If there was a photo next to the definition of ingenue, it would be Denyse Tontz’s. With her wide eyes and wholesome good looks, she is the picture of a woman who is poised for greatness. Tontz stars in Eva Longoria’s new Grand Hotel, a remake of the Spanish series, premiering on ABC this June. It's the soapy drama filmed in Miami, about life in Miami that is remarkably similar to... life in Miami.
Talk to us about your character, Alicia. Is she victim, villain, a little bit of both? I don’t think Alicia knows who Alicia is yet. She is thrust into the real world for the first time after having graduated, and while she’s confident she can handle the responsibility, she often doesn’t realize the gravity of her decisions. She’s courageous, motivated, iron-willed and not above breaking a few rules every now and then. She’s basically the glue that holds the family together—but when she needs help holding it together herself, she becomes drawn to someone she’s not allowed to be with... and drama ensues.
Any similarities between Denyse and Alicia? Sure! We’re both the same height, we sort of look alike... No, I’m kidding. There are a few parallels. I’m the kind of person who does puzzles for fun, if that’s any indication.
How does Miami factor into the plot? The show gives you a sense of being on vacation, where anything can (and does) happen—in one of the most affluent, lively, beautiful cities in the world.
Tell us about working with Eva Longoria. Eva’s an Energizer Bunny. She’s truly one of a kind and such a pleasure to work with. She was there to dole out guidance and advice (and sometimes just laughs) whenever we needed.
What’s on the horizon for you as far as music? Funny you should ask! Music’s still a part of my life privately. I haven’t decided when (or if) I’ll share my new stuff, but it’s definitely on the brain.
Favorite hotel in Miami? The Fontainebleau—it’s where we filmed the pilot for Grand Hotel. Also, two of the snacks I like most are a slice of pizza and a burger, and they have a restaurant called Pizza and Burger with delicious selections of both. Highly recommended.
Photography by: portraits by Ryan O’Leary; grand hotel photo courtesy of walt disney television