Love, Life & Beauty – Lilimar Hernandez

Lilimar Hernandez (known to her fans as merely Lilimar) recalls being nine years old, at an acting workshop, when she first caught a glimpse of what her future might look like. “I think I’ve always had a ‘thing’ for performing, for making others laugh, for entertaining,” she explained to INLOVE. “To me, [after that workshop] it was so incredibly fun, and interesting, that I immediately wanted to know more and keep practicing.”

When she first started acting professionally, Lilimar says that it was a lot of trial and error for her and her family. “We asked for advice from many different mentors, looked at many different agencies online, and went through quite a few struggles, but it was so worth it.” Eventually, she booked her first job – a KFC commercial.

Lilimar’s success soared when she joined the Nickelodeon family. Fans loved her as “Sophie Delarosa” on Bella and the Bulldogs and later as “Sage” in Knight Squad.

“[It] was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” Lilimar reflected back to her time on those shows. “I’m so thankful that Nickelodeon included me in their family, and I’m so happy I grew up surrounded by wonderful mentors and incredible castmates.”

Sari: You got to tap into the magical realm with Knight Squad. What was the coolest part about that?
Lilimar Hernandez: Definitely learning some stage combat and how to use Sage’s special spear [laughs]. The stunt crew was filled with such incredible, talented people, so it was an honor to learn from them and work with them.

Sari: If you could combine your favorite parts about both Nickelodeon characters into one new role, what would your new character’s traits be, and what would the show be called?
LH: Ooh… hard question, but I’ll try to be as creative as I can [laughs]. Well, I absolutely loved Sophie’s fiery personality and Sage’s love for evil schemes, so I’m thinking… let’s make a villain. Since both of my Nick characters’ names start with an S, we can name this new one Solar, because, why not? Plus, it sounds cool. I kind of want this to be a show that takes place in space where there’s some sort of intergalactic war going on between the queens of the different galaxies? Not sure what the name would be, but hey, there’s something you can pitch [smiles].

Sari: Do you have any lucky items you take with you on auditions or on set? Any rituals you do to keep that positive energy going?
LH: I don’t really do anything specific. The only thing is that I always make sure to go to every audition with a positive, carefree attitude. I’ve always been taught that your thoughts manifest into your reality, so the more positive you think; the more positive experiences will come to you.

Sari: If you had your own theme song that would play before every audition or every time you walked on set, what would it be?
LH: “Woman” by BoA. For sure.

Sari: Did you ever have a moment as an actress when you knew you could give up or keep trying? What made you stick with it?
LH: I don’t think I’ve ever had a moment where I thought of giving up. There’s nothing more in this world that I love to do more than acting, so I always felt like I just had to keep pushing, keep working, and keep dreaming. I promised myself that however many years of life I’m given, I will spend them doing what I love and make myself and my family proud.

Sari: What’s the key to remaining grounded and staying true to yourself; not only as an artist but as a human being?
LH: Never forget where you come from, never forget those who’ve helped you selflessly and never forget all the hard work you’ve put in. Surround yourself with people that love, and support you, in the truest way. And remember that no matter at what point of your life you’re in, you mustn’t fall into the mindset of “I’m above” or “I’m much better” than those around me.

Sari: I love that you use social media in such a positive way. I want to talk about two things. The first is #FreshFaceFriday. Can you tell us what it is and what inspired it?
LH: I started this one when I was about 14, I think, and the idea came to me when I was reading my comment section. While there were so many sweet comments from fans that always put such a huge smile on my face, there were also things like “I wish I could be that pretty” or “I wish I had the confidence to do that.” It made me really sad to see that. Since I was very little, my family’s always been focused on making sure my self-esteem doesn’t crumble, and to make sure I love and appreciate all the little things about myself. I wanted to help my fans do that as well. Self-love, respect, and sense of worth are so incredibly important. I wanted to somehow help them realize that, even if it was something as simple as challenging others to post selfies without makeup or editing.

Sari: The second thing is #StarGazerSaturday. What inspired that?
LH: I think I just had a lot to say, but no longer wanted to keep it to myself. So, pretty much anything that’s going through my mind; whether it’s a personal thought about our generation, my culture, friends, or coming of age, I’ll type it out in a caption for others to read and also add to the conversation. I also talk a lot about self-care, self-love, and other self-help topics to encourage anyone who reads it that could possibly be going through a tough time.

Sari: You’ve also done voice work on Spirit Riding Free. How does it differ from live-action, and what are the challenges?
LH: Honestly, it’s one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever done. I got to sit down with the other voice actors for a few hours every session and make some of the cutest scenes come to life. It’s really nice when all of us do our scenes together, and we can really play off of each other. That was my first big VO job, so it was definitely nice being around professionals that were sweet enough to teach me concepts that I didn’t know yet, or tips on how to deliver certain lines better. The most exciting moment was when I saw what my character “Solana” looked like for the first time ever. I literally squealed.

Sari: What advice would you give other women out there who want to get into the entertainment field?
LH: Don’t ever let a single person tell you that you can’t. Trust your instincts and trust your talent. Focus on learning and bettering yourself, and keep that flow going, girl. Also, don’t trust easily – no matter what set, or network, no matter how nice people can seem, this industry is filled with sick-minded, money-hungry people. So keep a good circle around you; whether it’s your family, your closest friends, or your representative team because not only will they be an amazing support system, but your protectors. Stay strong, and do your thing, girl, because you can.

Sari: Who is an actor that inspires you and why?
LH: Ever since I was little girl, I’ve always looked up to Robert De Niro. My dad and I would always have movie nights and end up watching a ton of his films together. I was mesmerized every time I saw him do a different character and am constantly impressed with every single choice he makes in each scene. He’s still one of my biggest inspirations.

Sari: Old or new, is there a film or TV show that you love and think everyone should be watching?
LH: Unfortunately, it did not get picked up for a second season, which I’m still bummed about, but Chambers, starring Uma Thurman – wow. It’s so good. It’s super binge-worthy, and the actors are just incredible. Not to mention, it has the first Native American woman to star in a Netflix series.

Sari: What are some words of wisdom you think everyone should live by?
LH: There is one phrase that my family has been repeating to me for as long as I can remember which is “Más grande que yo, La Tierra, y la piso todos los días.” Which is Spanish for “Greater than I, the Earth, and I step on it every day.” Now, this phrase wasn’t meant to teach you to think you’re better than everyone else or anything like that; it’s meant to teach that no matter how big of a challenge, you can overcome it. My family wanted me to be strong and confident as I matured, and encourage me to really try and make my own wildest dreams come true without any fear.

Sari: Is there anything you’d really like readers to know?
LH: I get asked about this pretty often on social media nowadays, so I wanted to address it, which is regarding my heterochromia. This means I have two different colored eyes. Which, by the way, was kind of a nightmare when I was in school because we all know how rude kids can be, but, as I grew up, I grew confident in it, and now I think it’s actually a pretty cool thing about me. My right eye is green, and my left eye is brown. My brown eye actually has some dark spots on the white part of it, mainly under the iris.

So much lies ahead for the lovely Lilimar. She shot a movie over the summer and will also be playing the lead in a new cartoon series. As far as the future goes, Lilimar has always been a fan of acting in films. The actress tells INLOVE that one day she hopes to expand her repertoire. Who knows? Maybe a horror flick, a psychological thriller; whatever it will be, we are sure the universe will guide her down the path that she is destined for.

Sari Cohen