'Vivian': E! Snap docu-series star Vivian Benitez gets candid about fame, money and men who don't text back
In an exclusive with Meaww, Vivian Benitez talks about her days of struggle and why it isn't still over despite securing an eponymous Snap docu-series
Snapchat is way ahead of the game, redefining the future of mobile TV with the introduction of scripted and unscripted originals and at the forefront of it all is 21-year-old Vivian Benitez, an aspiring actress and the youngest model scout for Wilhelmina L.A.
In the ongoing Snap documentary-series, we see Vivian navigate her life through the glitz, glamour, humor, and hardship of Los Angeles. As the youngest model scout, she has recruited over 200 models in two years and ushered Wilhelmina L.A. into the digital space, and as an actress, she booked a co-starring role on CBS’ 'Criminal Minds' and a principal role in Lionsgate’s 'Arsenal'. However, she still has a long way to go and despite her massive success, she claims to only have $11.07 in her bank account.
Meaww catches up for an exclusive interview with the real and unfiltered star of the Snap series who gets candid about fame, money, and men who won't text back.
We see you navigating your life as the youngest talent scout for Wilhelmina and at the same time, you're pursuing your own dreams as an actress. Could you tell us more about these aspects of your life as someone who can make dreams come true for so many people while chasing her own?
It actually weighs heavy on me. Sometimes I’m like, I’ve made over a hundred people's dreams come true — when will someone do that for me? But I can’t think about it too much, or I’ll end up Britney Spears 2007.
Your life story is incredible. You started working at the age of 16 and came to LA with $900 and today, at the age of 21, you have conquered so much. How do you reminisce those days and what advice would you like to give to those who are struggling and look up to your story as an inspiration?
I mean compared to my goals, I don’t really feel like I’ve accomplished much—but I am really hard on myself, so I will take your word for it. My advice would be don't take my advice. I am just winging it, I have no idea what I'm doing and my story is still TBD.
Snapchat's Snap Series is pretty much shaping the future of Mobile TV. What are your thoughts on that?
I think Snap has been revolutionizing the way we use our phones and consume media since they started, and this is no different. Snap is always one step ahead. It immediately made sense to me. Mobile TV seems new and groundbreaking, but it’s going to be the norm very soon. It's very cool to be on the forefront.
As a reality docu-series star and an actress, do you think reality stars are subjected to much harsher criticism compared to actresses? How do you deal with it on both levels?
I think being on an unscripted show opens you up to additional criticism because you don't have a character to hide behind.
Before you got started on the reality docu-series what was your thought process like?
l honestly didn’t think anyone would care or watch the show, but it's cool to see that I was wrong.
How has the viewers’ reaction been and how has it affected you?
Its mostly been really really lovely messages, some really nasty ones. I care about both the good and the bad... I hate when people act like they don’t care — I care deeply about everything. It just keeps me motivated to stay true to myself. I don't think there is anyone in Hollywood like me right now. Everyone is so worried about their image, and what to say and what not to say. Everything is so calculated and thought out. I just say whatever is on my mind and keep it moving. I have a lot of very strong opinions about absolutely everything.
Who is your inspiration and what keeps you driven?
My mother — her whole life she has had all the cards stacked against her, and still she prevailed and put food on the table. What keeps me driven is the dream of being able to call her one day and say, "Mom you don’t have to work anymore."
How has your life changed ever since you started filming the Snap Series? Will ‘Vivian' have various Seasons as TV shows or will it be an everyday episode for a continued period of time?
'VIVIAN' only has one season right now and eight episodes. My life hasn’t really changed at all… I still have $11.07 in my bank account, and this guy I like won’t text me back. To add, there’s a 'VIVIAN' Snap filter for my show that people should check out.
Tune into the Snap Original doc-series 'VIVIAN' now on Snapchat Discover.