Interview with ROSELYN SÁNCHEZ & ERIC WINTER | LOVE IS APPRECIATING EACH OTHER
It feels so good to navigate through life being loved and comprehended. The feeling of acceptance is one of our biggest aims; we want to be seen, we want to feel connected, we want to belong. We often seek these things in our outer world. We give our own power away when we think that our well-being depends on what others think and how they act. It takes courage to focus consistently on fulfilling who we want to become, and to love ourselves and others unconditionally while accepting and appreciating our differences. Artists Eric Winter and Roselyn Sánchez co-created the podcast He Said, Ella Dijo, available on iHeartRadio, where they share spontaneous conversations about their married life. The Hollywood couple shows through their own example how embracing opposite views benefits their relationship.
Expansion is inevitable; all human beings, as parts of the universe, are always becoming more. As natural as the desires born within us, God’s creation is always done; our job is to allow that which is already created into our physical experience. Roselyn Sánchez says, “I’m a woman who left my country of Puerto Rico at twenty-one years old to move to the United States with a dream and a very clear vision of what I wanted in my performing life. I am perseverant, disciplined, and at times, I have a tricky temper. But I’m a good person, a dreamer and a go-getter.”
Although the perception of our life experience depends solely on us, co-creating with others is inevitable part of it. Any relationship is a reflection of that which we hold about ourselves inside; it is the perfect opportunity to experience a more unconditional life. “I pride myself on being a father and husband. I’m a big family man,” says Eric Winter. “I’m also an actor, I produce, and I am enjoying our podcast. I consider myself a hard worker and a very driven individual who wants to succeed at everything he does.”
Eric and Roselyn come together with one clear intention—to allow each other to be who they are. “We are very different in many ways, which is why we came up with the title He Said, Ella Dijo, which translates to ‘He Said, She Said.’ A lot of our family members get a kick out of our dynamic. We are nothing alike, most of the time we don’t agree, but somehow we make it work. We come from two different cultures and upbringings. I think we’ve learned to respect and appreciate each other and fall in love with how different we are and make it work.”
Together, their contrasting qualities just made what they want clearer. They complement each other and define their highest excitement while having fun. Eric and Roselyn remind each other and all of us that true love is a consistent process of looking for things to appreciate in each other while solidifying that beautiful feeling day in and out.
- The entertainment industry is becoming more diverse and inclusive in its overall content. Why do you think this shift is happening now, and how do you envision the industry’s future?
E: I think the shift is happening because they’re finally realizing this is what America looks like—it’s a beautiful thing. Being married to a woman of color and also having a Latina daughter, I think it’s important to champion diversity and representation in the entertainment industry. I want to see people who look like my daughter, who look like my wife.
R: For me, it’s a tricky subject. Because I do see that the world is becoming more inclusive, and there’s a lot of pressure in the entertainment industry to become more diverse, but the amount of representation is not even close to what it should be. As a Latina who has been in the business for more than twenty-five years with an accent and a very specific look, it’s a battle everyday to feel represented and be heard. So I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given.
Now I’m going to speak specifically about myself and Latinas. We contribute so much to this country, yet barely 3% of roles are given to our people. I feel like the African American community has created this incredible movement in terms of representation, and they support each other so much that the industry has no choice but to pay attention. It’s happening with Asians, it’s happening with Indians, but for whatever reason, even though we are a majority in this country, Latinos don’t seem to support each other in the same way, and therefore the industry doesn’t take us very seriously. It’s all about numbers, and when they put Latino entertainment out there but the demographic doesn’t show up, the industry doesn’t see a need to support us. Yes, there is diversity, and we are moving forward, but again, as a producer and actress when I’m out there pitching material…it’s clear we need more representation. It’s not even close to what it should be.
- Roselyn, you will make your directorial debut in 2020 with your upcoming, highly anticipated short film Satos. What is the narrative behind the plot, and how was your experience of being behind the camera?
R: It was everything! The moment I said my first “Action!” I realized, Oh my God, this is my future. I can’t believe I waited this long to do this. I absolutely loved it. It was challenging, it was a lot of work, it was victorious, it was beautiful, and it’s all about a cause that’s near and dear to my heart. I love animals, and my foundation in Puerto Rico, RS Events for Life, is dedicated to helping control the overpopulation of stray dogs in the country. As my first directing gig, I wanted to focus on things I am passionate about—and that’s always been dogs and my Puerto Rico. So I went back home and employed a 100% Puerto Rican talent and crew. A lot of dear friends and colleagues said yes. I’ll never forget when I pitched to Paul Kampf, my producer, saying, “Listen, I’ve never directed before, and I want to do a short. It’s about three families from different walks of life who have nothing in common and end up meeting at a dog shelter, and through the adoption of a dog, their lives change forever. I don’t have the complete script, but can I submit it in a couple of weeks?” And without even reading the material, Paul was like, “We’re in.”
It was surreal. People haven’t even seen it yet, and I’ve already gotten an offer to direct another film in Puerto Rico about a different dog shelter. This upcoming one is an American, full-feature film, and that’s what I’ll be doing this summer.
- Eric, on ABC’s drama series The Rookie, you star as Tim Bradford. How would you describe your emotional journey during the process of becoming your character?
E: This was a different type of role for me and a character I really had to dive into. It’s been a lot of fun to explore Tim; he’s had a very complicated past with a military background and has become a hard-ass with all of his training. I pulled a lot from my past experiences of having tough coaches throughout my entire football career, which really shaped me to be a better athlete, but it was a very “tough love” scenario, which relates to how Tim Bradford is with all his trainees. His personal battle with his wife being a drug addict was challenging for me because I had to pull from a past that I didn’t necessarily relate to.
- He Said, Ella Dijo is the podcast you two recently launched on iHeartRadio, where you both discuss topics related to your relationship. What do you hope for the audience to take from these conversations?
E: We discuss everything from our own unique perspectives. Roselyn and I are complete opposites in almost everything, yet we’ve been together for almost fifteen years. We pride ourselves on highlighting our differences, and we try to help each other shine. However, with those differences comes some conflict and a lot of humor. We’re hoping that our audience sees that opposites really do strengthen a relationship and that you need to learn to build off of each other’s differences.
R: We just want people to relate and to laugh. It’s about our lives and our differences and how we make it work almost fifteen years later—both as actors with two kids in this crazy town of Los Angeles, CA and how we navigate our future, but in a fun way. At the end of the day, we want people to listen for an hour, identify themselves, start a topic of conversation, and just laugh.
- What is the most important relationship you can have?
He said: I believe it’s the one with your partner and your children. For me, it defines who I am. When everything in those relationships is functioning, that’s when I thrive in every other aspect of my life.
Ella dijo: With yourself. I have kids, a husband, and a family who are my world, but the relationship that I have to keep happy, cultivate, and grow every single day is the one with myself and my communication with God. Because at the end of the day, He’s the one that guides every single step of the way.
- Many couples after a period of time start to focus on things they don’t like in each other. How do you maintain your attention on seeing the best and embracing each other’s highest potential?
He said: What Ros and I do well is embrace each other’s differences. I’ve been able to cope by not getting upset or feeling frustrated with my wife’s differences. I’ve learned to just laugh and embrace them. I think humor is one of the most important things you can have in a relationship, and when you can laugh and learn from each other’s differences in a good way, it can also help you become a better person and reach your full potential.
Ella dijo: Marriages work, guys, marriages work. Some days it’s phenomenal and you fall in love with your partner all over again. It happens when I see Eric as a father. I’ve never seen a man more devoted to his kids. And then there are the times where he drives me crazy, and I want to argue with him. You just have to realize that we’re all human beings who are going to fail sometimes, and we all just have to work to make each other happy.
- At times, life can seem to be too serious. What roles do joy and fun play in your relationship?
He said: We’re like everybody else. We are completely stressed out from time to time, especially with two kids and work. However, we find time for each other to get away and have alone time. Whether that’s getting away for a weekend, going on a date night, or just doing things that we both love to do. We just like to laugh and try to feel like we’re dating again in order to keep things fresh and fun.
Ella dijo: It’s the only way to survive. If you don’t take time to have a date night or make each other laugh, what’s the point? Like I said, marriages work. At the end of the day, you have to go to bed appreciating that your best friend is next to you, has your back, and has your best interest at heart.
- As we accomplish more, we aim for more; that is how human beings expand. How does being someone who feels appreciation for life and celebrates it affect the experience of one’s existence?
He said: I have a lot of appreciation for life, and I like to celebrate the ups and downs. I like to set goals and push myself to do more. However, I think it’s important to take time and reflect on what you’ve accomplished, and by doing that you learn to appreciate what you have. Even though you may want more, if you don’t appreciate where you are and where you came from, I don’t think you’ll ever truly be happy.
Ella dijo: Listen, I’m grateful to be alive and for every single experience that I’ve had in my forty-six years. My mom told me when I left Puerto Rico, “I’m not going to clip your wings, so don’t allow anybody else to do that.” So that’s been my credo and prayer every single night. Working on oneself is a daily thing. People are complex and when you have a family, you have a husband, it’s tricky. But it’s about love and a clear vision, and as long as you’re happy, you can make the world happy.
- All human beings are different but equal. How do you allow each other to personally evolve while co-creating the feeling of connection and unity?
He said: The way we both allow each other to evolve is by supporting each other wholeheartedly. My wife has a lot that she wants to accomplish, so I try to help her stay focused on her goals while keeping her grounded and level-headed as she’s going through it. Hopefully she can appreciate those things as well and not be upset if things don’t work out the way they’re supposed to. As long as you support and appreciate what the other person is trying to accomplish, you have a good start on all of that.
Ella dijo: It’s a constant negotiation. We’re both actors, but we both have our own idea of the business, and our goals are different. Eric is very content working on TV as an actor and producer. He’s really found a passion for producing and creating things. He’s perfectly fine if he could have a show that lasts seven to ten years, get a paycheck and live comfortably, creating a family with his coworkers. That makes me happy. My idea of a working woman is a little bit more grand. I want to be really successful. I want to direct, produce, and develop talent. I want to produce charity events. I want to travel the world. Our ideas of what it looks like for each of us are both great, but sometimes we need to figure out how it can get done. My daughter’s in school, so it’s constantly negotiating to fulfill our dreams and keep our family unit intact.
- How does your faith sync with your beliefs to influence your life experience?
E: We have a lot of similar beliefs when it comes to life, spirituality, and even when it comes to raising children. We have a lot of differences, too, which can be challenging at times. The more we can expand on our differences and try new things together, the better the whole life experience becomes. If you’re constantly arguing about those things, it doesn’t help, but thankfully we do have a similar foundation when it comes to our faith and life itself.
R: I’m so lucky that I found a man who loves God as much as I do. I’m very spiritual, and Eric is as well, so that helps a lot. We pray together and with the kids, and we don’t do anything without consulting Him.
- Are you involved with any other charity organizations or humanitarian causes you would like to mention?
E: We’re always working with charities, but there are a few that are near and dear to our hearts, like The Ronald McDonald House, which we’ve been working with actively recently. Another of course is Roselyn’s charity out of Puerto Rico. We do a lot of work for that organization as a couple, which benefits the children’s hospital and many dog rescue organizations. We’re very philanthropic as a couple and are always trying to work towards helping others as much as we can.
R: My foundation in Puerto Rico, RS Events for Life, allows me to produce different events for different dog shelters. The foundation started helping the San Jorge Children’s Foundation in Puerto Rico, which supports the patients of the San Jorge Hospital. It’s an incredible foundation that supports children with cancer, lupus, and all kinds of health problems. I am the godmother and spokesperson. I produce triathlons and fashion shows on the island to raise money for the foundation as well as generate support for the dog shelters. I’m also a PETA spokesperson.
- The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is the Essence of Joyful Living. How does joy during the creative process affect your own experience, and in consequence, the final manifestation of your actions?
R: Joy really starts with everything for me. If I’m in a good place and I’m happy, I’m able to be at my creative peak and really use my strengths to their fullest potential. When I’m down in the dumps, I’m the kind of person who carries my emotions on my sleeve, and I don’t do as well as I’d like, unless it’s required for a character.
- When you hear, “You can be, do, and have anything you want,” words from the Abraham-Hicks teachings, what is your take on such a statement?
E: We try to instill this in our kids, especially my daughter at the moment. Yes, you can be, do, and have anything you want IF you work hard. I do believe that you can have anything you want when it’s in your cards. You need to aim and push for everything you want to be. Sometimes it’ll work out, and others it won’t, and you have to allow life’s curves to be such that when something doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to, you’re not angry about it. But I do believe that with hard work, you can achieve your fullest potential, whatever that may be. In a career like ours as actors, it’s a bit different, because no matter how hard I work, nothing is guaranteed, because it’s such a subjective business. We try to teach our daughter and we’re going to teach our son that if you work hard in school, and you want to be a doctor, actor, dancer, or veterinarian, you can be that. You can travel and be as powerful as you want using your creative forces and appreciation for what life has given you.
R: I believe in those words. You can’t be what you don’t see. When you see somebody who looks and talks like you accomplishing incredible things, it’s like a ticket. It’s a green light to say, “If that person can do it, I can do it.” When I came to this country, my ambition was so big, and it still is. Kids weren’t on my radar just yet, and I wanted to succeed, make a comfortable living, travel the world, and be famous. It was kind of a delusion. I waited to be a mom, because at the time it was all about work, work, work. One day, I stopped thinking that way and realized that the females I looked up to were all mothers. They were doing it all, looking amazing, acting amazing, and having strong relationships with their children. So I thought, “They’re doing it. I can do it.” You must see to be able to be. Not everybody has the opportunity and privilege to accomplish their dreams, but I believe in the power of moving mountains just with your mind and your faith.