You may not recognize the name, Carla Jimenez, but you will certainly recognize her face. Carla has co-starred and guest-starred in a long, long list of TV shows and movies, and has performed in theater productions as well. Just a quick peek at her resume shows a list of projects that is longer than my arm! She has co-starred in Sons of Anarchy, Justified, Hannah Montana, Dexter and ER to name just a few. Many of her guest-starring roles end up be reoccurring characters as well. You can see her in Better Off Ted, Desperate Housewives, Raising Hope and Harry’s Law among others.
This California native is crazy talented and crazy busy. Even when she’s not filming, Carla harnesses her creativity into a chocolate business called Pretty Sweet Chocolates. You can find her complete CV and a link to her chocolate business at www.carlajimenez.com.
We caught up with Carla this week to talk about one her latest projects, Internity, which was created and written by Joey Adams (who will also have a role in the show) and co-stars Jim Beaver, Marina Sirtis, Richard Ruccolo and Julie McNiven. The cast and crew are currently running an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to shoot the pilot episode this winter, which Michael Dorn (formerly Lt. Worf on STNG) is slated to direct. If you are interested in helping this pilot get made you can go to www.indiegogo.com/projects/internity-a-newbie-series# to make a donation.
We here at TNWU are so excited about Internity and so pleased to have been able to talk to so many of the actors who will be bringing this story to life. The entire TNWU staff thinks that this project is really so much fun. The premise for this show, interns at a major teaching hospital, is honestly a gold mine of story lines.
“Yeah, we’re really hoping that people will want to see this project get off the ground.”
How has the fund-raising been going?
“It’s going good but we could still use a lot of help. We’re really, really hoping that we’ll have some good backing from the awesome people out there who are really wanting to be behind the show. You know you can go to Indiegogo at any time or follow us on Twitter (@internityTVshow) to see how we’re doing and just HELP! We really just want to push this and make a great show. We just need some help to do it.”
What would you like to say to those people who have already backed the show and what can you say to help convince those who might be ‘on the fence’?
To those that have already backed us, you are awesome; you are helping us by putting money into such a great project. To those who are waiting, please help us! If you want to see many dream sequences and see many cool guest stars….I mean, you don’t know who could show up if we make this show. I think the only to find out is to get out there and to help us raise some money.
That’s right, you all come from such diverse TV backgrounds that you guys will have quite a few people you could invite as guest stars.
“We all have our fingers in such different pots….Desperate Housewives, Raising Hope….we already have a Star Trek cast member, Marina Sirtis, so we’ve got that covered.”
And of course Jim Beaver’s been on a number of shows as well. You guys do have quite the ‘buffet’ of actors to choose from. Just the sheer variety of the shows that the combined cast has appeared in should really help draw viewers to this show.
“We have a really great cast and I think the premise of the show will also speak to a lot of people. I think that it is a really cool idea. My own sister is studying to become a nurse, so she’s digging it. It hits a lot of people.”
This is definitely something that touches us all at some point. So tell me, did you know that you were the first person Joey (Adams) cast for this show?
“I did know and I think that’s amazing that he…that Joey would have thought of me and wrote something for me. The first time I met him I thought he was a really sweet, great guy and that this is a really great project and that I would more than love to be in it. It was just really nice that he told me that.”
What was your reaction to that?
“I was like ‘What?! Really?’ (laughs) No, actually it was just a surprise that he’d thought of me. That he thought that much of me to create a character for me that was really fun. I love it and I think she’s a really fun character.”
We’ve been told that Internity is a mix of ER and Scrubs with a little Grey’s Anatomy thrown in for variety. Using that as a starting point, how would you describe the show?
“I think that’s pretty accurate. I think it’s got that humor like Scrubs, that heart like Grey’s Anatomy and I think it blends the two really well. Then it just opens it up more, like I said before, because of all the opportunities there are to bring in people…to have these great guest starring roles.”
What facet of the show do you think this audience will identify with the most?
“I think that different people will see themselves in different characters and be able to relate to them. I feel like everyone would be able to find something in it, whether it’s the humor or the heart of it. I think a lot of people will resonate with it and really like it.”
Your character is Tracey and she’s a nurse manager…
“She’s the head nurse at Portland.”
Right, what about that speaks to you specifically?
“I like her sass! I like that she just doesn’t take anything from anybody and basically, she’s annoyed with everyone except her cat Oliver, which I can relate to, because I have a cat of my own and he does no wrong. I’m a crazy cat lady!”
(laughs) I was going to ask if you were a cat or dog person, but that’s been answered, so how comfortable are you working with animals?
(laughs) “I am actually working with, I am not kidding you, about 40 dogs right now. I’m working on a movie in Canada and I’m working with all dogs, all day and they are the sweetest, loveliest animals and there is no conflict. But, you know, they’re the show stoppers and they’re one upping me to begin with.”
Isn’t there a saying among actors about working with animals or kids? That you’re automatically up-staged?
(laughs) “I know! I’m thrust into both of them right now, no joke I’m actually working with animals and children. But I find that I think it depends on the director. We have a good director right now that moves us through it quickly which works with the dogs. It can get messy, but it can also be super fun because you get to pet animals all day and get paid for it! See, this is why we need to get funded, so we can have a dream sequence where Oliver can have a dance number with a whole bunch of other cats. (laughs) That needs to happen! Joey, if you’re listening to me, it needs to happen. We can have little top hats on them.” (laughs).
So, what drew you to acting? How did you get your start?
“I started in theater, musical theater actually and then regular theater in Los Angeles and that’s where I thought I was headed. I thought I was heading to New York and it just didn’t work out that way because I got an agent out of doing a show and I went to film and TV instead. But, I’ve always loved theater, always loved the movies. My dad was a big proponent of…like when I was little he would call me in the room and ask ‘who’s that actor? Who’s that actor?’ and I’d answer ‘oh, it’s Gene Kelly’ and he would kind of school me on the old movies. I loved it and have had a love for it forever.”
Did you act in student productions while in school?
“Yeah, I did. I did some high school and a little bit of community theater and kind of went from there.”
Internity is being called a dramedy – a little bit of comedy, a little bit of drama – what do you feel is your strength?
“I like both, I guess I would side with comedy a little more, but I really do like both. I’d side with the comedy part of it a little more than the drama, if given the choice.”
Is there anything else you’d like to let people know?
“Let’s see, how many times can you write ‘please fund us’? (laughs) No, really I just want to tell everybody, to say thank you for the ongoing support and please, if you like what you’re hearing about this show and you really want to help us out, please go to the Indiegogo campaign page and follow us on Twitter. Just – help, help, help and maybe we’ll get the chance to bring you all an amazing, fun, creative show and just thank you very much.”