Once Upona Time…in Chile: How Lorenza Izzo Made Her Ownpath & Landed in Hollywood
Lorenza Izzo was on her first magazine cover, with her mother Rosita Parsons, when she was only two weeks old. By the age of 15, she was walking the runway. Her modeling career was off to a great start. But it’s no surprise that Lorenza found success in the modeling industry —she was born into a family of models. “It wasn’t much of a thought process, my modeling days,” says the 29-year-old Chilean actress. “It was a really nice way to make extra money, but it was never my goal or my objective to become a model.” For Lorenza, it was more of a side project that gave her so much more than she ever expected. She learned a lot from modeling, specifically, work ethic.
When Lorenza was 18, she landed her first major campaign: the face of Colcci in Chile —a Brazilian label, which Gisele Bündchen also represented. “It’s a very hard job, it requires a lot of time and effort, and complete surrender of yourself, kind of the way acting does,” she explains. “It taught me what a real career can feel like at such a young age.” The rush she felt being on the runway made it all worth it for her. “There is a lot of adrenaline when performing in front of a crowd, which is what I love doing.”
Lorenza wanted to do something different with her life and acting was a natural evolution from modeling as they both put her in the spotlight, which she loved. “At a very young age, I really enjoyed being the center of attention, making people laugh, and performing in every way possible,” she says. She enjoyed drama and theater in school, and discovered that acting came natural to her. “I lied a lot as a child,” she confesses. “I loved making up stories...I even made up that the Spice Girls were my aunts.” At 19, Lorenza realized she should channel these natural instinct of hers into acting. “I loved bedazzling my real life. It wasn’t just a hobby, it was something within me that I couldn’t control.”
She had the opportunity to go to New York City and study acting at The Lee Strasberg Theater & Film Institute, so she moved to the United States. After some time in NYC, Lorenza returned to Chile and was cast in her first student film. “When I was on set is when I truly became hooked.” Lorenza was studying journalism at the time, but knew acting is what she was meant to do. “I’m meant to live on a set.”
It didn’t take long for Lorenza to start making a name for herself in the film industry. Her first major role was in the Chilean film, Que Pena Tu Boda, which premiered in 2011. The following year, at the age of 20, she landed her first English-speaking role in the movie, Aftershock. “It was a really difficult, physically-demanding shoot,” says Lorenza. She has shot in various locations, under different budgets, and has learned that no matter the stresses of set life, she truly enjoys the experience —the good and the bad.
Over the next few years, Lorenza perfected her craft and worked on about a dozen films —some of them with ex-husband Eli Roth, who she met on the set of Aftershock. The House with a Clock in Its Walls, starring Jack Black, was one of the biggest films she had done —until she booked the role of Francesca Capucci in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and directed by Quentin Tarantino.
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is one of those one-in-a-billion chances. It’s the thing you dream of as an actor,” says Lorenza. Not only did she have the opportunity to work with an amazing cast of actors, but with her dream director. “I’m a massive fan. Everyone in this film is incredibly talented. It was a tremendous experience.” Lorenza did a fabulous job with bringing Francesca to life on the big screen. “She is based on all the starlets of the 60s in Italy,” she explains. “We tried to do something different. She is very funny, full of life —a person who walks into the room and takes over.” Lorenza was excited to play with this role and explore the ’60s. Like most of the characters she has portrayed, Lorenza had a few things in common with Francesca. Though, the actress wishes she was more like her Once Upon a Time in Hollywood character. “She really doesn’t care and just enjoys and lives life, and there is a great beauty to that.”
Lorenza just finished filming Women is Losers. Slated for release in 2020, this is her first time producing a movie. “I learn so much from each project that I do,” she said. “There is a lot of research and understanding the world I’m going to be living in and submerging myself into it.”