EXCLUSIVE: Valery Ortiz Talks 'Hit the Floor' & Meeting Jennifer Lopez for the First Time!

Valery Ortiz for Hit the Floor

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Orlando, Florida, Valery Ortiz is on the verge of taking Hollywood by storm!

The 29-year-old host/actress is on her second season of VH1's Hit the Floor, starring as single momma Raquel, while still taking on various hosting gigs, such as her most recent with American Latino TV.

We recently caught up with the gorgeous (and very sweet) Boricua to talk about season two of Hit the Floor, her journey to becoming a TV host and actress, her idol Jennifer Lopez, and more. Read it all in our exclusive interview below:

Let’s talk a little bit about Hit the Floor. Where do we find Raquel this season?

In season two, we find Raquel managing her work with Devil's Playground. This season you also kind of start seeing everybody has a secret, so this whole time you’re kind of thinking Raquel is doing her thing trying to just help her son along, and then you start finding out that there is actually a lot more to it. This season we also find out Olivia was murdered, but I don’t want to give too much away.

In what ways have you been able to relate to Raquel?

Raquel is really passionate when it comes to her family and her son Miguel. She’ll do anything for him, and I think have that. If it involves my family or something I love, then I got to do what I have to do. She also loves to love, which kind of gets Raquel in trouble with obviously Jesse and then Pete the coach, her on-and-off relationship with him. So I really relate to her in that sense. Raquel is a little bit more impulsive than I am; I’m an over thinker. I’ll think about something like he is hot and then maybe act upon it. She kind of goes with the flow and does whatever she feels in her heart at the time. But her passion is what I feel like I can relate to the most.

Now we’re so used to seeing you in you work as a TV host with like ABC Family for example, what got you interested in acting?

You know it’s funny [because] first I really liked to dance. I did ballet, jazz, all this stuff when I was a little girl. I always wanted to be a ballerina. My brother Hector was the one who was kind of behind the camera. He would always do little videos and it was just him and I growing up, so I was his little actor. We would do little videos to fricken Disney songs, just corny stuff, [Laughs] but it was so fun. He was honestly, I mean it’s so corny, but my first director. He was my first inspiration for the acting bug and pretty much anything he did, I did. He got accepted into this extra agency in Orlando and they would hire you to be extras in different projects or movies or whatever. I was like, that’s fun I want to do it. And he auditioned for the Visual Preforming Arts Magnet at Dr. Phillips High School, and he got in. Then I auditioned as well when it was my turn and got in, so I started doing theatre and commercials and whatever. So really it all started with Hector.

Then the hosting thing honestly like just kind of happened. I got a job in Orlando with a show called Splat. I co-hosted and I auditioned for it in Orlando, and because of that show I was kind of forced to not start my junior year in college because the contract got extended through October. Long story short after that a friend of mine took a road trip to LA, and then I kind of never left, and my very first job out here was a hosting job for LA TV. I don’t know it’s just so odd. But I just kept auditioning for them and then booking them, so it just seemed to come natural. I felt so lucky you have no idea! The fact that I could do the hosting thing, you know, it’s a whole different piece. You get to be yourself and be playful. It’s a little scary because if someone doesn’t like your character or role you play obviously there is training involved and technique and acting but it’s not you. But when it’s hosting, if they don’t like you then that’s all you [Laughs]. It’s kind of intimidating in a different kind of way. But I don’t know, I really just love both for different reasons and I’m so happy I got to do both.

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