Before she appeared on the hit NBC television series Telenovela, actress Diana Maria Riva has made a career of portraying strong women with a sense of humor. Hispanic Lifestyle caught with actress on the red carpet of the 2014 NCLR Alma Awards. In this segment she talks about career highlights and her role in the movie McFarland.
From the Telenovela website
For the past 18 years, Riva has established herself as a dominant force in television, film and theater. On the big screen, she most recently starred in “McFarland, USA,” with Kevin Costner and Maria Bello, and “Love and Mercy,” with Elizabeth Banks and John Cusack. Riva also had a supporting role in the critically acclaimed film “Short Term 12.” In 2010, she starred opposite America Ferrera in “Our Family Wedding” and has also appeared in “17 Again,” “What Women Want,” “Employee of the Month,” “Chasing Papi” and “The Third Wheel,” among others.
On the television side, Riva was most recently seen on FX’s “Saint George,” with comedian George Lopez, and simultaneously recurred on FX’s “The Bridge,” starring Diane Kruger. Other prominent series in which Riva has appeared include “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” “City of Angels,” “NYPD Blue,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The West Wing,” “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “Less Than Perfect,” “The Hughleys,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Strong Medicine,” “The X-Files,” “The Pretender,” “Party of Five,” “Ghost Whisperer” and “In Plain Sight.”
Riva was born and raised in Cincinnati with her native roots going back to the Dominican Republic. She earned an MFA in Theater Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and soon after that appeared in the Michael Weller play “Help!” Based on that performance, she received a development deal from ABC and landed her first television lead on “Common Law.”
On stage, Riva performed her one-woman show “Besame Mucho, O.K. That’s Enough,” a semi-autobiographical work about the perspectives of five women on the journey of love, marriage and divorce in the Latino culture.