The actress on the rise MIREIA ORIOL sits down for an interview with DSCENE Editor Maja Vuckovic to talk about her start in acting, upcoming Netflix show The Girl in The Mirror (Alma), and future plans.
Hi Mieria, nice to have you at DSCENE! Can you tell us a bit more about yourself? – Hi! I’m Mieria Oriol. I’m an actress from Barcelona, and like a good Taurus woman, I love spending time with my friends and family, sleeping, long walks with my dog Pipo, writing, and reading. Now I’m learning to play the piano (again!).
What inspired you to pursue acting? – What really inspired me was an acting coach I met in Paris, Giles Foreman, during a very confusing time in my life. I was working as a model there, studying at Uni in Barcelona simultaneously, but something was wrong. I was pressuring myself so hard to achieve something I wasn’t sure I even wanted for myself. At that time, I traveled a lot, and I found Giles’s workshop through my first agent. And even though I had gone back to Barcelona, my auntie really encouraged me to go back to Paris and join the workshop. And that’s how I met Giles, quit Uni, moved to London, and studied acting at his studio there.
Can you remember your first casting? What was it like? – I don’t remember the very first casting, but one of the first, yes… It was a horrible experience, [laughs.] It was with Ana and Patri from Velo Casting. They also cast me for Alma some years later, so since that, I do believe in second chances, [laughs]. I was doing a casting for a project where I had to sing and dance. I had no clue about either of these two things, but I do have something good: even if I don’t know how to do it, I try. Sometimes it works, sometimes you embarrass yourself [laughs]. So I don’t know how I got to one of the last stages of the casting. Still, the thing is that when I arrived at the audition, the room was full of producers, directors, and casting directors. I was supposed to sing and dance in front of all of them. Even though I rehearsed at home, you can imagine… I just remember turning red, singing so softly that Ana had to ask me several times to sing louder… And I could barely move. So obviously, I didn’t get the part. The funniest thing is that when I got the first audition for Alma, they asked me again to sing and dance. Wasn’t the first time enough? [laughs] But this time, I did much, much better (even though I finally don’t sing in the series, I don’t know why…)
Was acting something you always wanted to do? – No, not at all. When I was in high school, I was a very, very shy and introverted girl. I wanted to study biology, then psychology, and then journalism! I finally decided to study cinema. And I think it was a combination of learning for the first time about cinema, about writing, photography, and working as a model traveling around that really made me decide that acting was what I really wanted to do. I guess I never took it too seriously when I was younger, even though I did some acting courses. I think I was afraid of failure.
What is your favorite and least favorite genre? – I love independent cinema a lot. And even though I normally don’t watch thrillers and science-fiction movies, Alma showed me there’s a lot more than scary moments and fantasy in those genres.
Shooting Alma has been the most extreme, beautiful, and intense moment of my life. It literally changed my life. Not only professionally but personally as well.
You’re about to have a lead role in the upcoming Netflix thriller show The Girl in the Mirror (Alma). Can you tell us a bit more about the show and your experience filming it? – Shooting Alma has been the most extreme, beautiful, and intense moment of my life. It literally changed my life. Not only professionally but personally as well. My whole life was shaken, I was completely devoted to the story and the characters, and I forgot about my real life for months. And then, when I got back to reality, I realized life had continued without me [laughs]. So these last months, I’ve tried to go back to it and value the things that really matter to me now. The show is something very different from what you have seen before. And I don’t say it because I’m in it. I mean it. I think Sergio is a genius. The writing is exceptional, the story is beautiful, emotional, and very clever, and it talks about more common themes such as friendship or maturity… but also others such as mourning, letting go, and finding and facing one’s identity. I think Sergio is the perfect leader of a deeply dedicated team. I feel we created something special; it’s like a tale.
How did you prepare for the role of Alma? – I prepared a lot!! I went a bit crazy, [laughs] I did a lot of research about everything. I talked a lot with Sergio. It was amazing because he is the director and the showrunner, so he knew every single detail about everything, and he has an amazing imagination capacity. And then worked with my friend and acting coach, Yasmina Rincón. From the beginning, Alma was a big challenge for me; of course, I had moments of insecurity. I was overwhelmed. Even at some point, I thought, “They’re going to realize they’ve made a mistake, and they’ll fire me” [laughs]. And Yas made me trust her. She was taking care of the tiniest details, creating backgrounds with me, stretching my imagination, my capacity to focus—everything to, next to Sergio, create the most specific and complete characters we could.
What’s the last TV show you binge-watched? And what is your favorite show currently on TV? – The last show I binge-watched was Heartstopper (Netflix). I really loved it. And I have a lot of favorite shows. But the ones I enjoyed the most were Euphoria and The Morning Show.
Besides acting, what is something you enjoy doing? – I love writing! In fact, it’s something I’ve always liked since I was very little. And now I’m preparing my personal project, a film I’m writing, which I hope to share very soon!
Scrolling through your social media, we see you are a big fashion lover. What’s your go-to style when you’re not filming or attending big events? – I love comfy clothes [laughs]! I normally dress in basics, and when I’m working I love wearing gym clothes, sneakers. There is nothing that a nice bag doesn’t fix!
What kind of role is interesting to you, and what would you like to play next? – A comedy!!! Please!! I’m joking… but I’d love to be in a comedy, [laughs]. I also like a lot of personal stories. I’d love to work in cinema, maybe in another country and/or language (French or English) … on stories with which I connect a lot of characters that challenge me.
Any future plans? – Many!! But first of all, take care of the people I love and who love me, and make me feel good and safe.
Photographer Miquel Cabello – @miquel.cabello
Stylist Manu Mendi – @stylistbymendi
Hair & Makeup Artist Sergio Ovejero using Dior Beauty – @sergioovejero, @one__offartists
Talent Mireia Oriol at Cram Talent – @mireiiaoriol