Make it or break it! It’s a term often heard when every young starlet sets foot in Hollywood. However, it is also the title of the successful ABC Family series about competitive Gymnastics. For Canadian born actress, Chelsea Hobbs, “making it” in this town has clearly already happened.
Born in Vancouver, British Colombia, Chelsea is a refreshing change to the “young celebrities” of Hollywood. Down to earth and very easy going, she represents a new face of Young Hollywood.
I sat down with the lovely fellow Canuck in LA, to chat about her experiences as a young actress “making it” in Hollywood, and landing the role in the ABC new series, “Make it or Break It”.
Mateo Magazine: You have mentioned that shortly after your parents divorce they enrolled you in an arts program, sort of as an outlet. If you had not been given that opportunity from them, do you think you would still have been an actress?
Chelsea Hobbs: Performing was something I naturally gravitated towards. If it wasn’t going to be acting, then it was dancing. But, I got to a point where I was at a crossroads and had to decide which one I was more passionate about. I had also really been interested in space and astrology, and have wondered if I didn’t do this, would I have been a rocket scientist?
MM: Tell me a little bit about your progress from Canada to LA.
CH: It was a slow and then sudden process at the same time. I had acquired a strong resume in Vancouver, and it basically just opened doors in California. I sought reps in LA and had great agents, who then introduced me to a manager who saw me in “Snow Queen”. I started to fly down when I was 14 for weeks at a time; it then started becoming months at a time. When I was 17, I got in my car, waved bye to my parents on the porch, and drove down to LA. I have been here since. I do miss Vancouver so much though, it’s really where my heart is, and I would love to live there again.
MM: As is often the case with Canadian actors, once they move down south, inevitably work back home comes calling. Did you find that to be the case with your career?
CH: Actually yes, that did happen. Physically, I have done more work in Canada than in the US, especially with The Lifetime Network. I have a strong relationship with them and they would often offer me parts that would send me right back up to Canada to shoot.
MM: The show “Make It or Break” has a really great following. What were your initial thoughts when going to audition, about a show that revolved around competitive gymnastics?
CH: I was really excited! There has not really been a drama based on athletics like this, so it is great to see one finally come around. It is really exciting to see something so fresh.
MM: How has your exercise regiment changed since starting this show?
CH: I definitely did not know what I was getting myself into. TV is different than film that way. You get about 2-3 months to get in shape and then film for a month or two and you are done. But we are year round, and have to stay in top Olympic form throughout. We have trainers who help us build muscle mass, and get us to the physical shape we need to be in to pull off playing gymnasts. We definitely have two jobs. We all trained for three months, prior to taping and while filming the series. We have Olympic Gymnasts on set, and they train us whenever we have time. Recently, the producers gave us all a really cool gift, a trailer gym. So we have one on site, and all of us were jumped around when we found out.
MM: What did you find the most challenging, while playing this character?
CH: Knowing the gymnast community is watching us closely. I really want to make sure I pull it off, and make my character believable. I need to build strong muscle mass. It is demanding and challenging, something we all work really hard at.
MM: Out of all the roles you have played so far, what has been your favourite? What has been the most challenging and why?
CH: I really enjoyed playing Gerda in “Snow Queen”. I really grew up while filming that movie. Whenever I watch it, it brings me back to that great experience of being on the tops of mountains, waist deep in snow, and in helicopters. Every role is different for various reasons, but I am really having a lot of fun on this, while learning so much about the gymnastic world.
MM: There are bound to be other young actresses in the making while reading this interview. What kind of advice can you offer? Did you encounter any bumps along your path to success, and how did you handle them?
CH: A big mistake people make, is they think they have to go in to the audition being someone else, or being a star. The more you go in having confidence and being yourself, the better it is. They want you to get the role and be the right person. And you do that by being yourself and not trying to fit a mold. As far as bumps, I have been doing this since I was 7. Sometimes I do have to detach myself from the industry, and then find the love for it again. Facing rejections can be hard, but you need to step back from it to get a new perspective. For me, my down time is spent with my family. I am really low key and like to do simple things, like watching movies, going camping, and going to the beach. I am pretty plain that way.
As for plain, I think there will be many who will beg to differ. You can catch all new episodes of “Make It or Break It” premiering on ABC Family Network.