9th February 2023
Interview: Shane Ramdhany
Editor-in-chief: Owen James Vincent
Photography: Nick Rasmussen
Hair & Make Up: Carolina Yasukawa
Manager: Suzanne Coston from de Passe Jones Entertainement
Publicist: Amanda Abelita from Abelita PR
Special Thanks to Jennifer Millar and Lindsay Hatcher from Paradigm Talent Agency
ReVamp: The Inner Screen’s lead writer, Shane Ramdhany, meets with the talented and insightful Sam Morelos who stars as Nikki on That 90’s Show. She discusses her experience on the set as well as her perspective on the existential themes that exist within the art medium of acting.
What was your experience like working on that 90’s show?
It was genuinely so rewarding. This was my very first project in the industry itself. Once I got there and I was on the set, I was so starry-eyed as I had never done anything like this. I came from mostly a theater background but pivoting into multi-cam sitcom isn’t as hard of a transition as I thought it would be. As a set and as a stage it is more or less the same. This is a true highlight of my career even though it just started!
What was the biggest challenge for you working on this show?
Comedy is a very specific art and requires a lot of attention to detail. It is very timed and calculated. My biggest learning curve was adapting to comedy and its pacing. Being surrounded by such an incredible cast and crew was very inspiring, I learned so much. I went through weird feelings of “do I belong here?” because I didn’t have as much experience as others on the set. This was also a big challenge to overcome. However, everyone on the set was so supportive which really helped. I really couldn’t say enough how much the cast, my family and friends have been supportive.
Shane: In your position it’s probably natural to experience those self-esteem struggles when acting alongside experienced actors and actresses. However, it sounds like the support system you generated on this set went a long way in a attributing to your success. Also, you were chosen for a reason, it is clear they have seen your talent and your potential.
Who is your role model?
It is kind of stereotypical, but definitely my mom and dad. I am a first generation Filipino, my parents are from the Philippines. Both of them are my role models because they not only granted me life but opportunity as well. They have been so supportive of my acting career and artistic endeavors. There is also Lea Salonga, a Filipino actress, who was my very first role model in the industry. I started in musical theater and she did Miss Saigon and she was really phenomenal in that and an incredible storyteller. I also admire Audrey Hepburn (my middle name is Audrey). It was very important to see an actress who was passionate about not only the art of acting but also about kindness.
What is your idea of the ideal role?
Well, ideally, I have a list of roles I don’t want (laughs). I am not interested in Biopics because I don’t get to create a character from scratch. It is not appealing to me to portray someone who has already existed. What is so great about television is that there exists so many great ideas. I love acting because I love people. The idea that every single person has their own story that makes them unique is fascinating. Therefore, the scope of characters to be created is infinite so I don’t think the ideal role has been created for me yet.
Shane: Truly insightful point. The scope of creativity regarding to characters and narrative is limitless. It sounds like that for you, committing to a character that has already existed limits your creative ability to create new, unique individuals and narratives
How do you like to spend your time when you aren’t in school/acting?
I am a singer and growing up I have always been surrounded by music. My mother sings too, I inherited her voice. I am a self-proclaimed old soul and I like the classics, mostly Jazz. I also like to write my own music. It has become an outlet for me to take out all my emotions that I am not able to put into acting. I love art and creating and being surrounded by all of it. I also like to knit and knitted a scarf! I lost my needle but once I find it I will pick up knitting again. I enjoy simple things such as spending time with my friends and going to the grocery store. I also like to thrift. Nothing in my wardrobe was ever mine first.
Shane: It sounds like your interests enhance your creativity in film/theatre and you have hobbies that promote peace and serenity, which is essential to decompressing from acting.
Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
I am actually filming a small part in a Disney Plus movie. Though I am not sure I can talk about it at this time (laughs). I’m also directing my first short film. There is definitely a learning curve but I am very excited. We have shot 3 scenes so far. It has been the most hectic time of my life!
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Go watch that 90’s show! And if you already did, watch it again