by: Leaura Luciano
You may now know Laura Harring as the actress who played Chuck Bass’
mysterious birth mother recently on Gossip Girl. You may also know her
from her David Lynch’s cult classic Mulholland Drive. Perhaps you
have seen her Alma award winning performance in Love in the Time of
Cholera, where she starred opposite Javier Bardem, as his major love
interest. But did you know that the Mexican-American Beauty, Laura
Harring, made history as the first Latina to be crowned Miss USA?
I reached out to Laura to see what was new in her world and she told me
she just got off the phone with her sister in Thailand. The
conversation then turned to her love of travel, adventures in flying,
Gossip Girl spoilers, Mulholland Drive sequel rumors, and making it
last in Hollywood.
LeAura Luciano: I understand you love to travel.
Laura Harring: Yes it’s true.
LL: Are you an adventure traveler? And what are some of your favorite
places to visit?
LH: You name it, I’ve done it. I do scuba diving trips, treks in
Nepal, visits to the Mayan ruins and social work in India. I also
enjoy going to film festivals and taking mediation courses.
Recently I took a zero gravity flight. You do about 15 one minute
sessions of floating in the air; you’re weightless like you would be in
space. You get to see the water molecules when you spill water,
the break down into little molecules. Oh, and you get to feel what
it’s like to walk on mars.
LL: What’s that like?
LH: You can actually walk, but every step you take you float really
high up. That was pretty remarkable.
LL: That is really cool. Any other recent adventures?
LH: I did go skydiving from 18,000 feet. Usually jumps are at 10,000
feet or 12,000 feet, which is already really high up.
LL: Can you even see anything from the plane before the jump?
LH: At 18,000 ft you see land in little pieces, it looks like
little squares. Then they give you oxygen before you jump. That gets
you thinking about the jump and what’s to come. You get very paranoid.
LL: So how does a 18,000 ft jump compare with 12,000 ft jump?
LH: This was my first jump.
LL: Ever? Wow!
LH: Another thing I did which was really cool was combat flying.
LL: What’s that?
LH: It’s where you’re trained a half day to go on retired air force
planes. They’re combat planes, like in Top Gun. They train you so
that you’re actually flying the plane and right after takeoff you have
complete control over the plane. There is a pilot with you, just in
case. You do this formation where you dive down really sharp and you
try to hit the plane in front of you. In the cockpit, there is a gun
that has a laser and you aim and hit the target area of the
other plane. Its an actual competition.
LL: What inspired that?
LH: The adrenalin rush. I like the feeling of accomplishment there is
something really magnificent about being up in the clouds… and I did back flips and flips on both sides. Its really scary.
LL: It sounds really bad ass!
LH: That’s been a dream of mine, to do pirouettes in the sky. And I was able to do this and all of my friends couldn’t believe it because I was so
comfortable up there.
LL: That’s quite a bit of adventure.
LH: It’s nice to explore these things in life that are a little scary
and a little dangerous.
LL: Now, let’s get down to it…it’s rumored that there will be a
sequel to Mulholland Drive. Any insight on that?
LH: There’s a big mystery about that, isn’t there. ((Laughs playfully))
(Laura’s publicist chimes in) Keep it at that Laura.
LL: Got it, I will interpret that how I want to. Let’s talk about your
recent appearance on Law and Order: Criminal Intent. How did you like
Filming in NY?
LH: Well Jeff (Goldblum) sets the tone of camaraderie. It’s very
fun, so relaxed and very creative. I love shooting in NY. There’s a
vibe in the city that’s so fantastic.
LL: Speaking of shows shot in New York, it was a pleasant surprise to
see you as a guest star on Gossip Girl.
LH: Why is it surprising?
LL: Well, I guess I think of you more as a film actor.
LH: Look at my career, if you look at the career choices I’ve made
it’s so diverse, there’s really no pattern. I go from a independent
dark comedy like Drool, Marvel Comics The Punisher, Nancy Drew which
is a classic story that I grew up with, the more artistic Mulholland
Drive, The King with William Hurt, to The Shield opposite Forest
Whitaker. There’s no pattern. It’s all these different choices.
LL: Did you know much about the show before you got it?
LH: I didn’t know the popularity of Gossip Girl. I was very relaxed
when I went in. Then I saw how popular it was and how juicy and scandalous it was, I was so thrilled to
be part of it. The show is so well written and it’s so glamorous!
LL: Will you be returning to the set of Gossip Girl next season?
LH: You’re full of mysterious questions, aren’t you? There’s a 50%
chance that I am and a 50% chance that I’m not.
LL: Fair enough. Tell me about some on-set antics.
LH: My co-stars were so nice and cool they treated me like a Gossip
Girl and made me feel like part of their family.
LL: And how about that wardrobe! Did you love it?
LH: Oh I loved the wardrobe; I tried to get some things.
LL: How did that work out? Did you get to keep anything?
LH: It was very difficult.
LL: Well maybe when you return it won’t be such a problem.
LH: (laughs) It’s just a studio thing.
LL: Moving away from your work and onto your approach to navigating
Hollywood. How does one maintain longevity in one’s career as an actor?
LH: Hmmmm, that’s a great question. I can’t say for anyone else but
me, but I love what I do. I have a passion for it and I choose my roles for different reasons.
Sometimes it could be for personal growth, to expand my knowledge of
something, or to get over fear.
LL: How have you done that?
LH: I took a role (in The Punisher) about 10 years ago when I had a fear
of heights because I know I would have to learn wire work. It was
martial arts training on the high wire that got me over my fear of
LL: Fear of heights? Didn’t you just do “pirouettes in the sky” and a
jump at 18,000 feet?!
LH: If we are full of fear were not really living our lives. Are we? My
philosophy is whatever you’re scared of you have to face it and go
toward that direction so you can get rid of it.