Interview with Christina DeRosa | Pray, Chant, Exercise and Giving Back

Actress – Producer – Humanitarian

“Be the type of person that no matter where you go or where you are, you always add value to the lives of those around you.”

The above quote comes to mind when looking at entertainment professional Christina DeRosa because that’s the kind of person she is, not in her movies, but in real life. When it comes to paying it forward or giving back, many people don’t realize what creative ways are available to make a difference in someone’s life. Being the creative talent and kind human being Christina DeRosa is, she knows how to make the day of the less fortunate. Giving back plays a major role in her life and her recent social media posts showing her serving food at the Los Angeles Mission deliver the proof. A few times a year, she even volunteers at an orphanage in Mexico. In addition, as a Board Member of Face Forward LA, she has done a tremendous job raising funds for this heartwarming non-profit organization.

As an actress she is known for her recurring roles as Nicole in the TV series “Black-ish” and as Astrid, in “Jane the Virgin,” just to mention a few. In film, she played alongside Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn in “Bad Moms” and recently wrapped the feature film “Woman on the Edge” alongside Rumer Willis.  She will appear next in Passionflix’s romance feature film “The Matchmaker’s Playbook.”  

An active member of the Television Academy, she won the Artists in Cinema Award at Universal through the Artists in Music Awards and the 2014 Rising Star Award through the 8th annual FAME awards.  

If all this wasn’t enough, this inspiring prolific woman is now teaming up with a powerful female producer to co-produce female-driven thrillers for LIFETIME and she recently signed on as an Anchor on “The Good News TV Show.”

How does she do it all? Find out in the following eye-opening and captivating interview in which Christina talks about her creative career, her humanitarian efforts and her secret of how to cope with the challenges she and other creatives face while navigating a world known for rejections and disappointments. 


Photography by Alisa Banks

Introduction 

  • Please, briefly introduce yourself. Who, in your own words, is Christina DeRosa?

Christina is a spiritual philanthropist who with joy wishes she could do more than what she is able to do to help fellow humans around the world.

  • As you say: “It all started in New York on stage with Natalie Portman as munchkins in The Wizard of Oz.” Do you remember that first moment on stage?  

I remember sitting around backstage with all my fellow munchkins and one girl, in particular, kept me entertained and it just so happens that years later her skills entertain the whole world.  That fellow thespian was a young, Natalie…now known as Portman.  Back then, she had a far less famous last name.

TV/Film Industry

  • Who in the TV/Film industry influenced you as an actress?

In the TV industry, Lucille Ball, for her joy of making people laugh. Every time I see her on my color TV in Black and White, she makes me laugh, with simple, timeless humor that has withstood the passage of time and is appealing to multiple generations. I can sit with my Mom and Dad and my young niece in front of the TV, and we are all laughing together.

In the film industry, Salma Hayek. Her fighting spirit!  Her passion, her courage, her strength, her vulnerability, her beauty, all together make the perfect formula for the beautiful actress and woman that she fought so hard to become.

  • What, in your opinion, can actors do to help bring awareness to diversity and inclusion within the entertainment industry?

Be a good actor first and foremost and as of today, there will be plenty of champions to allow you to succeed no matter what your ethnicity or gender is, and use the positive stereotypes to replace the negative as often as you possibly can or allowed to do so.

  • The TV/Film industry has stereotypes regarding women’s physical beauty and age, and many believe it. We read you saying: “Ever since I was a child, my favorite game was ‘make-believe.’” Do you think we can apply the game of “make-believe” to ourselves to change these stereotypes within us?

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”  Henry Ford.  And the best reference for everyone to see is the masterpiece by actress Amy Schumer, “I Feel Pretty.”

Photography by Rob Fenton

Acting

  • On the film front, you recently wrapped “Woman on the Edge” playing Detective Kelso.  Please describe your character and when the movie is scheduled to be released. 

The premise of “Woman on the Edge” is: Following, the suicide of her sister, an investigative journalist begins to look into the circumstances surrounding her death and discovers that is may be linked to a number of other recent murders which are set up to look like suicides.  So, this is a female-driven thriller where the lead character is played by Rumer Willis, and the movie is currently released in Europe, but not yet in the U.S.

  • You recently signed on as an Anchor on “The Good News TV Show.” Please tell us a bit about the show and why you became involved despite your already busy schedule. 

I want to spread the good news, I want to tell the world that things are getting better and I want to have everybody realize, the world is getting to be a better place.  The difference is because of instant information through social media and news on demand, bad news travels a lot faster than good news and people only listen to what comes first, which will depress you if you don’t give a chance to listen to the good news. And there is a lot of it, out there; we just need to prioritize it.

  • Continuing on, you are now also entering the producing field teaming up with another powerful female producer. Can you please tell us more about this exciting venture?

Television’s golden era is now and I want to play an integral role. So the genre of female-driven thriller movies for television, that I had multiple opportunities to work on are what my partner and I focus on as being the stepping stone into a very competitive and crowded Hollywood Golden era of Television and our skill level will be the key factor to our success along with the fact that our gender will allow us to give a more focused perspective on changing stereotypical views of roles.

  • Which well-known actor/actress or director would you like to work with in the near future and why?

Two projects come to mind:

I want to create with Alyssa Milano a sitcom for Netflix about sisters. Hollywood paparazzi always confuse us, in being one and the same, just Google “pictures of Alyssa Milano and Christina DeRosa” and you will see what I mean. So, we must leverage that to our advantage. It would be a hilarious holiday sitcom where two Italians with an extended Italian family would go head to head on today’s social issues and yes, for good measure, we must bring back Tony Danza. I am still in love with him after all these years.

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Amy Sherman Palladino, the maestra, the creator who tapped in her personal family experience and pulled out the best moments and weaved them together into a television series that gives you a glimpse into a past and the best time of New York life. The series is colorful, vibrant and takes place and starts in the 1950’s New York and the rush and energy of the series echo my fierce zeal for life.  I am a New Yorker by birth, so I naturally talk fast and belong in that world.

  • How do you stay positive and cope in a world where creatives have to deal with rejections all the time? 

Pray, pray, pray, pray!  Chant, chant, chant, chant!  And exercise, exercise, exercise. Yes, it’s not the most intriguing answer but it is simply the truth that allows me to truly enjoy those few moments of acceptance, in between all the moments of rejection and to look forward to the next positive development, so again, pray, pray, pray, pray, chant, chant, chant, chant, exercise, exercise, exercise.

Photography by Dan Arru

Singing

  • We discovered that one of your other special skills is your voice. Have you ever dreamed of pursuing a career as a singer?

I have given priority to my acting and film and television producing career.  But let me tell you, give me a microphone and I can still soprano belt it out like the best of them.

Life / Personal

  • “We’re all really children at heart,” you say. How do you keep the child-like happiness we are born with in your adult life? 

Play. You have to do things in life that bring you joy.  Whether it is coloring or going to the spa, or swinging on a swing in a park.  Play.  I have a gratitude partner and we call each other a few times a week and as quickly as possible, for 10 minutes each, say everything we can think of that we are grateful for, it raises our vibrations and we end up laughing like children during our calls.  I also have a spa partner and we encourage one another to go to the spa once a month.  Plus, a future poll partner.  We talk twice a week and for ten minutes each, share what we trust will happen as if it already did happen. It’s powerful and works.  Then we leave voicemail messages sharing all our blessings that came from a result of “future poll.”

  • You seem to have a great future ahead in the entertainment industry. What else do you think a person has to bring to the table besides having “talent” in order to succeed in what they want? 

First and foremost, integrity, by being recognized as a person that will commit and will see whatever project and task through to a successful end, which will be key to longevity in the entertainment industry.

  • Appreciating what you have accomplished in life, what are you most grateful for at this moment?

My ability to think, my ability to shut my brain off, my ability to be grateful, my ability to be ungrateful, my ability to be beautiful, my ability to be ugly, my ability to be happy, my ability to be angry.  My ability to be a human, being amongst many other human beings who are trying to get along and appreciate the gift of life. #Gratitudeisthebestattitude

Photography by Alisa Banks

Good Soul

  • You are a humanitarian and a Board Member of the inspiring charity Face Forward and you give back regularly to the Los Angeles Mission and other projects. What inspired you to become involved with these causes?

It’s very simple. The joy I see in the eyes of a homeless person while I am serving them food in a long line of homeless people and acknowledging and appreciating each and every one of them by conversing with them about their existence fills me with joy.

With Face Forward, it’s looking at the faces and bodies of people who received cruel acts of violence from other people, made me realize that as a member, I needed to take matters in my own hands and work on alleviating the physical and emotional pain that these survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking or any cruel act of violence, are experiencing on a daily basis throughout the world. I want to be an ambassador bringing these social issues to the forefront of the conversation and help the survivors create a better and brighter future for themselves and their loved ones

Close Up 

  • The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is “The Essence of a Joyful Living.” In your opinion, how does Joy during the process of creation affect your own experience and in consequence the final manifestation of your actions?

To live without joy is not really living. My job is JOY!  When I live with JOY, I live with freedom, abundance and ultimate happiness.

  • Our motto is “You can be, do and have anything you want,” words by Abraham Hicks.  What is your take on such a statement?

What a wonderful way to live.  Believing you can be, do or have anything you want, believing that anything is possible is the only way to live but takes constant practice and support to get there so that’s why I pray, pray, pray, pray, chant, chant, chant, chant, affirm these statements daily and surround myself with like-minded positive people.


Christina DeRosa
Cover Image by Clifton J Hodge of “CJHCAPTURE”