In 2018 Love, Simon broke new ground as the first major studio film to focus on a gay teen romance. It created a buzz all around Hollywood and the United States as a story that most people were ready to see. Now Hulu has brought the sequel to Love, Simon to a new original series title Love, Victor. The series follows a teenager named Victor who is on a journey of self-discovery during which he faces challenges at home, adjusts to a new city and a new high school and struggles with his sexual orientation.
I was able to discuss the new Hulu series with actress Isabella Ferreira who plays Pilar in the new series.
Nancy Tapia: Tell us about your character in Love, Victor.
Isabella Ferreira: My character Pilar, well, she’s more sassy than me, that’s for sure. She has an attitude. She has an attitude. I want what I want when I want it and the mindset of no mi importa nada. So she’s definitely a tough cookie. But at the same time, she still is just a young girl trying to, like everyone else, find your place in this world. I’m excited to see her grow throughout the show.
Nancy Tapia: You play a little bit of Nancy Drew in there.
Isabella Ferreira: For sure. For sure.
Nancy Tapia: How did you even get casted into Love, Victor?
Isabella Ferreira: Well, I remember my agent just sending me an email about how she submitted me for the show called Love, well at the time it was called Love, Simon, the same as the movie. And so already I was super excited because I loved the movie and I was like, I always thought like, “Oh my God, I hope to be in something as inspiring as this one day.” I saw that there was a TV form of it, I was like, “This is perfect. Like, this is my shot. If I fail this, well, I don’t know what I’m going to do now.”
It was in New York, the audition, and I was blessed and grateful and lucky enough to have only had to do one audition, and then I got casted. That’s about it.
Nancy Tapia: That’s awesome. There are some tense scenes. What episode would you say was the most challenging?
Isabella Ferreira: The most challenging episode? I think for me, well, there’s a lot of challenging moments and challenging scenes throughout the show, but I feel like, well, without giving away too much, episode two is probably the hardest because it deals with self esteem and body positivity and Pilar going through all of that stuff. There’s a really sweet moment between Pilar and her mom. But again, can’t give away too much, but just so you know.
Nancy Tapia: This is a show says a little bit about what a Latin family is. Is there something you can relate to with your family?
Isabella Ferreira: Well, I think like everything, I think it’s really amazing that one, I get to be a part of the show like this because growing up, I didn’t really see a lot of Latinx leading families on television, especially dealing with the struggles that we have to deal with in the show, which a lot of Latinx families have to deal with all around America. So being able to portray those struggles that hit close to home, because I definitely had to deal with it growing up, I think is really cool because it just kind of gives everyone a feeling of they’re not alone.
Nancy Tapia: This show is for all ages but does focus on current teen issues. What are some of the topics that you’re glad that this show is covering for teens today?
Isabella Ferreira: I think obviously self identity, trying to figure out who you are, anxiety, marital issues. That’s not really teen related, but any teens that have to go through that with their families and their parents and bullying. I think those are the main few that definitely comes to mind when you ask that question.
Nancy Tapia: Yes, indeed. Can you tell us a little bit about the filming process? Where was this filmed?
Isabella Ferreira: This was filmed in Los Angeles, California at Paramount Studios. The filming process, we started in September around Septemberish and we ended in December. That’s about four to five months I think is correct. But it was amazing. It was beautiful and it was so much fun and I want to just get back to it.
Nancy Tapia: Is there a season two?
Isabella Ferreira: I have no idea. I guess we’re just going to have to see, wait and see. I hope so. I’m crossing my fingers.
Nancy Tapia: I hope so too. We know Love, Victor is inspired by is the novel. And there was Love, Simon the film. Does Simon make an entrance in the series? That would be kind of exciting.
Isabella Ferreira: During the series Victor’s actually messaging with Simon asking for advice. You get to see that relationship form, but I guess as for Simon actually appearing in the show, you’re going to just have to watch the show to find out.
Nancy Tapia: How was it for you to watch the film? What did you take away from watching that film and now doing the series?
Isabella Ferreira: Well, as I mentioned before Love, Simon, I didn’t really know of any other shows or movies that had the morals and the themes that that movie had. And so when I got to watch it, I actually had an amazing experience watching it for the first time because it was the first theater in my hometown that was premiering it. It was like a once in a lifetime, like, oh, watch it for the first time, kind of thing, so that was pretty cool.
But I loved the scenes where just figuring out who you really are and that you’re not alone in that process, obviously. I think that was just really special to me and it definitely stuck with me.
Nancy Tapia: So you were in part of the cast of Orange Is the New Black.
Isabella Ferreira: Yes.
Nancy Tapia: How do you prepare to do these roles as the child that has rebellious moments?
Isabella Ferreira: Haha…It’s so funny because I always get, these roles are always attracted to me for some reason. It’s like a magnet. I have no idea, but they’re always the funnest roles to play because obviously I’m not really like that in person. But I think just preparing for it, well, like I said, I’m definitely not like that. I just kind of think of the opposite of what I would normally do in real life, how I would want to do that. And also it’s kind of like a stress reliever because I can act out without any repercussions. I think that’s always really fun and that’s kind of just kind of how I deal with getting into character and stuff.
Nancy Tapia: That’s true! And I’d say the fun scenes.
Isabella Ferreira: Yeah, right?!
Nancy Tapia: Embrace it girl, embrace it. Do you mind telling us a little bit about your background in acting. How did it all begin?
Isabella Ferreira: My background, well, I actually started off as a dancer. I started when I was five and I did that for about nine years until I realized that acting was my main passion and I really wanted to pursue that. My mom, she was a really big help in my career. Obviously, she still is. She literally manages everything for me. But I don’t think I could have done any of that without her.
We kind of just went out on a limb because we had no idea what we were doing. I was just this small town girl from Philadelphia. I still am. We would just go to auditions and back and forth from New York. We would take four hour journeys back and forth just to see maybe one day I’ll actually book a job until finally I got small roles here and there, but then Orange Is the New Black came into my past and I was very grateful for that. And then shortly after that, Love, Victor came into my life and I’m so blessed. I’m so, so, so blessed.
Nancy Tapia: That’s exciting. Your mom must be really proud and happy for have been a part of your journey.
Isabella Ferreira: I hope so. I mean, she’s literally my biggest help. This is kind of her dream too. She definitely wanted to pursue this when she was younger, and so that I get to help her be along in that journey with me is really amazing and it really brings us closer together.
Nancy Tapia: Just to finalize, is there something you can share that you may have in the making or may see you in besides Love, Victor, that’s going to be released June 19th on Hulu?
Isabella Ferreira: Well, right now the industry is pretty much shut down so everything’s kind of on pause. I can’t give any confirmations for anything, but I do have a few things up my sleeve, but I guess we’re just going to have to wait and see and pray that everything goes well.
Nancy Tapia: I know. All right. Well, thank you so much and congratulations.
Isabella Ferreira: Thank you. I appreciate it.
Love,Victor will debut on Hulu Wednesday June, 17.
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