We were so excited we heard that Krysta Rodriguez was returning to our TVs this year!
Back in March, Variety reported that the SMASH star was coming back to television for a recurring guest role on ABC Family’s hit drama series Chasing Life. This summer, we are about to see Rodriguez play a character that goes through the same situations she does in everyday life — battling cancer.
Rodriguez plays the recurring role of Vanessa, a fellow cancer patient whom April (Italia Ricci) meets in the hospital. Rodriguez’s character gets April thinking about her identity beyond being a journalist.
CelebSecrets4U caught up with Krysta recently to talk all things about her new role on Chasing Life! In our interview, Krysta talks about her character Vanessa, if she watched Chasing Life before getting the role,
A brand-new episode of Chasing Life airs tonight at 10PM ET/PT on ABC Family.
CS4U: Can you tell me a little about your character on Chasing Life?
Krysta Rodriguez: “Vanessa is a cancer patient who is going through treatment at the same time as April. She’s gone through some pretty intense experiences — she has ovarian cancer and had surgery, and now she’s going through treatments and has some major life changes. She meets April, who is going through her own cancer crisis herself. Befriends her is not the word necessarily, but has inserted herself into her (April’s) life and makes her rethink some of her choices.”
CS4U: Were you a fan of the show before you were on it?
Krysta Rodriguez: “I had known about the show for awhile. A friend of mine was on the first season, so I had followed the storyline. And you know, you hear about something and you’re aware of something, but then when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and it became way more present in my life because it was something that I went through. I became a fan once I became someone who could relate to it.
CS4U: Since it was something you were experiencing, did that contribute to your decision of taking on this role?
Krysta Rodriguez: “Yeah absolutely! It was really freeing. I had been diagnosed for a while at that point. I was still working on other projects without disclosing my condition because I didn’t want to seem like a burden. It was really a relief when the show was presented to me because I got to just admit to everybody what was going on and talk about it openly and not feel like I was a liability to anybody. I would be asked about the authenticity of things. You can watch my hair sort of fall out and grow in. So that’s another thing I got to be really authentically myself. Exactly who I was at that moment. A lot of times, in other things that I’m doing, I have to put a wig on and I’m really having to dress myself up to even look like I resembled to just last year. It was relief in short, to be just myself, but to also play a character that’s not me, but is fun to do because she sort of says everything everyone wants to say but no one does.
CS4U: You talked about the authenticity of your character so how authentic would you say the show really is to what a cancer patient goes through.
Krysta Rodriguez: “To me I think it’s 100% authentic. The thing is I don’t have the cancer that these people have. If somebody had ovarian or some of the other cancers that are going on in the show maybe they’d have a different opinion. But for me at least, the way they portray the decision making and the actual fiance of the disease and the way the process goes and on top of that the emotional part. I love that even the title of the show is Chasing Life. I’ve mentioned it on my blog or I write about it that so many people say, “oh it must be terrible what you’re going through. It’s so awful. I can’t imagine how terrible it is.” And while yes, there are terrible parts to it. There are parts that can be joyful and freeing and dwell out all the facts that don’t matter. You have one goal and it’s to make yourself better and latch onto it and chase it (life) with all you can. There is some joy, there’s laughter, there’s still life, there’s still love, there’s still work. Everything continues to move, so I like that aspect of the show. I think that’s really authentic. It doesn’t take place in he hospital 24/7. Cancer cancer cancer! Other things are going on and you just can’t be in one position the whole time. You have to move forward and I think that’s the most authentic part of it.”
CS4U: What would you say is your favorite part about being on the show?
Krysta Rodriguez: The people. The people are amazing. I just have such a good time every time I go. It’s so much fun to go to work. It’s also fun to be a part of a show where you get to come in and just be sassy and go home. I don’t have to deal with the load that Italia has and she handles it so gracefully. I really just get to have fun and I love that about this job. She’s incredible. I love working with her. Every scene that I’ve done has been with her and I love to kind of just watch her be incredible and I think she’s an amazing actress and a beautiful human being and I have the best time working with her. Everyone in the crew and wardrobe is really incredible. It’s really one of the most fun jobs to have.
CS4U: Since our website is called CelebSecrets4U, do you have any on set secrets that you can share with us?
Krysta Rodriguez: “I have secrets about the show that I can’t tell you (laughs). It would have to be that Dominic (Richard Brancatisano) has a really sexy Australian accent in real life (laughs).”