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Popular Girl: Hayley Orrantia


Apr 7, 2020

This Popular Girl probably needs no introduction! Hayley Orrantia has been staring as Erica Goldberg on The Goldbergs since it’s inception! Not only has she been killing it on the small screen, but the Texas native is also a country star in the making and her new song Find Yourself Somebody is currently streaming (we’ll link it at the bottom for you).


Keep reading to find out an embarrassing moment on The Goldbergs set, which instrument she would love to learn instantly, and the game she can’t put down!


1. Tell us about your character Erica and what’s new on The Goldbergs? 

Erica is a typical emotional, stubborn, “cool girl” of the 1980s just trying to juggle her manic family, a passion for music, and the everyday struggles of being a young adult trying to find her place in the world. In this season of The Goldbergs, Erica finally goes back to college and puts music on the back burner. Throughout this season, she has been dealing with an ever-changing roommate situation, as well as trying to stay focused on her education. It becomes very difficult, however, when her boyfriend, Geoff, moves into the dorm room with her. 

2. How are you and your character similar? And how are you different? 

Erica and I are both stubborn people. When we set our minds to something, it is very hard to sway us back the other direction. But we are different in the way we react to things. I would like to think that I allow more time to process my emotions before responding; however, I’m sure my family and friends may disagree. Haha! 

3. What is your favorite part about going to set? 

I absolutely love the energy on The Goldbergs set! I look forward to coming to work because of the people I get to work with, and that doesn’t just mean just the cast. Our crew, writers, and producers are some of the nicest, funniest, hard-working, and lovable group of people you could ever meet! It’s a pleasure to go to work every day knowing I get to just have a great time laughing with friends. 

4. What was your audition process like for the show? 

I drove in from Texas to California for pilot season, and the day I got in, I received a self-tape audition for Erica. After submitting the tape, a few days later, I was called in for a callback. I did two callbacks, one screen test, and a cast table read in front of the network before filming the pilot. It was the most nerve-wracking experience of my life! I had never gone far enough to do a screen test before, I had no idea what to expect, and wanted this role more than any I’d tried out for before. In the moment, the auditions seemed to fly by, though! 

5. How do you balance music and acting? 

It’s not easy, I’ll tell you that much. They are ultimately two completely different careers that demand your undivided attention in order to succeed. Well, clearly, I don’t have that ability, so it can be very hard. The show films August through March, but we get a week off of work every month that allows me time to focus on writing or recording music. Also, in the downtime between seasons, I travel back to my place in Nashville and focus fully on music, sometimes even tour. I believe that, if you love something enough, you will find a way to make it happen, and I do. 

6. If you could only do one for the rest of your life which would you choose? 

That’s such a difficult question! I never thought I would love acting as much as music, but working on The Goldbergs has changed my mind. I have so much fun on the show that I can’t say music is the end-all-be-all anymore. But music has always been my first love and that just doesn’t go away. I wish I could answer this properly, but I don’t think I can choose just one. 

7. If you could instantly learn one instrument what would it be and why? 

I already play piano, a little guitar, and ukulele. But I would LOVE to play the violin. I think it’s the most beautiful instrument. It automatically brings emotion into a song when you add violin, and I am a very emotional musician. I think having that ability would just take my writing to another level. 

8. What is your dream role? (Real or Imagined) 

I’m not sure if I have one specific role that I dream of playing. But I would love to follow in the footsteps of Sandra Bullock. She has done everything from comedy to drama to action and is so captivating on screen, I think. So, since I’ve been doing comedy on The Goldbergs, I’d love to try something different like a drama to really challenge myself. 

9. What was the inspiration behind ‘Find Yourself Somebody’? 

Find Yourself Somebody was inspired by a past relationship of mine. It ended where we still have love for each other, but knew it wasn’t going to work the way we had hoped. It’s a “happy breakup,” if you will. It’s about wanting the best for the other person, even if that means finding happiness with someone else. 

10. Who is your dream musical collab? 

Sara Bareilles! I know it may seem unexpected with my sound, but I admire her so much. Her vocals are stunning, and her writing moves me more than any other artist. I have cried at every concert of hers I went to, cause her music just does that to me. 

11. An embarrassing moment? 

A few years ago, on The Goldbergs, I was filming a scene with Troy (who plays Barry), where we had to run into the kitchen as multiple things were going wrong. There was pancake batter flying out of the blender, and the dishwasher was overflowing with bubbles! As they yelled action, I ran in, slipped on some batter, and hit the floor so fast! My head hit the ground, and I was a little woozy but more embarrassed. I acted like I was fine and just wanted to get cleaned up to go again, but as I was in the makeup chair, I started falling asleep, so they sent me home with a minor concussion. Production was so sweet and had a driver take me home and made sure I was okay, but I was mortified more than anything! 

12. Your proudest moment? 

Getting to perform at CMA Fest and host the main stage at Nissan Stadium. Being welcomed into the country community has been so life-changing for me. I love getting the opportunity to perform at one of the most fun festivals out there, and I’m always so honored when they ask me to come back. Hosting the Nissan stage is a big responsibility with, 60,000 people sitting out there, but I did it and had an absolute blast! 

13. Can you tell us a secret? 

I don’t know if it’s much of a secret, but I am pretty addicted to playing Call of Duty. I grew up playing tournaments with my dad, his friend, and their kids in high school, and it just stuck with me. Living far away from my parents, it’s a great way to connect with my dad still. Not gonna lie, I’m pretty good at it! 

14. What does Popular mean to you? 

Popular means influence and influence is a big responsibility. It means you have the power to affect the minds and hearts of others. I think it’s so important to be aware of how you use that popularity or influence to bring about healthy and positive change in your community. People look to you as an example, so always try to set a good one. 

15. Can you tell us about any other projects you have coming up? 

We are waiting to hear about an official pick up for Season 8 of The Goldbergs, but we feel very confident about it! I also will be releasing new music over the summer, including a really sweet Mother’s Day song I wrote for my mom. You may also see me on an upcoming episode of a very popular music competition show. ;)


Keep up with Hayley (and that secret competition show) on Instagram and Twitter @hayleyorrantia. Go on… they’re clickable.



And check out ‘Find Yourself Somebody’ right here:


  • PHOTOGRAPHY The Riker Brothers @rikerbrothers
  • HAIR Gui Schoedler @guiniushair
  • MAKEUP Anton Khachaturian @antonmakeup
  • STYLING Lo VonRumpf @stylelvr