Charissa In The Press by "Sophia Pelligrino"

Photo by Starrstruck & DimWitt. Do Not Use Without Permission.

"She's Got Mail" from SID

Although Sophia Pelligrino is a bona fide bad girl, actress Charissa Chamorro cops to getting some pretty good fan mail. "I've gotten a really positive response from the viewers," she says. "You always fear that when you play an evil character, that people are going to hate you and not derive pleasure from your performance." In fact, the bulk of Chamorro's mail has proven that fan sentiment is quite to the contrary. "People actually say that they have sympathy for Sophia," Chamorro relates. "They appreciate her sense of humor and don't think that she's just evil. Many of them love to watch her stir up trouble." Chamorro finds letters from young fans especially endearing. "The stuff that touches my heart the most are the letters from little girls," she explains. "They say, 'I watch you. Do you like the show? Is it fun?'" Not only does Chamorro read her mail, but she "tries to answer most of it."


"Mood Music" from SID

How does Charissa Chamorro fine-tune her acting? With fine tunes! In order to get into her character, "I bring my Discman to the studio with me every day," says the actress, who makes an effort to pick music that will "get me in the mood for work. I use music to get into whatever I'm playing." That explains why, for her first month as Sophia, Chamorro chose a special song for inspiration. "I went out and got 'Girls Just Want To Have Fun' by Cindi Lauper," she explains. Meanwhile, when she's just listening to music for music's sake, Chamorro enjoys a wide variety of artists. "I like Madonna, Lauryn Hill, Santana, Frank Sinatra and salsa music. I listen to everything."


"Book Smart" from SID.

Texas, Utah, Washington, D.C., Oregon, Massachusetts, California and Chile. As a child, Charissa Chamorro lived for a while in all these places. So how did the actress cope with her ever-changing locales? "Through reading," says Chamorro, whose family eventually settled in Washington State. "I would devour literature and feel a kinship with the characters in the books." One of her favorite childhood series was Anne of Green Gables, which she read in its entirety while living in South America. "My mother would send them to me," she says. "They were my link to home. I read all 14 books!" These days, Chamorro has settled permanently in New York City. But she still is an avid reader. "Right now, I'm reading Temple Of My Familiar by Alice Walker," she says. "I also read a lot of Spanish literature and books about Spanish mysticism. I just love books."


(From SID) "What do you do when someone has broken your heart?"

"First I'll wallow in it and listen to lots of really good blues...old stuff, like Ella Fitzgerald. Then, after about a week of wallowing, you have to get out there, spend a lot of time with your friends, and be around the people that you love. And do some writing -- because there's something romantic about having a broken heart, too. Even people who don't write are inspired to write poetry when they have a broken heart, and my best writing has always been when I've had a broken heart. So I take advantage of that."


"Getting to Know You" from SOD

Coffee, Tea or Milk? I'm a big coffee fan. My first job was in an espresso shop in the Northwest. Just plain coffee with a little bit of sugar.

Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate! I'm obsessed. I have to have a piece every day. Godiva, if I could have anything.

Plan or Go With the Flow? Go with the flow. I'm very fly-by-the-the seat of my pants.

ER or CHICAGO HOPE? ER. George Clooney's on it. I know he's not on it anymore, but... he's in reruns!

Bath or Shower? Bubble bath. I mean, down to the candles and a radio and lots of bubbles. My mom got me into this.

MTV or VH1? MTV. I used to watch a lot of THE REAL WORLD. I wanted to do the one in Boston. I never auditioned, but I was interested.

Superman or Batman? Batman. Batman's sexier. Batman wears leather. It's nice and tight.

White or Dark Meat? To be honest with you, I hate turkey and I don't eat red meat. If I have to eat turkey on Thanksgiving just to be nice, the white meat tastes better, I think.

Bert or Ernie? Ernie. He's cuter. Bert follows the rules to much.

Candles or Light Bulbs? Candles. I have a lot of candles in the my bathroom, my bedroom, my office place..

Forgive or Forget? Forgive, because nobody ever forgets, no matter what they say.

Sunrise or Sunset? Sunrise, because I think everybody gets to see the sunset, but you actually have to make a date to see the sunrise.

Ginger or Mary Ann? Ginger. She had red hair. I always wanted to have red hair. She's spunky. Mary Ann's annoying.

Truth or Dare? Truth over dare. I'm always more afraid to do the dare. I'd rather people know details about my life than to have to do something I might regret.

Brains or Brawn? Brains, no question.

Wax or Shave? Good Lord! Shave. I have to admit I did contemplate the other thing in my first bathing suit scene, but I did not give in.

Rookie or Veteran? That depends on the field. I think that I respect veterans from every field, but a new person should be given a shot.

Pecs or Buns? Buns. I like a nice butt!


"At Work and Play" from SOD.

As a long-time fan of OLTL, (she started watching when she was 9), Charissa Cree Chamorro couldn't be more delighted to be a part of the show. "Erika Slezak has been like a guardian angel to me since I started," gushes Chamorro... "She took time to be interested in me and teach me things. She's a really sweet woman." So, too, Chamorro discovered, is Slezak's on-screen foe, Robin Strasser, who took newcomer to see Death of a Salesman on Broadway. "I love Robin," smiles Chamorro. "She's awesome." Unfortunately, the play -- in Chamorro's eyes -- wasn't so hot. "The sets were a little too progressive for the story," she sighs. "The stage was moving all the time, and I didn't think it was necessary."


"Dressed to Thrill" from SID.

Assessing Sophia's sometimes suspect wardrobe, Charissa Chamorro is torn between two opinions. "Some of her stuff is pretty heinous," she offers, "but some of the outfits she throws together are kinda cute!" Although Sophia briefly lived in the lap of luxury at Dorian's, her portrayer is glad that the gritty opportunist's special style remains intact. "I like the fact that Sophia is one of the few characters on soaps that you can tell really doesn't have a lot of money," the actress states. "What she's got she probably bought at Strawberry's, or K-Mart, and I think that's great because it allows people to relate to her." Chamorro herself laughs at her own flirtations with funky fashions. "Oh, I had my day. In college, I had a crazy pants fixation -- vinyl, silver leather, red velvet, china print... everything. I would wear skin-tight vinyl from head to foot!" Now, though, she's happy in Sophia's duds. "I don't mind wearing those crazy things, but it's also nice when I get to dress up in Robin Strasser's clothes, which I got to do one day!!"


"HIT OR MISS- Hit! OLTL's Sassy Sophia" from SOW"

When I interviewed Charissa Chamorro for Scene Stealers a few months ago, she told me that her character, Sophia, would wind up under Dorian's tutelage. Indeed she has - moving into Dorian's mansion, appropriating Kelly's bathing suit and lounging by the pool. (It reminded me of the scene in Desperately Seeking Susan when Madonna becomes the unwanted houseguest of a New Jersey suburbanite.) But it is Dorian, a reluctant Pygmalion if ever there was one (Sophia is blackmailing her), who might wind up with an education (or at least, a reminder of the path she has taken in life). If Sophia is to be believed, she comes from an abusive, underprivileged household, a "have not" who wants to be one of the "haves". Does any of this sound familiar? Although Dorian grew up in relative comfort, she was nonetheless abused as a child, and has wasted the majority of her adulthood trying to surpass Viki. Dorian would have to be blind not to see a reflection of herself in Sophia's eyes.

Meanwhile, Sophia is bringing some much-needed spunk to the Cramer household, now that the long-suffering Kelly (who, in her verbal sparring with Sophia, seems to forget that she herself was once pretty obnoxious) has become placid and Blair is focused on Max. It will be interesting to see what lessons Dorian and Sophia learn from each other.




Q: If there could be a sequel made to any movie, which one should it be and why?

A: "That's a really hard question because sequels are usually not as fulfilling as the first movie. The movie that's in my mind right now is An Affair To Remember, but I wouldn't want to see a sequel because it's too perfect. At the end you wonder: They've never spent time together except for that one week. Did it work out? I'd rather have faith and believe that it does than see a sequel.


"HIT OR MISS- Hit! OLTL's Chamorro comes out of her shell" from SOW

From the moment she sauntered up to the bar at Crossroads, it was obvious that One Life to Live's Charissa Chamorro can play the misunderstood *witch* without breaking a sweat. The death of Sophia's brother, though, helped her demonstrate that she can play tear-jerking drama with just as much ease.

John, one of the few people who sees the good in Sophia, broke the news that her convict brother was killed during a fight in prison. Not wanting John to see her crumble, Sophia put up a brave front. Chamorro nicely maintained Sophia's composure during this scene, but the tears welling up in her expressive eyes and the slight shaking of her body accurately and heartbreakingly displayed the character's despair.

In the police department bathroom, Sophia let loose her angst. Kelly found her crouched on the floor, crying. In a delicate and compassionately written scene, Sophia poured her heart out to Kelly, telling her that she didn't want to die like her brother, whom no one cared about or payed any attention to. The tears that fell slowly down Chamorro's face seemed to come as easily as the dialogue, which the actress delivered with passion and conviction. Though it was an unlikely choice to have Kelly be Sophia's sounding board, it was a brilliant structural move, since it not only allowed Sophia to apologize for trying to ruin Kelly's life in order to get Joey (something she vowed to stop doing), but it added a new facet to Sophia's developing, complex character.




Q: What was the strangest job you've ever had?

A: Security guard on a new car lot back in Washington State. My mom's boyfriend ran a security service and I needed a good job. I had to wear polyester, carry around a walkie-talkie and sit in a car for 12 hours at a time. I still have the badge!