For Dominican-born, Queens-bred beauty Julissa Bermudez, the hardest part about making the transition from host to actress is putting her VJ microphone down. "I'm getting used to being the one interviewed,â€ the 25-year-old Latina admits. "It's definitely a change.â€ With Julissa in the hot seat, KING prepares to take full advantage of this role reversal.
Judging from the DVD cover, your new dancing movie, Make It Happen, is another flick about a small town white girl dreaming of hip hop dance stardom, right?
[Laughs] The basic story is a girl from the middle of nowhere who wants to get accepted to a prestigious dance school in Chicago. I'm the headliner at this club that she gets a job at. One day she gets onstage and starts dancing and everyone loves her except for me because she's trying to take my place. You can pretty much guess what happens after that.
Hmm, sounds like a ladies only rental. Be honest, is there anything for the dudes to watch?
The choreography is based loosely on burlesque, so the guys will enjoy that. It's hot and it's sexy and that's always good.
Those VJ gigs really taught you how to sell a movie.
[Laughs] I'm excited about this role, because people are used to seeing me as happy-go-lucky Julissa on TV. They aren't used to seeing me actually have an attitude and dancing and singing and acting. I'm excited that people are going to see me in a different light.
You're looking good in that light. Did filmimg those dance scenes get you in crazy shape?
I'm pretty thin, but I was a lot more tone and flexible [after filming the dance scenes]. But I was hurting, I'm not going to lie. I definitely played it off, but you go from excited to, 'Oh, wow, this is actually a lot of work. These bumps and bruises better be worth it.'
Every girl with a Model Mayhem profile dreams of being a TV host/actress. How did you pull it off?
Honestly, I try to work as hard as possible at what I put my mind to. In this business you're going to get a million no's before you get that one yes. When you make people take notice that's when the game changes. That's when you can say that you can do it and they can't even tell you no. Then there's no stopping you.
That's determination. Should Eva Mendes be watching her back?
People like Eva Mendes, Eva Longoria, and Salma Hayek have been able to prove that [Latina actresses] can be taken seriously in this business and we can be more than just great actresses. We can be great producers, we can be multi-hyphenate women in Hollywood and be successful. I'm just taking the opportunities as they come and working really hard.â€”Ryan Murphy
Make It Happen is now on DVD.