Miami native Natalie Morales has a hot new starring role on the USA Network crime drama White Collar and lead roles in the films Going the Distance (she plays Drew Barrymore's best friend) and Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, opposite Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf and Susan Sarandon. Vivo Por Tivo caught up with the Cuban actress, 24, to talk about the big year she’s having.
Your first big role was as Wendy Watson on ABC Family’s The Middleman, which was cancelled despite having a huge cult following. Do you miss playing Wendy?
I absolutely loved that show, that role and the people involved. I loved everything having to do with it. I do miss it everyday. It was great, although White Collar couldn’t be a better second experience. I’ve been really lucky with shows where the casts are great and the scripts are great. It’s not very often that an actor gets to say that they really love a show that they’re on, and I have loved everything that I’ve been able to do.
You started out as a guest star on White Collar, and over the summer you were promoted to series regular. Congrats! Tell us about your character Lauren Cruz?
She’s an FBI Agent that has just been transferred into the White Collar department. She’s kind of the sarcastic one in the office and she’s smart and sort of a badass, which is awesome.
White Collar is a hit! People really seem to love it. What makes the show special in your opinion?
I think that what really stands out about this show is that it’s considered to be a procedural, but it has so much more to do with the characters and their relationships than it does with whatever problem we’re solving that week. What’s more important are the relationships between Peter (Tim Dekay) and Lauren and Peter and his wife—and it’s much more about that than it is about the crime. Even though the crimes are always really cool and interesting. We can pretty much do anything because it’s a very wide world—a wide array of things under the White Collar belt.
Can you give us any interesting spoilers of what’s coming up for Lauren later this season?
There’s definitely more undercover stuff, and there’s a little thing happening with Neil (Matthew Bomer), so you will see that. They definitely have a flirtation and it may or may not go somewhere. So we’ll see.
Do you know how many episodes of the show you’ll be on this season?
I think that I’ll be in most of them. I wasn’t able to be in one of them because I was doing Going the Distance [starring Drew Barrymore]. But I think that I’m going to be in probably 10 of the 13 episodes.
You’re also in the highly anticipated Wall Street sequel, Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps. What’s the film about?
I’m not actually sure because I haven’t read the entire script yet. It’s very hush-hush and secret. I know that Michael Douglas is back, and I know it stars Shia LaBeouf and Josh Brolin—and a little bit of me!
You have to tell us something! For instance, does your character interact with the evil Gordon Gekko?
I can’t tell you! Confidentiality stuff [Laughs]. It’s crazy. Seriously, it’s crazy!
Fair enough. Who do you play in the film?
I play the office bitch. I’m actually playing older than my age—like 30 or 30-something.
Really? But you look so young…
Makeup and clothes can do a lot!
Are you watching Natalie on White Collar? Excited to see Wall Street 2? Dish in the comments!