Golf or red carpets? Maria Mesa takes a swing at Hollywood

Maria Mesa, 20, is starring in "The Dead Men."

Maria Mesa, 20, is starring in “The Dead Men.”

With her incredible talent and distinctive Spanish accent, it’s hard not to love Maria Mesa.

The 20-year-old actress from Columbia is a new girl in the United States, having moved to Los Angeles after high school to pursue her entertainment career. In that short time, Maria has done exceptionally well facing the toughest obstacles of everyday Hollywood. Soon, in fact, she’ll be making her big-screen debut opposite Jackson Rathbone and Diego Boneta in “The Dead Men.”

LSY! recently spoke with Maria, who actually also considered a career as a professional golfer, about her love for acting, her family back home, and her determination to climb the Hollywood ladder, one step at a time.

Here’s an edited version of our conversation.

— Laura Bierbrauer, LSY! teen reporter, Mount St. Mary Academy 

Since you’ve become an actress, what is the most difficult challenge you’ve had to face?

Maria: I would say my accent.  I’ve been taking classes but there are some roles where they need a Latina.  But even though I’m taking classes I still have an accent. It’s the hardest thing for me right now.

What’s something about this business that people don’t know until they’re in it?

Maria: I would say anxiety.  There’s a lot of anxiety — and being ambitious.

Maria Mesa considered a career in golf but opted for Hollywood instead.

Maria Mesa considered a career in golf but opted for Hollywood instead.

How do you handle that?

Maria: I’m learning.  I’ve been having a lot of anxiety because after I finished the movie I booked at national commercial and I feel like I want more and more.  I want to get out there but it’s not easy.  So I have to be relaxed, have faith, and hang in there!

What motivated you to follow your dream?

Maria: My dad.  He always encouraged me to follow my heart and do what I love.  He always inspired me.  His reaction to me becoming an actress was, “Yes!”  There’s not much acting in Columbia, and in my family it’s all business, so when I told them I wanted to be an actress they didn’t hesitate when saying yes.  They’ve helped me a lot and they’ve been so supportive.  My dad’s a great inspiration and I thank him for supporting me.

What are the biggest misconceptions people have about your life?

Maria: They think being in America is easy.  They think that just because you’re pretty and get roles and have connections that it’s easy.  They think that it’s all about being pretty.

How different is life in the United States compared to Columbia?

Maria: Its way different.  I’m not 21, so in Columbia its way better at parties, and it’s more flexible.  It seems like everything and everyone is more organized here.  Some things are better in Columbia, but others are better in the United States.  I also feel like it’s very lonely here.  I’ve made friends, but in Columbia it seemed like people were always getting together.  Here you’re either working or studying, so you’re by yourself.

Has anything stopped you from achieving your goals?

Maria: Some people in Columbia have. I think it’s jealously.  But here, not at all.  I’ve been surrounded by actors who really want this and support each other.

Do you think there are similarities of professional golfing and being in Hollywood?

Maria: Yes, I’d say patience and practice.  For golf you would hit golf balls every day, but for acting you would have to continue going to classes.  You would have to really focus and try your hardest to achieve your goals.

Jordann Luce contributed to this interview.

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