‘I’m like a fish in the ocean when on stage acting or singing’
Danna Paola is a Mexican actress, singer, model and designer. Born on July 23, 1995 in Mexico City, she appeared on screen for the first time in the children’s program ‘Plaza Sésamo’ in 1999. In 2000, she joined the cast of the telenovela ‘Rayito de luz,’ followed by a starring role in ‘María Belén’ (2001) and as Estrella, a young girl suffering from paralysis, in ‘Vivan los niños’ (2002). In 2003, she was recruited to sing the song ‘Mensajero de paz’ to Pope John Paul II. Also that year, she participated in the children’s segment of the television show ‘Hoy’ for eight months, and onstage in the play ‘Regina’ alongside Lucero. She also acted in the telenovela ‘De pocas, pocas pulgas.’
Paola’s second starring role in a telenovela came in 2004 in ‘Amy, la niña de la mochila azul,’ for which she also released two records. She performed in her second theater production, ‘Anita la huerfanita’, and began recording her second solo album, ‘Océano’. In 2005, she released her third album, ‘Chiquita pero picosa’, followed with a nationwide tour. She also starred in her third telenovela, ‘Pablo y Andrea.’ Her live concert DVD, ‘Danna Paola en vivo’ was released in 2006.
Between 2005 and 2007, she participated in the telenovelas, ‘Muchachitas como tú’ and ‘Querida enemiga’. In 2008, she had her first role on the big screen with a small part in the epic movie, ‘Arráncame la vida.’ Following this success, Paola starred in the 2009 telenovela ‘Atrévete a sonar’, for which she also recorded the soundtrack. In 2010, she launched her Caramelo Tour and recorded the song ‘Yo soy tu amigo fiel’ for the Pixar film ‘Toy Story 3’ with Aleks Syntek. She also dubbed the voice of Rapunzel in“Enredados’, the Latin American version of Disney’s ‘Tangled’.
Paola released her fourth solo album, ‘Homónimo’, in 2012, which marked her transition from a child star to adolescent. Her Ruleta Tour followed towards the end of 2012, as she in mid 2013, starred in the first Spanish-language version of the play ‘Wicked’, playing the witch, ‘Elphaba’. In 2015, Paola played ‘Paloma Hernandez’ in the romantic comedy, Quien es quien (If Only I Were You) for Telemundo. She is featuring in the series ‘La Doña (Iron Rose), another original Telemundo production that is showing on Telemundo Africa.
You grew up as a child star, and you now have over five studio albums with over 20 series. How were you able to combine music and acting?
I can do both in musical theatre; I feel like a fish in the ocean. It is in this area that I most enjoy my art and passion.
Music or acting, which would you say is your first love?
Acting, with a really good soundtrack. So, musical theatre, totally! Like I said, I feel like a fish in the ocean when I’m on stage acting and singing. I’m a drama queen!
You’ve featured in so many ‘Telemundo series’, which is your favourite and which series brought the best out of you?
‘Iron Rose’ of course… ‘Monica’; I enjoyed this character so much. This project and character changed my life. I have learned a lot from my actor friends and directors. I met people who now are very important in my life, and I thank Telemundo so much to for giving me the opportunity.
Can you tell more about your role as ‘Monica’ in the series…Iron Rose?
Monica is a strong and sweet dreamer who grew up with a disabled father. She tries to see the good side of everything. She’s a travelling singer and sells food on the streets for a living.
Monica grows up wanting to know the identity of her mother, who abandoned her at birth (Altagracia Sandoval) ‘La Doña’. She meets Altagracia when she decides to move to Mexico City, without knowing the change of life that awaits her. For the first time she feels that her life makes sense, meeting the love of her life, ‘Saul Aguirre’, a passionate man with a strong heart. Monica must fight for love and deal with the misery of knowing that her mother is also in love with ‘Saul’, while trying to survive with the insecurities of gender violence in her country.
Do you see yourself in the characters you play?
Yes of course, every character I have played has something in common with me. Monica is so strong and passionate like me. She likes to sing like me, she believes in love… But in the end, I have learned more than I thought from her. Thanks to that, today I’m the woman I’m because of this amazing character.
You made impressive adverts with L’Oreal Paris when they endorsed you, can you tell us about the role you performed when you dyed your hair red?
Working with L’Oréal is a dream come true. Being part of the world wide ambassadors of this family is amazing; they gave me the confidence of believing in myself, my natural beauty, reinforcing ‘I am worth it’; making me forgetting about the fears of dying my hair and of taking care of it. That is why I started being caramel, then chocolate and now berry! I love changes! The crew is the best! The powerful women of this company are one of the best teams I have worked with. I feel so proud and fortunate representing the strong slogan: ‘Because We Are Worth It’, and smiling and screaming every time I see my commercial on TV.
You reside in Mexico and Miami, how are you able to shuffle between these two locations?
Now I’m living in Mexico City, for all the projects I’m doing. Miami was my second home for the past two years; I do a lot of work there. I have so many friends there, and I love Miami! So, I go often.
Do you have any plans of venturing into Hollywood?
Yes, of course! But, in the perfect time… I’m not in a rush of being there tomorrow you know, I know that someday I will be there. I work very hard to make my dreams come true; I have so many dreams and plans that I’m working towards. I’m going step by step.
There are obviously things people don’t know about you. What is that?
I am a frustrated chef; I have a phobia of clowns.
You have so many fans across Africa, Nigeria particularly. What do you have to say to them, especially those who love your character in the series, Iron Rose?
I love them all! I’m very thankful that everyone is enjoying my character and the story. Thank you for all the support and love!