Erica Muñoz is a renowned actress and proud mother of 2 who discovered her talent at an early age.
Her acceptance to the prestigious California Institute of the Arts showed promise, along with her audition for the award-winning musical RENT. She was quickly offered a role, which she took to pursue her dream of acting on Broadway. She followed her stage career, with a return to Los Angeles to pursue television and film. Erica can be seen in the CBS series “Jericho,” CBS’ “Numb3rs,” and the VH1 sketch comedy show “Acceptable TV,” which also starred Dan Harmon and Jack Black. As of recent on the TV front, she can be seen on “Grey’s Anatomy” playing Wilmer Valderrama’s sister and NBC’s “Indebted” with Fran Drescher. Her film career includes “Sueño,” opposite John Leguizamo and Elizabeth Peña and “Days of Wrath” starring Amber Valletta, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Laurence Fishburne.
The incline of Erica’s acting career has continued to forge onward, with the lead role in the HBO feature film “Long Gone By.” Erica stars as ‘Ana Alvarez,’ a single mother from Nicaragua living in Warsaw, Indiana with her teenage daughter ‘Izzy.’ When a routine check leads to a deportation order, ‘Ana’ risks everything for a last chance effort to ensure her daughter’s college education is financially secure. “Long Gone By” originally premiered at the New York Latino Film Festival and is now streaming on all HBO platforms.
Dating back to the start of her career, Erica has strived to highlight the importance of Latinx presence in Hollywood. She was invited to participate in CBS’ Diversity Showcase, sponsored by CBS and the Screen Actors Guild, displaying minority talent in the entertainment industry. She brings that same energy to 2020 and is working on amplifying the voices of Latinx actors while developing an upcoming online project. She is also heavily involved in her community with a focus on equity in public education via a dual immersion program that focuses on social justice.
Chilled sat with Erica to uncover her favorable drinks and eats, as well as how she’s been dealing with the Pandemic.
Tell us about the projects you are working on.
I had been working on a female-driven thriller with Renee Victor but that has been paused due to Covid. I have turned my focus to producing for the moment and working on an indie comedy. We hope to start shooting in January 2021 but still waiting to see how possible that is given new restrictions.
With your busy schedule, what do you like to do with your downtime?
When I have any time to myself, I love to go on long runs. I love getting out of town and going on adventures with my family. New food, new places, new experiences. We love Disney so when it was open, you could find me at Disneyland at every opportunity.
When you go out to eat, where do you like to dine?
I try to eat mostly plant based so my absolute favorite places to dine are places where I don’t have to think too much about what’s on the menu. Honeybee Burger serves that burger/fry comfort food that is so fun. El Veganito in San Diego is INCREDIBLE.
What types of dishes do you typically order?
My staples are Gallo Pinto and beyond anything (burgers, sausage, etc). I love to try plant-based dishes that are inventive and fun.
Any favorite bars?
I’m in bed so early! I cannot remember the last time I was in a bar. I do drink a lot of coffee so I have traded in bars for great coffee shops. El Cielto Cafe’ has an incredible selection, and their coffee comes directly from fincas in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.
Do you prepare drinks at home?
I don’t drink but I do LOVE playing around with mocktails and NA brews.
Tell us about your home bar. What is it stocked with?
Coffee, coffee, and more coffee.
Have you ever been a bartender?
You bet. Bartender, cocktail server, you name it, I’ve done it.
If you could share a drink with anyone, who would it be?
Rita Moreno. Hands down.
What dishes/drinks are you making at home right now during “stay-at-home?”
We’re living on tacos at the moment. I’m drinking a lot of coffee to keep up with the kids and school and producing and promoting Long Gone By.
How are you coping?
This is such a challenging season, but our family is coping fairly well. My sons attend a school that is primarily low-income, and we are seeing families struggle in real time for basic needs so there is a tremendous amount of perspective there. I’m trying to lean into gratitude and action. Helping where we can, staying away from screens and spending time outdoors. Just taking things a day at a time.