Lifetime: What attracted you to your role in “Odd Girl Out”?
Vega: I was looking for a character that would have meaning for people and would be someone they’d connect with. I also wanted to show that I could do more than funny, cute parts like in “Sleepover” or “Spy Kids.”
Lifetime: What did you learn during the making of this film?
Vega: I had to bring myself to a darker place for this movie, so I discovered a lot more about acting. I had to test myself and really study up on the character.
Lifetime: How was it working with co-star Lisa Vidal?
Vega: She brought everyone’s character to life. She is such a strong woman in real life and in the film she had to play a weaker character, but she did it incredibly.
Lifetime: Do you think bullying is a big problem for teenage girls?
Vega: Definitely. There’s so much cattiness, and everything is a competition. It’s all about boys and status and how high you are on the totem pole. There will always be someone being picked on at school, and it’s not going to go away.
Lifetime: Were you or someone close to you ever bullied?
Vega: A little in my freshman year for being an actress and starring in “Spy Kids.” Someone even poured soda on me! My sister went through worse. She’d come home crying every day from girls tormenting her to her face or over instant messenger. She was quiet about it at first, but she finally opened up to my family for help.
Lifetime: What advice do you have for girls being picked on?
Vega: Talk to somebody about it, and figure out a way together to deal with the issue. Don’t hide and say it will go away. It usually won’t. You have to confront the situation.
Lifetime: Any funny stories on the set?
Vega: In the scene where I’m supposed to cut my hair off, I thought they would put a wig on me, but what they did was add pieces of hair instead. When I got into the scene, I couldn’t go looking for the fake hair, so I ended up chopping off pieces of my own hair off! It wasn’t too bad — it’s growing back.
Lifetime: What’s next for you?
Vega: I’m starting work on an HBO film based on a true story, called “Walk Out.” It’s about a Mexican-American girl tired of being treated unequally. She decides to stand up and address the problem and ends up starting a riot with 20,000 people!