1. Hi Masiela! Thanks for taking time off for this interview. For those of us 90’s babies and those who grew up in the 2000’s, catch us up to speed on where life has taken you since “George Lopez.”
It has been quite the rollercoaster! There’s a restlessness I still endure, a sense that there are more genres to uncover, more books to pursue, and more roles to define. Since the George Lopez show, I’ve explored other genres such as dramas, period pieces, thrillers, and cartoons, and I also produced a bit, and wrote a few more books. Each film is unique in that it covers an entirely different genre, and each book defines my memories in different styles of writing. It’s constant exploration and growth bound by restlessness. In my latest book, The Living Air, I translated poems by Saint Theresa. I can check that off the list, as it was a personal goal of mine to intimately explore her work.
My recent film, Forgotten Evil, recently premiered on Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network, and has been picked up for international distribution. We had the joy of tweeting real-time with fans and viewers, and this elevated our film to a personal level of fulfillment that I had not anticipated was even possible! I wish we had the capacity to chat real-time with viewers while filming the George Lopez show. It would have been utterly divine.
2. We have been stalking your social media and hearing rumors of a reunion with the “George Lopez” cast. Tell us straight up…will there be a reunion? Will the show be coming back on air?
Straight up, I actually don’t have any concrete revelations! I swear! We all heard the rumors as well. When George, Constance Marie, and I did a mini-reunion on his show Lopez on TV Land, the chemistry was immediate, without the need for warm-up. Even though many of us had not seen each other in nearly a decade, to dive into the comedy was surreal. It was during this reunion that I fully understood what I always believed – that we are family, bound by one shared experience with millions of fans. Time cannot take this from us; we are defined by our experiences together. From reading our fans’ reactions, I truly believe the Lopez family is tightly woven into the fabric of America at this point.
3. It was also great to see you in “Sharknado 4.” Will you be in the 5th installment? If so, what will the 5th movie be about?
Sharknado 5 is bigger than I anticipated. I had to read the script multiple times to fully understand its nuances. Sharknado 4 was such a fun movie to shoot; it was another genre to explore, and I especially love that the movie is bound by strong family values. It was this element that kept me committed. I also love that it doesn’t take itself too seriously while staying true to its system of belief. Overall, an absolute thrill. And I was relieved that the producers allowed me to film my own stunts.
4. What is your favorite genre to act in?
Depending on my mood, it could change by the week. Movies feel the most rewarding to shoot when their frequency matches the actor’s while shooting. The most fulfilling project is the one that aligns with a current real-life situation, experience, doubt, love. When I can read into the story my own personal interpretation, when it helps resolve or relive a predicament I’m experiencing, it becomes a healing process. And I do believe that the more I am committed to a plot, the more effective the outcome can be for the audience.
Currently, I am in the mood for another sitcom 🙂
5. Can you tell our readers all about your latest film you starred in on Lifetime’s Forgotten Evil?
Forgotten Evil is my baby. I was brought it during the early stages of revising, and was able to explore elements of the plot as it was being formed. I was especially intrigued by my character, Renee. It was the first time that I read a script in which a character had no real backstory. As actors we are taught to write out a backstory, even if the script does not provide one, to imbue the character with the depth of history and truth. With Renee, doing this exercise would be counterintuitive because Renee is introduced as a girl with amnesia. She has no recollection to pull from, no preferences, no likes or dislikes, no family to claim her. She is, in every sense of the word, a blank canvas that other characters project their stories onto her presence. As an actor, I explored through her the early stages of childhood development, where sensations feels new, where curiosity flourishes. Then, I was able to explore the budding young romance, and what it meant to kiss for the first time, to explore the spacing of time. I am proud to say that Renee ultimately defines her own identity, her own purpose, and essentially survives the brutal elements of betrayal.
I would like to believe that Renee’s story resonates with many who feel life has effaced them, and they are forced to either succumb to a certain death, or defy fate and redefined their identity, and carve out a new space in this world.
It was a rewarding prospect to find a story with the audience, to allow them to see the true formation of a human being before their eyes, and outline her identity together, to essentially share one story.
6. What is amazing about you is your humanitarian efforts. Tell us about your work with Prince Harry’s Sentebele and the UN.
In whatever projects I pursue, I have one overarching sensation in my life. Restlessness. I was blessed to experience extreme vicissitudes in my life, of loss, fear, and uncertainty. I may not even be here had it not been for the incredibly courageous American volunteers from the Red Cross. Because of my earliest experiences, I feel that whatever I do, it is simply not enough. There is more to pursue, more individuals to heal, more inspiration to support. It is absolutely never enough. After all, I owe my life to the goodness of complete strangers who found the value in life through saving and elevating others. How can one complete with this?
My humanitarian efforts are still not enough. And, I strive to pursue causes that I can immediately hold, tangibly. I need to meet the families, and experience their stories from their very eyes and lips. Sentebale allowed this incredible access, and this opportunity to impact on an intimate level. My experiences in Lesotho, Africa, are carved into my heart and mind, and will forever guide my future endeavors and expectations.
I was approached by UN Women to spread their mission of equality and unity. My mother is a courageous lady, and my nickname for her is Tiger Mom. I’ve witnessed her strength of mind and heart as she carved out her own path, and unapologetically defined her own dream despite resistance. She earned every level of happiness in her life through an unquenchable passion. UN Women’s message resonates with me on a very personal level. I witnessed first hand what is possible when women have the right to dream and pursue, and what is possible when they are stripped of this right and yet continue to defy.
7. What other positive ways would you like to use your platform? Other big causes you would like to share?
Because of my earlier experiences with the American Red Cross, I made a vow to myself that I will not use my platform for any other purpose than to elevate and heal. My mission as an actor and writer is to not merely to project back onto society, but rather to create and explore content that infuses this projection with meaningful growth. I simply want to explore the higher elements of humanity, and whatever project, whether it be a comedy or a drama, I want it to positively define the characteristics of family, love, and healing. I feel life is too finite, and sometimes too dark to simply project.
8. When you’re not acting or saving the world, what do you do on your spare time? What are some of your favorite hobbies?
I love to write, so I will continue using that outlet of growth. I feel writing allows me to close-read this world a little better, and find meaning in what others may consider mundane or predictable. When I’m in the throes of a new poem or novel, I feel life is magnified, and new interpretations are formed; it’s like seeing the world through a new lens.
9. You’re also an author and a poet. What are some of the favorite books you’ve written and why?
I’m a voracious reader and often read multiple books at once. I especially prefer nonfiction and poetry. I can more easily explore my favorite books that I’ve read, books that have altered my perception of reality a bit. My favorite book that I’ve written would have to be my most recent, The Living Air, because it defined my growth from 16 up until 30. All my doubts, loves, truths, and values are framed in little poems. I also wrote a few poems in German, and translated Saint Theresa’s meditations in this book, so it truly is a lot of firsts.
10. What will you be writing about next?
I’m writing an epistolary novel at the moment titled, The Journals of Olympia Pole.
11. What are upcoming projects you are currently involved in?
I’m involved in a cause called Uncommon Good because it supports entire family units. The cause mentors underprivileged children straight into college, and their success rate of admittance is 100%. Can you imagine the power in that? I thrive in the opportunity in meeting these bright students, and hearing their story, helping them define their future and purpose. What I also love about Uncommon Good is their ability to elevate all family members with one mission.
12. Something I love asking actors and musicians alike is: What do you want to be known for? How does Masiela Lusha hope to impact the world?
actors and writers, we carry the burden to define our time, to project, and explore the nuances of this era. I do not want to explore art for the sake of art. I want to believe that we can all collectively use this platform for healing and growth, for purpose that transcends the screen or the page. I encourage every artist to explore the true depth and value of their responsibility.
13. Lastly, where can we find you on social media?
For twitter, it’s @Masiela; Instagram is @MasielaLusha; and Facebook is @MasielaLusha