Grand Hotel's Justina Adorno reveals how playing Yoli has been helping her stay real on her personal journey
Justina Adorno plays the sassy Yoli in ABC's drama 'Grand Hotel' but her connection with the character, which she has so articulately brought to life, isn't limited to matching personality traits. For Adorno, playing Yoli has helped improved her journey towards body positivity and self-acceptance easier than it was before. While she gets to enjoy the salt and sandy vibes of her character's stay at the Miami Beach hotel, Adorno also reflects what a significant part of her personal growth Yoli has been.
In the 2019 remake of the Spanish telenovela, 'Gran Hotel', Adorno stars alongside big names like Eva Longoria. Which is funny because according to her, the role of Yoli was never supposed to happen. As MEA Worldwide (MEAWW) chatted with her, the actress revealed that she had actually auditioned for another role on the show. "I had auditioned for other pilots for ABC that season, and at the time, I had auditioned for Alicia, another character on the show," Adorno tells us exclusively. "I had my heart set on another pilot, so I just read the script and I was like I don't know about this girl, I like this other person. So I kind of butchered that audition, and I was like okay great, guess this is not happening this year for me."
Then enters her knight in shining armor — the character of Yoli. "I got the sides for Yoli and I was like, they better cast me," muses Adorno. "Just because she's so relatable, she keeps it real — she's kind of the underdog. So I auditioned for it, and I got a call back the next week and the next day I got a text and the next day I got a call that I got the role."
Yoli's character belongs to an affluent family residing at the Miami Beach hotel in a la 'Gossip Girl' manner, where rich people and their rivalries prove to be the central focus of the drama. Yoli herself is as real as it gets, and is often referred to as 'gordita' - which "is a Latino term for a chubby, bigger girl," shares Adorno, before proceeding to add how relatable all of this was for her, considering her childhood.
"Growing up, I was always the chubby one. Other people might have different opinions, but I felt like I was the odd one out," reminisces Adorno. "I lost weight for a weight loss commercial and then I struggled with an eating disorder. Trying to recover myself out of that I actually booked the role (of Yoli) where I was told to gain more weight. The whole transition was a struggle, but it helped me identify with her even more, and just own who I am in my body, wherever I am in the moment. So Yoli actually has been helping me on my own journey, personally." Trust us, considering how everything Yoli utters is what millennial slang would call 'big mood', we are on Adorno's side on this one.
'Grand Hotel' will premiere on ABC on June 17, 2019.