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 (September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season Modern Family - The Complete Season 7

09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Saturday, October 1

The Good Place - "Pilot" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Thanks to some kind of error, Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), an ordinary woman, enters the afterlife and is sent to the Good Place -- which is definitely not where she belongs. While hiding in plain sight from Michael (Ted Danson), the wise architect of the Good Place who is unaware that he's made a mistake, she's determined to shed her old way of living and discover the awesome person within. Helping Eleanor navigate her new surroundings are Chidi (William Jackson Harper), her kind, open-hearted "soulmate" who sees the good in people but finds himself facing quite a dilemma; her frustratingly perfect new neighbors, Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and Jianyu (Manny Jacinto); and Janet (D'Arcy Carden), a walking, talking source for all the knowledge in the universe.

The Good Place - "Flying" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Eleanor (Kristen Bell) tries to prove to Chidi (William Jackson Harper) that she is worthy of his help. Meanwhile, Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and Jianyu (Manny Jacinto) try to help Michael (Ted Danson) feel better about the unknown flaw in his Neighborhood.

The Good Place - "Tahani Al Jamil" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Chidi (William Jackson Harper) begins formally teaching Eleanor (Kristen Bell) about ethics, and lesson No. 1 is: be kind to your neighbor. Michael (Ted Danson) and Janet (D'Arcy Carden) help Chidi find a new, exciting hobby.

The Good Place - "Jason Mendoza" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Eleanor (Kristen Bell) faces her toughest test yet in her attempt to remain in hiding. Meanwhile, Michael (Ted Danson) enlists Tahani (Jameela Jamil) to help a fellow neighbor fulfill her true purpose.

Henry Danger - "Scream Machine" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Charlotte's invention for The Gizmo Show is accidentally destroyed and then rebuilt, Charlotte worries that the attention she gets could expose Kid Danger and Captain Man's secret identity.

Game Shakers - "The Very Old Finger" (Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The Game Shakers visit a mummy exhibit to get ideas for a new game they're working on. Hudson accidentally snaps off one of its fingers. Babe leads a quest to glue it back on without getting caught.

School of Rock - "With or Without You" (Nickelodeon, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Lawrence tries to prove his value to the group by taking over the production of their first recording, but his methods create a rift in the band. Guest Star: Brec Bassinger

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 3)

Sunday, October 2

  • Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project/The Office) - Catch Mindy on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
Monday, October 3
  • Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project/The Office) - Watch Mindy on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens/Anything But Love) - Jamie Lee visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Kumail appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Program) and Brendon Small (Home Movies) - Steve and Brendon are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Kevin Nealon (Weeds/Champs/Hiller and Diller) - Kevin stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Kenan Thompson (Kenan & Kel) - Kenan drops by LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Chris Gethard (Broad City) - Chris chats about the play Career Suicide on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons) - Anthony joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Abigail Spencer (Burning Love) - Abigail talks about Timeless on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and in the 10am hour. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 2pm. She is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Nicole Byer (Loosely, Exactly Nicole) - Nicole is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
  • Rob Riggle (Golan the Insatiable) - Rob talks about Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso talks how many America's Funniest Home Videos get submitted and the funny home videos he wants to submit with his family on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Jennifer Esposito (Samantha Who?/Spin City) - Jennifer is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Sara Rue (Impastor/Less Than Perfect) - Sara appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Jay Ellis (Insecure/The Game) - Jay is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.