If you watch ABC’s The Goldbergs, you probably recognize Hayley Orrantia. In honor of the upcoming season eight premiere, we sat down for an interview with the 26-year-old actress, who shared exclusive details about the popular ABC series, along with info on her budding music career. Here’s what she had to say.
1. Her character in 'The Goldbergs' was supposed to be male
Orrantia plays Erica Goldberg (AKA the oldest child). The ABC show is based on the real-life story of series creator Adam F. Goldberg. However, he made a few changes to the plot—like the gender of his oldest sibling.
“It’s based on a real family, except he had an older brother named Eric,” she told PureWow. “[Goldberg] changed it to Erica just to add a little more feminine energy.”
2. She recently started filming season 8
Orrantia confirmed that ABC began production on The Goldbergs season eight, which will premiere on October 21. “We just started filming season eight about a month ago,” she explained. “With all these new protocols in place, we’re really lucky to be back and get into the rhythm of things.”
Although she didn’t give too much away, the actress teased the plot for the premiere episode, adding, “Our first episode is an homage to the Airplane! movies, so that was really fun. We got to shoot on a fake airplane set.”
She confirmed season eight will feature loads of surprises, including an unexpected wedding. “We’ve got a wedding that happens at some point early on next season that I think a lot of people will be surprised by,” Orrantia continued.
3. She's friends with the cast in real life
Orrantia admitted that she gets along extremely well with the rest of the Goldbergs cast. “We have such a good time together. It’s ridiculous, which I truly believe plays into why the show is so well liked,” she said. “It’s nostalgic for a lot of people who grew up in the ’80s—and as a cast and crew, we all love hanging out and cracking jokes in between scenes.”
She continued, “Some of my cast members have said, ‘There’s no other set like this. There’s no other group of people that get along the way that we do and can bond in the way that we have.’”
4. She's working on new music
When she’s not on set of The Goldbergs, Orrantia is probably writing music in Tennessee. “I normally would go to my place in Nashville and write with some of my favorite songwriters and producers out there. I should have music by now, but I haven’t traveled at all,” she said, referring to the coronavirus pandemic.
The actress revealed that she now has a studio space in her garage, where she plans to record new music. “I’m really excited to start challenging myself to make music from the ground up,” she continued. “Normally I would hand off some responsibility to a producer, so I’m thrilled to see how the song writing process and the producing aspect is going to come together with all of this.”
As for timing, Orrantia added, “The goal is to, hopefully, release it in the beginning of next year.”
5. She flips houses for fun
The Goldbergs star revealed that she started a side business flipping houses with her dad. “I fell in love with interior design and interior decorating,” she told PureWow. “We have started a little business where we’re flipping houses in Nashville, and it’s been going really well so far. [My dad] has been doing this forever, and I’m kind of new to the game. But it’s been really fun to work with family.”
Orrantia also admitted that it’s turned into a family affair, adding, “My dad is the contractor, I’m taking on the design aspects. My uncle is really good at woodworking, so he’s involved in the demolition and custom wood working for certain projects. And then his son (my cousin) is an architect, so he’s helping us reform the layout of a flip that we plan on doing. He has a great eye for that.”
6. She's involved (both on-screen and off-screen)
In addition to acting, Orrantia has been using this time of social distancing to develop other projects. “I’ve been working on trying to develop some scripted shows with my boyfriend and my dad,” she said. “I think that’s been the cool part—just creating things with my family, since we’re all together at this time.”