If you’ve seen Disney Channel’s Liv and Maddie, you’re probably familiar with Victoria Moroles. Her latest role as Veronica Diaz in the supernatural horror film, Down a Dark Hall, is pretty much the opposite of what she’s used to—but that’s the beauty of acting. Victoria proved her talent by taking on a role as emotionally and physically taxing as Veronica Diaz, but you must see the film in theaters or on demand to experience it.
Her Campus had the pleasure of speaking with Victoria about embodying such a dark character, working with a predominantly female cast and practicing self-care on and off set.
*Warning: Spoliers ahead*
Her Campus: You portray Veronica in Down a Dark Hall, who seems like a mean girl, but as you watch the film, you learn that Veronica might be using her mean girl façade to cover up her vulnerabilities. What was it like portraying Veronica through all her character development, including her possession later in the movie?
Victoria Moroles: I think throughout the film she realizes that she would rather protect the other girls. She was used to the position of being thrown under the bus or being caught first for things she was doing wrong. When this time comes, she actually makes the decision, not for the sake of her getting in trouble like she always does, but for the other girls.
HC: Have you learned anything about yourself from playing Veronica?
VM: It was definitely super challenging for me. I think I learned my capacity for the kind of physical things my character went through. I’d never done anything like it before. Just learning where my level is up to and growing in that way was new. I also learned to trust myself more. Veronica was a character that I felt really connected to and loved a lot. I loved being in her world, and I think it wasn’t so much working on the actual character but trusting myself in the work I had done.
HC: The film features empowering women, portrayed by an even more empowering cast of actresses. What was it like working on a film that predominantly featured women? And how did you work to support each other between takes, practices and even off set?
VM: I think when you’re surrounded by women there’s a mutual respect and understanding. We all felt very supported by each other, and we all had very emotionally taxing characters. Experiencing the transition that the characters go through was something we all went through as actors. I think a mutual understanding of us just being around each other and knowing that there was that support was really comforting. Having all of the girls around also taught me about leadership and how to stand up for myself within my artistry and personal life as well. There’s something about the non-threatening leadership that surrounded everybody, and it was very encouraging to be doing the best that we all could be doing. I’ve never worked on a project with that many women before, so it was definitely the first of many more because I enjoyed it.
HC: Veronica is one of the only two characters who make it out of Blackwood alive. If the film had hypothetically continued, where do you hope Veronica’s journey would take her?
VM: I hope that her and Kit’s relationship would grow. She’s the only one who didn’t really get to find her gift. She didn’t take a lot of the schooling seriously, so you never get to see her talent or social skills. She’s kind of a loner and doesn’t really know where she lies. I think it would be interesting to see her relationship grow socially with Kit and to see what she’s into and what her past would be.
HC: Since Down a Dark Hall follows the premise of the novel, how did you work to put your own spin on your character Veronica?
VM: My character is actually an added-in character from the novel. She was never written in.
HC: Do you have any favorite or most memorable memories with your castmates?
VM: I can’t even choose a favorite. My most memorable experiences are getting to explore a city and an environment that we all had never been in before. Also, getting to travel to certain locations that were all new to us and soaking them up as a whole group together was amazing. The shared experiences are something that only you can hold onto as individuals. I think that the most memorable thing for me was being in a new environment and being able to share it with all of the cast and crew.
HC: Since working on set can be immensely stressful, do you have any self-care practices that help you de-stress between takes?
VM: I meditate before and after I work. It’s a ritual to get in and out of a character, especially with Veronica, because taking that home with me was something I was thoroughly watching because it was a very dark place she was always in. Music therapy is also super beneficial for me. I create playlists and am always listening to music. There’s probably nothing better that gets me to the places I need to be and to be comfortable and be in my own zone. I try not to be too hard on myself as well. I think for a lot of people who work on something that is disassociated from their personal life, it’s hard to detach from that. I practice non-attachment.
HC: If you were suddenly able to talk to or gain the insight of a notable creator, scientist or artist, who would you choose?
VM: Definitely my uncle. He was a granite sculptor and passed away about four years ago. I think if I was to gain the insight now, it would be awesome to talk to him. He was always someone who I wanted to get creative and artistic advice from because he had both a successful career and a very hardworking career. I’ve always wanted to ask him but was never able to, so he is someone I’d definitely look to for insight.