Girl in Progress, Cierra Ramirez & Raini Rodriguez

On the first day on the set of Girl in Progress, Cierra Ramirez had a serious case of stage fright. The pressure was on: the rising seventeen-year-old star was carrying the role of the main character on her shoulders.”Going into this, I thought I knew what I was doing, but when I got there, I realized that I had no clue. It was my first film, and I was the lead too, so all that pressure was just intimidating,” Cierra reflects.

In the new Mothers’ Day movie Girl in Progress,Cierra plays Ansiedad, a young teen who is tired of being pushed to the side by her irresponsible, distracted mother, Grace (Eva Mendes). While learning about coming of age stories in English class, she decides to turn into a “bad girl,” dump her best friend, hang with the bad boys, and grow up so she can leave home as soon as possible.”Eva Mendes really helped me conquer my fear. She treated me as an equal. The director, Patricia Riggen, especially helped to break down my character, which calmed my nerves,” she explains.Ansiedad maps out her entire plan of “growing up”, but sometimes, growing up means acting your age. “Try not to rush growing up,” says Cierra. “Enjoy these years and don’t get into anything you’re not ready for. Stay true to yourself.” In reality, all Ansiedad wants is the love and acknowledgement she feels she is lacking from her mother. “I think anyone can relate to the fact that as a human, you yearn to love, and to be loved in return,” Cierra relates.

Raini Rodriguez, who plays Ansiedad’s best friend Tavita, agrees. She stresses the importance of going after dreams and passions. “Love yourself first, find friends who love you, and then share your hobbies and interests,” she suggests.Raini’s passion is obviously acting, and she expresses herself with all her heart, even at home. “I like putting on a show for people. I like making them laugh. I love singing at talent shows and putting on plays at home and writing little scripts for myself.” Cierra also loves to sing. She always entered local singing competitions in her hometown, Houston, Texas (also Raini’s hometown). A competition came up in LA and it had another category – acting. Cierra had never considered acting before, and now, singing and acting have become her passion. “I love getting into a different character’s shoes, and becoming that character, but when I sing, I feel that it’s really me on stage. I love the applause at the end, and that’s what I strive for,” Cierra says. “I’m influenced by classic music like Etta James and I really love Amy Winehouse. I’m still influenced by the stuff you hear on the radio, so I’m trying to find a balance between the two.” Just like their characters were best friends, Raini and Cierra hung out on and off set. “It was weird – in the audition process, I just knew Raini was going to play Tavita. I’m psychic,” Cierra says with a mischievous grin. “She’s the funniest person ever.”

Raini tells KidsPickFlicks that her favorite flick is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which fits her personality – funny, bright, and bubbly. Raini is a Disney favorite – last year, she co-starred in Disney’s Prom and now, she plays the hilarious Trish on Disney Channel’s “Austin and Ally.” She explains that acting in a movie and acting on a TV show is very different. “For a TV show, you’re in the same location and you film there for the next five months, whereas in a movie, you’re jumping around from location to location,” she observes. “It takes about three months to film a movie, versus an episode of “Austin and Ally” which takes five days.” The mood is also very different. “On ‘Austin and Alley,’ we have a lot of upbeat and fun things we get into. The energy’s high and we’re running everywhere, so it’s different than being a movie, especially a drama,” Raini says. “It’s very quiet and slow-paced because you really want to get the perfect moment.” “Austin and Alley” has just started Season Two, so tune in on Disney Channel! “I’m super excited for that, and there’s going to be a lot more shenanigans, new songs and Trish’s new jobs,” Raini jokes.

Cierra shares advice to young actors and actresses pursuing their passion. “You’re going to have your share of no’s. I’ve had my share of no’s, but that should never stop you. [Rejection] is always going to be there, so just keep trying, and one day, it’ll happen.” First published @ www.kidspickflicks.com ************************************************************************************************

KPF’s editor Ms Tara’s review : Girl in Progress is a MUST-SEE FOR MOTHERS. For daughters, however, I think the subject matter of Ansiedad’s steps to reaching maturity (and think about what usually happens in any “coming of age” film) is too much for any girl still in junior high or younger. Ansiedad may be 13 but I recommend for girls in high school and older.

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About Cassandra Hsiao

Cassandra Hsiao is a senior at OCSA (Orange County School of the Arts). Her work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and National Student Poets Program. She has been chosen as finalists of playwriting competitions held by California Young Playwrights, The Blank Theatre, Writopia Labs, and Princeton University. Her poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in TeenReads, Jet Fuel Review, Feminine Inquiry, Aerie International and more. She also conducts print and on-camera interviews as a Star Reporter and Film Critic for multiple online outlets. She won a National Gracie Award in Student Online Video Host Category by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation . https://twitter.com/Cassandra_Hsiao

Posted on May 9, 2012, in Interview Videos, Interviews. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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