Edy Ganem is a breakout star on the rise! The beautiful and talented actress is currently captivating audiences with her role as Valentina Diaz on the hit Lifetime series “Devious Maids.” Executive Produced by Marc Cherry (“Desperate Housewives”) and Eva Longoria, “Devious Maids” follows five Latina maids who take on far more than just the sweeping and cleaning in the Beverly Hills' homes they work in as they discover that with great wealth comes great trouble. When we first met Valentina in season one, she was working as a maid alongside her mother (Judy Reyes), and in love with the son of her employer. This season, we saw Valentina venture out on her own which led her on quite an interesting journey, and as Ganem told me in a recent interview, one that was also very exciting for her as an actress.
With a humble spirit and a visible dedication to both her craft and humanitarianism, Edy Ganem embodies what it means to be a true star!
Last time we talked, you had given me a sneak preview of season two and said Valentina was going to be moving out on her own and going through some major changes, and she definitely did!
Edy- Yes, it definitely went in a totally different direction. I thought it was really fun to see that change with Valentina's life, and also the fact that she becomes not only more independent but she takes more charge of her life and she decides that she is going to prioritize what she's been wanting to do, which is her fashion career. That's why she's been working now at the Powell mansion; she's saving money so she can finally do that. And while there she meets Ethan, the pool boy, who actually is the one who encourages her to do what she wants to do and gives her a sketch pad and some coloring pens, and next thing you know they're dating and it just becomes a whole mess when she finds out that he's actually involved with the robbery. And so poor Valentina is involved with this bad boy! I think the fun thing about it all is that she explored being with other people and just realizing that she can expand her world. I think before it was just more about her family and Remi, and I like the fact that she kind of just decided to take more charge and make her decisions, and be more independent, and explore and open herself up, even if it meant making more mistakes.
And I think it showed us more about her character as a person because she was put into some tough situations this season and was tested a few times. Even with Mr. Powell, when he learned of his wife's affair, she encouraged him to do the right thing and then with everything involving the robbery. She was thrown into the Beverly Hills world more.
Edy- Exactly. There's a scene with Valentina and Zoila (Judy Reyes) where Zoila is basically the child for a second and Valentina is the parent in the sense that Valentina is telling her mom to do the right thing. She's telling Zoila, "You need to tell your boyfriend that you saw my dad because it's the right thing to do." And Zoila is like oh my gosh this is the worst visit ever because she's being put on the spot by her daughter. We see Valentina grow, and also very maturely handle the relationship with her employer, Mr. Powell. She in a way tries to help that relationship stay together because she sees how Evelyn Powell is cheating on him, and kind of goes through the whole flow of emotions with Adrian Powell. She sees he gets hurt and she's part of that dynamic as well, so I thought it was really interesting to see Valentina in a different world.
And last season we saw you mainly work with Judy Reyes and Susan Lucci, who was your employer, but this season with Valentina working with the Powell's, how was it to work with Tom Irwin and Rebecca Wisocky?
Edy- Rebecca Wisocky and Tom Irwin are amazing. I was so excited even before this happened. I remember in the first season I kept telling Rebecca I would love to work with them and then she kept saying, “Wouldn't it be awesome if Valentina worked for me and then she started designing some clothing for Evelyn?” We had all these ideas and we wanted to work together. It was just really, really fun working with both of them. I feel like I get to learn even more because I've been I think starting out as a daughter of Judy Reyes, I couldn't have asked for better and then also working with Susan Lucci, and now second season I'm with Tom Irwin and Rebecca Wisocky, so I think I'm lucky girl! Yes!
And I liked the storyline she had with the Powell's. She was like their moral compass in a way. It didn't go the route some might have expected with her being in the Powell house.
Edy- Well, I remember another conversation I was having with Rebecca where we said, “No what's going to happen now is Adrian going to be all creepy with Valentina? Is he going to be like what we saw the first season with Flora?” (Laughs) We were like that's going to be so awkward. And so I like the fact that it didn't really go that way and it was more of a father/daughter relationship in a sense.
The finale of season two ended with a major cliffhanger, especially concerning Valentina. Her life was put in danger because she had learned the identity of the Beverly Hills robbers who were the ones who caused the death of Alejandro. I know you can't say who got shot but I thought that final scene was great. What a way to end the season!
Edy- I know! I remember reading one of the versions of the script before the final one was given to us and yes, he was aiming to shoot Valentina because he wants to get rid of her and basically cover his tracks. But in one of the early scripts, accidentally he was shooting Carmen (Roselyn Sanchez). Now she wasn't going to die, I think it was going to be like oh she shot the wrong person accidentally, what a mess. Then Marc Cherry changed it to the way we saw it which ends in a way where we don't know who gets shot. And truthfully, I actually don't know so I'm just praying that Valentina doesn't die! (Laughs) We actually don't know what's happening. So for me, when I read the ending I was like there's gotta be a third season because this has no conclusion here!
Yes, you can't end it like that!
Edy- Exactly! You can't end it like that. So third season, please! I don't want to die!
We also saw in the season finale that Valentina was offered an internship to work for a fashion designer in New York to go and she asks Remi (Drew Van Acker) to go with her but with his mom being sick, he has to stay in Beverly Hills. Another road block in their relationship but a great possible new chapter for Valentina career wise.
Edy- Yes, she's asking Remi to go with her but for Remi it's just the wrong time. He really can't leave his mom right now. I think it's another moment where we see that Remi and Valentina again have that separation. They're finally almost together again because Valentina finally sees that Ethan is not a good guy and Remi has been there for her and he's wanting to get back together, and then again we see that it seems like it's not happening for a while. It's kind of like the star-crossed lovers, so we'll see. It would be really cool to see if she actually starts getting involved in the fashion world. Who knows maybe if she got shot and she gets hurt, it'll be a totally different thing where she's recovering. I don't know, but I personally would love to see Valentina finally start that chapter of her life. I think it would be fun and a great change. It would be great to start the whole fashion experience and then maybe we can see Valentina adapt to that world on her own.
Do you have a favorite moment with Valentina from season two?
Edy - There are so many scenes I remember where I had so much fun with. I'm trying to remember all the moments! It was more fun in real life, but we shot a scene where Ethan gets stabbed and Valentina calls Remi to help with the wound and then so you see Valentina with her ex-boyfriend and the current boyfriend. In the actual show it's supposed to be like a really awkward situation where you have the two guys. In real life, I've never had anything like that so it was fun and interesting because it's something I would never do! It would be really awkward in real life so I thought it was hilarious. When we were shooting it, it was really fun because we're all really good friends and we always hang out so it was cool to just be working together. It was also actually really fun to shoot the last scene because we were all there. I don't ever work with the other girls except Zoila because she's mom. But I really don't have scenes with Carmen, or Marisol (Ana Ortiz), or Rosie (Dania Ramirez). And even though we didn't have lines towards each other in that final scene, at least we got to work on the same day and we were hanging out on the set together. Otherwise, we see each other sometimes in the make-up trailer.
I know this is your first role series regular, now that you have done two seasons, do you feel you have grown as an actress or that things were different the second season?
Edy- Yes, definitely a lot. I just feel like everything, no matter what it is, helps you grow and working with Judy during the first season was a great learning experience for me - just seeing how she works, and exploring and rehearsing the scenes with her. She's such a great actress and so I think she was one of the great influences for me. And also, just simply being on the set: just day to day learning, and having Marc Cherry on the set explaining his vision and sharing that with us. It's different when you do film and you do TV. TV tends to be a little more stylized and emphasizes on the one-liners and the jokes and you have to say it in a very specific way, so you learn all of that. I remember first season I used to be a told, okay bigger, bigger. Because I did more Indie films in the past and it's different here you're saying some jokes and you gotta be a lit bit bigger otherwise it's going to read so boring. So I definitely grew a lot. I learn constantly. And second season, I felt much more comfortable and just more at ease and willing to try different things. I've learned that it's okay to try something and if it doesn't work, you move on with it and try the next thing and it doesn't mean you're doing something wrong. If anything, you're willing to explore; something could happen that is actually brilliant. So I just became more relaxed with my work. It just feels so much better because then you're not thinking about the stuff that doesn't matter; you can actually focus on your character and the moment.
I know you're involved with the Latina non-profit, MALDEF. Do you have anything new coming up with them?
Edy- I'm going to be hosting their San Antonio gala on September 20th. And that's a big deal for me because I've never been a host. I'm a little nervous; it's not acting and hosting is a totally different thing, but I want to contribute. They've asked me to do it and I've done things with them in the past, and I want to continue being involved. I'm looking forward to that. It should be really fun!
We have done a couple interviews now and you always seem very grounded, is there a piece of advice that you always live by and carry with you in this business?
Edy- It's just a basic thing and I really agree with it that came from my dad: he just always told me to believe in myself. It sounds just really simple, but when you're pursuing a dream and you encounter a lot of difficulties and obstacles, you start to feel like what if I can't do it? What if it doesn't happen? All these what ifs. And it's understandable to not always feel your 100%; you're going to have doubts, I think it's normal, but as long as you always pick yourself up and keep believing in yourself and keep trying I think that's the best thing you can ever do. And recently, I was having a conversation with George Lopez and he told me now that I've been doing these bigger jobs, he said, “Just make sure you're always grateful. Just always make sure and remember to be grateful.” And I completely agree with that because once you start achieving what you want to do, you have to remember to be grateful because that will keep you grounded. You've worked for it, and you should be grateful and appreciative and remain that way so that it keeps coming. It's like the circle of giving: you need to value what you have.
Any final thoughts you would like to share with your fans?
Edy- I like to stay in touch with the fans via social media a lot. I really get involved through twitter and Instagram, if anyone wants to see what I'm doing. People can follow me at @edyganem for both accounts. I like to interact with people as much as possible!