Thursday, October 31, 2013

Seven Questions with Masiela Lusha of George Lopez; Celebrity Week on Millionaire Nov. 4-8, 2013

Today we have a special "Seven Questions" interview with the very likeable Masiela Lusha, who of course played Carmen Lopez on the hit sitcom George Lopez from 2002-2007. The sitcom can still be seen in syndication on Nick at Nite and is one of the network's highest rated series of all-time. Having made her TV debut in 2000 on the Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire, Masiela Lusha has literally grown up on screen. Today, Masiela's talents have taken her from a fresh-faced teen to an award-winning actress, author, model, producer and humanitarian. Though best known for her on-screen talents, she has many other passions that have kept her busy and we will dive into all of that.
We talked to her about the George Lopez experience obviously, how she started in this business, if she keeps in touch with her George Lopez co-stars, why she left the series after the fifth season, and all of her other many talents. She is truly one of a kind! So let's get right to another installment of "Seven Questions!"

"Seven Questions with Masiela Lusha of George Lopez"

Masiela Lusha

SitcomsOnline: Hi Masiela, we just love you and were amazed by your performance on the hit sitcom George Lopez from 2002-2007. Tell us how you got the role and did you expect to get the role despite not being of Latin American descent? Honestly, we had no idea you weren't Latina until a few seasons in! That must mean you are good!
Masiela Lusha: Thank you so much! Not realizing until a few seasons in that Carmen was portrayed by a non-Latina is a testament to the writers and producers of the series. Carmen was such a well-written character, so rounded; to me, her struggles and thrills were universal. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to portray Carmen, and more importantly that her depth and vulnerabilities were depicted authentically and without a hint of veneer or predisposition. When I tested for Warner Bros. and ABC, my nationality was not even addressed in the room. I was not confronted with the possibility that perhaps I could not infuse Carmen with the life that the story required, that perhaps I was not inherently capable of portraying a teenager in Los Angeles.

George Lopez Season 3 Cast

SitcomsOnline: What made you decide to become an actor and when did you decide that? We know your first role was back in 2000 but did you get roles instantly after you pursued getting into this industry? Or was it a harder process than you thought?
Masiela Lusha: An agent at Amatruda Benson & Associates combed the Midwest for new talent, and eventually landed in Detroit. At this open call, as a large assembly of attendees, we lined up in single file and presented ourselves to the agent, relaying our dream of either acting or modeling. After the seminar and open call, the agent narrowed down his list to three new actors that he would like to represent in Los Angeles, and the moment he called my name, the trajectory of my life shifted drastically. Within a week, my family and I moved to Los Angeles, and we dove into a new life that was utterly unfathomable only a week prior. Looking back, it still amazes me that we left behind every thread of comfort for the opportunity to pursue such an intangible dream.
Once I settled into a reliable routine in Hollywood, within a year, I was offered a commercial for JC Penney and a music video for Alanis Morissette's Hands Clean. It was after two years of resistless dedication, that I was offered the opportunity to portray Carmen. I cannot really say whether the process of pursing the industry was more difficult that I anticipated, because I did not know what to expect. I knew that I fell in love with acting, and that any opportunity, whether in an acting class, an audition, or on set where I could perform, felt like a dream come true. Being cast was certainly the icing, but it did not prevent me from loving every moment of pursuing my dream. I also fell in love with simply working, and being of use to society, in any way that I could.

George Lopez Season 4

SitcomsOnline: Tell us how your relationship was with the rest of the cast of George Lopez - George, Constance, Luis, Valente and Belita. Who were you the closest with and do you still keep in touch with them? We loved the 2009 on-screen reunion on Lopez Tonight, but we want more!
Masiela Lusha: Being an only child, Luis, who portrayed Max, was the brother I never had. At times when we were both placed off camera, positioned to enter a scene, I would always tousle his perfectly groomed hair a second before his cue. So if you ever see us entering the scene from the same entrance, and Max looks inexplicably disorderly - that was my artistry on display! George and Constance Marie taught me so much about work ethic and valuing ones craft, that to this day, I still refer back to their lessons. Belita Moreno and Valente Rodriguez were an absolute dream to work with. Belita's endearing quality, warmed up any set instantly - her energy was like a light-bulb. And, Valente was absolutely brilliant as a comedian. Sometimes, I would remain on set past my scene, just to watch him perform. I feel fortunate to have learned from such incredibly talented actors, to evolve and grow under their influence. We shared such an important part of our lives together, so I will always consider the cast family. Always.

George Lopez and Masiela Lusha

SitcomsOnline: You grew up in front of our eyes on television. You certainly blossomed and became a beautiful woman. I think every teenage boy who watched the show fell in love. Anyway, your wardrobe began to change in the later seasons. Was it uncomfortable wearing those kind of outfits at times or did you feel it was an accurate portrayal of growing up? You certainly looked great!
Masiela Lusha: I absolutely embraced the opportunity to accentuate the physical manifestation of Carmen's evolution! The thrill of portraying Carmen was the realization that she is an ever-evolving character, who changes in style and taste. As an actor, it's great to play a character who has no limit to her depth and growth. That is actually what I loved most about Carmen - her unpredictability! Her edge!

SitcomsOnline: What were some of your favorite episodes from the series and what did you think of the Carmen character? And we were disappointed you weren't on the last season - let's set the record straight, was that your decision or someone else's? What happened? We missed you!
Masiela Lusha: My favorite episodes dealt with serious issues and very human emotions. I loved the episodes with George searching for his father - and all the heartache and vulnerability bound to that journey. I also loved the episodes that shed light to teenage bullying. The reaction I received from the series fans re-enforced my belief, that as a society, we strive to extract meaning in nearly all creative outlets. To watch a beautiful young girl tear up before my eyes because she had lived through Carmen's torments of bullying was an experience I will never forget. To hear this lovely girl reveal that reliving her experiences through Carmen armed her with strength and a sense of peace is the reason why I strive to work in the industry.
Carmen's ultimate growth was transcending her comfort zone and entering a university campus - a first for her family! I feel one can only grow so much when confined by one particular environment. Carmen needed that opportunity to launch into a new world outside of the Lopez home, in order to continue her evolution. I do not like to discuss specifics as it relates to my departure. However, I do feel it was for the best. It was essential. I've watched every episode of the last season, and felt the producers, writers, and cast took a great direction with the series' final evolution.

Masiela Lusha on George Lopez

SitcomsOnline: After you left the series, you have done a lot of humanitarian work and have written books even. Tell us more about that because that shows you care about the world and you're smart. I mean you did graduate high school at the age of 15 and speak like four languages!
Masiela Lusha: I've personally witnessed what we as a society are capable of when we commit to a cause. We can motivate a tectonic shift that resonates for centuries to come! On a personal level, as one single variable in this vast movement, I strive to repay all the blessings I've received, and it's never enough. I can always provide more. We are offered a gift to live and thrive, and if we do not embrace this opportunity then why are we on this earth? Why does our existence matter if we do not enhance and elevate our society for posterity?
This belief also influences my writing. In order to validate my worth as a writer, I focus on the positive elements of our society, on the traditions and customs that enhance our world. If I can leave the reader with a little bit of warmth and new insight, then I feel my mission is fulfilled. Whether I write children's books, such as Boopity Boop Writes Her First Poem, or novels, my intention is the same. This also translates to my acting! My choice of projects are very much influenced by my desire to offer a bit more depth and meaning in the ways that I know how. Humanitarian work is not always action-motivated - it can just as easily be an outlook, a conscious way of living - a smile or a simple offer.

Masiela Lusha Book Event

SitcomsOnline: So what's next for Masiela, and what are you working on today? We would love to see you return to television soon on maybe another sitcom? We miss seeing your face weekly on our screens. Please also share with us anything else you'd like us to know...we hear you're engaged? Congrats!
Masiela Lusha: Thank you! I've been fortunate to work on some amazing projects during these past six months! We just wrapped Fatal Instinct. Our director, Luciano Saber, infused so much depth in the film, that I cannot wait to see it completed. I portray a mother for the first time, a character who is torn by two ideologies. I wish I could reveal more! My other film, The Weight of Life, centers around a young girl's unrequited dream; she is forced to address all the limitations of her current life. And finally, incredibly excited to launch into Branded! It has a very dark, literary motivation - so thrilled, because it reminds me of Dante's The Divine Comedy, and all its human torments! I love sitcom - it's in my blood, and it would be an honor to live that world again! This year has been full of transitions, indeed! Onto the next chapter!



We definitely appreciate Masiela for taking the time to give us an interview to talk about her sitcom experience and what she is up to now. She is so very nice and as everyone can tell from reading this interview, she's so intelligent. We wish her the best and we will be seeing in TV/film for many years to come. As she said, "on to the next chapter." That'll do it for this installment of "Seven Questions," stay tuned next time for another brand new interview! But first, don't forget to check out Masiela Lusha all over the web and social media. Follow her everywhere!



Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

Cedric "The Entertainer" will call on some of his famous friends to play Who Wants to Be a Millionaire during a special "Celebrity Week" series, airing next week - November 4-8. Participating celebrities are guaranteed to win at least $10,000 for the charity of their choice. Millionaire airs weekdays in first-run syndication. Check local listings or go to http://www.millionairetv.com for time and channel. "Celebrity Week" will kick off on Monday, November 4 with Boris Kodjoe of BET's Real Husbands of Hollywood. Kodjoe will play Millionaire to benefit Sophie's Voice Foundation. Kodjoe's appearance will wrap up on Tuesday, November 5. Next, fellow comedian and actor Brad Garrett, who is best known for his role on Everybody Loves Raymond, will play Millionaire on Tuesday, November 5 and Wednesday, November 6. Garrett will donate his winnings to Maximum Hope Foundation. Then, Josh Malina, who plays D.A. David Rosen on ABC's hit show Scandal, will test his Millionaire trivia skills on Thursday, November 7, and will play to benefit The Shark Fund. Scandal currently is in its third season and airs Thursday nights at 10:00/9:00C on ABC. And finally, Niecy Nash, Cedric's on-screen wife from TV Land's The Soul Man, will appear on Millionaire on Thursday, November 7 and Friday, November 8. Niecy will donate her Millionaire winnings to the Amazing Grace Conservatory. An alumnus of Dancing With The Stars, Niecy will also try to encourage Cedric to participate in the dancing reality show by showing him some dance moves on the Millionaire set!


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, August 21

Kevin Can Wait - "Unholy War" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After reluctantly settling on a date for Kendra’s wedding, Kevin learns that his childhood nemesis, Terry (Kim Coates), is trying to reserve the church on the same day. As the two battle for Father Phillip’s (Jim Breuer) approval by becoming more involved in the church, Kevin’s drive to get the church for Kendra becomes an insatiable desire to get revenge on his old rival.

Superior Donuts - "Man Without a Health Plan" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The group decides to take up a collection to pay for Franco’s medical expenses when he’s hurt at work and doesn’t have insurance. Also, Tush experiences unusual side effects when he participates in an experimental drug trial.

Mom - "Cornbread and a Cashmere Onesie" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Christy and Bonnie worry about Jill after her cry for help on the anniversary of her mother’s suicide.

Life in Pieces - "Babysit Argument Invention Butterfly" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Matt and Colleen have a disastrous time babysitting Lark while Jen is at work. Also, Sophia is far from pleased when John buys her a butterfly kit for her birthday; Tim and Heather rehash an old fight from the early days of their relationship; and Greg gives Samantha questionable advice about being an entrepreneur for her school project.

American Dad - "Kloger" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Roger and Klaus start having a secret affair after they accidentally end up on an online date together; Steve tries to catch Hayley's pink eye to get out of doing a fitness test at school.

People of Earth - "Why Can't We Be Friends?" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Ozzie confronts Walsh about being an alien; Richard gets fired from his job and joins Agent Foster on her search for Walsh.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 21)

Monday, August 21

  • Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Watch Nick on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Sutton Foster (Younger) - Sutton appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Kumail is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Hank Azaria (Brockmire/The Simpsons/Free Agents) - Hank appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Al Madrigal (About a Boy/Welcome to The Captain/Gary Unmarried) - Al is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Friends) - Matt stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) - Amy chats with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Aziz Ansari (Master of None/Parks and Recreation) - Aziz drops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Sabrina Carpenter (Girl Meets World) - Sabrina appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Rachel Dratch (Imaginary Mary) and Jenna Elfman (Imaginary Mary/1600 Penn/Accidentally on Purpose/Courting Alex/Dharma & Greg) - Rachel and Jenna are guests on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Yara Shahidi (black-ish) - Yara opens up about beauty standards in Hollywood on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Marlon Wayans (Marlon/The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon talks about Marlon on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Lilla Crawford, Taylor Louderman and Elan Luz Rivera (Sunny Day) - The stars of Nickelodeon's upcoming series Sunny Day are guests on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 8:45am.