UP CLOSE WITH AIMEE CARRERO

Aimee Carrero is making her way to the top of the Hollywood ladder one juicy role at a time. The brunette stunner is making an impact on the hit FREEFORM show, Young & Hungry. Also starring in Disney’s Elena of Avalor, there is no slowing down for this talented artist.

Aimee 2 Jared Kocka photography

HYDROGEN MAGAZINE: Where does your story begin? Where do you call home?

AIMEE CARRERO: I was raised in Miami, FL, a wonderfully colorful, musical, humid place to grow up. The coffee is sweet, the people are warm, and English is often the second language.

HM: When did acting become the path for you?

AC: I don’t really remember a time when I didn’t want to be performing in some capacity. I got serious about it in high school; I joined the drama club and performed in local theaters in the summers.

HM: Who were some of the performers that influenced you growing up?

AC: I’ve been always drawn to actors who are fearless in taking on challenging roles. There’s nothing like watching an actor who has rid themselves of vanity and ego. I can’t imagine Meryl Streep ever fighting for more lashes on set. I’m sure Lucille Ball never worried about looking sexy; she was too busy being interesting.

HM: How do you deal with the competitive nature of the industry you have jumped into?

AC: Its not easy, but you learn to tune those people out. The only person you have to be competitive with is yourself. The idea that someone is going to take your place is a useless one. It only distracts you from doing your own work.

HM: First acting gig…

AC: Ever? I played a statue in The Actor’s Playhouse production of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. In LA? I played “Emily” in Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel.

HM: You had a pivotal arc on FX’s hit series, THE AMERICANS. You played South American Freedom Fighter, Lucia. Tell me about that role…

AC: Playing Lucia was a dream! I majored in International Relations and traveled to Nicaragua in college and met (Sandinista) women like Lucia. So, to play a version of someone I had met years before, was a welcomed challenge.

HM: What was the experience like working with Keri Russell?

AC: Keri is the best: positive, upbeat, and really generous with her talent. She is always willing to rehearse and often gives more energy on your takes than her own. Her house was broken into while we were shooting and even then, she had the most amazing attitude about it. She’s really easy-going; I’m very lucky to have worked with her.

HM: Let’s talk about your FREEFORM show, Young & Hungry, which is going into its fifth season. The show follows a rich, young tech entrepreneur who hires a feisty blogger to be his personal chef. How did the role of Sofia Rodriguez come your way?

AC: I actually auditioned for Young and Hungry and The Americans on the same day! I was at a callback for Young and Hungry when I got a call from my agent about taping an audition for a show that shot in New York. I got the call about booking both jobs within 30 minutes of one another. My manager’s assistant sent me a text saying “it’s a good day to be Aimee Carrero.” It really was!

HM: Sofia is an ambitious and witty go-getter, determined to be more than a coffee-runner for the senior partners at her firm. Tell me about her and your approach to playing her…

AC: Sofia is the combination of different people in my life. She has the feistiness of my mother, the realist approach of my childhood best friend, and the wide-eyed vulnerability of an old roommate. As time goes on, the writers write to an actor’s natural cadence and comedy strengths, so I think Sofia is probably closer to me than I want to believe!

HM: You are also returning for season 2 of Disney’s Elena of Avalor, voicing the title character, Princess Elena. What makes the princess tick? Tell me about her…

AC: Elena is always doing what she believes is right and tries to learn from her mistakes (there are many). She dispels the myth that princesses are perfect. She is incredibly close to her family and they inform a lot of who she is and why does what she does. My favorite thing about her story is that it is a lesson in leadership. Elena learns that leadership has very little to do with power and a lot to do with sacrifice. If only some of our politicians understood that!

HM: Let’s talk fashion. Who are some of the designers you are into right now?

AC: If I could afford it, I’d buy everything Gucci has made in the last few seasons and never take it off. I also love beautifully tailored suits (ahem, Dolce & Gabbana). If I could wear a suit every day, I would. LA has been unseasonably cold and wet this winter and so I’ve been wearing a lot of coats. My favorite one at the moment is a lilac cocoon wool coat by Carven (say that out loud ten times fast).

HM: How would you describe your personal style?

AC: I’ve always been really inspired by 70’s glam fashion. Plunging necklines, wide leg jeans, jumpsuits. I wore a white beaded jumpsuit with feathers at my wedding reception! I’m not sure if I pull it off, but I’m always going for something a little boyish but chic.

HM: If you could raid one celebrity closet, whose would it be?

AC: If I was 6ft tall? Tilda Swinton’s. I also wouldn’t mind spending a weekend in Lupita Nyongo’s closet!

HM: One fashion trend you love…

AC: I’ve been wearing a lot of high-waisted jeans and pants lately. Is that on-trend?

HM: One fashion trend you wish would die…

AC: Those long dresses where the lining stops above the knee. Essentially, it looks like you’re wearing a mini skirt with sheer fabric over it.

HM: What are some of your passions outside of acting?

AC: I love to DIY-anything. I’m pretty crafty and handy. Need something done around the house? I’m your girl. My last project was redoing our fence (my husband helped). If you look at my social media, I’ve also got a passion for expressing my political views.

HM: What does your family make of your success? What do you make of it?

AC: My family is and has always been wonderfully supportive. I’m incredibly privileged to have been born to two self-made, hard-working people who believed in the American dream. My parents worked hard so that I would have options, like choosing a career in the arts. I credit my success to my family, a little bit of grit, and an overwhelming amount of luck.

HM: What’s the master plan?

AC: The master plan is to keep working, to always choose challenging and fulfilling material. In the course of my career so far I’ve worked in theater, movies, TV, voice over, drama, comedy, sitcom, etc. The thrill of being an actor (for me) is constantly doing different things, playing different characters, in different worlds.

‘YOUNG & HUNGRY AIRS ON FREEFORM

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PHOTOGRAPHY: JARED KOCKA

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