'Hiccups' star Paula Rivera sinks her teeth into 'Nasty Anna'
Generally sweet and kind by nature, “Hiccups” star Paul Rivera recently relished the opportunity to take her character to the dark side.
Rivera plays Anna Dirko on the half-hour comedy, and while Anna is patient and dotes upon her husband Stan, she occasionally falls victim to “hiccups” of her own, either becoming a scheming tough-as-nails disciple of children’s author Millie Upton’s boss Joyce Haddison (Laura Soltis), or getting filled with seething rage as other women fawn over her husband at a pottery class.
Letting this side of her character out has become an exercise in acting freedom for Rivera.
“Playing ‘Nasty Anna’ was really, really liberating and fun,” the actress tells CTV.ca. “I got to be intimidating to all these girls and be super-jealous. It was really good too, because I find that my character is very understanding towards Stan, so when she gets super-jealous…it’s fun to play that.”
Born in Mexico City, Rivera moved to Vancouver to complete her dance training. Before “Hiccups,” she made appearances on “Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures,” “Flashpoint” and “The Terrorist Next Door.”
The actress says she has found that during the second season of “Hiccups,” she’s enjoying the way her character has developed, and the new ways which she interacts with the other characters on the series.
“I find it interesting that I’m a lot with Stan and Millie, and being a part of their team,” says Rivera, who credits her on-screen chemistry with Butt to their overlapping senses of humour.
“I really get him, I really get his rhythm. I admire him enormously, and it’s really fun to work with him,” she says. “It comes naturally. I find the scripts are written very clearly, in the timing.”
“It’s really nice working with these people, now that we know each other, it’s very relaxing. It’s pretty laid back and in a good mood, and I think that comes from Brent,” she adds. “At the end of the day, he’s the guy that holds it together. He’s always so nice, Nancy (Robertson) as well, they’re very nice people. It’s always stressful to get a day done, and getting hair and makeup done, that’s normal. It doesn’t become unnecessarily stressful.”
As for her future plans, Rivera is hoping to continue her acting career with a foray into feature films, which she says is her dream.
“I’m inclined towards glamorous or privileged parts,” she says. “I’m not into playing junkies right now. But I think there’s no wrong parts, except the ones that make you feel humiliated. If that’s the case, don’t do it.”
“Hiccups” airs Sunday nights on CTV, with full episodes available online at CTV.ca. It stars series creator Butt as life coach Stan Dirko, and his real-life wife Robertson as Upton.
About Tyrone Warner
Tyrone Warner has been with CTV.ca since 2005, covering news, entertainment and everything related to CTV. When he’s away from the computer, you can find him writing, recording and performing his own music, running his own record label and dabbling in photography, painting and creative collage. Follow him on Twitter!