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SPECIAL FEATURE
Philip Ahn
Margaret Cho
Hiroshima
James Hong
Bruce Lee
Jet Li
Keye Luke
YoYo Ma
Lea Salonga
Dalip Saund
George Takei
Kiana Tom
Ming-Na Wen
Anna May Wong

COMMENTARY
Martial Arts Influence
Indo-American Films
Media Ownership Limits
Police Movies' Success
Playing the Same Roles
Musicals
Sequels
TV Stereotypes
Wanna Be a Star?

INTERVIEWS
David Henry Hwang
Amy Tan
Mira Nair
Vivek Oberoi
Die Another Day
Will Yun Lee
Zhang Ziyi

BUSINESS INFO
Film Financing
Hollywood's Managera
Murdoch in China Back to School Sweepstakes

 

LALAINE INTERVIEW
Lizzie McGuire and Beyond
Filipina who says "ARAY" when she gets excited or hurt - instead of "OUCH"

PERSONAL BACKGROUND
US ASIANS: Could you share some background information on the origin of your family's surname of "Vergara-Paras?"

LALAINE: Originally from Spain.

 
FAMILY BACKGROUND
 
 
LALAINE
 
Internationally known as the charismatic and outspoken teen "Miranda Sanchez" on the hit Disney Channel series, LIZZIE MCGUIRE.

She was named one of Teen People's "20 Teens Who Will Change The World," Lalaine has been carving a reputation in the entertainment world for more than six years, and although she is still only 16, she has accomplished more than most twice her age.

Lalaine got the performing "bug" at the early age of two. Inspired by her older sister, Cristina, who became a professional singer and landed a lead in Ms. Saigon in 1996, Lalaine was det- ermined to follow in her sibling's footsteps. Says Lalaine, "My sister knew I wanted to take singing lessons, and offered to pay for them. She has truly been my #1 idol."

Lalaine was chosen for Tom Petty's music video for his single, "Walls". Several months later, Lalaine auditioned and landed a role onstage for the Broadway production of Les Miserables playing the part of "Little Cosette." At the time, she was only 10.

When Lalaine decided to take a break from Les Miserables on the road, she quickly landed a role in the Disney movie, Annie, playing a part of one of the key orphans.

After Annie, Lalaine appeared in a string of national commercials for Barbie, Burger King, Quaker Oats and Microsoft. It was during this time, that she played Elizabeth Pena's daughter in the NBC television movie, Borderline.

Then came Lizzie McGuire - "Disney was having a hard time finding someone for the part of Lizzie's best friend, 'Miranda Sanchez', so when I went in for the part, everyone else had already been in place," says Lalaine. "I went in for what I thought was a call-back, as we were all doing a table reading, and then thought 'wow, this is weird…I think I actually have the part right now!'" She did.

Lalaine's role as Miranda on the series has given her "cult status" in the teen world. She receives thousands of fan letters a week, and is known as one of the role models of her generation.
For more info, click HERE.

US ASIANS: Could you share some information on the careers of your talented family members in the entertainment industry, such as your Cristina - your older sister?

LALAINE: My sister performed as Kim in the touring Broadway Cameron Mackintosh production of Miss Saigon from 1996 through 1999.

US ASIANS: What factors associated with your sister (Cristina) inspired you to follow your sister's career in the entertainment industry? (i.e. perseverance, excitement, being recognized, influence/ability to do other stuff, etc.)

LALAINE: Just a natural sibling rivalry I guess. I was 4 years old when I saw how my family enjoyed her singing and that was the beginning.

US ASIANS: Did you ever inspired to follow your sister's path of landing a lead in Broadway musicals such as Ms. Saigon, Into the Woods, Flower Drum Song, Chicago, etc. like other Filipina artists such as Lea Salonga, Sarah Brightman, Vanessa Williams, etc.?

LALAINE: I did the touring Broadway Cameron Mackintosh production of "Les Miserables" as little Cosette.

US ASIANS: Could you share what special qualities your two sisters (Marian and Cristina) and brother (Frank) have that provided support for your various entertainment dreams? Is any of your family members part of your entertainment team?

LALAINE: My sisters are available whenever my Mom needs assistance in anything related to my career and care. I guess we can call it "They have no choice". After all I am their baby sister… hee… hee…

US ASIANS: What factors of your Filipino culture and being brought up by parents that were born in the Philippines were some of the keys in helping you achieve your great success in the entertainment industry?

LALAINE: Perseverance is a much needed virtue. I love that I look different even with all the difficulties that comes with that.

US ASIANS: As the result of achieving so much success at a young age (having been born on June 3, 1987), daughter of parents that immigrated from the Philippines to Burbank California and a proud Filipina, do you ever feel that you are the proverbial "Cinderella" at the "Ball?"

LALAINE: Maybe more like "Blessed".

US ASIANS: When did the singing lessons (that your sister paid for) start?

LALAINE: When I was 9 years old.

US ASIANS: Could you share about your love of sports such as basketball, football, ice-skating, skiing, golfing, horseback riding, swimming, bowling and dancing? (btw: Does the success of people such as Michelle Wie encourages you to concentrate on any sports in actual competition and/or get involved in charity events in "Pro/Celeb" opportunities?)

LALAINE: I love competitive sports and really enjoy them. I am not sure what, it may be that burst of energy that I have or whatever. Generally it is easy for me to learn new sports.

Go to Page 2 by clicking HERE
Discover various parts of her life by clicking on the links listed below
Art of Acting Background Being a Role Model Dancing
Diversity Family Lea Salonga & Lalaine Live Performances
Lizzie McGuire Music Career Parting Words Regine Velasquez

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