Marisa Echeverria Interview: The Actress Talks Shameless, Goliath, And Star Wars

This past October, I had a chance to speak with actor Marisa Echeverria on her work on Goliath Season 3. In our discussions, she mentioned her excitement at joining Shameless this coming December. Well, months have passed, and we now had a chance to chat with her again on that very guest-starring role.

In addition, we got to touch back on Goliath as well as her work on a Star Wars commercial that recently hit — which you can check out down below!

LRM Online: Hi Marisa.

Echeverria: Hi Nancy. Good to talk to you again.

LRM Online: I know, I feel like it was just yesterday. So, last October we got in touch in reference to talking about Goliath. We’ll go back to that in a bit, but first I want to talk to you about your role. The appearance you made on Shameless in this last episode from Sunday.

Echeverria: Yes. Yeah.

LRM Online: That’s exciting. I mean, we kind of touched a little bit about it back in October, but now you can really talk about it.

Echeverria: Yay. Yes, I know. It was really fun and it’s a fantastic set and very, very efficient. I was ushered right in and we did, I think we shot the two scenes and I was in and out of there in like half a day. It was very, very quick and great in that way. Professional, because they’ve been doing it for 10 seasons now, so they’ve got it down.

LRM Online: Yes. And I mean that’s a pretty awesome show too. Even just for half a day worth. Because you’re a part of it now.

Echeverria: Oh yeah, for sure. Any time you can book a show with casting director John Levey is a real honor, and a treat. He does wonderful, wonderful work and I really respect him.

LRM Online: So, but in this role, I mean it, it talks kind of a like a sensitive topic. You’re playing a lawyer, who…

Echeverria: Yeah, you’re totally right. It’s, it was, it’s funny because obviously Shane was always have a really unique angle on even sensitive topics and did not disappoint this time. I, what I loved about it is in a very short amount of time, the writers are so adept that they kind of show this, I play an attorney and just, I have sort of one throw away line that shows that she’s not all that straight and narrow in certain ways, but obviously she’s doing her job for her clients who has been abused by this wrestling coach. And, and he comes in with this other angle that the neighbor, Kev, who is played by Steve Howey. He comes in and wants a piece of the money but he’s pretending that he was also part of the victim group and I have to sort of sniff it out.

And it’s just amazing to me how they can make it so funny. So quickly about such a sensitive topic. Yeah. And it was, it was really, really fun to play. And I have never played an attorney and both my parents were a city attorney and my mom worked for pretty much family law. So it was really fun to call them and say, Hey, I’m finally a fake attorney.

LRM Online: You can be proud of me. I followed the career for a bit.

Echeverria: Exactly, I didn’t even have to pass the bar.

LRM Online: How awesome. So what was it like working with, with Steve Howey? I mean, yes, you mentioned Shameless has this way of covering sensitive topics but yet making them funny without, being disrespectful in any way. I mean, how fun was that?

Echeverria: Right. And absolutely he is just talk about funny, I mean he rides that wonderful line of having an incredible commitment to the character and also pulling off great comedy. So I was, it was a really, it was a really fun time. It was and it was playful, you know, you get to do a couple of different takes a couple of different ways and he was great and it was a great room.

LRM Online: Were there any moments where you kind of had to hold your laughter?

Echeverria: You know, I didn’t. It’s funny because a couple of my friends watched it and gotten back to me and said, how did you keep a straight face? And I didn’t have any trouble. I think I was just very rooted in my character. I was like, really? I didn’t think about that at all.

LRM Online: That’s a good thing.

Echeverria: But, but yeah, certainly you come out of it after you, you know, after you’re doing the scene. And you’re like that was really fun because you can feel the energy between it. You can feel the tension obviously. And that’s what you’re holding onto. That’s sort of like, there aren’t always scenes to feel like almost like you have a rope between you and you’re doing a tug of war, but this kind of was one of those scenes where it felt very palpable and I really enjoyed that.

LRM Online: Well that’s great. Well that’s, that’s very exciting. I’m glad we were able to touch more in depth on that versus to back in October. But now that we can talk about Goliath, because also I couldn’t get too much from you. So yeah, we were kind of like an extra, I was like yes, a little bit here, a little there, but that’s it.

Echeverria: Right? No, it’s true. You want to be able to surprise the audience.

LRM Online: Yes. And you definitely did. So let’s talk a little about Goliath. You were pretty much like a hero in that, during that season.

Echeverria: Oh, thank you. Yeah, it was wonderful. Yeah, it was such a really heartfelt character. I identified with her right away and respected her sort of connection to her community and her big heartedness and the fact that she just wants to help in whatever small way that she can. I’ve been getting a little bit of work, a friend of mine is one of the people who has worked with Immigrant Families Together since the beginning in Los Angeles and have been part of the effort to reunite families that have been separated at the border by that policy.

So I reached into my own personal feelings about that and wanted to portray Violet as having that kind of goal in mind of saving her community, which in Goliath is without water. It feels like such an uphill battle as so many of the stories and the Goliath tackle who, you do what style it does and we take one step forward at a time and just try to do what you can. And then she stumbled into Patty on the road and, and it kind of takes off from there. So, but it was a wonderful art to ride out. It was really exciting. And my sceness with Nina Arianda and Billy Bob Thornton, of course, were just a thrill because both of them are still fantastic.

LRM Online: Yes. I mean they’ve been around for a while. Anything you can experience? I mean any experience you had with building in this case while filming?

Echeverria: Yes. My first scene was just with Nina and what was wonderful about that is we fell into such an easy one of those funny experiences where you realize that you have such a different personal chemistry that it goes so well together because her character is very eccentric and passionate and out there and an emotional in that way. Smart and vibrant on my character comes and, and very grounded and but also kind of has this inner burning passion. She throws all this water all over the expos card like that. But, we kind of had a nice play off each other and that as soon as that happened on the first day, I was like, Oh, this is what I can ride out for the season. So much of my storyline was, was a push and pull with her character. I can feel what it is that we, rarely kind of run up against each other and what we also admire in each other.

That was really, when we find that, it’s like gold, you know? And then just being on set with Billy is incredible because he is, he’s so at ease, but he’s also such a professional that it’s, it ups your game, you know, and the way that when you play a sport with a real pro, you have to elevate. And it felt that way on set with him that it was just, he put you at ease and he, she makes you kind of up your level, you know? And it was really fun to do those courtroom scenes with him especially.

LRM Online: Yeah. That’s exciting. So this has been a big week. I mean, like I said, you made your appearance on Shameless this past Sunday, but then also, I understand I’ve got the chance to see the commercial but, and parts of promoting Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker that comes out this weekend or should I say tomorrow night and then with GE’s force of innovation campaign. I mean, and you’re in this commercial. I mean that’s pretty exciting.

Echeverria: It was so fun. You know, I hadn’t had an opportunity to do a ton of green screen and certainly the Star Wars special effects before then. And it’s you know, even on a commercial it felt, so we were there for three days and we had a little BB-8 on the set with us. It was just so fun. It was really thrilling. Yeah. To do that kind of work. It was cool.

LRM Online: So you had a chance to play with BB-8?

Echeverria: Yeah.

LRM Online: I had to ask.

Echeverria: Totally. You know, and they had them all motorized. Yeah, it was really cool to watch them have a live and he would walk along with the girl and the commercial and it was super neat to see.

LRM Online: So what’s it like, in this case it’s a commercial, it’s a cancer campaign. And then like how quick, you get to interact with this versus to doing like even Shameless where you said it was like a half a day.

Echeverria: Right. No it’s very easy to me. I mean they shot a number of different spots at the same time so I think like four or five shots, then for the GE ad but then they get it up right away because they wanted it out within a couple months. So that was fast. And then Shameless, TV, it depends, you know, you can wait quite awhile for it to drop. With Goliath, I started shooting almost… yeah, it was over a year ago that I started shooting for the season. And so, we shot it and then you wait awhile. Especially since now with a lot of digital, they drop it all at once. So Amazon, we’re holding it all and then and then dropped it in October. So yeah, it’s, it’s interesting.

LRM Online: So you’re closing the year pretty strong. I mean, I think you are on my opinion.

Echeverria: Oh, thank you. I know, it’s been great.

LRM Online: So what do you have coming up for 2020?

Echeverria: Well, I just…I’m doing an independent film right now called Unhinged, and yeah, we’ll see what else the new year holds.

LRM Online: Okay, well that’s exciting. We look, maybe we’ll get to talk soon about that.

Echeverria: That would be great.

LRM Online: Okay, well congratulations on everything, that you’re pretty much ending this year pretty strong and that’s pretty awesome. And a hope next year, I’m sure, we’ll just top it, top 2019.

Echeverria: Thank you, Nancy. It’s always good to talk to you.

LRM Online: You’re welcome and do have a happy holidays.

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