Natalina Maggio is an unforgettable talent. Her distinctive voice has been featured on Japanese anime like Gunparade March and Ten Tokyo Warriors as well as the Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. And her body has been showcased in national ad campaigns for Wells Fargo, KISSING Couture, and UGO.
Remember the 2006 teen comedy, John Tucker Must Die? It was her curvaceous figure that popped out of the movie poster and helped sell over $60 million in movie tickets all over the world.
Recently, she was named one of the “Sexiest Women in the World” by askmen.com. And has appeared in such publications as FHM, ICON, and AMPS magazines.
More importantly, the 28 year-old California model slash voice-over extraordinaire is expanding into television with memorable turns on Community, Entourage, and Raising Hope. And big screen parts in Iron Man 2, Couples Retreat, and Get Him to the Greek as well as the recent Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston comedy, Just Go With It, and the upcoming Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts’ vehicle, Larry Crowne.
More than just a pretty face and figure, Natalina Maggio is poised for a break out.
When did you realize you wanted to be in show business?
I started working at Disneyland when I was a teenager making announcements, wake up calls, etc. It was my first job and people just went crazy over my voice. It was like Minnie Mouse meets Snow White! As a result, they started pushing me into modeling and acting and voice over work. But it wasn’t really anything I thought about doing myself.
I never thought: ‘I want to be a movie star when I grow up.’ My mom always knew I would get a lot of attention because of my voice and my dad wanted me to be a lawyer or a doctor. I was always a really good student in school; very artistic. But this was something that chose me. Something I was meant to do.
Voice over work is a huge industry, dominated by Disney, DreamWorks, etc. And many people have made their entire careers sitting in the sound booth. Would you be content just doing voice over work?
Yes and no. I like acting – doing comedy, drama, and interacting with people. Especially being on set with a group of actors and getting to know them really well. I feel I can bring more life to characters with gestures and facial expressions because it stretches me as an actor.
But versatility is a good thing. And I’m very fortunate to do both. I love doing voice-overs and bringing animated characters to life, but it’s actually much harder because you don’t have anything to animate but your voice.
Did you focus on filmmaking or acting in college?
I went to Cal State Fullerton majoring in journalism, but ended up studying radio, television, film, and public relations. My teachers always told me, “If I had your voice, I wouldn’t be sitting here.” But I had my heart set on getting a degree.
Education is really important. While I was in school, I learned how to write. I directed student projects and acted in them. And most importantly, I became familiar with all the different aspects of the entertainment industry.
You recently appeared in Just Go With It, alongside Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, and Adam Sandler. What part did you play?
I’m in the wedding scene with Jennifer and Adam. Both of their families are there and his family is very Jewish and crazy. I play one of the outsiders, i.e. the single hot girl on the crazy side of the family.
What makes you laugh? What makes you happiest?
I love working and I get really bored when I don’t have any projects (laughs). Staying busy keeps me happy, keeps me energized, and I feel like I’m creating something new, which is fulfilling. I love my job and love being around positive people.
Over the years, you’ve played a Night Club Dancer, Persian Porn Star, Hot Girl, Cheerleader, Bikini Girl, etc. And recently, you were named one of the hottest girls in the world by AskMen.com. Do you believe your beauty has helped or hindered your pursuit of good roles? Specifically, what are your thoughts on Hollywood stereotypes?
There are always going to be stereotypes. That’s just how people are. But it’s more about getting in the door and establishing yourself. A lot of actresses are seen as eye candy. But you have to look past that and be who you are.
Once you’re in, you have to break people’s idea of what got you in the door in the first place. And for me, that’s something I’m working on to this day. Every single project, I grow as an individual and attempt to bring something new, something different.
You’ve worked with a lot of big names in the industry on films like Couples Retreat, Iron Man 2, Larry Crowne, etc. What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned as an actress?
Listening is the most important lesson because that’s how you figure out what the director wants and needs, what the overall picture is going to be like, etc. Everybody wants to talk and be heard, but if you don’t listen, you’ll never know what you’re supposed to do. It’s so easy to get distracted by all the talent, the big sets, the lights, and everything. But you have to learn to stay focused, remain in character, and listen. If you do those things, you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way.
I eat really well, which I think is extremely important. I eat lots of vegetables and lots of fruit. I don’t go out to eat very often. But I have been known to splurge from time to time. Like French fries. I absolutely love French fries (Laughs)!
I also try to avoid a lot of sunbathing because I think it ages you immensely. It’s important to get a little bit of sun so you have a glow and get some Vitamin E – a little bit of sun is really good for you as long as you remember to moisturize.
Lastly, sleep and exercise regularly. It’s always a challenge, particularly in the entertainment industry, to make sure you get plenty of rest. But for your overall health, it’s one of the most important things you can do. Just like exercising. The sooner you start exercising, the easier it is to keep your body in shape and keep you from working so hard. It just makes you feel so much better and is a great stress reliever.
What are the most important qualities you look for in a man?
There are several things. For starters, I like someone who is intelligent and can carry a great conversation. He has to be funny and have a good sense of humor; otherwise, I’ll be completely bored. And I like someone who is physically and emotionally strong.
I also prefer men who are older than me. Someone I can look up to, have lots of fun with, and work together to build a deep relationship.
What’s been your favorite role to date and why?
One of my favorite roles so far was on Raising Hope, which I just finished. I got to play a character called, Dirty Angel. It was a small comedic role opposite Lucas Neff, Shannon Woodward, etc. But I just had so much fun with it. Also, I really enjoyed working on Community with Chevy Chase. As a kid, I loved Caddyshack, mainly for the gopher (laughs). But also, because of Chevy Chase. And it was such a pleasure to work with someone I admired as a kid. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.
Over the last three months, I’ve been working on a movie called Now, with Justin Timberlake, Olivia Wilde, and Amanda Seyfried. But I’m sworn to secrecy (laughs).
I’m also starting to audition for some new and exciting things to utilize my other talents, like a vampire role that I’m hoping comes through. It’d be a great change of pace.
Snow White meets Vampira?
(Laughs). I don’t always have to be the hot model.
Photos courtesy of Natalina Maggio.