Dominik Garcia-Lorido proves to be more than just daddy’s little girl
Story by Christopher T. Spargo / Photography by Michael Todd
I just want to work,” explains actress Dominik Garcia-Lorido. “I think it’s very admirable when actors are able to work and not get caught up in the whole celebrity thing.”
It may seem a bit premature for an up-and-coming 26-year-old to worry about the pitfalls of celebrity so early in her career, yet most emerging actors don’t call Academy Award nominee Andy Garcia “Dad.” And in our current TMZ age, most of Hollywood’s golden children are more known for their escapades at Teddy’s and Les Deux than any sort of actual work ethic. Garcia-Lorido has been quietly bucking that trend, however, working steadily in small independent films over the past six years while also finding time to attend UCLA and snag one of the most coveted, albeit nepotistic, jobs in the industry: Miss Golden Globe. Her stint under the radar, however, is likely to change this year with her appearance in the new film City Island, co-starring none other than “Dad” himself, Andy Garcia.
In City Island, Garcia-Lorido plays Vivian, the slightly rebellious daughter of Garcia and recent Golden Globe winner Julianna Marguilles. The film is named for the famed island on which it takes place, a small community located just north of the Bronx. Vivian is a college student who, upon losing her academic scholarship, has turned to one of the less socially acceptable professions as a means of making money — stripping. This, and other family secrets, comes out over one long spring weekend at the family home. The cast, which also includes British actress Emily Mortimer and Alan Arkin, is a true ensemble, playing off one another beautifully throughout the film. Most notable are the scenes around the family dinner table, where the troop truly comes together. “The writing was already so good,” says Garcia-Lorido. “We just would add a little to it. In those scenes we filled in any little quiet moments with some extra screams and name-calling and whatnot. Once we got the flow, stuff just kept coming out. The improvisation definitely made the final cut.”
As for the challenge of playing a stripper, Garcia-Lorido made sure to learn the craft, and like so many before her, was quick to discuss just how difficult it is. “It was a heavy workout. My arms were so sore and my legs would get covered in bruises. It’s not an easy task to flip upside-down and hang yourself from a pole by your ankles. Once I mastered it though I felt like a pro.”
One would imagine that an even bigger challenge would be playing the role of a rebellious stripper opposite your own father, but this did not seem to faze Garcia-Lorido at all. “We are very professional when we work together. We have to treat each other like we would any other actors. If he didn’t treat me that way I wouldn’t be able to work with him.” At the same time, she is quick to add that she allowed the real dynamic of father and daughter to exist during their scenes. “I never want to shy away from anything that’s real,” she explains, before quickly adding that her own family is nothing like the secretive and closed off clan presented in the film.
One job Garcia-Lorido admits she was not as enthused by was her role as Miss Golden Globe 2003. While clearly thankful for the opportunity, she seems to have found the attention a bit off-putting. “I always feel awkward when I am dressed up fancy with my hair and make-up done by someone else. I don’t feel like myself at all. I just remember not feeling comfortable in my own skin. It was very weird just standing on that stage and being introduced as ‘Miss Golden Globe,’ and I’m staring at all these people who I would kill to work with and I admire so much. I actually felt a little ridiculous to be quite honest.”
With the release of City Island this spring and the coming-of-age drama Magic City Memoirs set to premiere later this year, Garcia-Lorido is exploring options for her next project. She points to actress Melissa Leo and comedian Monique’s recent turn in Precious as work she admires and respects. “I admire actors who challenge themselves, because if you don’t you will never grow. I would love to read a script and say, ‘Wow this is too much, I don’t know if I could do this,’ and then go for it. That’s the point of it for me. It’s not as exciting if I read something and think, ‘Yeah, I can do this.’”
What is Los Angeles’s…
Best hotel? Chateau Marmont, SLS and Beverly Wilshire.
Best place for breakfast? Aroma Cafe, The Griddle and Dupars.
Best place for lunch? Aroma Cafe, The Farm, Umami Burger
Best place for dinner? Pace, La Loggia and Kat-su-ya (the original on Ventura).
Best bar/nightspot? Bar Marmont and The Belmont are chill spots to meet for a drink.
Best boutique? Dari.
Best bookshop? Bookstar in Studio City, Borders on Sunset (it’s huge) and the used bookstore in Franklin Village.
Best art gallery? The galleries at the Huntington Gardens and the galleries at the Getty.
Best place for people watching? The Grove, any club and City walk.
Best-kept secret? Forget those fancy sushi restaurants on the Westside…best sushi you’ll ever eat you will find in the valley on Ventura Boulevard! (Not a huge secret though) is the Cardio Barre workout in Studio City…best work out.