Susie Castillo InterviewBy: Sindy
Sindy:: So Susie, what do you like better—hosting or acting?
Susie: I can bring my personality to the table with hosting, but with acting I get to be someone I’m not, so they’re both fun.
Sindy:: How do you feel about TRL being cancelled?
Susie: I did the last show, it was bittersweet—I interviewed Hilary Duff who I met when she was first starting out, so it was fun to come back full-circle with her.
Sindy:: Tell me about Charlotte Russe.
Susie: I signed on as their brand ambassador and the Gossip Girl stylist, Eric Daman, is going to help me design my own line.
Sindy:: What will your line be like?
Susie: There seems to be an unspoken rule that the better clothes look, the more uncomfortable they are, so I want to make stylish clothes that don’t compromise comfort. I’m Puerto Rican and Dominican so I definitely want to tap into my Latin roots too—I love colour and rich, jewel tones.
Sindy:: Which designers inspire you?
Susie: Diane Von Furstenberg and Betsy Johnson are great.
Sindy:: What made you decide to write a book?
Susie: I come from a low-income community and I was raised by a single mom who had to work three jobs to put food on the table. My dad left my mom a note on the kitchen table and that’s how he left our family, so it was really tough. I had to learn to be independent at a young age, but I don’t complain because these things made me into who I am today. I hope my story is an inspiration to young people. I did a lot of motivational speaking with Miss USA and at the end of my speech, there’d always be a young girl or boy who’d come up to me crying because they related to the experience and my words gave them hope for a happier future. I knew if I put my story into a book form, I could describe things in detail and reach so many more people.
Sindy:: Tell me about the Four Keys to Ultimate Beauty.
Susie: I start with the inner and work to the outside. Spirituality is first—do you believe in yourself—it’s about the importance in believing in your dreams.
Susie: The second key is about embracing and cultivating personal relationships—boyfriend, girlfriend, teacher, mentor—they’re like your cheerleaders. I also talk about how to get rid of negative relationships. My dad came in and out of my life when I was growing up and I finally had to say, no—bad relationships don’t do anything for you, they’re just a lot of negative energy.
Susie: The third key is about health and beauty. It’s important to present yourself well and in a positive manner. I also share some beauty secrets I’ve learned along the way.
Susie: The fourth key is about sitting down and figuring out what you want to achieve. It’s very difficult but I advise tapping into your childhood—what did you love doing as a kid? It’s a good starting point.
Sindy:: What was it like working on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne?
Susie: It was great because Tyler Perry is very open to improv—if you want to add a line, just say it! It was fun to commute to Atlanta too—I packed lots of sweaters!
Sindy:: What’s your character, Mercedes, like?
Susie: She’s very smart and she works in marketing, but she has a thing with Calvin, which is bad because Calvin is married! My character brings the scandal. I’m not like that in real life, but it was a fun character to play.
Sindy:: Thanks so much, Susie.
Susie: Thanks, Kidzworld!