What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I recently moved into a new place, so I’ve really enjoyed taking the time to decorate. I’m not just buying things though; my roommate and I are building a canopy for my bed—yes, I said building! [laughs] I’m excited to see the finished project and finding the perfect pieces to make it all come together. I want it to look straight out of Arabian Nights!
What are some things that you never leave home without?
[I never leave without my] Chapstick, cell phone, wallet, and hair tie. I like to travel light. I don’t enjoy carrying heavy things at all!
On MTV’s Happyland, you play Lucy, a theme park worker who gets swept off of her feet by a boy who might turn out to be her brother (at least that’s what the trailer suggests)! What did you think of the script when you first read it?
I fell in love with the script for a couple reasons. For one, it was set in a theme park. I thought that was a perfect backdrop for a show and something totally unique. Also, Lucy’s character really vibed with me. She was someone I wanted to play and could really relate to. The twist at the end of episode one deeply intrigued me. It left me asking many questions which made me want to become a part of the project even more!
Lucy has been described as very cynical. Do you agree, or can you relate?
Sure. I think when you see things occur over and over again or you have a front seat to what’s behind the curtain, it certainly would make anyone cynical. I think Lucy sees her mom as a prime example. She’s someone who got stuck working the park life, single, alone, and struggling to pay bills. It’s the opposite of where Lucy wants to go. Some may call it cynical, but others may call it smart.
You’ll also be starring in Ouija which premieres in theaters on October 24th. Is this your first horror film? If so, do you prefer any one genre over the other?
First horror film, yes! I would say each genre has its share of struggles balanced with fun. I loved that working on a horror film relies on a lot of work in the imagination to build suspense, but if I had to pick, I’d choose a comedy as my preference.
Were you ever genuinely frightened on set?
Not really. I mean it’s so different when you have 20 crew guys around with lights and cameras and stuff. [laughs] But I will be scared out of my mind watching it! I get scared easily!
Can we expect a happy ending?
In Ouija? Hmm, I guess you’ll have to tune in!
Recently we learned that you’ll also be starring in a film called The DUFF. What—if anything—can you tell us about that?
The DUFF is a teen comedy based on the book with the same title. D.U.F.F. stands for the designated ugly fat friend. It’s not like anything you’d expect it to be! It’s a female-heavy cast that will have you rethink the way society makes women (and men!) feel. It’ll be as controversial as Easy A was but as witty as Mean Girls.
How do you prepare for a role?
A character is, in my eyes, an extended part of me. It’s the person I decide to show up and be that day. We have those moments where we can be sassy and strong and other times where we are needy and emotional. It’s a matter of tapping into that. When I think about who my character is, I just become them.
Who are some actors or actresses that you admire?
I admire Meryl Streep, Marion Cotillard, and Jennifer Lawrence to name a few.
Do you have any long term goals outside of acting?
One of my goals is certainly longevity in acting, but along with that I see producing in my future. Being an actor gives you a platform, so I want to use it for good. [I want to] bring awareness to a cause, make a difference and make movies!
Bianca Santos Interview: Photographed by Quavondo