Popular Girl: Jeanine Mason
May 28, 2020
It’s high time that we introduce actress, dancer, and Miami native (we’re a bit impartial), Jeanine Mason! From the high kicks of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ to the high pressures of being a biomedical engineer (on TV), Jeanine Mason is no stranger to the high stakes. Playing Liz Ortecho in the CW’s hit sci-fi drama Roswell, New Mexico comes with it’s challenges but that doesn’t mean that this series regular has forgotten where she came from.
Keep reading as we talk to the CW star and Grey’s Anatomy alum about her first acting credit, her time at UCLA and of course filming Roswell, New Mexico.
1. Tell us about your character Liz Ortecho and Roswell, New Mexico?
Liz is a Mexican-American biomedical engineer. I like to say she’s an ignited woman; she talks fast, she thinks fast and she cares a whole lot. She’s incredible. As is Roswell, New Mexico. A show about a small town with big secrets.
2. How are you and your character similar? And how are you different?
We’re all about our families and we’re curious. Liz is insatiably curious and I love spending time with her big ol’ brain. We’re also women pushing the boundaries of our careers. Working to make meaningful contributions and represent our people right.
3. What was the filming of “Roswell, New Mexico” like?
It’s been a dream. We live and work in Santa Fe, New Mexico with the most dedicated and loving crew. I’m itching to get back to our sound stages and our desert vistas.
4. How is the filming of Roswell different from the shooting of Grey’s Anatomy?
A thousands way but one commonality is surgical get up. Season 2 features a whole lot of Liz in doctor-ware and gloves. Main difference is when I mess up I can’t hide behind my character Sam Bello’s first year surgical intern nerves. Now when I mess I’m screwed! Pressure’s on.
5. What do you recall from your first acting credit?
That I used my dance background to help get me that first guest star. It was for Big Time Rush on Nickelodeon and I played a vampire slayer named Muffy. Also the casting director, Geralyn Flood, who gave me that first gig. Eternally grateful to her.
6. What was growing up in Miami like?
Warm, friendly, ate a whole lot of croquetas.
7. How did you make the decision to attend UCLA and how was your time there?
It had always been a dream of mine to graduate from college. But more importantly, it was my parent’s dream. They worked very hard—very very hard—to afford me that glorious opportunity. One of my proudest achievements and I marvel at the ways it continues to support me and my career.
8. Your proudest moment?
Oh dear, my proudest moments are personal victories. Moments in which I have bet on myself and it’s paid off big. And then I’ve thought, ‘Well look at you go.” I live for those moments.
9. What is your dream role/somewhere you’d like to shoot?
Movie Musicals. Or movies with dance that aren’t musicals. We have so much more to do with blending these two art forms on film. Also, NYC. I want to work on the streets of NYC. Maybe dance on the streets of NYC, that sounds nice.
10. Go to quarantine snack and activity?
I’ve been very into chips lately. Gonna be real with you. Kettle potato chips Pepperoncini. Do it. Also Cuban food. Been cooking a lot of Cuban food. That’s my activity.
11. Last thing you purchased?
A butter dish. It’s the simple things.
12. Three people—dead or alive, real or fictional—that you’d like to invite to dinner?
Desi Arnaz. Nora Ephron. But honestly, I’d like to invite my people.
13. Can you tell us a secret?
When you’re older.
14. What does Popular mean to you?
It means commonality. Something popular is something of interest to many. That there’s so much crossover in the things we enjoy is pretty neat.
15. Can you tell us about any other projects you have coming up?
I just guest starred on Grace & Frankie for Netflix and it was glorious
- Photographer David Higgs @higgsy_photograph