When watching Paramount+’s Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, series’ star, Marisa Davila, is an instant standout. The actress displays an impressive array of talents including acting, singing, dancing, and comedy as she brings her character Jane to life – in all her 1950s glory. Davila may seem like a fresh face, but in actuality she has been working in the industry for almost a decade. Like her character, Jane, Davila knew what she wanted and went right after it, even convincing her parents to journey from Nashville to Los Angeles to pursue her passion for acting.
Awards Radar had the chance to speak with Davila about her work on the series which serves as a prequel to the motion picture, Grease. Season one. which was packed with an astonishing amount of creativity episode after episode, just concluded in grand fashion. Davila noted how it was essentially ten feature films – each sporting multiple original songs, fully choreographed and brought to life by a large ensemble of talented actors and actresses. But playing Jane is more than musical numbers, it is about the experience of growing up. Davila discussed what it meant to play a character who was still finding her place in the world.
On the journey of being a Pink Lady:
“It’s about having to navigate the treacherous waters of high school or even just the society in the 1950s. And how difficult that must have been for anybody in the 50s, let alone teenagers, who are normally misunderstood by their peers and anyone older than them as well. Somebody as positive as Jane keeps getting pushed down by all these negative rumors, or even just people who are put off by how many goals she has, or how she’s really moving up in the world. Whether you know it or not, you are not going through things alone or your experiences might not be as unique and rare as you think. We don’t often take time to get to know each other on that level or even have those conversations. I think we can learn a lot from the Pink Ladies.”
On the process of developing the character of Jane:
“She’s very observant. I think one of the keys for me was just to make sure to sit back and take in everything that was happening in the scenes, because I do function as that for the audience. You understand fully what Jane’s feeling and every thought that you have as Jane thought. So, because of that, I made sure I was very clear on what it meant for Jane, and for somebody as smart as Jane. She’s quite innocent and to tap into that at the age that I am now, meant just really seeing the beauty that the world had to offer behind all the messiness and the negativity – going back to like just learning things again,”
On Rise of the Pink Ladies being much more than a musical series:
“I think when people hear about our show, they’re like, ‘Oh, it’s a musical, it’s just gonna be fun.’ No, we talk about some really hard stuff. I think it’s a great way to get messages across and to show just a firm example of what how effective your own strength can be.”
Jane’s journey has plenty of ups and downs, but through it all she stays true to herself. It’s just one of the important messages you can find in Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies. All 10 episodes of Davila’s work in season one is now streaming exclusively on Paramount +.