Florida-born actress Kaleina Cordova began her acting career at just six months old, appearing in an ad for Fisher Price toys. Now eighteen, Kaleina has starred in films such as Step Up Revolution and television shows such as The Glades.
Kaleina has now moved to Hollywood, California, and The Levity Ball just had to sit down with the talented rising star to find out where she sees her career heading…
What first attracted you to pursue a career in acting and what was your first job?
My first job was for a Fisher Price Toy ad; however the first job that made me step back and say, “This is what I want to do”, was my role in The Prince and the Pauper. I was 10 years old, star-struck, and captivated by the atmosphere. Watching the actors and crew from behind the camera perform /prepare really opened my eyes to the detail and vision you see on screen.
How was your experience working on films such as Step Up Revolution and the television series The Glades?
Working on Step Up and The Glades was a great learning experience. I grew up around this industry, watching from the outside, so it was amazing to work with talented actors in front of the camera.
You just moved to Hollywood… What has been the biggest change thus far?
Remembering to go to an audition 2 hours early because traffic on the 405 wouldn’t have it any other way… I’m getting used to driving in LA. Honestly, the biggest change is the change itself. This is my first move away from home and adjusting to a new environment is challenging and I’m in the process of experiencing that; but I’m loving every minute of this adventure.
Who are some of your role models?
As far as acting, my biggest inspirations are Susan Sarandon, Charlize Theron, Kate Hudson, Kate Winslet, Juliette Lewis, Rachel McAdams, Helena Bonham Carter and Jennifer Lawrence. The list could go on, but what I admire most about those actresses is their versatility.
Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
In 5 years I still want to be pursuing my passion, whatever it may be at the time. Right now I’m focused on creating a name for myself in this industry and simply becoming a successful actress.
If you weren’t in the entertainment industry, what would you be doing?
I would still pursue a job that allows me to create and innovate. I love to paint and draw, so animation was always another option. Traveling is also a passion of mine so I’d love to be either an international cruise ship employee or a flight attendant!
I would love to completely transform into a character I could never be in real life. I love period films so dancing in a ballroom with a corset and a bustle on would be very cool. I’m also a huge fantasy film buff so playing any character that could take the audience out of reality would be a dream.
What charities are close to your heart?
I have this strong desire to help people that deserve a brighter light. That’s another benefit of this industry; you can use the spotlight to promote things that are more important. One single person doesn’t need millions of dollars to buy trivial things. There’s a great charity back home [Florida] called Caring Couture. It’s a non-profit scarf organization that is trying to empower employment opportunities for people with special needs. Payton, a child with Down syndrome, hand painted every silk scarf in the collection. There are so many local charities I love to be involved in and hopefully someday I can work with some bigger charities like BRC, Freedom from Hunger, Make a wish and Starlight child foundations are both very close to my heart.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
If I could change one thing it would be for more people to WANT to help others on an everyday basis. I’ve seen someone tack up money in an envelope onto a vending machine with a note saying, “enjoy.” Instead of walking around aimlessly at the mall with your friends, go to your nearest soup kitchen and spend the day helping out. People, my age especially, would spend an hour trying to take the perfect selfie rather than taking time to share some tea with a lonely grandma at a nursing home. I think we need to encourage society to carry out acts of random kindness.
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