There's way more to Laura Gomez than orange jumpsuits and prison life. The talented actress, who plays "crazy," disheveled inmate Blanca Flores (the one who is really good at hiding cellphones) on the hit Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, is set to co-star opposite Keanu Reeves, Ana DeArmas, and Mira Sorvino in the upcoming thriller Daughter of God. You can also catch her in recurring roles on Law and Order: SVU and the HBO mini-series Show Me a Hero, about the Yonkers desegregation crisis of the 1980s.
In honor of OITNB's Season 3 return (June 12, 2015), the actress answered our 26 burning questions and filled us in on prison life at Litchfield Penitentiary.
Actor or actress you look up to and why:
There are many, but I can mention Gael García Bernal as an actor whose journey I've followed. He started his career in Mexico and not only has he "made it" in Hollywood, but he actually has a very interesting, non-mainstream film curriculum that I admire. His choices are bold and risqué, and I just love that about him.
Blanca Flores line you had the most fun saying:
"Ok, to hell with the phone. I want porn."
Character from OITNB you despise and love the most:
Describe yourself in one sentence:
Passionate, perseverant gypsy soul with the Caribbean sun running through my veins.
Embarrassing story you have about trying to make it in Hollywood:
I once contacted Oscar-winning Spanish producer Andrés Vicente Gómez (Belle Époque). I had been referred by a mutual friend. He invited me for coffee at his office in Madrid. I must have been 19 years old at the time. I have no idea what I was thinking. Maybe that he'd notice how passionate I was about being an actress and he'd cast me in his next film? It didn't happen that way. He was very nice, though, and we spoke for about ten minutes. He answered some questions about films and projects in Spain, wished me luck, and said, "Keep me posted on your projects."
Famous person who has made you starstruck:
Jodie Foster and Andrew McCarthy on the set of Orange Is the New Black. I grew up watching them and it felt surreal and amazing to be directed by them. Andrew has since directed me a few more times. I joked about it with him.
GIF that accurately describes how you feel today:
Hobby you have that few people know about:
I'm a film junkie. It may not be too original, but watching all sorts of films is a hobby, a passion, and a big love of mine.
Inmate from Litchfield Penitentiary you wouldn't mind being stuck on a deserted island with for a year:
I think Lolly is as much fun as the actress who portrays her and Lori Petty is as fun as it comes.
Job you would have if you weren't an actress:
A location scouter for Peter Jackson. That sounds kinda cool, right? Plus, I think he'd pay well.
Karaoke song you love to sing:
"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by the Eurythmics and tons of Spanish classic 80s songs. Gosh, I hope that doesn't make me sound too old.
Last TV show you binge-watched:
I'm late to the game, but I recently binge watched Friday Night Lights. Also, Derek. I was just recommended Peaky Blinders, so that's next.
Meme you are really loving right now:
Nineties music video you still think is really awesome:
Probably Michael Jackson's videos from his album Dangerous, all of them. "Remember the Time," "Black or White," "Earth Song." Seriously, those videos have passed the test of time.
Orange Is the New Black plotline you would like to see for your character:
Uzo Aduba recently mentioned it'd be awesome to see how Blanca got to be this "crazy," being that she's not at all crazy. I'd like to see that plotline about what turned me so odd.
Pornstache line you love the most:
Questions you would like to ask a historic figure:
I would have liked to ask Nelson Mandela how he found the strength and spirit to unite his country after all he went through, and how hard or easy it was for him to forgive.
Revelations you have had about your OITNB co-stars since you started working with them:
I'll keep those private.
Series you would love to cameo on one day:
Louie and American Crime.
#TBT: Send us a Throwback Thursday photo and tell us the story behind it: This #TBT was from those first days on set. We still didn't have a clear idea of where these characters were heading. Selenis Leyva recently texted me and said, "This picture never gets old."
Up-and-coming band or artist you hope becomes popular soon:
Gus Reed. She's actually Connie Shulman's (Yoga Jones) daughter, and an amazing singer-songwriter. I'm a fan.
Vee vs. Red: Which side would you choose and why?
That's a tough one. I'd say Red, only because she'd probably feed me better food.
Worst part about having to wear those orange jumpsuits on OITNB:
Or those beige ones... They're hideous, and shapeless, and heavy. Ironically, though, as an actress, they've helped me develop this character so much.
YouTube video you can't stop showing all your friends:
I love these funny segments that very talented friends of mine created called "AyAyAy Witness News." I'm in episode four in one of the segments, but they're all hilarious. I'm again shamelessly plugging only because I really can't stop showing this to my friends!
If you didn't know Zimbio was an entertainment site, what would you think "a Zimbio" was?
Hmmm... A type of dance with African roots, perhaps!