Having made her TV debut in 2000 on the Disney Channel series "Lizzie McGuire", Masiela Lusha (now 28) has literally grown up on screen. You may remember her as George Lopezís rebellious and passionate daughter on the Emmy-Award winning, syndicated ABC series "George Lopez", but today, Masielaís talents have taken her from a fresh-faced teen to an award-winning actress, author, model, producer and humanitarian.
Masiela was kind enough to talk to me about her time growing up in the TV spotlight, her "George Lopez" experience and her current stint as a poet and author.
So what has life been like since The George Lopez Show?
I tend to refer to my life events in two timeframes: Before the George Lopez show, and after the George Lopez show. My experience on the series has been an absolutely incredible one that has provided me with an entirely new outlook on the industry. After my time on the series, I became more driven than ever to push myself and test my limits. I wanted to pursue nearly every genre in Hollywood, and every protagonist and antagonist... After the series, I wanted to live, and be a meaningful piece in our society. I wanted nothing more than to dedicate myself to my craft, to various causes that meant the world to me, and to expand and reach further than I've ever imagined. .
What are your memories of doing the George Lopez series?
The George Lopez series provided me with a vast and varicolored family I never really had. I was blessed to work with such a dynamic and professional team of producers and writers, that my fondest memory is standing in the middle of our kitchen set, before a laughing audience, and observing the team of producers and writers huddle together in one shared mission to perfect an already hilarious line of dialogue.
Do you ever watch the show nowadays?
Yes, I still watch the show. If I happen to come across an airing, I automatically tune in. The times when I manage to turn on the tv and sink into a chair, the airing episodes nearly always pull me back to the filming of those episodes. It becomes an entirely different experience for me.
Are you and George still friends?
George, the cast, and I shared an important part of our lives together. They were my family. No amount of time apart can efface that sentiment, just as no amount of time together, after the show, can truly justify the experience we shared on set, during that pivotal time.
Did you want to shed that "child actor" image after the show was over?
I never could quite understand the social expectations of a "child actor." It always felt inauthentic to me - as if there is a liminal space that the actor must pass through, and transform into another age appropriate stage. As a young teen, I was sheltered, cautious, passionate about our society, and insistent of making a meaningful difference.
Was it difficult being a teenager in the spotlight?
I spent my most formative years on a television set, and the only difficulty I experienced as a teenager was not living through the same life chapters as my friends who were far removed from the industry. While my friends were attending classes and school clubs in high school, organizing school campaigns, discussing the likely avenues of their bright future, I was on set, memorizing lines, and attending college from 6am until midnight every day for years.
What do you do for fun when you're not working?
I love working with my hands and creating something tangible that I can see, hear, or touch. I love to paint, stitch, play the piano, and design clothes. I also have a passion for dance, primarily ballet. And, of course creative writing is essential. The greatest joy is revising the final line of a freshly composed poem.
What are some of your favorite drinks and/or food?
Chocolate chip cooks and milk- any time of day! And I also love baking Kale chips - a little olive oil, some garlic salt, pepper, red pepper flakes. 10-20 minutes in the oven! Mmm.
What is your favorite current TV show?
I've watched every episode of Breaking Bad and Modern Family. I also love the series Survivorman and Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman on the Science channel.
Who is your celebrity crush?
My celebrity crush is Cary Grant. An understated gentleman.
That's a good one! Thank you so much for your time!
You can follow Masiela on Twitter right HERE.