Marisol Nichols Interview
Three-time ALMA Award nominee and Golden Eagle Award winner for “Most Promising Actress,” Chicago-born Latina bombshell Marisol Nichols has been cast in the MTV scripted drama TEEN WOLF as the elusive and trained assassin “Desert Wolf.” We spoke to the actress about that role, her life and, of course, what she likes to watch on TV!
Welcome to the world of Teen Wolf! Can you talk a little about your character? Obviously, the “Desert Wolf” has been discussed many times on the show, but rarely seen. What can fans expect from her?
I can’t give anything away, but you can expect more cat and mouse action between her and Malia. To me, the Desert Wolf is more like a cat than anything, tending towards playing with her prey just before she’s ready to pounce.
How did you land this pivotal role? Did the producers come to you about the part?
The producers contacted my manager about auditioning for the part. I wish it were more glamorous than that. I’m a firm believer that working hard pays off. I audition for a lot of roles, some work out, some don’t. I’m happy to say this one did.
Your career has been very diverse, working in comedy, drama and sci-fi. Do you have a preference in the genre for which you work or are you more drawn to the character/storyline?
I’m definitely more drawn to the character and the show overall. The quality of the project is what always interests me.
Can you talk a little about your experience working on 24? What was a regular day on the set of that action-packed show like?
24 was a dream to be part of. The best people, the best crew, the best scripts, at the best time. The show was at its peak and so was everyone else. So stepping into that, was amazing.
As action packed as the show was, it was a very mellow, calm and sane environment. Very chill, professional and fun.
Is there a dream project that you would like to one day work on? If so, can you share some details on what that would?
Game of Thrones. I was obsessed with the books, I’m obsessed with the show. I think it’s the absolute best of television.
For the NCIS fans out there, can you talk about your experience working alongside Michael Weatherly and/or any of the other cast members?
Michael Weatherly is so fun to work opposite of. We had a blast together. And everyone on that set is so wonderful. Again, another one of those dream sets.
Your film career has been as varied as your small screen appearances. Is there any one film that you worked on that was most memorable? Whether it was a particular actor for whom you got to work with or a special moment during filming that sticks out in your mind?
Thank you. Felon was my favorite to ever be a part of. I thought it was an amazing script and the performances were really incredible. It was a shame that not more people saw it, because Val Kilmer was unbelievable. My favorite scene in the movie, is the one in which I am confronting my husband (Stephen Dorff) in prison about how his incarceration effects everyone, not just him. I love being that vulnerable and that raw.
Who has been the biggest inspiration in your life? A family member? A teacher? A co-star?
My daughter. I am humbled by her wonder and spirit. She is, to me, the most precious thing in the world. She inspires me every day and I consider myself lucky that I get to be her mom.
If you hadn’t become an actor, what do you imagine you would be doing?
That’s a really good question. I have a hard time with injustices. I can’t let them go when I see them. I would probably be a human rights lawyer, or some other profession where I feel I could really make a difference in today’s world.
When you have free time, what little of it you probably have with your busy life, what do you like to do?
Simple things. I like going on walks, going out for great dinners, or staying home with friends and having a game night.
Which TV shows, if any, are you currently watching?
I don’t have much time for TV, so I don’t get to see much. I usually catch up on planes. That being said, I like Game of Thrones, I can’t wait for it to come back. As well as Orphan Black, Fixer Upper (love!), The Black List, and The Big Bang Theory.
Can you share a little about your upcoming project “Lost Girls”?
Lost Girls is a short film about human trafficking. I play the trafficker. I have a non-profit organization called Foundation for a Slavery Free World and the producer of that film, came to one of my events to get data and information for her project. She asked me to be part of the project and I was happy to lend my time and support to it.
Your philanthropic activities are to be commended. What was the driving force behind your becoming involved, and more to the point, co-founding your foundation?
I kept hearing stories and news pieces about trafficking and the more I dug into it, the more I was horrified. I began meeting with different organizations, legislators and other nonprofits for this issue and I wanted to tell others about it. I founded Foundation for a Slavery Free World, so that I could produce even more briefings and events to enlighten others and shed a light on not only this issue, but what’s being done about it. Starting my own nonprofit just seemed like the next step to do and it also opened up the door to expanding my reach into these areas, partnering with other organizations and individuals and how we can all help each other.
For those unfamiliar with “The Human Rights Hero Awards”, can you talk a little about that?
The Human Rights Hero Awards is an annual red carpet event produced by my nonprofit. The event brings much needed awareness and shines a light on modern day slavery, particularly the commercial sexual exploitation of children on a global level – including the United States. Awardees are organizations and individuals doing selfless and heroic work in this field. Last year we awarded, John Ryan, Former CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Kim Biddle, Executive Director of Saving Innocence, and Nancy Rivard, President of Airline Ambassadors. We also had two amazing keynote speakers, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and Tim Ballard, the CEO of Operation Underground Railroad. The event was amazing, we were completely booked and had standing room only. I was extremely proud.