This interview is going to press the day actress Paula Marcenaro Solinger is scheduled to arrive back in the US from Buenos Aires, where she was visiting via Columbia, where she was on location to shoot a film entitled Where Evil Dwells. Unfortunately, evil dwelled (as she put it) on the set and production was shut down. However, that setback will definitely not put Paula at a standstill. Since moving to the US from her native Argentina in 2011, Paula has landed roles in several independent films. A couple of the more promising ones, that are currently in the early stages of production, are Diana Bigham’s Till Death, and Abel Berry’s Blood Sombrero, the latter of which is described as “a trigger happy kill fest of blood lust and chrome vengeance.”
Even though Paula is now completely focused on her film career, her true passion is stage, where she has an extensive background, beginning when she joined the drama club in elementary school.
Besides acting, Paula is also an accomplished painter and has been an avid hard rock fan since she was a child, growing up listening to the likes of Pink Floyd, Aerosmith, and Kiss. In fact, she’s since met many of her musical idols and currently has very good connections for Skid Row concert tickets. Above photo by Toia Islas.
CHRIS CHARLES: Thanks for doing this Paula! As you know, I did an interview a few weeks ago with your friend and colleague Amanda Marie.
PAULA MARCENARO SOLINGER: Thank YOU for having me on your site! I really enjoyed Amanda’s interview, by the way. I could definitely tell you take your time researching who you are interviewing and I really appreciate that.
CHRIS: Well, thank you. I always do research on all the ladies I interview and try not to ask the usual “generic” question. So, I know you an Amanda were recently in Columbia to shoot scenes for Where Evil Dwells and slated to be there for two weeks, but that trip was cut short. Why was that?
PAULA: “Evil” really dwelled on that set!! We had a series of unfortunate events from having to do some re-writings in the script to battling with humidity and rain. A week after we all arrived we were way behind schedule and after a conversation with the producer, it was decided to shut production.
CHRIS: You were born and raised in Argentina, so I assume your family’s still there?
PAULA: That’s correct. I was imported to the USA by my husband, but all my family still lives in Buenos Aires.
CHRIS: I also understand that you have a degree in graphic design from the University of Buenos Aires?
PAULA: Actually, not quite. I studied three years of graphic design and during my winter holidays, from July to August, in Argentina. I decided to take a trip to Los Angeles to do a few acting workshops. Long story short, one day I called my parents to let them know that I had changed my plane tickets and I was not coming home just now. I also kindly told them to save their anger as there is not much they could do about it when you they were over 6000 miles away. By the time I came back, I obviously missed a few classes which meant I basically lost that whole year in college. Being as it is a pretty expensive career, and me being broke after my trip, I wondered what I could do that didn’t mean investing as much money, so I signed in to study English translation. That degree, technical-scientific and literary translator, is the one I dearly hold in some random drawer and the one I’d like to refer to as my “Plan B.”
CHRIS: So, after acting you got into modeling. What was your first professional modeling gig?
PAULA: I started acting and only started doing modeling, commercial and print work many years after in order to make some money and be “seen.” I believe my first modeling gig was as a hair model for a very famous hairdresser in Argentina for their live and TV show.
CHRIS: You acted on stage quite a bit in Argentina, and I’ve read where you’ve said the stage is your first love. Have you done any stage plays in the US?
PAULA: Not yet. I would love to return to the stage but at this particular moment I feel like I want to give my full attention to the camera.
CHRIS: Do you think someday you’d like to return to the stage?
PAULA: I know I will return at some stage because I am passionate about stage work, but, like I said before, I am fully concentrated on TV and film work right now.
CHRIS: What was the last project you did in Argentina before moving to the US?
PAULA: I was doing a few things at the same time. Probably the major play I worked in before moving was Much Ado about Nothing and a pilot for a sitcom called Closed Cases.
CHRIS: You’re cast in three films that are currently in pre production; The Prodigal, The Deadliest Gun, and Till Death. Which will you be working on first?
PAULA:Till Death is currently in production so as soon as I get back to the US I will give them a call and let them know I am ready to rumble. The Deadliest Gun, if I am not mistaken, will start production around April and later in 2014, The Prodigal. I will also start Act 2 of the TV show Wisp sometime around February or March.
CHRIS: I see you’re also cast in Blood Sombrero, which isn’t on your IMDb. Is that one also currently in production?
PAULA: YES! We shot just a teaser sometime this year and are starting full production in January. I am actually super excited about this project. My character, Josephine, is a katana expert so there’s gonna be a lot of training and fight choreography in my future. I had a great time shooting the teaser so I am certainly looking forward to seeing these amazing cast and crew again!
CHRIS: Who have been some of your favorite people to work with in the US, on either side of the camera?
PAULA: I have honestly been super lucky and have met a lot of amazing professionals and great people here in the US. Everyone has been incredibly helpful.
CHRIS: Like a lot of indie film actresses I’ve interviewed, you’ve done many horror films. Is horror your favorite genre?
PAULA: I should probably say yes, but no. I actually barely watched horror films before I started acting in them. The honest answer is, making horror films is a lot of fun. All the special effects, blood, etc… it’s a blast! I died so many times and in such different ways I am seriously thinking of putting a “dying reel” together!
CHRIS: My interview questions don’t usually include ones about spouses, but you’re married to the current lead singer for Skid Row, so you’ve met and have been around a lot of big names in rock. Were you a rocker chick long before you came to live in the US?
PAULA: Yes and I still am! I grew up listening to rock, hard rock, and heavy metal. The first album I’ve ever listened to was (Pink Floyd’s) The Dark Side of the Moon when I was about six, because I liked the cover and asked my dad if I could listen to it. By the time I was ten I was already listening to Aerosmith, Kiss, Alice Cooper, etc.
CHRIS: Well, we definitely have similar tastes in music. Do you also sing or play an instrument?
PAULA: I did play piano and saxophone many years ago but I don’t play anything anymore. I do sing for fun, but it’s one of those things that I know is not my “thing” so I can be pretty shy when it comes to singing. Having a husband that sings for a living is not exactly a confidence booster either!
CHRIS: You seem to have a really good sense of humor. Have you done many comedies?
PAULA: That’s basically how I got into acting and what I have mainly done on stage. I LOVE comedies. I am actually a bit bummed I haven’t been able to work in a comedy in a while, which is why I am writing a comedic script which I am hoping to produce in 2014, along with my friends and fellow actresses Amanda Marie and Roxy Rebel.
CHRIS: You’re also quite an artist. My favorite paintings of yours, that I’ve seen, are the Beatles from “Yellow Submarine” and your version of Munch’s “The Scream.” Who are you influences in this area?
PAULA: The movements that I humbly try to draw my inspiration from are mainly Dadaism, Cubism and Surrealism. Picasso, Dali, Klee, Miro, to name a few. I really enjoy art in all of its forms. I have literally spent entire days at the British Museum, the Louvre, Museo del Prado, MET, and every single museum I’ve had the opportunity to visit.
CHRIS: You also paint Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) skulls. Did you grow up celebrating that holiday?
PAULA: Not at all! I learned all about it only a few years ago. The paper mache skulls were the result of me A: being bored before having a work permit, and B: getting sick of all the junk mail I was getting. Our mailbox was getting full of these supermarket newspapers and promos for all sorts of different stores. I believe in recycling, taking care of the planet and saving a few whales in this trip called life, so I figured I could turned these trees/paper/2-for-1coupons into art. And that’s how those little Day of Dead paper mache skulls were born.
CHRIS: Do you have plans to showcase you artworks at any exhibitions in the near future?
PAULA: I’d love to at some stage, but not any plans just yet. At the moment, I am focusing 110% in my acting career.
CHRIS: Well, if you ever do, I hope you’ll have an exhibit in the San Francisco area. So, do you have any other hobbies or interests that you don’t usually state on your bio?
PAULA: I love playing games such as Scrabble, crosswords and words games in general, sudoku, tetris, etc. I am also quite a fan of Xbox. I love playing MMA, soccer, and football with the hubby. I love watching sports, playing on Xbox and practicing. Now I am mainly running a lot. I put some music on, and I am transported to a different planet. I am also quite a reader. I probably read about a book a month, when I have time.
CHRIS: Well, thanks again for doing this Paula! In closing, any plugs or shout-outs to anyone?
CHRIS: Oh, just one last question: Are you really deathly afraid of cockroaches? PAULA: Let’s put it this way: there are only TWO creatures on my “It’s OK to Kill” list: First one are mosquitoes, because I am allergic to them and I therefore consider that self-defense. Last but not least, cockroaches. Because I can’t trust a creature that can live up to a week without its head and that would probably survive a nuclear war.
Last month on location in Columbia
February 2016 Update: Paula’s most recent demo reel
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Chris flirted with the music biz there and in Nashville before joining the U.S. Army and serving in South Korea. He remained in Asia for several years afterwards, teaching English and covering the regional entertainment scenes. Currently in a mindset between Seoul and San Francisco, besides Idol Features, you can also catch his writings in the print edition of Effective Magazine, and add him on Facebook and Google+