independent, so that’s one of my goals: to do at least one feature film per year.”
Hopefully releasing in 2021 is her latest film, Safe House. The film follows a woman in Mexico who, after her brother is killed, is forced to go on the run. She soon finds herself in the desert, in the middle of situation between the CIA, government informants, and the Cartel. Discussing the film, Alondra’s excitement level rockets.
“It’s very exciting actually because people are going to get to see me in a whole different environment. It’s an action film and I get to do all my own stunts and stuff like that, so it was great,” she expresses happily. “I got to be a different character than what I actually am. You’re not going to see me all cute and glammed up,” she jokes. “You’re going to see me dirty, in the desert, full of blood. I think it’s going to be a very exciting project for everyone to see me in a different environment. Hopefully people will love it and it can open different doors and break some stereotypes that people might have of me.”
Thinking back to her time shooting the flick, Alondra says, “It was crazy shooting it, because it was in the desert, it was like 109 degrees. We went to Mexico, so it played a lot into what really [happens in] the film, so I’m very excited for it.”
With so much going on in her career, Alondra still takes the time to remember how grateful she is for the opportunities she has been given through all of her hard work.
“I always say that I come from a little island in Puerto Rico and I came here with a dream,” she begins as she reflects on her career thus far. “As cheesy as it sounds, like, ‘Oh, dreams come true or whatever,’ – it’s true, if you really fight for it and work hard for it. It’s not that dreams come true – it’s you’re actually making your goals reality.”
Speaking to anyone who is hoping to pursue their dreams, be it acting or something else, Alondra says, “To every single person that has dreams and passions: really trust your heart and trust your talent because if you work hard enough, you can really make it.”
Catch Alondra Delgado on All American on The CW on Mondays at 8PM.
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