Date of publishing: 17th
Valerie Cruz was born in July 18, 1976 in Elizabeth,
New Jersey, USA. Valerie of Cuban ancestry is an American
actress. She attended Florida State University and
received a BFA theatre degree. She appeared in films
such as The Shooter and Cellular and played Grace
Santiago in Nip/Tuck. She has made guest appearances
in series such as Grey's Anatomy and Las Vegas. Valerie
is now starring as Lt. Connie Murphy in the new SCI
FI Channel's The Dresen Files and soon on CW's Hidden
Palms. (Excerpts of the mini bio from TV.com)
Gilles Nuytens: Can
you tell us who is the woman behind Lt. Connie Murphy?
Valerie Cruz: I am not sure how to
respond. I suppose Connie and I are similiar in some
ways, and different in many. I respect her and admire
her which makes it incredibly enjoyable to play her.
I think we are both strong women, independent, loyal,
and passionate about our work. We definately differ
in our approaches to life, I tend to be a bit more
"free form" than my counterpart.
Nuytens: How did
you get involved in The Dresden Files?
Valerie Cruz: I read the script at
the beginning of pilot season, and fell in love with
it. I then had to go through a very long casting process
like everyone else to get the part. But it was worth
it, it has been an incredibly rewarding experience.
Gilles Nuytens: Were
you aware of the Jim Butcher books before getting
Valerie Cruz: I was not, although
I have since become a huge fan. I picked up Storm
Front to do some research on my character not knowing
what to expect... and then I was hooked. I have finished
the first four novels, which wasn't an easy task as
I had an incredibly hectic shooting schedule, as well
as reading other non-fiction work about the chicago
police and homicide detectives. But I have to say
the imagery and the essence of the characters Jim
paints makes it easy to devour the books in a couple
of sittings. They are hard to put down.
Gilles Nuytens: You
and Paul Blackthorne share what you call "The
you already spoke about the "stop" one in
an interview with SCI-FI, can you share some more
Valerie Cruz: Hmmmm.... I
don't know what you are talking about. No, honestly
though I can't recall anymore off the top of my head.
By the end we were all pretty much having Murphy moments....
I guess there was a time when the stunt coordinator
told me if I got my stunt right he would give me "the
armidillo" and I thought it was some sort of
stunt lingo for a job well done, and it turned out
the "armidillo" was the the back guard I
was wearing for protection during the stunt.
Gilles Nuytens: Murphy
and Harry Dresden share a special relationship, in
your words how would you describe this relationship?
Valerie Cruz: I think they genuinely
care about one another. And it is the type of care
and concern that comes from a deep mutual respect.
They come at things from opposite sides of the court,
but they are playing the same game. They want to protect
their city and the people in it. They both have a
reverence for what it intrinsically good in people,
and an acute awareness of those that are out to destroy
the delicate balance of things. They have both walked
through fire so to speak, and carry individual idosyncracies
and wounds that make them both irritating to one another
as well as endearing. If there is what others see
as a "spark" between them it isn't some
blaise sexual charge between two people...it is the
combustability between yin and yang... and that fight
for balance. They need each other.
Nuytens: What are
your expectations in terms of character development
for the upcoming episodes?
Valerie Cruz: I think Murphy will
become more privy to Dresden's world as she does in
the books, and their work and personal relationship
will progress from that. And beyond that it is anybodys
guess... I am sure our writers will keep us on our
Gilles Nuytens: What
do you like the most about playing Murphy?
Valerie Cruz: That is a really tough
question, as playing Murphy has been one of the most
rewarding roles I have played to date. I guess what
makes it such an incredible experience is the fact
that she is so dynamic. She is a real person, she's
funny at times, sarcastic, serious, sensitive, quiet,
loud...she is tough, but she still remains a woman.
So in short that she is this super dynamic individual
which is hard to come by sometimes in television.
TV Characters tend to be written as types, or very
two dimensional to fit into a certain genre of programming
or style... but not on our show. I really do love
her-what she stands for, who she is, even the fact
she wears cowboy boots with suits... so asking me
to pick one thing is pretty much impossible.
Gilles Nuytens: So
far, we don't know much about Murphy, can we expect
to see more
into her life and past in upcoming episodes?
Valerie Cruz: Yes definately...you
will see a lot more towards the end of this season.
Gilles Nuytens: What
would you say to convince someone to watch the show?
Valerie Cruz: It is a great show
with first rate actors who really care about what
they are doing. And is really different than what
tv has to offer right now. It has humour, heart, mystery,
magic... and one pretty good looking wizard! What
more could you want?
Gilles Nuytens: Being
a cop for real, is that something you would have liked
Valerie Cruz: Funny you should ask...
I've done ride alongs to prepare for several of the
cop roles I have played..including Murphy. I work
with Sgt. Mike Diaz of the LAPD, Hollywood Division.
And he told me that if I wanted to, I could definately
be a cop. And yeah, after hanging out with them, and
working with them, I couldn't think of a more noble
and kick ass profession than law enforcement. They
are a different breed, and the comradrie between cops
is unparralled. To be part of something so tight,
like a brotherhood, and have it be your job..well
it is pretty special. So, yes it has definately crossed
mind. And they are absolutely awesome and the whole
division watches the show every week at the station!
Love those guys!
Nuytens: You played
in 7 episodes of Nip/Tuck, how would you describe
Valerie Cruz: It was a whirlwind...
the show went from 0 to 60 overnight. It was a great
experience, and was a great launching board for my
Gilles Nuytens: If
not an actress, what would you have liked to do?
Valerie Cruz: I have a lot of other
interests... paticularly literature and art. Maybe
a museum curator. I also like helping people so I
have thought of social work at times or psychology.
And recently I have been incredibly interested in
Gilles Nuytens: You're
also in the cast of the upcoming series called "Hidden
Palms", what can you tell us about this show
and your role on it?
Valerie Cruz: Yes, it is slated to
air in May. The role is about as opposite Murphy as
can be... I go from cowboy boots and suits, to tiny
dresses, bikinis, and heels. The show is a coming
of age drama for the CW by Kevin Williamson. He is
an amazing show creator so to pigeon hole the show
into a type is impossible. Some say it has elements
of the OC. but it is much darker than that... more
like Twin Peaks. The story line surrounds the dark
secrets of a group of people living in Palm Springs...
and how one teenager's suicide sort of unhinges all
of them and the things they have been hiding. I play
Maria Nolan, the mother of the young boy who killed
Gilles Nuytens: You
play in 2 different brand new shows at the same time
but, absolutely not shot in the same location, one
is in Toronto and the other in Arizona & California.
How do you manage that?
Valerie Cruz: I am not sure how I
did it. A lot of flying back and forth, and some really
great producers who managed to juggle the schedule
with out pulling their hair out. I was really nervous
at one point that I wouldn't be able to do it, but
I guess you just take up all of that anxiety, and
just use it to jump in, and then you don't stop swimming
til you get to the other side of the pool. And it
all worked out... I was incredibly lucky to have had
such an wonderful opportunity. I am very grateful
to Lionsgate and both of the networks, SciFi and CW,
and the crew on both shows for making it happen.
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