Janelle Ortiz is featured in Disney’s upcoming film “Prom”, playing the character Alejandra. This is Janelle first feature role and she is really excited to be working with Disney. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Janelle about working on first film role in “Prom”.
Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about what made you want to get into acting?
Janelle Ortiz: Originally, I was an athlete and I had no intentions of being an actress whatsoever. What happened was that I was in my junior year of high school, I played softball and I was a catcher, and when I needed me to perform I was injured and I couldn’t play ever again. I was even been looked at by college recruiters. So I was freaking now because I was playing since I was eight years old. It was like your identity was kind of taken away from you. I started taken acting classes since I liked the idea of playing different characters each day. I ended up falling in love with it and I have kind of been doing it ever since.
MG: How did you get involved with the film “Prom”?
JO: I trained for about a year and half prior because I didn’t want to go and meet casting directors, not be ready and burn bridges. Once I felt comfortable, I went out for the audition for “Prom”, it was actually my second audition, and out of 1,500 I got the role.
MG: Tell us about your role in film “Prom”?
JO: My characters name is Alejandra but they call me Ally. I am 18 years old. I am the best friend of Aimee Teegarden’s character. I am the gossip girl of the school. I know everything about everybody [laughs].
MG: What was the best part for you working about the film?
JO: The best part since this was my first film was that I got to work with Disney. They were so accommodating and helpful. It was cool working with Joe Nussbaum, our director. He was great. I didn’t know a lot of the lingo and techniques. Everyone, the cast and the director, really helped me understand everything.
MG: Besides acting, what are your other interests?
JO: I am very into music. I still try to play a little sports. I play tennis sometimes. I give softball lessons to little girls. Mainly though, music is my obsession. I listen to it 24/7. I even write a few songs myself, so it’s great.
MG: Who is the actor and director you would like work with most?
JO: I think the actresses I would love to work with most would be Sandra Bullock. Everyone says I look somewhat like her. I think the way she has taken her career and the characters she has played are fabulous. I have always been a fan of the mobster movies so for director, I would have to say Martin Scorsese.
MG: What is the next project you are working on?
JO: I do not have anything lined up right now. We are still working with a few things with “Prom” right now. I have two younger siblings and I am just helping out and spending time with them before all the publicity starts for “Prom”. But hopefully there will be something soon.