A Q&A with Up and Coming It-Girl Sol Rodriguez

(Image Credit: Bobby Quillard)

(Image Credit: Bobby Quillard)

Sol Rodriguez is the newest star on Lifetime’s Devious Maids. We caught up with her to talk about her jump start in the entertainment world and what she’s learned along the way.

You Play Daniela Mercado in Devious Maids, can you tell us about the character?

Sol Rodriguez: Dani is a young girl that dreams of being a Hollywood Star. She comes to LA to pursue that dream and crashes with who she thinks is her cousin Carmen, who is also pursuing her dreams of being a singer and dancer. A lot of drama develops throughout the entire season, mainly when Dani discovers Carmen is actually her birth mother.

How did the role come about?

SR: I auditioned like the rest of the girls and I was blessed enough to get the role.

Can you tell us what it’s been like filming such a fun, addicting show?

SR: You said it yourself, it’s fun and addicting indeed. It was a great experience; everyone welcomed me since day one with open arms. I shot most of my scenes with Roselyn Sanchez and she was very kind to me. But as the season went on I shot with almost all the cast and every single experience was so much fun. They’re all amazing to work with, in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

You made a couple big moves in your life thus far, what has it been like to pick up and start over somewhere new?

SR: It was scary. I basically left something “secure” for something that I had no idea if it was going to work out; something unpredictable. I was working a lot in Miami, jumping from one soap to the next. But I really wanted to crossover and work in American television and film. And it has been the best decision of my life. I’m very happy.

You got your start in acting on Nickelodeon’s Grachi, what was that experience like?

SR: Best experience of my life. I got cast on that show and thrown in from of the camera basically. I learned about acting and anything related on the set of Grachi. We did 205 one hour episodes in two years. We were translated into many languages and the show aired in Latin America and Europe. We also did a musical show and toured Mexico and Argentina. Very proud of my show. It taught me a lot.

Coming from a family also in the entertainment world, how did they react when you shared the news on booking your first show?

SR: My parents cried. My dad is a musician singer/songwriter. So he knows how hard you have to work and how many sacrifices you have to make in this industry. My parents and my brother are very proud of me, and that’s all that matters to me.

You were also a part of many popular telenovelas, what was that experience like?

SR: I loved the soaps. They’re fun to shoot; a little stressful because they’re a lot of work. You would shoot 20-30 scenes in one day, driving from one location to another, crying in one scene at a funeral and then shooting a dance routine with your friends and then maybe having a hot scene with your love interest. All in only one day; it’s fun stuff!

You originally wanted to pursue a different path before acting, what was it about that first audition that changed your mind?

SR: I was studying tourism in college. I wasn’t very sure about it though. When I did my first audition, which was Grachi for Nickelodeon, I just had so much fun. To me, it wasn’t work being on set, and I felt so blessed to call that my “work.”  I lost a lot of friends because you have no time for anything or anyone, I missed a lot of stuff, but I had never felt happier in my life, and that’s when I knew I wanted to do this forever.

Where can we see you next?

SR: We’re all crossing fingers for Devious Maids Season 5!

When you’re not busy with your career, what do you like to do?

SR: I like to be home a lot, I watch a lot of Netflix and Hulu and lots of movies. I like hanging out with my friends.

We like to finish all of our interviews with a quick fire round of quirky questions:

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: I don’t like ice cream

Current Beauty Obsession: Highlighting

Current Binge Watching Show: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Favorite Snack Food: Cheese and crackers

If you could live anywhere in the world: Guatemala

If you weren’t an actor you’d be: Working at a bed and breakfast in some island

We’d be surprised to know that you: I can touch my nose with my tongue

Currently listening to on repeat: Kiss and say Goodbye by The Manhattans

Childhood Celebrity Crush: Nick Carter

Latest read: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

You’ve always wanted to try/do/learn: So many things: play soccer, dance flamenco, play the harmonic, learn how to cook, learn Portuguese, have my own charity, Scuba, learn piano


Catch Devious Maids on Lifetime, Mondays at 9pm ET. For More on Sol Rodriguez, follow her on Twitter .


An Interview with ‘Autofocus’ Author Lauren Gibaldi

Lauren Gibaldi (Image Credit: KV Photography)

Lauren Gibaldi (Image Credit: KV Photography)

I read Lauren Gibaldi’s debut novel, The Night We Said Yes, earlier this year and I couldn’t put it down. A YA novel about young love lost and found and it was exactly what I needed. Lauren’s next YA novel, Autofocus, comes out this summer and I can’t wait to pick it up.


Lauren Gibaldi (Image Credit: KV Photography)

Pulled from Goodreads, the brief synopsis sums it up without giving too much away:

It’s always been a loaded word for Maude. And when she is given a senior photography assignment—to create a portfolio that shows the meaning of family—she doesn’t quite know where to begin. But she knows one thing: without the story of her birth mother, who died when Maude was born, her project will be incomplete.

So Maude decides to visit her best friend, Treena, at college in Tallahassee, Florida, where Maude’s birth mother once lived. But when Maude arrives, she quickly discovers that Treena has changed. With a new boyfriend and a packed social calendar, Treena doesn’t seem to have time for Maude—or helping Maude in her search.

Enter Bennett, a cute guy who lives in Treena’s dorm. He understands Maude’s need to find her mother. And as Bennett helps Maude in her search, she starts to find that her mother’s past doesn’t have to define her own future.

Lauren was kind enough to answer a few questions about her new book, her life as an author, and what’s next:


What inspired you to start writing?

Lauren Gibaldi: I’ve kept a journal since I was in 4th grade, so I kind of always wrote. (Obviously it wasn’t very interesting back then; I mostly wrote about how annoying my younger brother was.) I’d write short stories as a kid, mostly putting myself in Grave Danger where I’d have to leave the haunted forest or something. They lasted for about two paragraphs. I stopped writing for fun, and more for school, and ended up majoring in English in college. I wrote articles for newspapers and magazines and eventually wanted to try fiction again. And quickly I learned, for me at least, that fiction is way more fun!


Tell us a little bit about your next book, Autofocus.

LG: When Maude is given a school photography assignment to capture what it means to be “family,” she decides to search for information on her deceased birth mother, whom she’s never known. She goes to Tallahassee, Florida, where she was born, and stays with her best friend Treena. While there, she learns more about her mom (and her best friend’s new social life) and wonders if who we are is determined at birth, or if we can change as we grow.

Autofocus by Lauren Gibaldi

Autofocus by Lauren Gibaldi

Do you write characters based on anyone you know?

LG: Nope, everyone is fictional, though there are bits and pieces of my real life I thrown in. For instance, I went to college in Tallahassee, so many of the landmarks are places I enjoyed. In my first book, The Night We Said Yes, the guys in the band The Pepperpots are fictional, but I stole the name from my friends’ high school band. It’s a little shout out to them. They came to my release party to celebrate, too!


Have any of them been based on you? Would you base a character on yourself?

LG: Nope, but I think there’s part of me in the characters. Ella in The Night We Said Yes is very much like me, but she’s not based on me. We have some similar perceptions on friendship; on standing out. In Autofocus, Maude and I are different, but I can still find pieces of myself in her.


Would you ever write a series?

LG: I don’t know about a series, but I’d be happy doing a related story. After The Night We Said Yes came out, I wrote Matt’s Story, a novella told from the main guy’s point of view. I loved re-visiting the characters in a new way. Honestly, if I could write an entire book about Jake, I would. That said, I wouldn’t want to do a sequel to TNWSY. Ella’s story is done there. So I’ll never say never! But right now I like doing stand-alone books.


Who is your favorite author? Or multiple if you can’t choose?

LG: Aside from being a writer, I’m a librarian, so this is a very hard question! Let’s go by categories. In picture books, I (and my daughter) love Mo Willems, Dan Santat, and Tammi Sauer. In middle grade, I adore Rebecca Stead (her newest book is fantastic), Lois Lowry (my childhood favorite!), and of course JK Rowling. In adult fiction, I enjoy Nick Hornby, Nicole Krauss, Lauren Groff, Curtis Sittenfeld, and J Courtney Sullivan. Also David Sedaris. In classics, F Scott Fitzgerald and Charlotte Bronte. And in YA, EVERYONE. I can’t choose favorites. They’re all fantastic. (My writer heroes are Sarah Dessen, Stephanie Perkins, and Stephen Chbosky.)


What was the last book you were really obsessed with and couldn’t put down?

LG: I have a toddler, so I don’t read much (sad!). I read The Rosie Project for my library’s book club, and really enjoyed it. And Outrun the Moon, a YA novel about the San Francisco earthquake and a girl left in the wake, is tremendously good.


Follow Lauren on and make sure to check out The Night We Said Yes and pick up Autofocus when it hits shelves June 14th.

An Exclusive Interview with ‘Donny!’ star and comedian Emily Tarver

Emily Tarver, an actor/comedian who has studied improv firsthand from the greats – Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers, and Rachel Dratch, to name a few, is getting ready to premiere her latest role in Donny!, a new USA comedy series. She has starred in television, commercials,and is an Upright Citizens Brigade comedian. So, would you believe me if I told you just a few years ago she was working in NYC as a social worker?

Let’s take it back.

Emily Tarver has always wanted to get into comedy and acting but, like so many of us, thought her dreams were out of reach.

“I always wanted to, in the back of my mind,” Tarver explained of a career in comedy, “but I thought it was ridiculous and impossible!”

You see, she was studying Spanish and Psychology at the University of Texas when, during her senior year, she decided to take an improve class.

“I thought, oh my gosh, improv! That’s the thing I’ve been doing my whole life and never knew it,” she spoke of the experience.

After taking her very first improv class, Tarver knew what she was meant to be doing and set out to create her new life. “I was like, thanks for putting me through college Mom and Dad, but…. I’ve got a new plan!”

Tarver then moved to NYC in 2004 and began taking classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade, a theatre for improvisational comedy and sketch comedy. “I took like 25 classes at UCB, I wasn’t sure that I was going to be an actor, I just really wanted to study comedy,” Tarver said. “I studied and interned at UCB. I worked every Sunday night on a show called Asscat. I worked the door and was able to interact with all of the greatest improvisers – Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers, Rachel Dratch and Horatio Sanz—I watched those people every Sunday night for 4 years, that was the best part of my experience. I got to watch the best people do it.”

Meanwhile, Tarver was using her degree and working as a social worker for children with developmental delays until she got turned to acting. She started booking commercials and continued to study at UCB. She also sang in a folk comedy band called Summer and Eve, that performed live for about 5 years in NYC.

When asked who has been a role model or an inspiration to her career, Tarver named a couple of the best female improvisers and comedians to ever exist but she said one has been like an older sister to her.

“Amy Poehler – I love her, I have always loved her. I got so psyched to come to New York to train at her theatre and I’ve kind of known her since I got there. She has been really wonderful and always very kind to me. She’s like my older sister, but she doesn’t know it.”

Tarver has always been a fan of comedic greats. She explained that she was the kid that would stay up till 3 a.m. watching Nick at Nite and then be so tired for school the next day.“I’ve always been a fan of the greats. Dick Van Dyke, I Love Lucy—I actually went to Lucy Fest this year!” Tarver laughed. “I’ve also been binge watching all of Kristen Wigs’ movies on Netflix. She’s so effortlessly funny and dramatic, I’ve gotten to watch people like her for so long at UCB and just absorbs their greatness”

The binge watching, admiration, and studying is definitely paying off. Tarver is well on her way to living her dream of a career in comedy. She offers this advice to anyone looking to do the same.

“Always be creating—create your own thing. Create a comedy blog, have a weird Instagram, don’t wait for someone to pick you for their team, make your own team. “

Tarver plays Pam in the new USA comedy series, Donny!, who happens to be Donny Deutsch’s executive producer in a show that is a satire on his life.

“It’s a show within a show. Donny has his own ‘Dr. Phil’ type show that tackles issues like the dangers of sexting. I’m the person that tries to keep him in line—I love him, but he sure makes my life hard.” Tarver explained of the new series.

With a cast and storyline like this, it’s definitely on our must watch list.

Before we wrapped up our interview with Tarver, we asked her some rapid fire, random questions to get to know her a little more personally. You’re welcome.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Salted Caramel

Last Song Listened to: Your Love is King by Sade

Favorite Holiday: Halloween

Celebrity Crush when you were a kid: Edward Furlong

Guilty Pleasure TV Show: Million-Dollar Listing

Afraid of: Becoming really fat

Favorite Snack to binge eat: Doritos Nacho Cheese

You’d Freak out if you ever met: Gwen Stefani

Donny! premieres on USA Network on Nov. 10 at 10:30 p.m. To keep up with Emily Tarver follow her on and .

An Interview with ‘Revolution of Ivy’ Author Amy Engel

EI 001

The Revolution of Ivy author Amy Engel is a TDQ favorite, and we were thrilled to have the chance to ask her a few questions about completing The Book of Ivy duet and what she has coming up next. The Revolution of Ivy is available now, so if you’re itching to find out what is on the other side of Westfall’s fence, be sure to pick up a copy…and keep reading for our interview with Amy! Continue reading

An Interview with ’10 Days in a Madhouse’ Actress Caroline Barry

CarolineBerryBannerAfter talking with actress Caroline Barry, it’s no surprise that she was a perfect fit for the role of iconic journalist Nellie Bly in the film 10 Days In A Madhouse: The Nellie Bly Story. Barry’s enthusiasm about acting and the role she plays could only be rivaled by her ability to take a great story on the surface and make it exceptional by imparting her passion for telling it. But much like Bly, there is more than meets the eye with Barry – like her passion for martial arts and her love of working with children.

The Daily Quirk had the opportunity to sit down with Barry and discuss her upcoming film, some of her hobbies and what advice she would give to budding journalists after living the life of Nellie Bly. Read the full interview below.


The Daily Quirk: I noticed you have done a lot of theater performances. Is that what it was that made you decide to start acting, or were you always in tune with acting as a career choice?

Caroline Barry: I started acting when I was really, really young. I started performing in my parents’ living room when I started talking [laughs]. My first play was when I was five and I was just in love with it. I was just a shy kid and I didn’t really like talking very much, especially not to adults, and so plays were a great way for me to have a script and to get to talk and express myself. I loved it and I kept doing it and thought, well I might be kind of good at this, and I had done it for so long that it was never a question if I wanted to do it when I grew up, I just assumed [laughs]. I never really had many other things I wanted to do. I maybe wanted to be an architect at one point but then I was like, why would I want to be an architect when I could be an actor? [laughs] So yeah, I’ve always loved it and it always came naturally and I wanted it to be come a career.


TDQ: I know you’ve been working on a film called 10 Days In A Madhouse, which is the story of journalist Nellie Bly, so can you tell us a little bit about the film?

CB: Yeah, of course! So 10 Days In A Madhouse is the story of Nellie Bly, who was the first undercover reporter and she went undercover into an insane asylum in 1887 on Blackwell’s Island, which is in New York. That was one of her first assignments for Joseph Pulitzer, who we all know for the Pulitzer Prize, so she went in to him and said “I want to write for you, I’ll do anything.” And he said “Okay, go into this asylum.” [laughs] And she’s fearless. She went in and didn’t even hesitate and risked everything. She went in to find out what was happening to these women in Blackwell’s.


TDQ: And you actually play Nellie Bly, so can you tell us a little more about that character and the journey you took with her?

CB: Well, when I first got the audition I had never heard of Nellie Bly. I had done a lot of history classes and writing classes but I had never heard of her. So once I started researching her I was stunned that she wasn’t a household name. She was incredibly approachful [sic] in not only in journalism, but the strides that she made for all the things that she reported on. From mental illness to poverty to women’s rights, she was extremely influential in all of those. She even invented the 55-gallon oil drum, which is still used today in the oil industry, which is incredible. So what I really loved about her is that she is an absolute optimist, she was always smiling – she smiled through everything; that was her armor and I really loved that about her. She really saw the best in people, and was very compassionate, and always wrote about people that didn’t have a voice. So I really, really connected with that and was beyond thrilled that when I got the role that I got to portray that. She really became my hero.


TDQ: What was it about this movie and this character that stood out to you and made you want to take part in the project?

CB: Well first I think Nellie Bly being such an interesting, complex and fearless character who was such a role model for everyone is something that I think stood out to me. Also, 10 Days In A Madhouse, the women that went through this… Reading Nellie Bly’s book 10 Days In A Madhouse was a really difficult book. Once I talked to the director, Timothy Hines, he was really passionate about making this movie; about honoring the women in Blackwell’s as well as Nellie Bly, and really telling it through their eyes. So once I talked to him about that I was dedicated and committed to the movie and I was so excited. Nellie Bly, the director and the approach to her story is what made me want to do this.


TDQ: Were there any moments on set that stood out to you as being particularly fun or exciting or even grueling to film?

CB: Oh, yeah, which one? [laughs] There were so many! We shot in Salem, Oregon in an abandoned insane asylum, and there was no electricity so we had to use generators; it was freezing cold and it was 10 degrees on average. There were shots where you couldn’t see us but you’d just see the breath, so that was exciting and grueling but it really brought everyone together at the same time. It was kind of like being in a weird summer camp except it was freezing and you were in an abandoned insane asylum [laughs]. But it was really cool. In between takes you got to go exploring around all of it because they cleaned out part of the building, but the rest of it was still totally abandoned and [had] stuff hanging from the ceiling. Everything was broken and it was really haunting so that was a cool behind the scenes thing.


TDQ: This film is based on true events that actually happened, and now that you’ve played this role and lived that life, what kind of advice would you give to budding journalists about doing what Nellie Bly did?

CB: I think what really makes Nellie Bly standout, especially in journalism, is that she was absolutely passionate about every story that she told. She really got to know the people in her stories and her articles. She really, really made a personal connection with them and I think that’s not something you generally see because journalists try to keep it objective. Nellie Bly cared about the objective but also knew that there was an emotional side that if she connected with the person emotionally she could get to another level with those people and really find out the core truth of what was going on. So I think that’s the advice she would give.


TDQ: If you had to give three words to describe this movie to make people want to come to see it – as if the story itself wasn’t already enough – what words would you choose?

CB: Oh, oh words! [laughs] Oh I need a thesaurus… I would say… Gosh, I’m being really picky about my words because I think the movie is just… It’s enthralling, it’s inspiring and it’s moving. I think that’s the main word I would use. It’s moving.


TDQ: You are also working on a film called Battleborn, which is currently in post-production. Can you tell us a little more about the film and your character Eva Streed as well?

CB: Oh, yeah! So, that film is about a girl who is…she’s struggling with, well, her brother is a politician and she finds out that she is pregnant. So she and her brother have to go through his public life and her private life and that clash[es]. It’s a really great drama and I’m really excited about it.


TDQ: Other than 10 Days and Battleborn, do you have any other upcoming projects you can tell us about?

CB: Yeah! Timothy Hine is the director of 10 Days In A Madhouse and he and I are actually collaborating on a second movie that I’m really excited about. I don’t have too many details I can share right now, but I’m really, really excited to work with him again.


TDQ: What other hobbies do you have and what do you like to do in your spare time?

CB: When I’m not acting I love the outdoors. I’m from Colorado so I love being outside and hiking. I also love working with kids and I’ve done a lot of anti-bullying workshops with kids, and right now in my free time I teach kids martial arts. So I teach kids karate when I can. I think kids are so inspiring and refreshing and yeah, I just really love it.


TDQ: Well this actually is a perfect segue for our last question because here at The Daily Quirk we like to always end with something quirky, so what are three things people would never know about you just by looking at you? For example, that you teach karate to kids?

CB: That I have a black belt, a lot of people don’t expect that [laughs]. And I’m a pretty good skier. Growing up in Colorado my dad always told me that was a requirement [laughs].


The Daily Quirk would like to thank Caroline Barry for taking the time to talk with us. 10 Days In A Madhouse premieres first New York on November 11 and then nationwide on November 20. For more information on the movie and to buy tickets, you can visit the 10 Days In A Madhouse website.

VIDEO: Author Cassandra Clare and Producer McG talk ‘Shadowhunters’!

Cassandra Clare and McG for SHADOWHUNTERS (Image Credit: Bryan Caputo/The Daily Quirk)

Cassandra Clare and McG for SHADOWHUNTERS (Image Credit: Bryan Caputo/The Daily Quirk)

The Daily Quirk caught up with The Mortal Instruments Author Cassandra Clare and Shadowhunters Producer McG at this year’s New York City Comic-Con and we’re bringing you an exclusive interview! Shadowhunters, based on the best-selling book series by Clare, follows Clary Fray (Katherine McNamara) as she discovers she is not who she thinks she is after crossing paths with a mysterious “shadowhunter” named Jace (Dominic Sherwood). Watch the the video below to find out what attracted McG to the project, and what fans can expect when show premieres on ABC Family in January 2016! Continue reading

VIDEO: Showrunner Ed Decter and Isaiah Mustafa talk ‘Shadowhunters’!

Showrunner Ed Decter and Isaiah Mustafa for SHADOWHUNTERS (Image Credit: Bryan Caputo/The Daily Quirk)

Showrunner Ed Decter and Isaiah Mustafa for SHADOWHUNTERS (Image Credit: Bryan Caputo/The Daily Quirk)

The Daily Quirk caught up with Shadowhunters star Isaiah Mustafa and shrowrunner Ed Decter at this year’s New York City Comic-Con and we’re bringing you an exclusive interview! Shadowhunters, based on the best-selling book series by Cassandra Clare, follows Clary Fray (Katherine McNamara) as she discovers she is not who she thinks she is after crossing paths with a mysterious “shadowhunter” named Jace (Dominic Sherwood). Continue reading

An Exclusive Interview with ‘Devious Maids’ star Brianna Brown

(Image Credit: RB Photography)

(Image Credit: RB Photography)

If you think about it, actors get to portray anything they want. They could be a doctor, a zoologist, teacher or a wrestler throughout their life. Granted, these aren’t their real professions but it’s cool to play the part for a little bit, isn’t it? You get to know what it’s like to be in a certain career without calling it your real profession. Sounds pretty cool, right? Continue reading

An Interview with Jewelry Designer Jane Basch

An Interview with Jewelry Designer Jane Basch

In the midst of the craze and bustle that was New York Fashion Week 2014, Jane Basch stood gracefully beside her showcase of beautifully designed jewelry, doing what she does best—making it personal. She connected with each and every guest at the event, making you really feel the bright energy that is Jane Basch Jewelry Designs, her brand of precious, personalized jewelry. Continue reading

An Exclusive Interview with Actress and Singer Alina Aliluykina

Alina Aliluykina (Image Credit: Isaac Sterling)

Alina Aliluykina (Image Credit: Isaac Sterling)

Seeing musicians collaborate is nothing new but lately we’ve been seeing two completely different genres join forces on more than one occasion. We think it’s awesome, of course. One friendship/collaboration we ship is Fall Out Boy and Steve Aoki when they came together to create the track “Back To Earth” which is featured on Aoki’s latest album Neon Future I. Now to accompany that track is a brand new music video that just released in mid-August. Continue reading

VIDEO: Michael Rosenbaum discusses playing Buddy Dobbs in ‘Impastor’

(Image Credit: The Daily Quirk / John Michael Dangan)

(Image Credit: The Daily Quirk / John Michael Dangan)

Michael Rosenbaum recently chatted with The Daily Quirk at San Diego Comic-Con about his role in TV Land’s new hit show, Impastor, and we’re bringing you the inside info. Find out what Rosenbaum had to say about his quirky new role, how it came about and how Buddy Dobbs is completely different than when he played Lex Luthor in Smallville! Continue reading