What did you like most about playing her?
For me I initially was like, 'This is such a great opportunity to create a cartoon, a character.' I got to create a funny voice and have all this attitude. I was doing all this research as an actor watching Bingo and Gidget, and I noticed there weren’t many Latinas in those movies. I thought, this is any opportunity for me to be in a film and give these little girls, the chance to see themselves on screen and say ‘mom, we did exist back then and look we were on the beach too.'
It became a bigger project with more importance to me. Disney is so good about that and they’ve been pioneers for that for a really long time, if you watch any of their programming, you see so much diversity. I’m just glad I got to be the Latina in this movie.
Was there anything you didn’t like about playing this character?
No, you know it’s funny because some of the cast mates call me Cheechee. They don’t call me Chrissie. They have me saved on their phone as Cheechee because I just became this character so they just affectionately call me that.
Do you share any similarities with Cheechee?
We are sassy and fun, but she is definitely way cooler than me!
What would you say is different about your styles? I see you, and you're girly, while Cheechee has this sort of tough look going.
Yeah! She wears the leather and I don’t ever wear leather. You know, I’m super girly, and like to wear skirts and dresses all the time. But she is definitely way more stylish than me.
So the movie was filmed in Puerto Rico; what was that like?
Oh my gosh. It was incredible and it was magical! There is just something about the air, and also, we had free time so we got to explore the island. We did El Yunque, so we climbed up in the rain forest. I became the translator for everyone. And I had way too much mofongo, for sure, but it was amazing. I love Puerto Rico!
What was your favorite part about doing this Disney movie?
My favorite part was the cast in general. We all became really good friends. Everyone is so supportive and incredible. All the stuff I learned not just through filming, but also dancing, that I’m going to get on So You Think You Can Dance. Watch! [Laughs] No, I’m just kidding. But I learned so much from my cast mates and there is nothing that can measure up to that for me.
What message would you like to send out to your fans about Teen Beach Movie?
I feel very blessed and overjoyed to be part of this Disney movie. It is so much fun and the whole family can enjoy it. It is incredible and I can’t explain how much you are going to love it. The musical numbers are amazing, the music is incredible, and you got a Latina in there so you have to support.
Go to the next page to see what she had to say about Jenni Rivera!