What's it like being...


- Salomé : Hi Vanessa, thank you so much for joining me today. It is such a pleasure to have you as our first guest. You are such an influential woman with an inspiring passion for everything you do.
it is an absolute honor to be the first person featured in the "What's it like being..." Series! Thanks for having me.

- Salomé : Being in the public eye, so many people presume they know who you are. But how do YOU describe yourself?
Vanessa: I describe myself as very down to earth, Passionate, a go getter and a woman who never takes no for an answer. I’m a hard working woman, I love to help others to improve their lives or anyone I meet and especially those who surround me I love to empower and support other women.
I love putting smiles on peoples faces & hearts.

- Salomé : What drives you and what fuels your success?
Vanessa: The best way to succeed is to do something you truly love and feel passionate about then put all your hard work and heart into it. Passion fuels, knowledge, enthusiasm and happiness, there's nothing more powerful than believing in yourself and going after your dreams. This formula combined with belief is my recipe to success and enables you to produce and put out the most into the world. You get in return what you give.

- Salomé : Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career in acting?
Vanessa: I started doing TV at four years old. So before then, I probably didn’t know that acting was what I wanted to do. Once I started acting, it became ingrained in my heart and my system, it’s in my DNA. I continued with the same TV network up until the age of eleven, and then I realized I wanted this to be my career. I was looking for an opportunity, whatever that may have been. I didn’t mind starting from a small  role as every role is important in a production. I simply knew, being a part of this industry was what I wanted.

- Salomé : Did you feel pressure from a young age given that you started your acting career so young?
Vanessa:  No no. Actually, I think I have had an incredible experience in my acting career since I was little. I was acting and having fun with it! Acting, for me, is a joy because I'm doing something I love and I can really have fun with and immerse my heart and hard work into it.
Finding your passion is the best thing you can do to succeed in life and to be happy!


- Salomé : What is some advice you use to stay motivated as a strong powerful woman?
Vanessa: I stay motivated from compartmentalizing and giving myself tasks, recognising that every little task towards my dreams I do gives me motivation. It is necessary to have the power to not just focus on the big things and realize the importance of all these smaller opportunities which enable you to land bigger roles, the things you’re really passionate about. 

Passion and love towards what you do will make magic.

- Salomé : Do you have any favorite roles you’ve played? 
Vanessa: I moved from Mexico City to Miami, to play the role of Angela Donoso in ‘El Cuerpo del Deseo’ whose character was most similar to myself compared to all of the characters I’ve played. She was a good girl that would show her character and always speak her truth. Angela would always look for ways to help others and would always seek to improve her life and those who surrounded her. 

I also enjoyed my character, Sara Montero, in Maid en Manhattan. She was a villain, but it was a comedy so it was lighter and she was less dramatized and intense than other villainous roles I’ve played. The team and cast grew very close to one another and we became super good friends which made it such a pleasure to be on set. 

And of course Emiliana from ‘El Señor De Los Cielos’ The First ever Emmy nominated tv show in the Spanish speaking world.

The storyline, crew and cast were amazing and my character was so much fun. In some scenes I felt like “tomb raider” as I was hanging out of helicopters and firing machine guns! It was really an awesome experience.

- Salomé : Obviously since moving from Mexico your career has progressed significantly, but what are the key day to day lifestyle changes you have noticed between life in Mexico city and LA?
Vanessa: When I moved to Miami, I didn’t really know if I wanted to stay here in the US or go back to Mexico. I wanted to see how I felt out of my country, and I decided this sacrifice was worth it to try to achieve my dreams and my goals. I had to sacrifice my family and friends back home, but I enjoyed it so much and had the most wonderful time. Living in Miami was just incredible. I’m an ocean lover so for me to have that in the same city that I was working in, with such gorgeous weather, was so magical. On the weekends, when I wasn’t working, I’d go to the ocean and spend time in the sun enjoying the city I was living in. There was obviously a part of that in Mexico as well, but not in the same way. Mexico-city was where I grew up and where all my friends and family were, whereas I purely associated Miami with work. My only friends were the actors that I was working with, who became my family. My family was away and later came over to the United States but not to Miami so it was pure work. More so than the atmosphere, my life changed between Mexico to the US as I shifted to truly put all my focus into work and nothing else.

- Salomé : How have you coped with this stress?
Vanessa: This was something I wanted so I didn’t see it as a stress but a lot of pressure came from having a complete lifestyle shift from Mexico to the US.  I think I dealt with it well because my family and I maintained a super close relationship and I coped with the workload well. Even if I had stayed in Mexico City, I would’ve been busy pursuing my dreams until I was happy with where I was in my career. I think that sometimes you need to do some things that may require some sacrifice but, as long as it feels right in your heart and you’re not negatively affecting anyone, you know it’s perfect.


- Salomé : Once in the USA. How were you treated in the industry, particularly as a Mexican woman in the acting industry?
Vanessa: Being a woman in the industry is not easy, but it has enabled me to become stronger and grow faster.  When I moved to Miami 18 years ago, things were completely different to how they are right now. Women nowadays are given a lot more recognition and increased opportunity for roles. At that time, it was probably more of a man’s world.  I never felt mistreated but I definitely felt that men were more important than us and that’s probably why I enjoy empowering other women so much. We still have it a little more difficult than men and I just love seeing women succeed.

- Salomé : Are there any routines or daily rituals that you do?
Vanessa: One of the things I do every day is workout to get more energy and feel good. It enables me and my body to stay healthy, strong and fit. I love fitness, I’ve been motivated to focus on my fitness for my whole life. It’s an incredible way to put your mind in a positive and happy place as it creates endorphins.

Meditation is also key to my daily routine. It helps you to stay balanced and to see clearly if you’re struggling to find a solution to a problem. When you meditate, it’s like another state of mind. So, even though there may be some things that worry you, you know how to handle them better and you have a place in your heart and mind which allows you to be more productive and more creative amongst other things. It’s just incredible how it works for me. It’s very important to take time for yourself.

- Salomé : If we saw you on a regular day what are some go to looks you reach for?
Vanessa: The world has changed a lot in recent years, especially since the pandemic, so I wear a lot of activewear.

Lascivious has of course played a huge part in this. The brand creates an incredible combination with its “Active-Lingerie” between feeling sexy, powerful and comfortable at the same time.
To me - Lascivious is for the go getters, for women that we are always on the go. Powerful, successful entrepreneurs or these women who are so active but still want to look gorgeous and sexy, yet strong. Every time I put my activewear on with their “Active-Lingerie” under my clothes it gives me the edgy, sexy touch to my look. I can't forget my favorite bra. The Milla makes anything look sensational.
It's more than just a bra… it's a statement fashion piece.

- Salomé : How does it make you feel when wearing your favorite Lingerie?Vanessa: When I wear my Milla - I feel empowered, sexy, confident & bad ass.

- Salomé : How was your experience shooting images for Lascivious?
Vanessa: We shot in Mexico which was super awesome! I really believe in this brand and I love what it represents. The moment I put the pieces on and I started the photoshoot I felt like I became a character, which really comes across in the photos. It was incredibly fun, and I felt like I was letting my inner self shine. While I was wearing these pieces, I felt almost like I gained some sort of superpowers. It was truly sensational, and I was very honored to be doing the campaign for this wonderful brand!


- Salomé : Do you have any advice to give on either following passions and standing out. What do you think sets you aside from other people in your industry or in the world? Everyone is their own person but what would you advise or see as most important?
Vanessa: My advice to people is to do things that you love, engage in loving practices, and surround yourself with people who uplift you. Try to be a giver and spread more love. 

Believe in your dreams and never stop dreaming. Never stop believing. Believing in yourself is the most powerful thing you can do, as you can have all these dreams. Be loving with yourself - love yourself before anything else. Making small steps equals big dreams. We are put on this planet to make our dreams come true, to grow,  become better. Remember that you have the power to make anything happen, there are no limits, and anything is possible and at your reach, dreams do come true. 
Just, trust, believe, and enjoy the incredible ride… called LIFE!

Find out more about Vanessa Villela
www.vanessavillela.com + www.instagram.com/vannevillela

Interview by Salomé Tucker
Journalist @ Lascivious Online

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