East Los High's Vivian Lamolli: How I Got in Shape for my Feature Film Debut

Dede Lagree training Vivian Lamolli on the Supra @ Lagree Fitness Studio/ /Courtesy of Lagree Fitness


If I told you that you could get a banging body in twenty-five minutes would you believe it? 

This is a dream that Lagree Fitness Studio has turned into a reality through their newest innovation, the Supra™. The Supra™ is the first workout machine that uses tilt and incline simultaneously to maximize results in short amounts of time. The Lagree Fitness™ Method is a full-body High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) that can be done in 25 minutes (using the Supra™) by focusing on constant speed, effective resistance, flexibility, form and variation in minimal time. Created by Sebastien Lagree, this innovative workout method has earned the praise of A-List celebrities including Sofia Vergara, Kim Kardashian, Eva Longoria and Alessandra Ambrosio. The latest celeb to take part in this fab, yet effective exercise routine, is actress Vivian Lamolli. The Cuban and Puerto Rican performer, recognized for her character as Fili on the Hulu original series, East Los High, is working together with trainer, Dede Lagree, in preparation for her next breakout role. The 26-year-old beauty will be depicting the adult film icon, Vanessa Del Rio, in a bio-pic that honestly portrays her controversial and unique life, and career. We caught up with both Dede and Vivian to find out how they got this Latina's body camera-ready for her huge debut, their advice for people wanting to stay fit outside of the gym and on Vivian's advice for aspiring performers. Check out our exclusive interview below! 

 PLUS: 10 Quotes to Honor Your Body

Vivian, how did you get into acting and what can we expect from your role of Vanessa Del Rio? 

I’ve been acting pretty much my entire life, but dancing and singing first and foremost. I really started taking into account that this could actually be my career within the end of high-school and college when I was touring and doing musical theater type shows. What really impacted me out here was when I booked East Los High on Hulu. It really took off out here with the Latino culture out here in East LA, and you know a lot of Latinos are subject to playing gangsters, or the maids and not as leaders of America so within this show it shows a high school demographic trying to reach goals while doing different things with their lives. We joke around about it because it’s like a Latino Degrassi. So you build these life long relationships and then you’re working while you’re doing it. I guess I could say that having done that for 4-5 years was really beneficial for me because I could hone and mold the team I have out here to see what steps and what moves I’ll make next. You know the script kind of fell into our laps and it has been circling around since like 2013. There have been numerous ladies out here who have read for the role of Vanessa Del Rio, but it kind of clicked for me. Sometimes we’ll [actors] say “man I didn’t get this part” or “what happened, I felt good about this” but when something fits so perfectly it just fits. After booking it, I met her, I was flown up to New York City and after meeting her I not only met such a kindred spirit, but was so excited to tell this story. And tell in the light that is not so shocking or so risqué because you know this was her life. The fact of the matter is, she took on this career because of how much she loved exuding herself sexually and that was something, seen by me, as strength and womanhood and not anything to be derogatory. When we spoke she let me know that she was the very first person to kind of take a stand rather than listening to direction of being just an ingénue or this female figure of vulnerability, instead it was strength and leadership in this type of career. So it’s going to be very intense, it already has been extremely intense on set. I’m working with amazing actors that I have looked up to my entire life such as Taryn Manning, Charlie Sheen and Esai Morales who is another Latino in the game who is just killing it, so from here on out I’m just excited to see where this will go.

Does it make you nervous at all that Vanessa will be able to watch your portrayal of her?  

Yes, absolutely. I have a funny story when she actually invited us to her home. I have a very outgoing personality, sometimes a little too much and over the top, being Puerto Rican, Cuban and Italian can make you that way laughs.  So I met her, we rolled up to her house and the first thing I said was “What up ma?” and she just gave me this once-over from top to bottom and says “well you’re up kid, what’s up with you?” Basically saying, “what can you bring to the table, I’m excited to hear what you have.” Of course, on that ride over my heart was pumping, I wondered what’s she going to say and how she is going to feel, is she going to be like “oh this girl can’t play me at all,” but when we were leaving, Thomas Mignone, our director stayed behind and this is what he said to me, I just have to put it out there because it felt so good to hear this especially from the woman I am going to be portraying; she said “Tommy, we’ve been searching since 2013 and I think we’ve been waiting for this to come across. I’m just going to let you know that I don’t think there is anyone else who could play me at this point, so let’s kill it.” She’s an executive producer on the project so she will be there, she’s going to be flown out to LA and then we are also going to touch base in New York when I get there.

What were your fitness goals for your new upcoming role?

First of all, in playing Vanessa I’m actually playing a real-life person who is living, it’s not just a made-up character so it’s important for me in this process to pay attention to her body-type, how it changes and what she is going through because it covers a timespan of about 5 years of her life during her early 20s. She was pretty curvaceous her whole life, but then she started getting more fit when she was incarcerated so that was really important for me to continue keeping my curves, staying slender because I am still in front of the camera, but that muscle definition is important. So when Lagree Fitness came upon me it was just so awesome and such a blessing… It has helped me achieve this goal of staying fit while still keeping my curves and that Latina flair.

Dede, how did you help Vivian achieve her fitness goals?

Well when I first met Vivian we kinda went over her goals and what she wanted to keep, tone and sculpt. She definitely wanted to keep her Latina curves so we worked on a lot of exercises to just tone the outer thighs, inner thighs, the glutes so we did a lot of leg exercises, heavy pushing exercises on the Supra™ also using the tilt function we were able to target her glutes really well. She also expressed to me that she had some Lingerie scenes and really wanted to tone her abs so we did a lot of abdominal exercises as well on the back of the machine, which is actually more difficult. I also trained her on her diet, because we always say; "as much as you can train hard, you can’t train a bad diet." So talking about drinking a lot of water and maybe cutting out sugar before a lingerie scene to flatten the abdominals and get rid of bloating. We also went on hikes that will definitely help with just some basic cardio, and in LA there is such an incline so that helps to tone the hamstrings, quads and glutes, so we really worked a lot on the lower body and abs.

Vivian adds... Just as an actor and a performer it’s been really great to work with Dede with this class and just with other workouts that I can do at home, because you know we’re on set every single day and sometimes you can’t make it to a Lagree Fitness studio so she definitely gave me a lot of tips to do at home, that even when your off the machine you can get a lot of beneficial results from. You know, drinking a lot of water has also helped to clear out my system, alkaline water as well. Those lingerie scenes, I’m glad that she brought those up because you really can be so vulnerable in front of the camera. I think that something that takes away a lot of fear and doubt about how you feel physically, so you can just focus on the performance, is being in shape, healthy and at your best.

How did Lagree Fitness come to be?  

Sure, so I am married to Sebastien Lagree, the A-list celebrity trainer who created this Hollywood workout, the Lagree Fitness Method.  Before I married him, he didn’t have a studio and he’s always constantly coming out with new equipment and innovative ways to optimize the workout without maximizing it with time. So he’s always trying to come out with a shorter workout while making something better. I told him a few years ago, why don’t we come out with a studio, in the heart of LA, where we can have all your new innovations.

Just to give you a little background his old machine was the Megaformer™, which has been used by Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Aniston and more A-List celebrities who participated in this 45-50 minute workout. The Supra™ is a 25-minute workout, because it’s just more intense and Sebastien now believes in having a shorter workout more consistent throughout the week. So instead of doing two times a week for 50 minutes you can now do 4 to 5 times a week for twenty-five.  There have been health benefits for people doing a shorter workout and keeping their heart rates up because then you don’t release as many hormones and as much stress. You can’t do shorter workouts and it be super easy, you have to get the cardio in and then its very effective. We have found at the studio that the 25-minute workout is also inviting clients that don’t have the motivation to go to the gym for 60 minutes but they are finding motivation for the 25 minutes. So it’s opening up motivation for those who usually don’t have the desire to go to the gym.

(Vivian) Yeah the best thing about it is that it’s literally 25 minutes and you feel like you’ve been working out for hours in the gym and you get this fresh feeling and you’re sweating so much. The focus on elongating my muscles and how fit I feel afterwards, I don’t think you can really get that in a long workout.

Vivian, how do you stay in shape when you're not training and Dede what are some of your tips for staying fit for those who can't access a Lagree Fitness studio? 

(Vivian) Hikes are really great because doing stairs, and doing anything on an incline is really good. I’ve noticed a difference for sure on my glutes, quads and legs-- it’s been really great. For me, doing anything where I’m sweating really helps too because then you’re debloating and getting rid of toxins and anything that is making you feel too unfit for the camera. The gliders really help as well because first of all, it is really difficult laughs. People think ‘oh you’re doing it from home’ and what not, but you’re sliding just in really slow movements. Kind of like the Supra™, but you’re not on top of a machine it’s just these disks that you have on the ball of your foot and it’s just continuous movements. Also planking and a lot of different abdominal workouts to engage the core.

(Dede) Just even holding a plank for one minute a day, I know it sounds not a lot, but it helps to get the metabolism revved up. Plus, you can do it in the morning before breakfast; you’re just working on engaging that core. If you just have just 5 minutes in the morning to do a plank, side planks and a “thread-the-needle,” it really helps to keep that core engaged throughout the week. I think that in fitness most people think that if they don’t work out for an hour everyday that they are not going to be toned. It’s more about being consistent so even if you can only dedicate 5-10 minutes a day then you train hard 2-3 days a week and on those other days you just do 5 minutes of planks. The most important thing, more than gliders and planks, is getting your steps in. So no matter where you are in the world you can get a little step reader, a Fitbit or even looking at your Iphone through the “help” app you want to get in at least ten thousand steps a day and if you really want to boost the metabolism I recommend fourteen to sixteen thousand steps a day, which is like equivalent to six miles. So that will definitely, if you don’t have time to go to the gym, that will help the weight to just start coming off without even lifting a finger.

What can we expect from both of your individual careers in the future? 

(Vivian) I’m very, very blessed and humble that I’m in the position to say that I’m excited to see where this project will launch my career. Whether that be with stronger roles on the silver screen, or with booking a role in a series, I would really like to continue being a light and an example for actors, actresses and people who are coming up in the business right now, but don’t really know their place. It’s very important to just know who you are and just be settled within that. For me, it’s just really playing roles and people who are strong female figures, I think that’s number one for me. It’s always a plus to express my culture and who I am as a Latina. Right now though I’m focusing on this project and I’m just really excited for festivals and once it get’s to the box office, what’s going to happen from there.

(Dede) For me, I will continue to train Vivian to get her to her hopes and dreams of her body, whatever she wants we can definitely target, sculpt and tone whatever she wants. If in the future she’s like “I want my arms more toned,” we will then do a ton of arm exercises. I’m excited to continue this fitness journey with Vivian. As far as myself, we would love to open up more locations across LA and continue to grow with the Supra™ within the next year. I am also now getting into doing more at-home fitness videos so you will definitely be seeing more of me on YouTube, on websites, maybe in magazines and other outlets doing how-to Lagree Fitness inspired workouts at home. That’s pretty much it just training more people, inspiring more people, and helping more people with their journey. I’m also getting my health coach certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), so I’ll also be bringing those services to my studio where I’ll be helping people with their relationships, careers and goals, as well as their food and exercise programs.

Vivian, what is your advice for young people in the Latin community who are aspiring actors, singers, and dancers? 

I would say always keep working towards your goals whether it be the entertainment industry or another aspiration it is so important to never quit. Break down doors, barriers, obstacles and what I've found best to do is use any of the failures you come across to the best of your ability. Hold onto your word because loyalty, hard work, and perseverance are always what wins in this industry! Keep the faith!

Check down below for two Supra™ workout moves that can be done both off-machine and at-home, courtesy of Lagree Fitness! 

1. Catfish

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"Start by facing a chair and place hands on the sides of the seat of the chair, extend your arms so they’re straight.Creating a 90* between your hips and the floor, place your feet on a towel (to allow the feet to move back and forth on the floor), go up on the balls of your feet and keep a slight bend in the knees. Keep legs straight with a slight bend in the knees and pull your knees toward your elbows on a 4 count; staying on the balls of your feet, push your slightly bent knees away from your elbows by sliding your feet. The Catfish works the arms, lats, and abs."

2. Carriage Kicks

"Go into a lunging position with one leg in front of you and one behind. Squat down and maintain the lunging leg (front leg) static and stationary. Place your opposite foot (behind leg) on a towel and slide that foot back until the leg is almost straight (do not move to the point where your knee is completely straight -- you always want to retain tension with a little bend in your knee). Slide the back foot in and out on a 4-count, always having the moving leg keep some sort of a bend in the knee. This exercise works legs and abs."