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Grand Hotel’s Justina Adorno’s Fast Rise To Fame

People

Justina Adorno is living every young actress' dream—the Hollywood kind. Cast as Yoli in the upcoming ABC drama, Grand Hotel, Adorno will be seen on screen in the luxurious Miami Beach hotel owned by an affluent family dripping with glamour.


The series is set to air in 2019 and is a remake of the Spanish telenovela, Gran Hotel. Stars are in her eyes and by her side, as Adorno is working with Eva Longoria, one of the show's executive producers. We asked Adorno a little bit about her fast-paced experience joining the cast and filming the pilot, as well as from where her inspiration arises.

1. When did you learn you got the role as Yoli, and how did it feel? How long had you been working toward the role?

This whole process has been fast and furious. It was for sure the last of ABC's pilots that I auditioned for, and it just felt right. I had the audition the day I was going to visit my brother in Orlando and I had to cancel my flight because they wanted me to come in and not self-tape. At the time I was upset, and my brother said, "They better cast you," and they did. I got a callback the next week on a Thursday, Friday I had my screen test, Saturday I found out I booked the role and by Sunday, I was flying to Miami to meet the cast along with Eva, Brian, Ben and Ken. It was all so magical. I was off-book for the pilot before our table read. Marci Phillips, the NY Head of Casting for ABC, was the best. She truly believed in me when we made the audition tapes to send to the team in LA. I feel like I've been working on this role my whole life. When I read the pilot I feel in love with Yoli.

2. Do you feel starstruck when you work with actors like Eva Longoria?

You know, as of now everyone has been so down to earth, and conversation has been easy, so I haven't had a starstruck moment. For a second I had to tell Chris Warren that I was a mega-fan of High School Musical to just get that out of the way. I had the sheets and the cups. I even went to the concert. It was funny, it was after our table read and we were all in different places getting our fittings and hair/makeup done, and Chris, and I believe Bryan, were in the break room. I debated if it was the right time to say it and I just did. Chris laughed about it and was kind of shocked that I was a fan—but come on, who wasn't? We laugh about it now.

3. Do you have a favorite moment from working on this show?

I have so many, honestly. I had the best time filming this pilot, so I am itching to get back to set to finish the rest of the season. But the one moment I will not forget while working on the show would be the pool scene I had with my sister. It was such a long day for everyone and we were the last scene of the night. It was the coldest day in Miami, but as an actress it really hit me that I was living my dream and doing what I love that it didn't even feel like work; that made my heart dance. Ken Olin said a few words to me that gave confirmation that I was on the right path. It was magical.

4. Did you watch the Spanish series Gran Hotel to prepare for the role?

I did. I actually stumbled upon the show years ago on Netflix, and I had watched the first three episodes and couldn't stop. I was so captivated by the story and how beautiful everything was. The acting was so great, but then I forgot what the show was called, and I never finished it. My dad then told me he was watching a show called Gran Hotel, and he explained the plot. I told him I had started the show but forgot what it was called, so I never went back to it. A few years later and it's back in my life. It's wild.

5. What advice do you have for aspiring actors who want to build their career?

I would say that you have to truly want it. You need thick skin and an awareness of one's self. Go find yourself. Once you're able to be you in any circumstance, without allowing other people's opinions make you doubt yourself, you're ready.

6. Who has been your biggest inspiration in the entertainment industry? Why?

I would say Kate Winslet is usually the first person that comes to mind. She is a strong leading lady that I looked up to growing up. She is a woman and always stands her ground. Her career is one I would die for. All of her roles have been complex and unapologetically honest. I saw Titanic in theaters when I was young, and since then I've been captivated by her.

7. What other projects do you have in the works?

At the moment, I am focused on Grand Hotel. I can't wait to give my all to this production.

"I want to work with everyone. I haven't yet because there are so many characters and plot lines we haven't crossed yet in the pilot, so I'm so looking forward to that "(Photo courtesy of justjared.com)

8. Did you get to film in Miami?

We filmed the pilot in Miami; it was the best time. I really felt that staying at the Fountain Bleu while filming created that relationship to our environment. I went on walks with different cast members around the area. We explored around the city and did what the locals did. I explored the hotel, the beach, the restaurants it had to offer, and by the end of it, I felt like I was home. It was so helpful for me as Yoli.

9. What has been the most challenging of being apart of a project this large?

So far? I want to work with everyone. I haven't yet because there are so many characters and plotlines we haven't crossed yet in the pilot, so I'm so looking forward to that once we get the ball rolling. So, the challenge is waiting to work with each other.

10. Where did you get your acting start?

I guess my first start professionally was a local commercial for underage drinking in South Carolina. I never looked back since.

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Lifestyle

Going Makeupless To The Office May Be Costing You More Than Just Money

Women have come a long way in redefining beauty to be more inclusive of different body types, skin colors and hair styles, but society's beauty standards still remain as high as we have always known them to be. In the workplace, professionalism is directly linked to the appearance of both men and women, but for women, the expectations and requirements needed to fit the part are far stricter. Unlike men, there exists a direct correlation between beauty and respect that women are forced to acknowledge, and in turn comply with, in order to succeed.


Before stepping foot into the workforce, women who choose to opt out of conventional beauty and grooming regiments are immediately at a disadvantage. A recent Forbes article analyzing the attractiveness bias at work cited a comprehensive academic review for its study on the benefits attractive adults receive in the labor market. A summary of the review stated, "'Physically attractive individuals are more likely to be interviewed for jobs and hired, they are more likely to advance rapidly in their careers through frequent promotions, and they earn higher wages than unattractive individuals.'" With attractiveness and success so tightly woven together, women often find themselves adhering to beauty standards they don't agree with in order to secure their careers.

Complying with modern beauty standards may be what gets your foot in the door in the corporate world, but once you're in, you are expected to maintain your appearance or risk being perceived as unprofessional. While it may not seem like a big deal, this double standard has become a hurdle for businesswomen who are forced to fit this mold in order to earn respect that men receive regardless of their grooming habits. Liz Elting, Founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation, is all too familiar with conforming to the beauty culture in order to command respect, and has fought throughout the course of her entrepreneurial journey to override this gender bias.

As an internationally-recognized women's advocate, Elting has made it her mission to help women succeed on their own, but she admits that little progress can be made until women reclaim their power and change the narrative surrounding beauty and success. In 2016, sociologists Jaclyn Wong and Andrew Penner conducted a study on the positive association between physical attractiveness and income. Their results concluded that "attractive individuals earn roughly 20 percent more than people of average attractiveness," not including controlling for grooming. The data also proves that grooming accounts entirely for the attractiveness premium for women as opposed to only half for men. With empirical proof that financial success in directly linked to women's' appearance, Elting's desire to have women regain control and put an end to beauty standards in the workplace is necessary now more than ever.

Although the concepts of beauty and attractiveness are subjective, the consensus as to what is deemed beautiful, for women, is heavily dependent upon how much effort she makes towards looking her best. According to Elting, men do not need to strive to maintain their appearance in order to earn respect like women do, because while we appreciate a sharp-dressed man in an Armani suit who exudes power and influence, that same man can show up to at a casual office in a t-shirt and jeans and still be perceived in the same light, whereas women will not. "Men don't have to demonstrate that they're allowed to be in public the way women do. It's a running joke; show up to work without makeup, and everyone asks if you're sick or have insomnia," says Elting. The pressure to look our best in order to be treated better has also seeped into other areas of women's lives in which we sometimes feel pressured to make ourselves up in situations where it isn't required such as running out to the supermarket.

So, how do women begin the process of overriding this bias? Based on personal experience, Elting believes that women must step up and be forceful. With sexism so rampant in workplace, respect for women is sometimes hard to come across and even harder to earn. "I was frequently assumed to be my co-founder's secretary or assistant instead of the person who owned the other half of the company. And even in business meetings where everyone knew that, I would still be asked to be the one to take notes or get coffee," she recalls. In effort to change this dynamic, Elting was left to claim her authority through self-assertion and powering over her peers when her contributions were being ignored. What she was then faced with was the alternate stereotype of the bitchy executive. She admits that teetering between the caregiver role or the bitch boss on a power trip is frustrating and offensive that these are the two options businesswomen are left with.

Despite the challenges that come with standing your ground, women need to reclaim their power for themselves and each other. "I decided early on that I wanted to focus on being respected rather than being liked. As a boss, as a CEO, and in my personal life, I stuck my feet in the ground, said what I wanted to say, and demanded what I needed – to hell with what people think," said Elting. In order for women to opt out of ridiculous beauty standards, we have to own all the negative responses that come with it and let it make us stronger– and we don't have to do it alone. For men who support our fight, much can be achieved by pushing back and policing themselves and each other when women are being disrespected. It isn't about chivalry, but respecting women's right to advocate for ourselves and take up space.

For Elting, her hope is to see makeup and grooming standards become an optional choice each individual makes rather than a rule imposed on us as a form of control. While she states she would never tell anyone to stop wearing makeup or dressing in a way that makes them feel confident, the slumping shoulders of a woman resigned to being belittled looks far worse than going without under-eye concealer. Her advice to women is, "If you want to navigate beauty culture as an entrepreneur, the best thing you can be is strong in the face of it. It's exactly the thing they don't want you to do. That means not being afraid to be a bossy, bitchy, abrasive, difficult woman – because that's what a leader is."