Celebrating Degrassi: Soma Bhatia

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Soma Bhatia portrays Goldi Nahir on Degrassi. Check out our chat with her as we continue to celebrate Degrassi.

You recently just turned 18 so hope you had an amazing 18th birthday! How did you celebrate your birthday?

I did have an amazing birthday! My friend from acting class and I have close birthdays so we celebrated together. We invited all the Degrassi cast and all our acting class friends for sushi.

What similarities if any do you have with Goldi?

We both are very passionate people. Goldi sets a goal in her mind and often achieves it. I’m very much a go-getter like her.

What’s it like being a part of such a legendary franchise?

It’s a dream come true for me because I grew up watching this show, and so did my mom! Degrassi was a part of my childhood and its special knowing that can help carry this legacy.

If you could have a super power what would it be?

To be able to eat without getting full or being unhealthy and to make junk food healthy. I just love food!

What’s your biggest fear?

My biggest fear is losing people I love.

What would be a good theme song for your life?

The song “Ride” by Lana Del Rey. Well, any Lana song, I’m a huge fan.

What can we expect from the upcoming new episodes?

A lot more on self discovery. That’s what high school is all about. Finding your true self and being happy with it.

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Celebrating Degrassi: Chelsea Clark

Season 2 of Degrassi: Next Class premiered on Netflix just a few weeks ago. In honor of my love for the iconic hit Canadian series, I decided to reach out to some of the cast. The first cast member is Chelsea Clark. She plays the lovely and confident yet manipulative Esme Song. Check out our little chat.

chelsea clark

So you just finished up high school this year and that included the big prom. How was prom? 

Prom was super great! It was a nice intimate venue and everyone really got together and looked great as our one last hurrah.

Esme was such a negative influence on Miles but a really interesting character. What should we expect from Esme moving forward?

We can expect to see sides of her that are really different than the first two seasons. Her interactions with the other characters will be most interesting.

Question from Twitter user @DegrassiFeels: If you could write an episode about your character, what would you make your character do?

I would want to write a scene of her interacting with her family or no family we don’t know! Also crazy stunts would be AWESOME (Scuba diving, bungee jumping, the whole shebang.

If you could swap places with any of the characters that attend Degrassi, who would you swap with?

I’d swap with any of the Hollingsworth family members. They’re great characters AND get a pool!

If you could have a super power what would it be?

Breathe underwater

What’s one of your biggest/weirdest fears?

I’m terrified of rodents

What would be a good theme song for your life?

I don’t care if it doesn’t fit but I’d love for it to be the 6teen theme song

Degrassi: Next Class is streaming on Netflix or check your local listings. You can also catch previous installments from Degrassi’s 30+ year history through various media. It will be worth your investment.

Follow Chelsea on FB and on Twitter

Interview w/ Julie Lake From OITNB

Photo Credit: Vince Trupsin

Photo Credit: Vince Trupsin

First things first, congratulations on the success of Orange Is The New Black. The third season is underway right now on Netflix while a fourth season has been ordered. Why do you believe this series is so successful?

I think the fans love the characters on this show and get hooked following their stories. It is a huge ensemble of diverse women who are funny and sexual and real, and I think people are loving getting a chance to see that on TV. 

Believe it or not, there are many people out there who have yet to have seen OITNB. Can you describe Angie Rice the best you can?

Angie is a goofy meth head with very gross teeth. She has a bawdy sense of humor and has some of the funniest lines in the show (not to brag 🙂) She is sweet at heart, but her deep insecurity leads her to do whatever her best friend Leanne tells her to do – including bully other girls. She loves getting into trouble and making people laugh.

This series is sort of like my personal favorite, The Walking Dead, in which every character who has ever been a part of the series is forever linked to the success. How does it feel being a part of the OITNB cast?

It is definitely a privilege to be part of the cast. I feel very lucky that the show has been so successful.  

Can you take us through the entire process from the moment you find out about episodes to the finishing of the entire season?

We get a draft of the script about a week or so before we start shooting.  Then we shoot.  Then on to the next until we have completed the season.  We do not know what is happening with our characters throughout the season or which episodes we will be in, so we just have to go off what we get in each script and trust that the directors will lead us in the right direction.

The Litchfield Correctional Facility is full of cliques. If you could add a completely new clique to Litchfield and be the leader of it, what type of clique would it be?

I would like to be the queen of the drama clique. We would be a bunch of musical theater nerds putting on plays and loudly singing, laughing, and annoying the shit out of the other inmates.

OITNB will have a fourth season, how long can this series continue?

Hopefully a long time. They do not tell us this stuff, so I have absolutely no idea. But as long as the fans keep watching, I bet they will keep making it.

As far as binge-watching is concerned, what are your thoughts on it?  Are there any series out there that you binge-watch, or any that you would want to?

I binged so much TV this year that now I have to be super careful to keep myself in check any time I start a new series.  I binged Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, The Jinx, The Fall, Bloodline, House of Cards… the list goes on.  I have to limit myself to one episode per night.

What is it like on set? Can you describe the atmosphere of a day on the set of OITNB?

It is always super fun to be on set.  We are all good friends, so when we are not acting, we are usually piled into someone’s dressing room hanging out and talking. Emma and I spent a lot of time watching What Not To Wear on Netflix together.  I actually really want to be on that show – I desperately need clothes. How do I make that happen??

You come from a Theater background and you also had your own web series, are there any other projects you would hope to do or are doing in the future?

Yes, I am pitching a television show with some friends from my sketch comedy group right now.  I am working on another web series with a friend from high school, and I am also writing my own feature. So I have a lot of creative projects going on at the moment. 

Here at Blended Entertainment, the object is to bring people together through essentially blending entertainment. In that case, who are some of your favorite entertainers out there?

I think top of my list right now are Louis CK, the Duplass brothers, and Lena Dunham. They are all making the kind of work I would like to make.

Also can you educate all of us about your life?

My life right now is pretty simple. I just moved out from LA to NYC to shoot the next season of Orange.  I am getting married in December in New Orleans, so we have been planning a lot for that. I am hoping to do a lot of hiking this summer outside of NYC.  And then I will be writing and hopefully volunteering for the Women’s Prison Association – I just sent in my application. 

Thank you for your time Julie, is there anything you would like to say to our readers and fans of your work?

Thanks to my fans for all the support and sweet comments on Instagram and Twitter! Orange fans are the best people – love you guys! 

OITNB Season 3 Promo

One of Netflix’s hit series, Orange Is The New Black is coming back for its’ third season. The ladies of Litchfield are back on June 12 to once again entertain us with their struggles, drama, and coming of age moments as each are trying to rise up the food chain. I am very excited and will binge-watch within a couple of days despite how much of a longer wait it’s going to be between the third and fourth seasons. The promo for the upcoming season is below as well as a couple of cast interviews from the past.

Selenis Leyva 

Kimiko Glenn

Interview w/ Kimiko Glenn

Photo Credit: Emily Soto

Photo Credit: Emily Soto

If you hadn’t binge-watched Orange Is The New Black yet, then what are you waiting for? Season 2 of the Netflix hit series saw Kimiko Glenn come in as the character, Brook Soso. Blended Entertainment had the privilege of interviewing Kimiko. Enjoy this interview and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BlendedEnt. You can always suggest who you’d like to see me interview next.

 

You talked about portraying these sort of asexual characters. So having to now simulate a scene in which sexual pleasure is being displayed must have been shocking. How did you mentally prep for your scene of simulating sex on screen?

There’s no real way to prepare yourself for something like a sex scene! I went into it very much like, “Oh God. What is this going to be like? Will I be so concerned with the logistics of the “sex” that I will forget to act? Will they make me do it a million times?? Oh God!!” But on the day of shooting it was very much a safe environment — it was a closed set — and Lisa Vinnecour, our executive producer, made it clear that I wasn’t about to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with. It wasn’t so bad!

In terms of preparing for that nude scene in which you are with Natasha Lyonne, how long did the filming process take?

It was very quick. I think no one wanted me to feel uncomfortable, they knew I was a newbie, so it was just a few takes, maybe a few shots and we were done!

What was it like on set filming for season 2? Were things going on in the background as filming was taking place? If you weren’t in a scene for a day, were you still on set?

It was a blast!! We have a great time together, but it is typically pretty focused. I am only called to set if I have a scene to shoot. I’ve never really popped in just for the heck of it. Maybe I will, if I’m ever in the neighborhood.

As far as season 3 is concerned, how far along are you all into the creative process? How is the atmosphere different from when you first came on for season 2?

We are working our butts off to make season 3 amazing! When I got cast in the show, season 1 had just come out and people were really digging it. I knew I was doing a hit series, but after season 2 aired, it is clear that we are part of a phenomenon. I think that is definitely felt on set and we are all so grateful and incredibly HAPPY to be working on such a groundbreaking, exciting, well-written show.

For OITNB, how did you go about getting the role? Did this involve any auditioning? Was the casting call specifically looking for an Asian actress?

I received an appointment for an audition through my agents. It was a relatively quick turnaround. I got the audition late in the day, read a few scenes with Jen Euston the next morning, got the call the following afternoon, and was on set at 6 a.m. the next day! I had never experienced anything quite like it. The breakdown for the role was pretty open at that point. I knew friends of all different ethnicities who went in for it as well.

Knowing that you did spend a little bit of time in my home city of Boston excites me. Did you get any time to enjoy the city? Did you notice any differences between Boston and Phoenix?

I love Boston! I did explore while I was there, but I was mainly preoccupied with school. Boston and Phoenix (my hometown) are wildly different; namely, the weather! Also, I never had to drive in Boston… I always walked or took the T. That is something you could never do in Phoenix. You need a car.

Seeing that you attended The Boston Conservatory, it is safe to say that you sort of always wanted to act. Was there a moment that made you say that you wanted to try out theater? Was acting a way of your parents just wanting to keep you busy?

I always loved performing from when I was a kid. I feel like I was never not performing. It was just something I naturally did and my parents just guided me there. They were always extremely supportive!

People have asked you plenty of times if you talked as much as Brook. With that being said, how would you describe yourself in terms of your personality and character?

I definitely don’t talk as much as Brook!! I am pretty shy at heart and it takes me a while to get to know someone to where I can talk a lot. That being said, I understand Brook in a lot of ways. I am very into natural health and wellness, and some would say I have hippie qualities. But I would not be as extreme as to live in a tree for extended periods of time.

We know that Brook is in prison because of some form of political protest. Do you ever come up with ideas in your head with what she was protesting and how she went about it? She was willing to starve herself so it seems she could definitely go to an extreme.

I used to make up ideas in my head about what she might have done or what happened with Meadow, but as I got the scripts every other week, I realized it was completely futile. The beauty of television is that information is revealed episode to episode, and the actor learns kind of with the audience in a way. The writers are incredible, they have a grand plan, and I grew to trust that.

Has your goals as an actress changed since joining the cast of OITNB, especially after seeing how highly regarded your character and this series is?

Well, thank you!! Nothing really has changed in regard to my goals. I’ve always, always, always wanted to be on Broadway. That is an absolute dream of mine. I started out on stage as a singer, and it has transitioned over the years to be more concentrated in acting. I never thought I would be in movies or television. It never really crossed my mind until I moved to NYC about 4 years ago! So I guess, if anything, I now see myself doing more on-camera work.

Is there a particular character(s) who you would want Brook to develop a strong bond with? Share more scenes with? Brook needs a partner in crime.

I think Brook needs to have more scenes with Yoga Jones! I am close with Connie off-set and I think it would only make sense for Brook to be bestie’s with a yogi!

Thank you Kimiko for this interview. Is there anything you would like to say to your fans and our readers? How can fans and readers find and interact with you?

Thank you so so so much for all your support and love!! It is because of YOU that we are able to do what we love and I can’t be more thankful! Please follow me on twitter @KimikoGlenn and instagram @ohlittleasianone! I love you all!!!

Orange Is The New Black Returns

You’ve waited for almost a year for this but wait no further. The trailer has been released for season 2 of Netflix’s popular series, Orange Is The New Black. Taylor Schilling is back as Piper and she is not backing down from a fight. This new season will feature some new inmates and new drama. All thirteen episodes of the season will be released on June 6. Let the binge watching begin this June. I will be splitting the season up into two parts and finishing the season in two days.

*The trailer below does feature some language NSFW*

Don’t forget to check out my interview with Selenis Leyva from OITNB after you watch the trailer.

Interview w/ OITNB’s Selenis Leyva

selenis leyva

Jill Greenberg-Netflix

Check out this interview as we got in depth with Selenis Leyva, who portrays Gloria Mendoza in Orange Is The New Black.

You have numerous roles to your name, but what made you get into this industry of acting?

I knew I wanted to perform at an early age.. It was something I enjoyed doing alone in my room. At the time, I wasn’t aware I was “acting”. It was just a great way to pass time. I’d lock myself in my rooms for hours. Dressing up, acting to the mirror, reading out loud. I would make myself cry a lot, just like the women on the telenovelas my parents watched. There was something about those moments as a child that made me feel alive! I remember watching the show Fame, and I was hooked! I was too young to get the stories etc, but the dancing, music and acting made me fall in love with it! I announced to my parents I was going to go to that HS someday. I don’t think they heard me, or understood. I ended up attending The HS of Performing Arts! My Fame school. By then it was called Fiorello H La Guardia HS. It all started there, my training and the certainty that I was going to be a professional actress.

How did you get involved with OITNB? What was the process like?

Jen Euston, who cast the show, called me in. I auditioned for another role on the show, which I didn’t get. I was crushed, because I knew it was a good project. NO idea it would be this big a hit! I knew I wanted in though.  You learn to go through the “mourning” process for a day when you don’t get something and keep it moving. A few weeks after that Jen called my manager with an offer to play Gloria Mendoza. I knew I had to be on this show. It was a Jengi Kohan project! And I love Weeds!

Jen is also so great in casting really wonderful shows, she cast me in Girls as well.

What is the atmosphere like on set?

We have lots of fun. Great support, so you feel confident about trying different things. We have fun, but we work hard. When cameras are rolling, it’s all business. It’s really like a huge house with a large family running around! It’s great.

We hope to see more of Gloria as she is now head of the kitchen. What do you hope to see from your character in season 2?

It’s so hard to say what I want to see more of. Gloria is still being developed. I trust the writers so much. I feel they have and are creating really complex beautiful people for us all. So I look forward to the journey. Just happy to be on set and continue exploring . Being in the kitchen is of course fantastic!

Now other than Gloria, who is your favorite character from the series?

My goodness, this is a hard one. All these characters are so wonderful!! I have fallen in love with all of them!! Love what Jason Biggs is doing! I fell in love with him after watching all the episodes!!! Crazy Eyes and Pennsatucky are delicious to watch! I like Crazy, but the beauty with those two is that it’s so layered! So much happening! As with every one of these characters just when you think you get it, or get them, something else gets thrown in and you think..”wow”. I could go on forever about ALL the characters I swear I would if you let me!

Why do you think the series has been such a huge hit among viewers of all backgrounds?

There is something or someone for everyone. People have a choice to who they can relate to. And that could change from one episode to the next, and that’s the beauty of this show. You can relate to these characters. It’s real. It’s not always pretty and perfect. You see the flaws. It’s layered just like life.

For your role of being confined to prison, how did you prepare, or how were you prepared?

I took this role like all my other roles I’ve played. I put myself in that world. By connecting as a person, no judgements! Just human instinct. Yes I’m playing a prisoner, but she’s also a daughter, woman, lover, friend..That has all been taken away now what? I also worked for a theater arts program years ago and I worked with a girls juvenile facility. That was one of the hardest jobs. Here I was with all my freedom and I would go in and work on writing scenes with these girls. Some were scared , all seemed sad, damaged to some point,and yet they were giving me stories, writing acting with me. They were making that environment work for them. They had created a world, a family. It was hard on my spirit to see these beautiful girls locked up. Yet they really gave me so much love. And I bring that experience to Orange.

When season 1 was finished filming, what was the overall feeling of the cast? Did you know that you were going to have a hit on your hands?

We were very emotional! When I was wrapped and heard those words,”selenis is wrapped for season 1″ I got chills ! I cried that day. I knew I was leaving that set, where I had worked side by side with the most amazing cast and crew ever! I didn’t want it to end. And no one knew what would happen. You never know! I thought it was good, but a hit? I felt it deep inside yes! But one never knows in this business.

How has your family and peers responded to you being involved with such a unique series?

My family is very proud! They have had a front row seat to my ups and downs in the biz. So they are thrilled! My mom was my date for the premiere, and I will never forget how she turned to me that night after the lights came back on in that theater after the pilot was viewed and she said ” this is a hit” she knew! She was beaming. All my peers want to be on the show! Its great , people have responded in an amazing way.

You ladies were renewed for a second season before the first season even premiered! How is the filming of season 2 progressing? Anything we should look out for?

That was crazy to hear we had been picked up before it premiered ! Talk about pressure! Season 2 is under way. It’s early in the season, we don’t know much. With the success of the show everything is very hush hush. Which I don’t mind. Its nice to be surprised. I wish I could say” look out for…” but I myself am just finding things out slowly.

I’m a Red Sox fan, but you happen to be a Yankees fan! With that being said, what’s your impression of the Yankees this year as the baseball season nears its end?

Should we even be talking!??!Red sox!!haha.. I Love baseball! We have a decent chance to get in the playoffs,  Will be fantastic to get our team captain , Jeter back in. Soriano is on fire!

Favorite food?

Love sushi!  And cuban food. Im a foodie!

Favorite music artist?

Marc Anthony, pink, Maroon 5 , Beyonce, Adele, La Lupe, Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe, Oscar de leon, Amy Winehouse, Eminem, Jay Z….I really enjoy all music to be honest, my mood will dictate what i listen to it varies greatly!

Favorite vacation spot?

Went to Colombia Cartagena recently and really enjoyed it. Traveling is great! Panama was also amazing

One thing your cast members do not know about you

hmmm.. I co wrote two scripts that I hope to get produced in the near future!