We spoke to the part-Mexican actress about the show's eerie plotline, her work in philanthropy, and more. Read it all in our exclusive interview below:
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Tell us a little bit about your character Hermione.
Hermione has come basically with a tail between her legs back from Upper Manhattan crawling back to Riverdale because her husband Hiram has been imprisoned for embezzlement. She’s just sort of come from this humiliating circumstance in New York where she was part of high society and she was then splashed all over the tabloids and it’s that really leads her coming back to Riverdale. So she’s slightly humbled and is definitely more like 'Alright we’re gonna start over again, let’s go.' That’s sort of the viewpoint of her right now and then as she gets back into Riverdale, I think naively she thought, 'Oh Riverdale, I have nothing to worry about. It’s Riverdale.' She’s rudely awakened that people aren’t exactly welcoming her here, and she can’t necessarily run away from her life because it follows her.
You mention that she’s humbled when she comes back. Do you think if you had to what she does (come to a new town and take up the job at the diner) do you think that you’d be able to handle it the same way she does?
I’m a little different. I came from Chicago. I had a job since I was 12 years old. I did everything under the sun. I pumped gas. I worked at gas stations, car washes, drycleaners, anything and everything that I had to do to pay the bills. So for me, I know what it's like to hustle. So if that’s what I had to do for me and my daughter, I would do it in a heartbeat. Absolutely.
How else do you relate to your character?
I would say falling from grace, if that’s the way you put it, not that I’ve ever fallen from grace, but I can relate to it in the sense that I’m an actor. So we go from, “Oh, yeah, I’m on a new series” or “I’m starring in this movie” to nada, back to auditioning again. We have to go through that back and forth and back and forth and back and forth, and I’ve been doing that for 15 or so years. When I first moved from Chicago to LA, I starred in the vacation movies as Audrey Griswald, and that was like the starring role in a Warner Brothers movie. I thought everything was made, and then six months later I’m back auditioning. But 24 was huge and a big international show, and then two years later, I had a baby and was auditioning again. So I can relate to it that way of having to start over and over and over and over. However, I don’t think I have as many secrets as Hermione!
That’s good, right?
Thank god, right? Ah, that would be exhausting! What's interesting is you get to see how having those secrets effect her, and she has to continually play catch up. She’s trying to protect Hiram. She’s trying to protect her daughter. She’s trying to protect them from all the secrets, her daughter from the secrets her husband is doing, Hiram from all the bad stuff that she’s done and protect him. It’s exhausting! You’ll see towards the end, it’s a little rough. She has to do things and make choices that she doesn’t want to in order to protect Veronica.
Do you think we’ll ever get to see Hiram?
Oh, yes! Absolutely.
I saw that you said Antonio Banderas would be the dream casting.
That would be my dream Hiram. That would be amazing.
Do you have any others in mind?
Yes, Benjamin Bratt. I think he’d be amazing, and I heard he’s taken, but I’m like come on, come on, come on! I think Benjamin’s great. I’ve worked with him as well. So for me it would be one of those two, but somebody who we believe has led this crime underworld and someone that we believe that Hermione may have fallen for and been swept off her feet, this romantic, powerful, hopefully sexy man. So we will absolutely see him. We just got picked up for season two, and I know that they’re planning on bringing Hiram in.
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