wtorek, 22 listopada 2016

Interview with Maria Canals-Barrera

Maria Canals-Barrera is an American actress well-known from playing the role of Theresa Russo in Disney Channel teen sitcom “Wizards of Waverly Place” and voice acting in animated movies and TV shows. Recently she played a role in an Christian drama film "God's Not Dead 2" and is now starring on a popular sitcom “Big Bang Theory”. In the interview she is talking about her memories from “Wizards of Waverly Place”, voice acting, her Cuban origins and future plans.

(Photo: Marc Cartwright)

A lot of teenagers know you from your roles of "Disney moms": Connie Torres, mother of Mitchie played by Demi Lovato in "Camp Rock" and Theresa Russo, mother of Alex, Justin and Max - played by Selena Gomez, David Henrie and Jake T. Austin. Are you still keeping in touch with your "Disney children​"? Would you like to play your role in one of these shows one more time?

Yes, I do keep in touch with my "Disney children," David, Jake, Selena and Jennifer [Stone], too! I am so proud of the talented adults they all have become. I had such a great time as the mom on Wizards that I would love to play her one more time, or several times! I don't know if we'll have another reunion show episode or TV movie, but if they reached out to me and my schedule permitted, I would say, yes!

You have been playing in "Wizards of Waverly Place" for more than five years, so I guess there were a lot of funny and unexpected situations. What is your favourite memory from set?

Every episode was so much fun. “Wizards of Waverly Place” was so well written and full of such randomness and funniness, I honestly enjoyed all of it. The magic as a premise made anything possible. One of my favorite memories from set was when my eldest daughter, Bridget, was featured on the episode “Harperella”. She had so much fun and was a total natural. Also, when we celebrated our 100th episode. That is not a common occurrence. To be part of a show that lasts 100 episodes is a tremendous blessing.

Apart from playing in movies and TV series you are also a talented voice actress, for example in "Scooby-Doo! and the Monster of Mexico" or "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns". How does the process of voice acting look like from your point of view? Is it difficult to do it in a proper way?

I love voice acting, too! It's an exciting challenge to do it because you have to make everything come alive with just your voice. Aside, from some of those projects you mentioned, I also had the privilege of voicing Hawkgirl on “Justice League” for Cartoon Network for four years. That was an incredible experience. Great characters, writing and cast. I enjoy voice acting very much.

(Photo: Marc Cartwright)

Your acting career is not only focused on entertaining children, because you are starring in more serious films and TV series as well. This year you played a role in an American Christian drama film "God's Not Dead 2" about the role of religion in people's life. How did you become involved in this project? Do you have any similarities with the character you played?

I was offered the role in “God’s Not Dead 2” and I was excited to accept it. I am not like the character I played in that film. I do believe religious freedom is important and should be respected, especially as an American, it is a Constitutionally protected right.

You are a child of Cuban parents of Spanish descent, so there is a lot of Latin blood in your veins. Do you often come to Spain, for example to visit your relatives? What is your favourite place in Europe?

Yes, I am an American of Cuban heritage and Spanish ancestry. My surname, Canals, is specifically Catalonian. I did have the chance to visit Barcelona and it was beautiful! The people reminded me very much of the Cuban people in Miami, where I was born. I haven't been to Cuba (where my parents were born) yet! It's very different than the Cuba my parents would talk about (when it was a free country) and I'm saddened about how much the people who couldn't get out and wanted to have suffered. Perhaps I will see it one day. I'd like to.

I have not visited all of Europe and don't have a favorite place, yet. I'll have to get back to you on that one!

You won ALMA Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Television Series in 2002, Imagen Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2010 and ALMA Award for Favorite TV Actress - Supporting Role in 2011 (both for "Wizards of Waverly Place"), so I guess we can call you a woman of success. Do you still have any dreams connected with acting? Would you like to play someone completely different from what you used to play?

Yes, I have won some nice awards personally and “Wizards of Waverly Place” won three Emmys! It's been a great honor, thank you. I love acting and enjoy playing all kinds of characters. I do have range and appreciate the opportunity to show it off. (If I may say so myself, haha..) Currently I am playing a sweet character on the comedy “Big Bang Theory” named Issabella. I also just got cast in a new pilot called “His Wives and Daughters” for Country Music Television. These characters are different and I am enjoying playing them.

(Photo: Marc Cartwright)

If you want to learn more about Maria Canals-Barrera, please visit her official Facebook profile:

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