After making an impressive film debut in “Quinceanera,” Emily Rios has compiled quite the list of roles in critically acclaimed productions such as “Friday Night Lights,” “The Closer” and “House.”
But the 24-year-old Los Angeles-based actress is best known for playing a reporter on the FX drama “The Bridge,” as well as recovering drug addict Andrea Cantillo on AMC’s “Breaking Bad.
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. Maui. I’m a big beach bum and I like to lay out and listen to the waves and relax. We went last year for my birthday when I turned 23. It was awesome and the food was amazing. I ate some of the best sushi I’ve ever had in my life there. Everything was caught fresh. I ate Spam there, too, and it was good. You have to be careful with how much you eat ‘cause the portions are humongous. I met a lot of locals who had fruit in their trunks they were selling. Everything was so clean and beautiful. It was a perfect week. The feel of the ocean and being able to swim in beautiful water and watching the sunsets was beautiful. We saw dolphins and turtles and whales. It really was magical.
Q. Did you enjoy surfing there?
A. I’m not a surfer! I tried once and rode my first wave on the first time I tried. But I ended up eating crap really badly. After that, I got scared. I love to play basketball, hike, play soccer and stay active. But surfing isn’t something I’m good at.
Q. Do you find it odd when people come to Los Angeles as a getaway?
A. No! Los Angeles is great. I was born and raised about 50 miles east of downtown L.A. and now I live near Venice and I feel grateful to live here. Anything you’re craving, you can get to in like 20 minutes. That’s the big joke around here, but it’s true!
Q. What is on your travel bucket list?
A. I have a lot of places in mind. I was supposed to go to Korea for three weeks with a friend of mine this past winter, but that trip fell through. So I have to get there.
Q. Where are some places you’ve gone to for work that you’d like to return to?
A. I’ve been to Berlin, Germany, and can’t wait to return. I’ve been to Italy and Canada for work, too, and Mexico. I feel so lucky to get to work in the field I love, travel to amazing places for work and film festivals.
Q. What would be your next destination if you could leave right now?
A. My grandmother is from Yucatan and my parents were born in Guadalajara. I’d like to travel and learn more about my background and heritage and see where we’re from. I want to travel through South America. Everywhere. I want to go everywhere next! (Laughs)
Q. Tell me one thing you found surprising about your travels?
A. I learned that in parts of Europe, the legal drinking age is 16, which was very nice when I was younger. (Laughs)
Q. What was the first trip you took as a child? And did you love it … or not so much?
A. I will never forget it. Back then, it was the worst trip of my life. But now I wish I had taken advantage of it and appreciated it more. I still apologize to my parents for being such a brat about it! It was summer and my parents drove us through Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and some other places — all in a van with no air conditioning. My sister is a year older than me — we were maybe 11 and 12 years old. We sat there listening to our parents play their music and sing at the top of their lungs. We were miserable! But I think back to what we did — visited the Grand Canyon and saw some amazing, beautiful places and met great people along the way. I didn’t know it back then, but it was actually an amazing trip. We were too busy being miserable brats to appreciate it. At the time, all we wanted to do was stay home with our air conditioning and our friends. I still apologize to them about it.
Q. What’s the best part of traveling for work?
A. When I first began traveling for work, I was underage. So my poor mother traveled with me to all these places, like Canada and Germany. I think it was fun for her. It was great for me to get to spend some time with her where I wasn’t acting like a brat! (Laughs)
Q. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?
A. When I was young, I was very sheltered and very religious. I saw the world as black and white. I thought everybody looked the way we looked and spoke like me. So when I started traveling, I learned about the differences and the similarities. When you travel, it educates you.
Q. Do you pick up foreign languages easily?
A. I was able to pick up some Italian, because it’s similar to Spanish in some ways. My sister was studying German at the time I went to Berlin, so she helped me with that. We are so lucky as Americans. Everyone speaks English. Almost everyone.
Q. Have you had a moment where you felt afraid during your travels?
A. Yes! My mother and I got lost on the east side of town when we were in Berlin. We tried to get a taxi for 30 minutes and couldn’t. That was the one scary memory.
Q. Where have you enjoyed your best meals?
A. Hands down Italy! I ate the best food I’ve ever had in my life there. Everything tasted like somebody’s mom cooked it up with love. A lot of it came on trolleys, buffet style. It was awesome. I can honestly say that everything was delicious.
Q. What are you tips for traveling overseas?
A. Don’t sleep before your flight! I try not to so I can sleep on the plane. Pack light, so you can get in and get out! Airports aren’t the place I want to stick around too long.
© 2013 JAE-HA KIM
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