We had a little chat today with Maria Conchita Alonso, the totally delicious host and judge on WOW’s ¡Viva Hollywood! telenovela star-search series, which airs its second installment tonight at 10 on Vh1. We couldn’t get the singer-actress-telenovela veteran out of our head after meeting her at the series premiere screening last week, so this was a cheap excuse to get in touch with her again. The exchange went something like this:
Are you surprised by all the ecstatically positive reviews for Viva Hollywood?
I am happy! But also I have learned not to expect anything in anything I do. By doing that, whatever comes will be taken with much more joy, and if it’s not good, it will not bother me much.
What do you say to those people who have said Viva Hollywood relies on and advances Latino stereotypes?
That they have not gotten it. It is a show that, for me, more than reality, is a comedy. We have to learn how to have fun with ourselves, not take things as seriously. This is about having fun, enjoying life and who we are. We (Hispanics) are dramatic! And if we don’t take that in a fun and funny way, we will all have heart attacks! Ha ha!
Did Viva Hollywood stir up any memories of your days in telenovelas?
Well, there are some contestants that are not that good as actors, and when I started my career, I was horrible! But I was born with the talent and, with training, paying attention to the good actors, and loving it, I was finally able to show the good actress in me.
So you didn’t see yourself in any of the contestants?
Not really. Maybe all of them together made one of me! I’m kidding, OK?
Did you have a secret crush on any of the contestants?
A crush? Not really. Did I think one or two of them could be good to have a “good time” with? Yes.
Did you have a say over your wardrobe on the show? Because wowee!
I did! And the producers loved it that I am someone that could be out there and try almost anything. In my younger days I was quite a wild person, wearing these wild clothes, eccentric see-through dresses, driving my motorcycle around Caracas, doing exactly what I wanted to do without thinking about anything. I am more demure now, I guess, a bit more mature. Hee hee. But it’s about not taking anything serious, as long as you don’t hurt others. Your life is yours to do as you please. Just have fun! If you have the body, why not take advantage of it?
Yesterday was Maria Conchita Alonso Day on the website Starlet Showcase. How would you like people to celebrate you on such a day?
Watch my movies, hear my songs, love and cry with them, and share it with me.
You’ve won so many beauty pageants, become Miss This and Miss That, but the one that’s puzzling is Miss Distrito Federal. What was that? Is winning pageants helpful in starting a telenovela career?
The first big one was when I won Miss Teenager of the World, and that one opened the doors for my successful modeling career. The title of Miss Distrito Federal was representing the capital in the Miss Venezuela pageant, and then I went to the Miss World pageant and became sixth runner-up. Yes, pageants can help start your career.
You were a hottie in The Running Man with Arnold and, 20 years later, you’re still a hottie in Spread with Ashton. What’s Spread about?
Ashton (in the film) is a gigolo after rich older women. It’s a very sexy movie. Ashton and everyone in it is very hot.
What’s your best advice for the winner of Viva Hollywood?
Don’t take anything for granted. And try to always take advantage of what comes your way. Enjoy not only when you get where you want to be, but also the ride. Keep believing in yourself no matter how many No’s appear before you. Don’t be lazy and always keep fighting, learning, and being humble no matter how big you may get.
And, finally, if you had two tickets to paradise, where would you go and who would you take?
Well, the beaches are always very welcoming, sexy, and peaceful to me. So I would go to an island. I would take the person I am in love with. And if there is no one at the moment, my pets.