Actress Valery Ortiz is gearing up for the third season of the critically acclaimed VH1 show, “Hit The Floor”. The series follows the life of Ahsha Hayes (Taylour Paige), a girl who joins the NBA’s Los Angeles Devil Girls cheerleading team, unaware of the treacherous and tempting world that follows.
Already well respected in the industry for being a dedicated professional as well as named one of Maxim Espanol’s 50 Most Beautiful People, Ortiz plays the role of Devil Girl, Raquel Saldana; a character with a dynamic arc of her own. The new season promises to be the best yet with more of the same drama and edge of your seat feel fans have come to expect from series creator, James LaRosa.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Ortiz about the new season of “Hit The Floor” and more in this exclusive interview.
James Wood: How excited are you about the third season of “Hit The Floor” and what can fans expect?
Valery Ortiz: The fact that the new season is now just around the corner is so exciting. Season three has a lot of arc to it. The dances are amazing; it’s sexy and has the same excitement that you already love about the show. This season you’ll learn a lot more about the characters lives and what affects them. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.
JW: What can you tell me about the developments of your character, Raquel Saldana?
VO: I can’t say much but if you remember, we left off with her almost being deported and possibly losing her son. You’ll find out more about what that means and how the relationships develop. A lot will be revealed in the first episode.
JW: What’s the chemistry like on set?
VO: Honestly, it’s just like family and is so much fun. James LaRosa is such a family guy and everyone knows so much about each other it’s like we’ve all grown up together. That sense of family has been there since day one.
JW: Did you always know acting would be your calling?
VO: I think so. My first love was dance and in the beginning, I always thought I was going to be a ballerina. My brother was the one who really guided me to be in front of the camera. Growing up, he was always playing with my parent’s video camera and he and I would always be making movies together. I feel like his influence really paved my way into performance acting and hosting.
JW: What made you decide to make the move to LA?
VO: I was actually in college in Florida during the summer before my junior year. I was filming a show that wound up getting extended until October, so I had to put my fall semester off. After I had finished my contract with the show, I decided to take a road trip to LA just for fun. I had some friends who lived out there and one of them introduced me to my current manager. She took me under her wing and I wound up staying.
JW: Do you ever see yourself getting on the other side of the camera at some point?
VO: I definitely would love to write and direct some day. I’m working on a new web series and am actually writing with some friends on a few other projects. There’s a lot for me to learn but I’m definitely leaving the door open. It’s an interesting time right now!
JW: What excites you the most about this next phase of your career?
VO: I’m excited about more opportunities. The coolest part about my journey so far has been all of the things that have happened to me that I didn’t expect and how they’ve changed my life for the better. I’m looking forward to a lot more of that!
“Hit The Floor” returns to VH1 on Monday, January 18.