Actress Camila Moreno on her new role in ‘Naomi’ on CW

Camila Moreno
Photo: Allie Hine

Camila Moreno was drawn into entertainment in fourth grade. The San Juan-born actress’s school would host poetry contests and one of the teachers would pick a student to go compete against other students in their grade.

As a shy child, Moreno was surprised that she was picked to audition, and was even more surprised when she ultimately won the poetry competition. But at that moment, she found empowerment in being on a stage in front of people.

“For the first time, the thing I was so afraid of — talking to people and standing in front of crowds — became something I conquered and people started to know me for,” said Moreno. “From that moment on, I wanted to be an actor. The empowerment in being in front of people and portraying another human being was definitely unexpected but I fell in love with it.”

Moreno continued on the trajectory to stardom as an adult, attending the University of Puerto Rico, where she majored in Acting and later won the Victoria Espinosa Award for best actress of her graduating class. She was one of 16 applicants to make it into  NYU’s prestigious Graduate Acting Program and earned her Master of Fine Arts from the university.

Fast forward to today and you’ll find Moreno on the new CW drama series “Naomi,” which premiered this past January. The show follows Naomi McDuffie, a teenage girl that loves all things comic books and Superman living in Oregon.

Moreno plays Lourdes, one of Naomi’s friends. When a supernatural event strikes their hometown, Naomi and Lourdes start to look for answers.

“Naomi finds out more about herself and why she has such a connection and love for Superman. It’s a very exciting show,” said Moreno. “Lourdes is a very good friend of Naomi, they have a lot in common. She gets to go along for the ride and goes on adventures with her friends.”

Landing the role of Lourdes was a dream come true for Moreno, as this is her first job as a series regular. Her approach to the character, as well as any job Moreno takes on, is to act as though she was meeting this character in real life.

“In terms of research, not every character is the same, but you definitely have to have a lot of curiosity and be interested in who the person is, what they like, what they don’t like, and what is important to her,” said Moreno. “The acting aspect is pretty much the same. Getting to act is so exciting. Even if I’m not working, I love watching what happens on set, especially all of the mechanics that goes into a show of this magnitude.”

One thing in particular that Moreno loves about working on “Naomi” is the representation that it offers. Moreno says that the cast and crew are very diverse, and it gives her hope for young people of color who may not have seen themselves represented on screen before.

“It’s doing so much [for representation] just in existing. Growing up in Puerto Rico, I didn’t see a lot of people born and raised on the island on TV besides local TV. There were also very few women in shows in English, “said Moreno. “The fact that I get to do this and be a part of such a movement is incredible and beyond my wildest dreams because I feel like it’s fair for children all over the world to see themselves reflected on the screen. It gives them the opportunity to dream and picture themselves in different situations that they couldn’t picture themselves in before.”

Moreno hopes that those who tune in are able to find a little bit of themselves in “Naomi” and enjoy the ride.

“It’s a very exciting show, there’s a storyline for everyone,” said Moreno. “It doesn’t matter what your age is or who you are, there’s a hook for you. Stay tuned, there’s a lot of exciting things to watch for.”

“Naomi” airs on Tuesday nights on CW at 9 p.m. You can follow Moreno on Instagram @thecamilamoreno.

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