By Elia Esparza

Friday’s November 30th episode of CSI:NY will showcase actress Natalie Martinez in all her glory as Detective Jamie Lovato.

Martinez’s star has been on the constant rise ever since she (literally) became an overnight sensation when Jennifer Lopez chose her to be the national spokes-model for her J-Lo brand.

Where she is today is something she could have never imagined. But it appears that stardom was in her horizon since the day she was born. Her mother named her after Natalie Wood, her favorite actress.

Recently Backstage 30 named her one of the top 40 rising stars and why not? Natalie is extremely popular in social media: Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr—data that you can be sure the TV and studio executives are following closely.

After modeling, she ventured into acting without any professional training. In 2006, she was cast as a series regular in FOX’s Fashion House, playing Michelle Miller. She taped 65 episodes in 65 days.

Talk about on-the-job training! It’s in her blood! It’s kismet!

 

 

More recently you may have seen Natalie in the film End of Watch, where she played Gabby, the wife of Mike Zavala (Michael Pena). In  January you will see her in Broken City starring next to Russell Crowe, Mark Walberg, and Catherine Zeta Jones.

Consider the following interview as you watch Martinez on Friday night’s CSI:NY on CBS 9PM:

Latin Heat: You have done film, TV, telenovelas, music videos and modeling. Which one of these are jobs and which are your passion?

Natalie Martinez: TV and film because its a constant challenges it brings on discovering and building new characters.

LHGrowing up in Miami who in the business did you admire?

NM:  J.lo. Because of the empire she built for herself.

LH:  What special acting training did you study and what physical skills (if any) do you bring to your roles?

NM: I do one on one coaching usually to prepare for roles. I find it more personal and I can focus on the task at hand. But in between jobs and time off I try to go to acting class as much as I can to see and learn from others and stay practicing.

LH: Do you think your Catholic high school education prepared you to deal with the ups and downs of Hollywood?

NM: I think life experiences and how I grew up helped me deal with the ups and downs of Hollywood. It’s help me create a tough skin. My parents are both hard workers and growing up around that help me build a strong work ethic.

LH: What about working in End of Watch, did you find special, challenging or just plain fun?

NM: All of the above. The cast was great so it was fun. We prepared a lot because we had to be on point with our characters, the way it was shot required it. There were cameras coming from all angles so it gave it a very realistic raw feel which that made it special

LH: What was your impression of Michael Pena before played his wife in End of Watch?  What about afterward?

NM: I always admired his work and after end of watch it made me an even bigger fan. I think he is incredibly talented and focused.

LH: Tell us about your role in CSI: NY.

NM: I play Det. Jamie Lovato she’s strong focused but has a sense of humor and can hang with the boys as well.  She was undercover cop for a while so it gives her that tough streets smart attitude. She a lot of fun to play.

LH: Tell us about Broken City your next film.  Your character.  The film.  Working with such a high profile cast.

NM: Broken City is a crime thriller drama directed by Allen Hughes staring Mark Walhberg, Catherine Zeta Jones and  Russell Crowe. I play Natalie an aspiring actress who has been in a long-term relationship Mark’s character. It was an honor being in a film with such an amazing cast and great director. Everyone’s individually brought so much to their roles.

LH: You seem to be getting cast in bigger films.  What do you think was the trigger for that to happen?

NM: Hard work and stamina… I believe this business gives back what you put in.

LH: Based on your personal experience, what do you wish someone had told you before you ventured into acting? What advise do you give other young Latinas following in your footsteps?

NM: From my experience I’ve learned that to succeed at something you have to strive to be your best. Study, train, read, learn, go to class and be healthy. Constantly be working at your craft. That’s the advice I would give to anyone. Success is when opportunity meets preparation.

Follow Natalie Martinez on Twitter: @natmartinez