Majandra Delfino: Roswell’s Maria

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Majandra Delfino plays Maria, probably Roswell’s nicest character. She talked to us about what it’s like on the set, being a doll, and how she’d abuse alien powers.

Before Roswell

Tell us about how you came onto Roswell. Is it true you were a ballet dancer before?

Yes, quite a bit of a ballet dancer.

I had been singing in a group with three girls when I was really young and we weren’t taken very seriously. People didn’t believe such young girls should write about personal experiences and all that kind of stuff. I did that when I was about 15, and I tried acting in Miami, where I’m from.

I got a job in a feature film and then basically had to spring that upon my parents and be like “Listen, I’m hired, are you going to let me do this?” And they said “Fine”. That’s basically what happened, it took me to Los Angeles and I got a job here and now I’m here.

Showtime singing

You still sing on the show – do you have much input as to what you’ll do in that line?

I do get input. There are certain guidelines we have to follow, for instance I tried to do a Police song, “Can’t Stand Losing You” and they felt, because he talks about suicide as a joke, [it wasn’t] friendly for the kids. But yeah, as much input as I can have, I have and enjoy it for what it’s worth.

Not the Joker

Who’s the most fun on the set?

I would say Nick Wechsler is the joker of the set. It’s really bizarre because everybody always assumes I’m the joker. Why? I’ve got to do something about that.

Yeah, it’s Nick. I’m not saying he’s the most fun to be around, that would still be me, but he’s the joker.

Boyfriend from beyond

Do you think aliens would make good boyfriends?

Personally, I would love to have an alien boyfriend. I would request things such as a tan, you know, they can do all these things and maybe larger breasts, I’m just putting it out there, I’d ask for certain things and I think it would be a wonderful thing, but [Maria doesn’t], she gets frustrated with it.

Glue girl

What do you think about the way your character is described as “the spiritual glue and comic relief” of Roswell?

I don’t know. I mean the spiritual glue – that’s a lot to put on someone, that makes me nervous. Now I’m going to totally mess up the scene after this.

I definitely am given really great lines, but, I really think the funniest person is Nick’s character. To me it’s hilarious, the Jock that is into the Buddhism thing, and Michael is so funny like at times.

I’m given the obvious funny kind of stuff, the wacky stuff but I’m more appreciative of the tongue in cheek things.

Killing yourself for TV

Do you prefer working in film roles or other types of TV role?

I wouldn’t know, taking a job on TV, what I prefer because I’ve never really been on a drama. I’ve been on sitcoms but nothing that is this long running and such a long day and all of that.

But I would say that it’s a lot easier, especially if you have a bit of an attention deficit disorder, to be on a movie because you can give it your all and kill yourself for however many months and then let it go. If you try to kill yourself for a role on the TV show, you’ll succeed. It’s too long, it’s too much. So, it’s tough but the challenge is a good thing.

Partytime in Roswell

What is a typical day on a Roswell set?

It’s like a party. It’s bad because we’re all young, you know. It’s good bad, my kind of bad but it’s definitely loud and fun and it’s we bring out the kids in like the crew as well and pretty soon they’re making fart jokes. So it’s a lot of fun, and sometimes it gets in the way of work. But we’re getting better at that, we’re improving.

The problems of fame

Is it difficult during filming, with the heat and the pressure?

No. It doesn’t get unbearable for me, I’m from Miami, I love it when we’re out in the heat. When it’s cold I’m like “I’m never acting again” because it’s too freezing.

It’s weird going out to [film]. There are so many fans, and it’s so hard because you’re there to work and you want to go and sign autographs but you’re at work. Sometimes they get mad because they see you like dressed up looking all normal, and you’re like “But I’ve got to go” and they’re just like “I used to like you”.

There are some expectations that are [too high]. It’s hard to deliver from time to time but we try.

Hacking horror

Do you have a lot of contact with fans through the web?

A lot of us do, I do. I definitely go on from time to time.

There’s like some specific sites that we post on, but I just had a terrible thing happen to me where I posted on a site and people had been posting saying that they were me. It was really crazy and then, I don’t know how, they got into my personal computer, the full on hacking thing.

So it’s starting to get a little scary but we definitely try to at least answer their questions and stuff like that over the internet.

She’s a doll

What do you make of the merchandise? Do you see yourself as a doll?

I always have.

Would you like something like that?

I would. I think it would be really cool, yeah I think it’s a great thing. I have a friend who has a doll [made] after her and I was like “That’s not cool, where’s my doll?” So I definitely think it would be fun.

Musical freedom

What film have you been working on?

Sticks and Stones. That was just a two day thing, really one scene, but this summer I worked on my music. I have a CD coming out in less than two months. It’s all online actually, I’m like the online chick.

The theme of this whole thing and is something I completely put together by myself with two musicians I work with. It’s like my little project. So that’s what I did over the summer and it’s very exciting because when you’re an actor they tell you what to say, they tell you what to wear, it’s very much like you’re not really in control in a sense and you’re not really there to be in control.

But with this it was great because it’s like my little project, my little baby, songs I wrote, songs we produced and everything. It’s like we’re our own label, which is a good thing.

It’s not really me!

Do you have much input into the character’s look and personality?

Yes, definitely, we get input, but it’s a character you know, it’s just a character.

I have so many problems with that, because, speaking of the music, I have so many situations where these Roswell fans go onto my site and they’re like “She’s not like the same, like bubbly Maria”. They think that it’s the same person.

So you do have to go into it creatively like with wardrobe and all that going for the character, not me. It’s harder because people think it’s you so it gets into something else entirely.

Standing up for a haircut

Who decides on how you style your hair?

That is definitely the one place where everybody gets their way.

In the first season I had really short hair and they liked that, they cast me as this girl with the hair this long [indicated very short length] and I was like “I really don’t like my hair short, I’m going to start growing it out”. With me it’s always like “Well she’s crazy, she can do whatever”, that’s the great thing about my character.

But [with everybody else there’s been some, “I’m going to do my hair this way, that’s how I’m going to wear my hair”. It’s the one thing everybody stands up for. So as for who does it, we have great hair people but the actual concepts come from the individual.

Don’t make me an alien

Being on the human side of things, do you wish you had some special powers?

In real life yes, I would love to have special powers. I think my power in real life would be to stop time, therefore being able to sleep more, stuff like that, study, whatever. Just like “Stop I’ve got to do something”.

But for my character, no, because when they have to do their little special power things it’s more time. With the special effects, they’ve got to put their hand here, not there and there’s all these critical things that fall into place so I definitely wouldn’t want a power on the show.

I’m afraid because I know that Liz and Kyle, ever since they’ve been healed, are kind of like half alien. I’m like “Please don’t heal me, I don’t want to be an alien, please”.

Relationship problems

Is it fun playing the love hate relationship with Michael?

It is. We have a lot of fun, Brendan and I, playing the love-hate thing. People really enjoy it and it’s also given him an opportunity to be funny, because he was always the tough, brooding guy and it’s really given him an opportunity to be just so bad that it’s hilarious, a terrible boyfriend that’s really comical, so that’s a good thing.

Season three

Is there anything you can tell us about your character’s development in season three?

Rumour is, but they don’t really tell us these things as surprising as it seems, that she’s going to go out to look for her dad. For necessity not “I wonder where my dad is?” type of thing. Because I am like please don’t make it like that typical searching for the parent thing.

She has to find him to sign something that her mother won’t sign, which is a record deal. She basically goes after him and it’s funny because she has a really hard time narrowing it down as to who could be her dad, because her mom had a lot of fun during those times. So that should be interesting, and I love story lines with my mom, with Diane Farr, I think they’re always hilarious.

I’d like to see my character be evil. I would love that. You know, the aliens can possess us. I’d love to be possessed by some evil god knows what.

Dubious doubles

Would you like to play your dupe counterpart, and what would they be like?

Maybe it should be like this really conservative librarian of a person, I don’t know.

We had that 1947 episode which was really cool, being in the 40s and putting on this thick southern accent and all that. It’s always fun to do different things but the actual dupe concept didn’t go very well with me so I’m okay without it. It would confuse me too much, so I’m good.

A romantic blend

Do you prefer the romantic or science fiction angle of Roswell?

I like a blend of it. I get very tired with too much romance as an individual on TV, it drives me crazy. I like the idea in sci fi that sometimes everything’s tense and they’re running away from god knows what, I like that aspect thrown in with the romance of trying desperately to be with this person who’s completely unattainable.

Horse whispering or directing?

Have you any ambitions to write or direct?

It’s so funny, actors usually have a directing ambition. I’ve got no ambition for directing.

With that music kind of mentality, my thing is I would love to write and then I’d direct something I wrote. I find it so strange to take someone’s work and then be the director of it and have their view and take it on as your own, it’s almost unfair. To me it’s the same thing as being a singer and only singing songs people write for you. As much as I think that’s sacrilege I kind of see it in the same way with scripts and directors. Clearly not as bad, but I would like to write and I think I’d only like to direct if it was something I wrote or I wrote with someone.

It’s not something that I really … it’s there with like I’d also like to be a horse whisperer. It’s there with many other things.

Final words

Is there anything you’d like to tell us about?

Just my CD will be out in 2 months. [It will be out by now]. And if anybody is a fan of good music, I’m kidding, but you should definitely check it out.

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