Photography by The Riker Brothers
Hair by Gui Schoedler
Makeup by Anton Khachaturian
Styling by Lo VonRumpf
Story by Min A. Lee
Actress Spotlight — Hayley Orrantia
You may easily recognize Hayley Orrantia for her primary role in the popular ABC series The Goldbergs, but her entrance to the world of Hollywood actually began with music. This wonderful passion started when she was a child and carries through to her newest singles that she speaks excitedly to us about. Glancing over the career growth, Orrantia’s successful audition and run on the debut season of The X Factor was just a quick precursor to her now accomplished acting career — and all at only 26 years of age.
Jumping into The Goldbergs, Orrantia had us clutching our sides in pain from laughing as she showed us the awesomely sarcastic and humorous side of Erica Goldberg. No one will forget the epic battle between Erica and Evy over their guy crush or watching her witty bickering with TV mom, Wendi McLendon-Covey, creating moments that feel all too familiar for many of us. Viewing the dynamics of the cast and Orrantia are addicting and lend to its constant renewal each season.
Read on as Composure speaks with Orrantia on her acting, upcoming music, and her uplifting message to all of us as the world continues to face an uphill battle against the on-going pandemic.
You’ve been portraying Erica Goldberg for an outstanding seven-season run on ABC’s The Goldbergs — do you feel this was your breakout role, and how has it shaped you as an actress?
I would definitely say it is my breakout role. I was lucky to have The Goldbergs be my first significant acting gig. Stepping onto a set for the first time seven years ago was the most nerve-wracking experience of my life, but being thrown into that situation was like the ultimate acting boot camp. I learned from some of the best comedic and improv actors just by working alongside them on the show. While I have to credit the acting coaches I took classes from growing up, there’s nothing like actually being on set. Watching actors like Wendi McLendon-Covey (Beverly Goldberg) take an already hilariously written scene and place these gems of improv comedy in it has challenged my way of viewing a scene. It reminds me that you can’t limit yourself in a scene to just what’s on the page. The Goldbergs has challenged me to think on my feet and keep a straight face and let go and get goofy!
When Adam Goldberg learned of your incredible vocal talent and wrote episodes for you to sing on, how did it make you feel?
I was truly honored that he felt I was good enough to have it become a character trait in the show. We sat down together after I booked the pilot so he could relay the significance of the show to me—it is about his family. At that time, I expressed to him my love of music and asked if there were ever an opportunity to sing, even in the credits, I would be over the moon! I didn’t necessarily think he was going to make it such a big plot for Erica, but over the years it’s been the most magical experience to combine music and acting into one. I could not ask for a better gig! Getting to cover iconic songs from the ’80s, recording with music producers who’ve worked on shows I loved, like Glee, and then having some of these stars post about the fact that we’re covering their song in our show is the ultimate dream come true!
What is one of your absolute favorite moments with your castmates from the series?
This is such a tough question because I adore the moments I get to hang with my castmates on set; it’s hard to choose just one. However, one that stands out is the finale of season two. We were confident in our show and that it would remain on the air for season three, but you never know until it’s officially announced. On the final day on set, we were shooting a scene with the Goldberg family at an airport as Erica got on a plane to go to camp or something for the summer, and hugging everyone goodbye felt like real life. We were all weeping! I think then we knew how special this set really was, and we were terrified to lose it. Thankfully that was just one of many years we would spend together.
You also have a growing discography and debuted your EP The Way Out last year. Are you currently working on any new singles or perhaps a full album?
I just released a new single of mine called “Find Yourself Somebody.” I’ve been so excited to put this song out, as well as the music video, and real soon an acoustic cover of it. It’s a song that just feels good every time I put it on, and I’m very proud of it. But I am looking forward to releasing a very special Mother’s Day song called “Made for This” that I wrote for my mother two years ago. It’s one very close to my heart, and I hope it resonates with everyone who hears it. I plan on taking this time to write more music though, and hopefully, finalize a plan to release an EP or album next year.
Right now, the world has crashed to a halt because of Covid-19. You’re starting up a group of Instagram Live Stories sessions with special guests sharing how the crisis has changed their lives. Can you share with us what compelled you to start this project, and any words of hope during these devastating times for our readers?
I have always been a curious person, and I love to gain perspective. After lockdown had begun, I found myself calling and Facetiming all of my friends, even more than usual, and picking their brains about their experiences. I realized that their stories are incredibly educational and should be heard by more people to help them either gain perspective or feel comfort in knowing they aren’t alone. Each person I bring on to interview comes from different backgrounds and industries. I wanted to use my platform to showcase how their lives have been affected by this pandemic personally and professionally. Industries of all kinds are changing because of this outbreak, so why not talk with each other about what we can do while we are stuck inside? I have friends who are actors, singers, real estate agents, dancers, social influencers, health workers, and stylists who are willing to hop on these live sessions and speak to this. I’m hoping these conversations can bring solace and knowledge to anyone who needs it.
I would say that, while the world feels like it’s falling apart, we should use it to build one another up. Take time to call a friend, show love to a neighbor, create something beautiful or inspiring, challenge yourself, or use this time to relax a little bit! But more importantly, take it seriously. The world has never gone on hold for anything in my generation’s lifetime, so why not appreciate the severity and be respectful to each other by staying home and using proper safety precautions. This, too, shall pass.