Izabella Alvarez | 'The Republic of Sarah'

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000006310005.jpg ![000006310005.jpg](https://assets-global.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d4d7bd8542ef953be5b6_000006310005.jpeg) At age 17, [Izabella Alvarez](https://www.instagram.com/izabellaalvarez/) has already amassed a career spanning over ten years with notable roles in Showtime’s _Shameless_, HBO’s _Westworld_ and ABC’s _Splitting Up Together_. Beginning her acting career at the age of four, Alvarez seamlessly commands every role she has been given with maturity and grace. Her latest project is on The CW drama, _The Republic of Sarah_, premiering June 14, where she plays the role of Maya, a high school student who is struggling to adapt to a new life in New England, but quickly finds her voice and bands together with her friends to save the town of Greylock. _Flaunt_ had the opportunity to talk to the rising star about mental health, life on the set of _The Republic of Sarah_, and 35 mm film! Screen Shot 2021-05-28 at 12.46.19 PM.png ![Screen Shot 2021-05-28 at 12.46.19 PM.png](https://assets-global.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d4d8bd8542ef953be625_Screen%2BShot%2B2021-05-28%2Bat%2B12.46.19%2BPM.png) **How did you start your acting career and what inspired you to go into it?** My dad had the opportunity to audition for a Walmart commercial and casting asked if he could bring his entire family in. We all auditioned, then got a producer's session, and the next thing you know we’re all on set. I was a little 6 year old on this huge commercial set, and it felt like home. I had the most incredible time filming and I've been doing it ever since.  **Tell me about your upcoming role in _The Republic of Sarah_, what kind of preparation did you have to do for the role?** I play Maya Jimenez, a damaged, lonely, outsider who is originally from Los Angeles but is now forced to move in with her estranged father Luis in Greylock. She has never had an existing relationship with him because growing up he was never a part of Maya's life, but now her mother is in prison, so the only place to live is with this stranger. I tried to make Maya feel as grounded as possible, even though she feels like the world is completely against her in the first few episodes. I’ve personally never moved to a new school before or moved extremely far away from a familiar place, but I do have a cousin that has moved a lot her entire life and she’s expressed how frustrating it is.  **What was your favorite part of filming _The Republic of Sarah_, either on screen or off?** The cast is truly what made the experience so unique and special. We were basically locked in Canada since the borders were closed, so no family or friends could visit. It gave us all a chance to lean on each other as a cast. We obviously didn't know anybody in Montreal and we could only see each other for six months because of covid. We were all in the same bubble and had family dinners every Friday. Our cast is obsessed with the game “Celebrity” so we would _always_ play—definitely Luke Mitchell & Landry Bender are the most competitive. We would have sleepovers all the time and crash at Hope Lauren’s place. It was just a nonstop blast. Memories that we will never forget and cherish. **What is your favorite memory in 2020?** 2020 was extremely shitty for me and of course everybody else in our world, so I honestly don't have any incredible memories but I'll tell you a recent one. It was my last night in Canada filming and spontaneously the cast did a jam session. Hope Lauren was on drums and Forrest Goodluck was on guitar & bass.  Everyone else was singing at the top of their lungs “Wake up” by Arcade Fire, one of my favorite songs btw. Afterwards, we had a late night dinner and just hung out and gushed about different memories since I was flying out early the next morning. It felt like a coming of age film, I didn’t want it to end. I don’t think I even slept. **What have you learned over the past year?** I learned many lessons but one that stands out specifically is that you can outgrow people and that's okay. The only way _to_ grow is to distance yourself. Then, surround yourself with people that make you feel your best self.  It’s like an intervention or a life reset. **You’ve been acting since the age of six, what have you learned in the last decade?** I’ve learned that rejection doesn’t equal your worth. I’ve dealt with so much of it in this business and it can genuinely mess you up. Especially as a child actor, you’re growing as a kid and you're trying to find yourself, and all you want sometimes is validation. It’s tough when you get repeated calls from your team saying “It's not going any further on this one”. It feels like the rejection is never ending. But you just have to be patient.  **What is your dream role?**  I’ve suffered from OCD and anxiety since I was 10.  I would love to do a film about my mental health and play a character that also struggles with that every day. When you're playing a role that hits really close to home, it feels like therapy.  **Do you have any hobbies outside of acting?** I’ve been shooting film for about 2 years now, specifically 35mm. It's a nice way to capture memories especially when I was in Canada, all I did was shoot endless amounts of film. I really like reading & writing too. I enjoy staying as creative as possible when I have breaks between projects.  **Is there anything you are looking forward to in this chapter of your acting career?** I look forward to diving into characters that challenge me as much as possible. Also, diversity is so important to me and our stories need to be told to properly represent the Latinx community. I'm also looking forward to being a part of other projects with more diverse casts. * * * Photographer: [Shane McCauley](https://www.instagram.com/shanemccauley/) Stylist: [Monty Jackson](https://www.instagram.com/mrmontyjackson/) Hair: [Sienree Du](https://www.instagram.com/sienree/?hl=en) Make-up: [Melissa Hernandez](https://www.instagram.com/melissa.hernandez/?hl=en)