Mexican American Actress Paola Tonini is what you call a quadruple threat - Commercial, Actor, Model, TV Host and Producer. This charming "Girl Next Door" is known for her talent both in front of the camera and behind the lens, as well as her upbeat and charismatic personality. This young talented latina is not just beauty but also has the brains. Paola graduated from Weist Barron Acting School in NY. She finished shooting her first feature film “The Hardest Love” in 2013, where she held the leading role of “Melissa”. This film became the official selection of The Manhattan Film Festival.
Most recently she can be seen on the “Fidelis Care” National Commercial and Virgin Mobile’s “Assurance Wireless” national commercial. Her most recent project, she is not only producing, but she is also in a leading part on the Comedy film “Venus De Macho” by renowned Director Danny Hastings. Having been cast as a lead character on several television series including BIO’s Channel’s “Watching the Detectives”, Paola has also appeared in several popular music videos, Comedy skits for MTV3’s, Commercial campaigns for the very popular show “Bridezillaz” on WE TV, “Rate My Space” on HGTV Network, Commercial for Heineken Italy, Subway restaurants to name a few. Latin Times interviewed Paola and ask her how she break into acting and her most recent project 'The Hardest Love'.
Latin Times: Let’s get to know Paola Tonini a little better. What inspired you to get into acting?
Paola Tonini: From a young age I have had a love affair with acting. I participated in numerous plays and talents shows while in primary and middle school. I enjoyed the thrill of performing. I, however, did not think at a young age that I would become a professional actor. Shortly after moving to New York City from Mexico, I decided to pursue this as a career. After attending acting school to hone my skills, I landed my first leading role in a television drama series on the Biography channel called "Watching the Detectives". I was hooked. Afterwards, I jumped into some comedy in a comedy sketch for MTV3's and a few other projects, prompting me to seek representation by a talent agency. The core of my career thus far has been centered on commercials both in Spanish and English. Working for world renowned companies by representing their brands. I currently have two Spanish National commercials airing on National Television.
LT: How many films have you worked on?
PT: I recently landed the leading role of "Melissa" female lead in the independent movie "The Hardest Love" that won the People's Choice Award at "The International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival". This is my only film for the moment but I am working on a few TV projects that are currently in production and will be pitched. I am still in search of my breakout role and actively open to new acting projects.
LT: How did the opportunity to have a leading role in 'The Hardest Love' come about and tell us about your character?
PT: I was informed of the role by a friend of mine, Frankie Ramos whom I starred along him in "The Hardest Love". We have worked together in the past. So I went through the auditioning process like everyone else with the director Henry Roa and I landed the role. "Melissa" is an angel. Every time she comes on screen you just can't help but to love her. She's a character who loves too much.
LT: Did you face any challenges during the production of this film?
PT: Nothing unexpected when working in an independent project. I guess time was the main challenge, we filmed mostly over the weekends. It took a while to film. My personal challenge was to understand "Melissa", she is the opposite of me and had to face situations I have never experienced. Such as her boyfriend having another woman. I had to leave behind all judgment and understand her reasons and really embody her and her feelings. Overall it was a great experience, and I am happy for all the accolades it has received in the last two film festivals it has been featured in.
LT: What would you like to accomplish in your acting career?
PT: I would like to have a career that spans my lifetime in all genre of cinematography. I enjoy my craft and I don't consider it work. I would like to accomplish notary as an actress not in effort to gain fame or fortune but to lend my name to charitable causes near and dear to me. I am a philanthropist, a humanitarian. With or without fame I already do what I do. I personally admire Angelina Jolie for leveraging her fame for important causes. We always say if the world was different.... well, I propose starting the change within ourselves!
LT:What is your favorite Christmas holiday tradition in Mexico?
PT: I love the Christmas Posadas in Mexico! Where people sing Christmas Carols for nine days. A Reenactment of the journey Joseph and Mary had. Each night the Carolers visit a different house and the owner of the house gives food, drinks and at the end of the night a piñata for the kids to break. Symbolizing how complete strangers sheltered and fed Joseph and Mary. The last night is the celebration of Jesus Birth. Very beautiful full of tradition and love. Brings the community together.