Thanks to the good folks at Katrina Wan PR we got the chance to interview some of the cast and the writer and director of the new exciting film American Carnage which comes out Friday July 15th 2022. Here is our first interview with Bella Ortiz who was simply amazing to talk to. American Carnage is now in Theaters, On Digital, and On Demand.
AJ: How did you get involved with American Carnage?
Bella Ortiz: Well, so my manager at the time was living in Chicago and this was pre pandemic, so auditions, um, like the majority of them took place in person. And, it wasn’t like really self taping which now auditioning is just like our zooming for this interview. um, so I received the audition from my manager and I auditioned for it. I originally auditioned for a different role and then I was presented with the role of Mika and yeah, I was really interested by the, by the script and, you know, I found out that I booked it, which was a very beautiful moment for my manager, Carlos and I, it was the first thing that we had booked together after working with him for three years. So I kind of felt like, you know, it was a big win in terms of here’s this, this, this man, this manager that, you know, is sticking it out with me and see something in me and believes in me. And then finally we were able to like, share that win together. And I felt really cool about that and proud.
AJ: Right. And Diego, if I’m pronouncing his name, right, the director had such a cool vision for this film. So how was it like working with him as well?
Bella Ortiz: Yeah, everything about his style and the way that he approached his work was really like a true artist. He was very intentional about, spending time with each of us in conversation, like after, uh, I received the news that I had booked it, he had emailed me and started the conversation around my character. And that really like set the tone in the precedent for what I was about to walk into because we, I felt as an artist, my opinion and my perspective and what I had to say about the character was really valued and heard. So it was an incredible experience. Yeah.
AJ: So you mentioned before that you were originally or dis for another character, so were you pleasantly surprised with like how fleshed out each character was in the script? Cause either way it’s a win-win if you got the character you play right. Cause how well written this is.
Bella Ortiz: Definitely, yeah, I wasn’t expecting to have been presented the role of Mika, but then once I really sat with it and dived a little bit deeper, it just made perfect sense that that would be the character that I would play as, um, as a white Latinx woman. So yeah, it was a lot of fun, like being able to be a vessel for that particular story that, that Micah paints.
AJ: Right. And this is such an ensemble cast. I mean, having someone like Jena Ortega on as well. Yeah. That would be so amazing to her on set, because now it seems becoming like an a- list star, like on the vers of being such a huge movie star with X and scream coming out. So that had to be really fun working with her as well.
Bella Ortiz: Yeah. She is such a talented and just beautiful person inside and out. It was a pleasure to have worked with her and everyone else. That was part of the cast. I felt like we all really had a common interest in telling a story about Latinx, like the Latinx community. And so, um, I had a little bit of fear and, you know, a little anxiousness about going in and feeling like I was the, the less seasoned actor, but really it hadn’t like that completely was washed away because we were just all very committed to telling the
story. Yeah, it was a lot of fun.
AJ: All right. Thank you. Uh, and so we talked about the production design by Monica. How was it like working with her set design on the movie?
Bella Ortiz: Yeah, it was really great because everything was so realistic. And,I think that it definitely allows an actor, it really allows you to kind of focus on more so of what’s happening because you don’t have to necessarily tap into that imaginative state of your mind of making yourself believe and feel like everything around you is real. It was very nice to just like, kind of just arrive to set and since everything was so realistic looking and like even touch wise, it just made our job a lot, like more seamless
AJ: right. And in American carnage, there is a lot of allegories that you can take away from this movie about on today’s culture and how we see ourselves and a lot of different ways. Yeah. So what really stood out to you when you’ve watched the finished product of American carnage as well? If you had the chance to?
Bella Ortiz: I haven’t yet, because I’m, I’m allowing myself to wait until July 15th. I think that it’s really interesting in terms of this genre where you can kind of, you know, it’s made to make people think. And I think that it’s important to understand that, you know, the harsh realities of our world sometimes because so much is constantly going on and especially with the pandemic and what that kind of created for us, like socially and culturally, it’s almost like it’s to be expected that all of this all of these horrendous things are happening and you can kind of get almost like, um, like desensitized to it. Right. Um, and I think that in this type of genre and this type of storytelling where you start with something that is very real, that happens in our world and in our daily realities, if you push that envelope and kind of paint a path that that could take, and that could go, I think it’s, it serves as, you know, keeping us in check in terms of not, not settling and not desensitizing ourselves to what’s happening in our worlds.
Because you know, it’s almost like you could, it’s almost like you feel like you’re asleep and then one day you wake up and you’re like, well, how did this happen? And it’s because if we’re constantly overwhelmed, you know, you kind of have to shut that off, but it’s like, we have to be vigilant in not allowing ourselves to kind of just accept that like, oh, you know, the world is this way. So that’s just how it is. It’s like we have to do the work to actively to fight that type of homeostasis, I guess.
AJ Friar Right. Well, they thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been really fun and really nice meeting
Bella Ortiz: You. Thank you so much, AJ. Oh, and I wanted to say, I checked out, I know it was like your 2019, top 10, like horror movies but then you had honorable mentions, which I thought was very interesting. And also I didn’t see any of your honorable mentions, so I wanted to let you know I’m gonna be checking all of those out.
AJ: Oh, wow. Thank you for doing that. That goes way back too. Thank you.
Bella Ortiz: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. No, I’m excited because I, I love horror. So I’m like, wait, I have never even heard of these films, so I’ll check them out. And I’ll I’ll report back.
AJ: Yeah. In 2019 was one of my first years really covering movies for a website. So I’m pretty like, oh, cool.
Bella Ortiz: Congratulations. That’s awesome.
AJ: I’m pretty much almost watched 500 movies that year, so I wow. Go through
Bella Ortiz: Really. So then you really did your research, so I can’t wait to check those out.
AJ: All right. Well thank you so much.
Bella Ortiz: Yeah, no, thank you, AJ. Bye.