NY Elite: Tell us about your acting career beginnings.
Nadja Roivas: I was born in El Salvador, Central America, and my parents immigrated to the United States to escape the Salvadoran Civil War. We wound up in Los Angeles, CA, which is where I spent the later part of my early adulthood. As far back as I can remember, I wanted to act but my family was less supportive of this dream, so I finished school with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
In 2017, I launched a joint venture, catering to a niche market of the fashion industry. Up until a little over a year ago, the bulk of my film work was always performed behind-the-scenes. At that time, I was struggling with a severe depression. That is, until a friend of mine encouraged me to rise above it by living out my most passionate dream! That’s when I decided to return to my early love for acting. I worked up the courage to walk into my first film audition and haven’t looked back, since!
NY Elite: What have been some of your accomplishments?
Nadja Roivas: In 2016, I was an associate producer on a series pilot called “Lonely in the Shadows” which was later nominated for Best Art Direction at the 2017 Hollywood Dreamz International Film Festival and Writers’ Celebration.
Within my ongoing work as an actor, producer, and business entrepreneur, I hope to be an inspiration to young women to become innovators and leaders in their field. I envision a world where opportunities exist for all genders, ethnicities, and creeds to excel above and beyond the labels imposed by today’s societal standards. It’s the pursuit of this ideal which drives me forward in my career, both creatively and professionally.
NY Elite: What are you latest and current movie projects?
Nadja Roivas: Currently, there’s “Brothers James: Retribution” which is in post-production and “Cemetery Stories” which is set to release later this year.
NY Elite: Can you tell us about your character in the film?
Nadja Roivas: In “Brothers James: Retribution”, I play Annie, a dedicated mother whose family comes under attack from a murderous outlaw.
In “Cemetery Stories” I play Father Sullivan’s secretary, the church’s face of congeniality who greets all visitors with warm regard.
NY Elite: What was it like working with the director?
Nadja Roivas: I deeply enjoyed working with John Vella on “Cemetery Stories”. He’s a real gentleman both on- and off-set. He had this very kind way of offering suggestions to bring out his desired performance, and he was also highly encouraging of each actor’s creative input.
NY Elite: In which movies have you played lead role?
Nadja Roivas: I am cast in an upcoming role for “Pago por Encargo” which is an action movie set to shoot partly in the Dominican Republic and partly in the U.S. It will be my first lead role.
NY Elite: Among all your roles so far, which has been your favorite one and why?
Nadja Roivas: In BJ:R, I was the protector of a small child, which really brought me in-touch with my natural maternal instincts. I love working with children and alongside talented young actors, especially.
NY Elite: What do you enjoy most about your acting career?
Nadja Roivas: I love the variety. Every role is different. Every set is different. Also, acting really gets my creative juices flowing and makes me feel so much more alive in all of the other work that I do. It inspires me to write and design my own projects, and approach even the most mundane tasks with creativity.
I suppose what touches me deepest, though, is that every person involved in a film’s production (from a day-player to a production assistant) has a strong impact on the quality of the finished product. There’s such a feeling of pride and accomplishment associated with knowing that—regardless of job title or depth of involvement—everyone you work with is a part of making something spectacular!
NY Elite: What other hobbies and interests do you have?
Nadja Roivas: I enjoy horseback riding.
NY Elite: Are you working on your next project now?
Nadja Roivas: Yes. Several, but “Pago por Encargo” is the only one I am allowed to speak about, at this time. I play an FBI agent named Leticia.
NY Elite: What personal advice would you give to someone about impressing the directors during audition? How to audition?
Nadja Roivas: Always come prepared with a monologue that fits the type of role you’re auditioning for, be it dramatic or comedic, lighthearted or serious.
Work on flexibility. Learn to keep a firm grasp on your character, while handling the director’s adjustments. You have to be able to accept critique gracefully. Being told “show me something else” doesn’t mean the director is unhappy with your performance, but it does mean changing more than just your inflection or accent. Acting is really about the subtlety and complexity of human emotions. So, practice expressing mixed feelings.
NY Elite: What causes/charities you actively support or feel strongly about?
Nadja Roivas: On a local level, I support the Flint, MI YWCA Women’s Shelter. Additionally, I support international efforts such as schooling programs in India (Bharat Junior High School, among others). I was awarded honorary group membership into the International Human Rights in Bangladesh Organization when I helped bridge communication between company and managing directors and the factory workers, to ensure safe and ethical operation of their facility in Bangladesh.
Previously, I held a board position with the American G.I. Forum Hispanic Technology & Community Center of Greater Flint, MI.
NY Elite: What are the things in your life that you’re most grateful for?
Nadja Roivas: My two boys, my parents and my worldwide friends and fans