‘George Lopez’ star Masiela Lusha discusses child acting, her nonprofit & more – Exclusive Interview
I had a chance to interview Masiela Lusha, who starred as Carmen Lopez on ABC’s George Lopez as she caught us up to speed on what’s been going on and gave advice!
Me: What was your favorite about part about growing up as an actress on the George Lopez show?
ML: Because our writers were so gifted, I don’t recall repeating a single day on set. My favorite part about performing on the show was the constant stimuli by those around me that allowed me to learn and evolve. Every day was a new experience for me, and even then I felt honored and blessed to have learned from our industry’s titans. The show’s creator, Bruce Helford, had taught me everything I know about authentic comedy, with all its vicissitudes of vulnerability, tragedy, and thrills. One lesson Bruce taught me was that an audience’s laughter is a tangible entity that can be stretched long, broken apart into beats, or shortened as an emphasis to a point; but more importantly, he taught me that this entity of laughter should not drown the human elements of a story, but merely heighten its message onto a level that is universal and profound.
Me: How was it portraying a Latina on screen, being of Albanian decent?
ML: My intention was to portray a teenage girl in Los Angeles as honestly as possible. I was fortunate to have had such a diverse group of friends while growing up, so when I built Carmen in my mind, I strove to pull characteristics from all of my dearest friends in order to create a universal portrait of teenage vulnerability and strength. Hearing, “Carmen is just like my daughter,” was the greatest validation I could have ever hoped to receive.
Me: You founded a nonprofit, The Children of the World Foundation, in 2006. What inspired you to do so?
SL: While filming Time of the Comet in the Balkans, I was confronted with an issue that I felt was not addressed at the time. Children, as young as five or six, were pushed onto the streets, begging, fighting, stealing for food and shelter. I soon realized that their plight was perpetuated by their society. It was incredibly heartbreaking to witness the basic elements of human right totally stripped from these children, and mainly because their community peered through them as if they were utterly invisible. I felt the issue was multilayered, and so I strove to draw in a support system that would not isolate the children’s plight as one variable, but would instead draw in an entire network of support and mentorship.
Me: What advice do you have for new chlid stars?
SL: Hollywood is a tangible industry, not a lifestyle. It is a small community packed with incredibly dedicated and brilliant individuals who strive for art in its purest form, who work tirelessly to produce a meaningful product.
Me: Are there any projects of yours coming up that you would like to share with us?
ML: This year, I portrayed a mother for the first time in my career! For the film, Fatal Instinct, my character Melissa is torn by two ideologies, and this tension provides some interesting character depth that I enjoyed exploring on set.
Also, I am excited to begin filming Branded next month. I fell in love with the script’s ethereal underworld quality, which pulled me back into the genius of Dante’s The Divine Comedy. Can’t wait to dive into its layers!
And finally, I’m looking forward to The Weight of Life. The story centers around an unrealized dream, that is finally fulfilled through a series of unfortunate events.
What an incredible industry we are fortunate enough to work in; we help define the elements of humanity.
We appreciate Masiela for chatting with us and wish her the best in her upcoming endeavors!