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Exclusive Interview with “The Family” Star Floriana Lima

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Floriana Lima is quickly establishing herself as one of the freshest-new faces on television. Currently, she can be seen as intrepid wannabe reporter Bridey Cruz on the ABC drama The Family, opposite Oscar-nominee Joan Allen. The show is executive produced by Jenna Bans (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal) and revolves around the Warren family. Ten years after being kidnapped and presumed dead, Adam Warren returns and throws The Family into turmoil. People begin to question his true identity and what really happened a decade before. Secrets, scandals, and deceits unfold. Having an old family connection gives Bridey the personal in she needs to ferret out the true story and she’ll do so at any cost.

Talk Nerdy With Us had the opportunity to chat with this engaging actress about her role on the electrifying and unpredictable drama and why you should watch ASAP. Give it a read!

For our viewers who didn’t get to see the premiere, would you tell us a little about the show and why they will want to check it out?

Sure. It’s a drama about a politician whose son disappears at eight years old and then he comes back ten years later. Everyone thought he was dead, everyone in the city thought he was dead, including, obviously, the family. There’s this weird sketchy thing about the fact that we don’t know if it’s him. So it’s pretty much going to show all of the webs of lies and things that happen throughout the season to figure out who this kid is. I don’t know how much more I can give you. It’s funny because there’s a lot of storylines and I don’t want to tell you too much. But I will say it is a fast-paced show, we’re going to get answers pretty quickly, especially about figuring out who Adam is. Adam is the young boy. There will be answers very soon and then it uncovers other secrets, lies, deceits. It’s definitely an entertaining drama. Thrilling.

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One of the things that really jumped out at me, and that I liked, is that there weren’t any stand-out heroes. Everyone seems to have very dark shades of gray. Does anybody come forward as a hero or do we just see characters that have a dark side and the secrets that you mentioned?

Well, there is no doubt that every character has a moral dilemma along the way, if not multiple. Will there be a hero? I can’t really tell you. But, yes, you are correct in saying that every character seems to have a little shadiness to them. You’ll see down the line in the season why. People are involved. We don’t know who is really involved in the crime or other crimes. It’s pretty crazy.

Your character, Bridey Cruz, is a lesbian lifestyle blogger. It’s really obvious she wants to step in as a lead reporter on the story. I’m curious to know what she’s seeking? What does she want to prove?

She wants to prove herself as a legitimate journalist. She feels stuck in this tiny blog that her editor doesn’t even know exists and she feels her talents are being wasted here. She sees the Warren case as something that could help propel her, get her noticed as someone who is legitimate in her field. It’s basically that she’s being a bit opportunistic with this case. She wants to fully get ahead and you’ll see that she doesn’t really care about much but that.

Despite being a lesbian, she makes quite the impression, I should say second impression, on Danny when she kisses him in the bar. Is she bi-sexual or just someone willing to use her sexuality to get what she wants? In this case, to get legitimacy by following the story.

I think it’s the latter, she definitely is willing to do anything. She leans towards women and we’ve kind of made this term up that she’s omnisexual. She’s just a sexual person, so it doesn’t matter who they are. I personally think she leans more towards women. In this case, with Danny, she knows that back in the day, ten years ago, they had a little thing in high school. You see a flashback of young Bridey and Danny making out. She knows she can always get him in that area. She’s using him in a way to get some info, if there’s info there. That’s her only connection to the family, so she’s using that connection in the pilot.

Speaking of the flashback, and I think I know the answer to this after hearing you talk, it’s clearly not her fault that Danny wasn’t doing what he should’ve been as far as looking for his brother, but does she feel any kind of guilt or personal involvement in what happened?

That’s a good question. When I got the pilot, I did talk to (creator) Jenna (Bans) about that particular thing. I wanted to make sure that…yeah, do I feel…because in the bar I do say, “I was there.” Honestly, she doesn’t really feel any sense of responsibility there. I think she’s just kind of…at this point, knows Danny, knows if he wasn’t making out with me, if he wasn’t making out with Bridey, he would’ve been doing something else, possibly. I don’t know, I think she doesn’t think it was her in any way.

In that same bar scene we see her pay off a guy, she’d obviously set up the entire thing. We know, as you said, that she’s willing to go to any means now for this story. Is it fair to say that she is underhanded and unethical?

Yeah. I think that’s not fully the case. I think you’ll see throughout the season that she has a conscious at times and there is a little moral dilemma of her own. I don’t know if she’s fully unethical. I just think her main purpose, and her main motive here is to get ahead and break the story with her name on the paper. I think she’s probably not thinking about ethics in that particular moment. Just like we were saying before, a lot of the characters have some sort of shade to them. She’s definitely among that…she’s definitely got some unethical qualities.

 As far as her emotional dilemma that you mentioned, does that come from eventually getting closer to the family? Is it going to influence her as far as always pushing forward for that story?

Trying to figure out what I can tell you…. I don’t want to say something and give away anything. (laughs). I don’t know if I can really tell you anything about who she gets close to or whatever.

Fair to say that something with the family does have an impact on her?

Definitely. There’s definitely something there. I think Bridey has had a scarred life herself, so she does feel a little attached to people who have had trauma in their life and what not. I think she does have a conscious in that area.

Bridey comes across as very strong, sexy and independently driven in this story. Is that what drew you to this character and how does she compare to other series roles you’ve played?

You know Bridey is very different from any character I’ve played. With Allegiance, there was definitely some sex appeal there, but it wasn’t at the forefront. She wasn’t constantly using it. And Bridey knows her power in this area, so she’s just going to use it as a way to get ahead. Bridey is a very, very different character than anything I’ve played. That’s why I really enjoy playing her. Because it’s challenging, it’s different, she has many layers and I get to play a little bit more than I’ve ever played with any other role.

Obviously because of the many twists and turns, and as you mentioned layers with this story, you’re limited in what you can directly tell us, but is there anything you can hint at as to what you’re most looking forward to viewers seeing of Bridey’s story?

There are definite things that come up that will be shocking. I’m going to give you a general answer. I’d say I’m interested in what Bridey can pull out of the family. There are secrets that come out through my character. There’s a couple perspectives here. There’s the Nina Meyer perspective, through detective work and police work. And then there’s Bridey’s perspective, where she’s getting closer to the family in a way a cop can’t really do on a personal level. There are things that Bridey draws out that are definitely interesting. I can’t really say much because it will give away stuff.

Talking about the perspectives, and Bridey’s perspective, the premiere was from the detective’s point of view. Will we get a point of view episode from Bridey? Where it’s strictly her narrative?

Not her narrative, but there are definite episodes coming up where my storyline…well, you know what’s funny, you said this earlier, that each character was really represented well in the pilot, we knew everyone’s perspective in the pilot, that follows through the entire season. You’ll see different narratives from different characters…are you specifically talking about the voiceover?

I was, because that was more her point of view. So you won’t be the narrator, but you’ll definitely be more at the forefront?

No, but there are some pretty heavy Bridey episodes.

I don’t know if this is one you can answer or not, but will be seeing more of Bridey in the flashbacks?

I don’t know if I want to answer that. Just because I like having people wondering, but that’s a good question.

Obviously we are self-proclaimed nerds at Talk Nerdy With Us, so I am wondering what it is that you nerd-out about?

I love that. This is kinda dorky because I’m an actress and I love what I do so much…I watch a ton of movies. I nerd out on movies. I know that’s not that surprising, but that’s what I really like doing. If I have down time I watch movies, I watch good TV and I’m a nerd in that way.

Do you have an all-time favorite TV show or movie?

All-time favorite for movies is hard. I’m going to sat Life is Beautiful. It’s one of my favorite movies. It’s just an amazing, amazing film. TV right now, wow, I have so many TV shows that I love. I’m kinda nerding out on Veep because the writing is so great on it. I know it’s not current right now, but it’s just so freakin’ good. I’m drawn to comedies because I mostly do dramas, so Broad City is another one that I really like. I’m really into binge watching that. I guess those two. There are so many that I love…. Togetherness I love. I’ve said this in another interview, but Mr. Robot is one of my favorites, right now.

That’s some nerding out we can appreciate. Thank you so much for your time. Good luck with The Family. We can’t wait to see what happens.

Thank you. You gotta tune in on Sunday at 9 pm. It just gets better. In my opinion, pilots aren’t usually the best episode. The best episodes are coming up, so you gotta keep paying attention and see what happens.

I will definitely do that and tell others to do the same!

Watch The Family Sundays on ABC at 9/8 C

Written by Terri Clark

Terri Clark is an award-winning young adult author, entertainment writer, TV addict and pop culture geek. She loves the access Twitter has given her to the people behind her favorite TV shows. TV isn’t just a static sport anymore. (Yes, sport! Watching as much as she does requires commitment, dedication and endurance.) She writes for Talk Nerdy With Us and Entertainment Weekly Community. You can find info on her YA books at TerriClarkBooks.com. Please follow her at terriclarkbooks on Facebook and Twitter.

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