Marisa Davila on ‘Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies’: ‘It was the best experience of my life and equally the hardest’ [Exclusive Video Interview]

“It was any big dream you could imagine,” says Marisa Davila as she recalls filming the “Grease is the Word” musical number in “Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies” on Paramount+. “I was just trying to soak it all in. People dancing on cars and having a big ensemble like that really pulled me into what I felt like what our version of a ‘La La Land’ number was…It’s the first number of the series. I think the intention was to remind people, this is the world, we’re coming back in, this is what it feels like, this is what you’re familiar with. Then we just take it and run for the rest of the season, now that we’ve reminded everyone what this ‘Grease’ energy is, we can do our own thing and make it an original series.” Watch the video interview above.

“Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies” takes place four years before the original “Grease.” In 1954, before rock ‘n’ roll ruled and before the T-Birds were the coolest kids in school, four fed-up outcasts dare to have fun on their own terms, sparking a moral panic that will change Rydell High forever.

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“I think any job I do here on out, in comparison, will feel just slightly easier,” Davila laughs. “It doesn’t have the elements of singing and dancing that we have for this show. Schedule-wise, it was something we were trying to figure out in real time. We have over 20 series regulars and a giant ensemble. That’s a lot of people to wrangle.” She explains the rigorous schedule included filming Monday through Friday and then spending Saturdays in costume fittings, dance rehearsal or recording songs in the studio.

The Murfreesboro, Tennessee native calls it “The best experience I’ve ever had in my life and equally the hardest.” She grew up in a musical family and, like Jane, is of European and Latin descent. Her bi-racial upbringing with performing at the core helped prepare her for this breakout moment in her career. “I had those elements in my life from the beginning,” she explains. “I would see my parents go to rehearsals every day for concerts. I would go to dance class every day and have recitals. This world wasn’t entirely unfamiliar to me.”

“Not only do I know [Jane], I am this girl,” Davila continues. “Most of the time outcasts are just misunderstood. I don’t think they’re meant to be completely shunned from any sort of social group, but people just don’t take the time to get to know them. In our series, we’re actively figuring out what it means to step into your own and be confident in who you are.”

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