Laura Catalina Ortiz Goes From ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ To ‘Holliston.’ - Interview

Laura Catalina Ortiz’s breakout role was on the Wes Craven film, “The Hills Have Eyes.” Since then, the actress has appeared on movies such as “Norbit” and “Horton Hears a Who!” Ortiz is now starring in the horror/sitcom, “Holliston,” which premieres Tuesday, April 3rd on FearNet at 10:30pm EST/7:30pm PST. I recently had the chance to talk with the actress.

Q - Thanks, Laura, for chatting. How are things going?

A - Things are very exciting right now. I just got to spend a few days with the cast of “Holliston” in the town of Holliston. We had a few screenings around Boston and had the chance to visit all the places we talked about in the show, which was a humbling and proud moment for all of us.

Q - Your credits include Wes Craven’s “The Hills Have Eyes,” “Norbit” and “Horton Hears a Who!” among others. When did you get started in acting and why did you choose this field?

A - To be honest, ever since I can remember I just wanted to be in television. I didn’t want to be famous or anything; I just thought that would be the coolest thing ever. I also used to always put on shows and “re-write” plays or I’d shut myself in my room and put on “live shows;” just me and CDs. I asked my mom if we could move to NY or LA and of course no one paid attention to me so I told them as soon as I could I would do it myself. Many years later I had the chance to graduate early so I did, and I told my mom and dad I had bought my tickets and I would be leaving to LA (where no one in my family had ever been) in a week. I told them that with my savings I would also be going to college in LA and that I had already paid for it all. I didn't want any excuse to stay behind even though I was scared, and long story short I made the move.

I met a lady named Gloria and she had never been an agent but wanted to try it. She sent me out for anything and everything and didn't stereotype me and I began working very quickly; I have been very blessed. Every job has led to another. It has been one of the hardest and rewarding things I have done. There have been many sacrifices, of course, but when you’re doing what you love for the right reasons everything works itself out.

Q - You will appear in FearNet’s “Holliston.” How did you get involved with this project?

A - I met Adam Green shortly after “The Hills Have Eyes” came out. He had me come read for a project he was working on to cast me; however, that project fell through and I ran into him at the screening of his movie, “Spiral,” and I actually really hit it off with his friends and his now wife. When he wrote “Holliston” he had each cast member already in mind and really fought for each one of us when he brought the project to the network.

Q - The show is being billed as “The Big Bang Theory” meets “Evil Dead 2.” What can fans expect from the series?

A - Heart. At the core of this sitcom are real relationships. We are real friends and we are very close to each other. In a very unique way this sitcom has the perfect combination of fun, blood, and love for boys. And in a very unique way it has the perfect combination of blood, love, and fun for girls. Also, amazing guest stars!!!!!!!



Q - You’re working with Adam Green. How is it working with a horror genius?

A - I am lucky enough to be able to call him my friend; my incredibly hard working friend who never sleeps. Working with Adam is like working with your big brother. He is incredibly caring and humble and is very protective over his cast and crew. He sets up a working environment where everyone has a voice and is an equal. He is a perfectionist and very good at what he does. He really believes in everyone that works for him and if you need anything he is there to teach you and cheer you on if you’re a hard worker. There were days on set that were incredibly long, fun but long, and I only had one job as opposed to Adam who had at least 100 jobs. And he never complained or cared what he got credit for; he just wanted this project to feel like it was everybody’s and that it got done the best that it could have been.

Q - The promotional picture has the four main characters in the nude. Although the good parts are covered up, you guys are still in the buff. Whose idea was this and were you nervous in the shot?

A - We wanted something edgy and it was Adam who came up with the idea so we shot it. We weren’t sure what the network would think of it but FearNet really embraced it and supported us. They have been a really amazing network to work with; they really let us play and share our ideas.

Of course I was nervous. I never would have thought I would be practically naked on any photo, let alone a billboard! But this has been such a personal project and I’m closer to this than anything I have ever done before so I was on board. When we got to the shoot Adam made sure we had a female photographer who was a friend and there was no one else on set except whoever was being shot at the time. And all our good bits were covered up anyway so it felt very safe and easy.

Q - What’s next for you? Do you have any projects in the works?

A - I am actually incredibly excited to work on a pilot written by Hillary Winston called “Happy Valley.” She has written for shows I have been watching for years such as “My Name Is Earl,” “Community,” “Blue Collar TV,” “Happy Endings” (where we met), etc. So I’m nervous and excited because I’m such a fan of hers.

Q - Thanks for taking the time to chat. Is there anything wanted to add?

A - We really just want to build up this “Holliston” family. Our fans mean the world to us and we just want to invite you in to be a part of our tight little gang every Tuesday night at 7:30/ 10:30 EST.


BYLINE:

Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at jason@zoiksonline.com.
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