SCHOOL’S OUT FOR ALANA
IT seems fitting to chat with Alana de la Garza in a classroom on location in New York for her new US drama series, Forever.
Recognisable to audiences for her intelligent roles in CSI: Miami and Law & Order, the 38-year-old did not start out studying to be an actor — rather a special needs teacher.
The world of show business and network television seemed beyond her wildest dreams.
“I grew up in a small town and I honestly didn’t think (acting) was a tangible goal.”
But she scored her first role in 2001 on soap All My Children.
de la Garza was drawn to playing “smart and strong” women. In Forever, it’s Detective Jo Martinez, a widowed police officer.
“What I love about Jo is she’s flawed and very human. She’s been through tragedy in her life which makes her vulnerable, but she’s also tough,” she says.
She is grateful to play another empowering Latina character, but says it wasn’t always that way.
“Quite a few times (casting directors) were like ‘where’s your accent?,’ ‘she’s not Latina enough?’ You kinda want to go, ‘ we’re American, we’re made up of this melting pot of people and some of us have accents and some of us don’t.”/
FOREVER, CHANNEL 9, WEDNESDAY, 8.45PM