How did Lisette Olivera get her start?
Growing up in the Los Angeles suburbs, Lisette Olivera knew she wanted to be an actor—but her parents took some convincing. “I remember at a really early age begging my mom to [let me] take acting classes and pursue it as a career,” she says. “But she was really adamant about me pursuing something more economically sufficient.” To show how committed she was, she signed up for every arts-based extracurricular she could find, from theater to guitar to competitive dance. Ultimately, it was the family’s proximity to Hollywood that sealed the deal. “When I got old enough,” Olivera recalls, “I started driving out here myself and auditioning for short films.”
How did she get the part in National Treasure: Edge of History?
Olivera soon landed parts in a teen web series and a low-budget horror film, but her big break came when she won the lead role in the highly anticipated new Disney+ series National Treasure: Edge of History. During the multiday wait for the final results of the audition, her mom suggested they go to the mall to distract themselves. Naturally, the call came while Olivera was trying on clothes at a store with poor cell service, so she frantically redressed and ran outside to answer. “My mom was able to read my body language, and immediately she ran out with me, and we started crying,” Olivera remembers. “It was the most heartwarming moment.”
What is her character’s backstory?
National Treasure, which premieres December 14, is another chapter in the Nicolas Cage franchise, following a new generation of treasure hunters (including Catherine Zeta-Jones) while keeping some familiar faces involved. “It’s the same writers, producers, and composer,” Olivera says. “I knew that we were in safe hands.” Her character, Jess, is a Mexican-American Dreamer, a detail that surely adds depth to the franchise’s perspective on U.S. history. “Being a Dreamer is, like, the epitome of the American dream,” Olivera says, “because most of the time, when they’re brought over as children, it’s for the intention of finding a better life.”
Which National Treasure character reminds her of Jess?
Although fans will be excited to see the likes of Harvey Keitel and Justin Bartha return from the original films, there’s another cast member Olivera hopes might come back in a potential second season. “I think Jess is very similar to Diane Kruger’s character, Abigail,” she says. “She had mentioned that she’s an American citizen, she just wasn’t born in the United States, and that was a quote that I was really inspired by when I was developing my character. I think their bonding would be really special.” As for which prop she’d want to swipe from the set, National Treasure– style? “ The Ben Franklin glasses. Those are the coolest things ever.”