LOLITA MILENA is an enchanting Wheelchair-abled Actress destined for global greatness because she is magic. She recently finished her first feature supporting lead role with renowned American Filmmaker, Author, and Director, Kyle Newman. She is joined by an extravaganza of acting talent including Ruby Rose and Paris Berelc. Watch out for Lolita playing the role of the diva “Jenna” in the upcoming Lionsgate and Buzzfeed film titled, “1UP.” She is a published writer, a major social media influencer, and has progressively created original comedy skits categorised as, “Wheelchair Humour.” Lolita is cosmic, ethereal, and bewitching.
Welcome to Pizazz News!
Q: How did it feel booking a role in the feature film “1UP” and did you enjoy the experience of working with Kyle, Ruby, and Paris?
A: When I had gotten the call from my agent, I was watching “Red Dragon” with my roommate in a sad mood. She and I had been discussing how my hopes were down and that I’d simply just never “make the cut” in the industry. Well, safe to say the universe has not only perfect timing, but has a sense of humor! I was calm on the phone and then celebrated with my roommate with a lovely drink. All of the cast welcomed me with open arms, Kyle, Ruby and Paris especially. I see all of them as family.
Q: Can you tell us more about your character Jenna in “1UP” and what the film is about?
A: I like to call the comedic style of “1UP” as “Pitch Perfect” minus the singing. The story is about Vee deciding to quit her college esports team due to the boys always pushing her to side tasks and downplaying her gameplay skills. So, in retaliation Vee forms an all girls esports team. I personally see the theme as one that says “no gender is better at gaming, just let them be equal and know everyone has different skill sets unique to the individual.” Jenna is the groups diva/influencer. I know- shocking that I’m playing a diva influencer! All of the characters are truly unique from the other in terms of personality and goals which I love, especially in a comedy; leaves tons of room for laughs.
Below are some images of Lolita in her upcoming debut film with Buzzfeed and Lionsgate titled “1UP”(2022)
Here is Lolita with her big sister and co-star of “1 UP” Ruby Rose goofing around on a pin ball machine.
Q: In our ZOOM interview you discussed auditioning; can you tell us some more about auditions, some roles you have recently auditioned for, and what happened?
A: Auditions have drastically changed since the pandemic, but for me personally it was the best possible outcome. Now, I can simply self-tape from the comfort of home and send the one good take out of like, a hundred. My first ever audition was for the feature film “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (2022) back in 2019 when my agent sent me the message via my Tiktok dm. Honestly, I thought he was a scammer so I ignored him until one of his clients got a hold of me and proved he was legit. It’s funny now, but I was raised to always be cautious; especially in this industry. The audition sadly was in vain since they chose to go in a different creative direction, but it was not long after I landed “1UP,” so it was all for the best. I’ve been so fortunate to have had auditioned for plenty of now well known tv shows and each one is a learning step in this line of work. The most recent being ABC’s reboot of “LA LAW.”
Q: You mentioned you had spent a number of years acting in theatre; what kind of acting parts and productions were you involved in?
A: My first ever role was when I was six years old and offered the part of Clara’s little sister in “The Nutcracker” ballet performance. It was a character specially written for me and they even provided an era-appropriate wheelchair to sell the part. Of course, I said “yes” and wound up playing the part for a consecutive five years. Ever since I was little, all I wanted to do was dance like the ballerinas I saw. My father would often joke about me wearing out the floorboards in our dining room because I would be constantly going back and forth to the music. Even at six years old, I’d be so confused at myself. Like, I knew every move and how to do it, but my body just wouldn’t listen to me. So, I just made up for it by showing my upper body could still perform just as good as any other dancer. When I was eleven I got involved in community theatre because I didn’t have stage fright thanks to the ballet. Out of the sixteen or seventeen productions, my favorites have been Lilly Fezziwig in “Christmas Carol,” a tango dancer in “The Addams Family,” and a little pickpocket in “Oliver.”
THE NUTCRACKER- Lolita performed live on stage as Clara’s little sister for 5 consecutive years.
Lolita started performing from 6 years of age.
Pictures taken during 2006 – 2011.
Ahoy matey! “Mermaid in Shrek Musical 2014”
Q: What would you say mostly inspired your passion into the world of Acting?
A: Movies and books made up my childhood. My father always made it a tradition to snuggle up with some Grimm Brothers or Hans Christian Andersen. It was our special father-daughter custom. My mind would get lost in those fantasy worlds as he would read them to me. When he would be at work and I was stuck at home during the winters cause of a poor immune system; my mom and I would binge old films after schoolwork was done. She was the one who got me into the old star action hero’s like John McClain and James Bond. That was how we bonded, my mom and I discussing how would we get out of those situations in “Lethal Weapon,” or how was Harrison Ford going to prove his innocence in “Fugitive.” I would sit there and in my mind, act out the movies over and over, just utterly fascinated by the stories (no matter how unrealistic some might be.)
Q: Who are your favourite Actors and Actresses?
A: Having primarily watched older movies, my favorite actors came from those. Carolyn Jones from the 1964-1966 “Addams Family” will always be a classic. Meryl Streep was iconic and still is to me ever since watching the movie “River Wild” and seeing her use accurate sign language. I have a sister who is deaf and she also really enjoyed the film. I remember having Ashley Judd’s “Double Jeopardy” also on replay (I think I wore out that VHS now that I think about it). My mom preferred John Wayne, but I enjoyed watching Tommy Lee Jones or Clint Eastwood. She never opposed to a film starring them either haha. My first ever tv show to watch was with my mom; the show “24.” So, I obviously have a soft spot for actors such as Reiko Aylesworth and Kiefer Sutherland
Q: If Lolita could wave her magic wand, what roles do you think would knock your socks off?
A: In the film world, I love anything horror or suspenseful. It is my goal in my career to be in a hit horror film before I “die.” Yet, in tv I would love to perform in something along the lines of dark fantasy or science fiction. I’m a huge history nerd, but also a nerd for the outlandish things the human mind can create using the elements of our world and whatever is out there we cannot see or maybe even comprehend.
Q: Do you think paraplegic Actors are adequately represented on the screen?
A: Honestly, not really. Growing up I would watch movies with a side character being in a wheelchair and my siblings made it a game: point out the flaws. I think you can view a movie differently because you’ve grown up with this disability and know the signs of one not being genuinely portrayed. How are their legs positioned and why are they sitting so perfect? Why are they crawling on their belly? Just sit up and scoot! The muscular tone of their legs and feet. I’ve seen films say the person was paralyzed their whole life and yet, have toned legs and developed feet. I do strongly believe that if you get an audition from someone who has the disability written for the character and they can showcase the talent, hire them. Hire the correct person for the job. That’s why I really appreciated the “1UP” crew. Not only did they give me a chance, but they would come to me constantly to make sure what was written, could A: be done. And B: would it be something I’d do or say. I can only hope in the future, more production companies can see this film and how it was made, as the perfect example of opening up these doors for talent that’s often overlooked.
Below are images of Lolita with some of the cast of the film “1UP”
Q: You successfully published your first novel “2459” in less than a month winning first place for the infamous writing platform, NaNoWriMo; what is your novel about?
A: The story is about two sisters who were created in a lab to be used as biological weapons. It is up to them to decide their ultimate fate. The story had been brewing in my mind since I was a child and only came to fruition back in late 2017 early 2018 when I wrote it for the NanoWrimo contest: one where you write a fifty thousand word novel in the span of thirty days.
CLICK ON IMAGE OF BOOK COVER “2459” TO BE DIRECTED TO LOLITA’S BOOK ON AMAZON
Q: What genres of books do you most like to read? What is your all-time favourite book and why?
A: My favorite genre of books have always been anything dark in context or fantastical in nature. My father was never the one for Disney and wanted me to know the origins of our classic fairytales. Then, with my mom getting me hooked on the fast paced action flicks and suspenseful stories in eerie settings, it wasn’t a surprise when all I’d pick up to read were Stephen King or Edgar Allen Poe. “Gerald’s Game” would be around the top of my list or “Entwined” by Heather Dixon, a spooky twist on the 12 princess’ fairytale.
Q: As a major social media influencer on TIKTOK, you bedazzle your
And – do you ever sound out your ideas to a trusted person or do you just press the button and hope for the best?
A: When I first started posting content to platforms such as Tiktok,I didn’t really know what to post. So, I went with the flow of what was popular and trendy. It didn’t exactly feel authentic to me and I wasn’t having the most fun. Now, I still don’t find myself funny even today and having been in a comedy film. But my sarcastic humor about my disability is something I’ve had since I was little. I’d be in the hospital around the age of seven and other children would pester to know why I was in a wheelchair. I wouldn’t answer and overhear their Mother’s say to keep asking until I answered them. Or on the flip side of things, parents have pulled their children away from me at stores or playgrounds claiming I must have some sort of disease or illness. Those situations at such a young age helped me develop a tougher shield on my heart and psyche. Whenever I was asked why I was paralyzed, I’d answer silly questions like “I went skydiving and forgot the parachute” or “I didn’t eat enough protein as a kid.” I learned that if I can make fun of something I can’t control, never can it be used against me. It was also a very fun and creative avenue to showcase that it’s alright to make light of a bad situation, because there is no reason to wallow in self pity over something that you can’t change.
Q: What video are you most proud of creating and uploading on YouTube? Can you share it here?
A: My favorite type of content to post to YouTube would be anything involving how I just live my life. People seem to be enthralled with how I manage to have independence being in a wheelchair when to me, it’s nothing special or new. I didn’t know any other way of living life since my injury occurred when I was two years old. Sometimes I forget that people are so curious to know how I drive a car, or how I can even transfer out of my chair and that I’m not glued to it 24/7.
Q: Who are some comics/stand-ups/influencers that you find funny?
A: To be entirely honest, I don’t often watch comedy related content. But, whenever I am in the mood for a good chuckle, Daz Black from YouTube never fails to make my sides hurt from the laughter. Mainstream wise, whenever I have the rare mood to put on a comedy, it usually tends to be Melissa McCarthy or Tom Segura film/ segment. Some influencers I tend to lean towards would be the lesser known ones I’ll see when scrolling. I find their comedy to be more genuine and thought out, rather than the recycled memes they find on Twitter or Reddit.
Q: Would you ever be on one of those godawful reality tv shows where they made you eat insects or other foul things if they paid you enough money?
A: Yeah no. Not only are the insect segments ones that make my skin crawl, but I am someone who loves deep storylines to television. The shows and movies that make my brain really think. I don’t think reality tv was ever on in my home growing up. If people enjoy content such as reality tv, that’s great but I don’t think you’ll be seeing me any time soon.
Q: What is something people assume about you which isn’t true?
A: My intelligence. I think the perfect example about what I mean can be traced back to when I was nine. We had a thing called “Disability Week” at my school and they made a Venn Diagram. One side said “what paraplegics can do” and the other was what they can’t. Each student was given a card with an activity written ie: go to a restaurant, attend college, have friends. I didn’t have to participate for obvious reasons and when everyone sat back down, my heart sank. There was not one thing on the positive side of the board. I had grown up with these peers and this is how the viewed me. It didn’t seem to change even when I grew up. I’d be a student in advance placement courses and still talked down to as if I was mentally slower than them. It really dawns on you the prejudice people showcase. If your legs don’t work, then obviously your mind can’t either. Yes, I was a nerd during my time in school and I never understood why it shocked teachers or made students sort of side eye me. But looking back, I now see the full picture and I don’t like what it is. That’s one of the main stereotypes I think need to be broken. It should never be a shocking revaluation that someone who is physically different, can have a high intelligence like those who fit the physical health standard.
Q: Can you share three of your all-time favourite quotes, musings, or life philosophies?
Loved this interview Lolita! Much gratitude for sharing so many beautiful heart warming and deeply meaningful stories. You simply are MAGNIFICENT. We can’t wait to see you in your new film “1UP” and we wish you a hugely happy and stellar 2022!