Simonna talks joining John Legend in defending Rita Ora after unavoidable Macy’s mishap

Courtesy - Simonna, acquired via MW-PR
Courtesy - Simonna, acquired via MW-PR /

Lithuanian actress and singer Simonna recently took the time to share about her career and her public defense of Rita Ora after an unavoidable Macy’s mishap.

Simonna has made headlines in recent days joining John Legend and defending Rita Ora after Ora’s unavoidable Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade singing mishap. Ora was seen on Thanksgiving day struggling to keep up with the track for her song Let You Love Me, which quickly prompted unclassy trolls to bash her on social media for having lip-synced.

The scenario was, however, unavoidable due to that fact that, as John Legend and Macy’s organizers confirm, all singing performances on those floats are lip-synced due to sound and technical limitations. That, in addition to unforseen sound issues, sealed the fate of her performance.

Here’s what Simonna had to say about her acting/singing career and her defense of Rita Ora in this exclusive interview.

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 11: Singer Simonna arrives at the 8th Annual Stand Up For Pits at the Hollywood Improv Comedy Club on November 11, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 11: Singer Simonna arrives at the 8th Annual Stand Up For Pits at the Hollywood Improv Comedy Club on November 11, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images) /

HR: You recently joined John Legend and others in defending Rita Ora, who has been really unfairly whiplashed on social media recently for lip-syncing at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade — something that, according to Legend and parade organizers, all singers have to do at that event. Would you care to expand any further on your comments based on your perspective as a singer? 

Simonna: First of all, imagine yourself singing in the cold. It’s so difficult! Then there are the technical issues of live-streaming an event like that. And some even need to be aired at a later time, which presents other delay issues. Plus, the parade was in motion with, from what I understand, limited technical capacity for live performance.

My point is that she is someone who really can sing. We all know that. Rita has an amazing voice. I just had to defend her. Imagine how it was for her standing out there in the cold, on a moving float, subject to whatever performance format all of the artists had to adhere to with no choice in the matter.

I am very honored to have shared my opinion alongside John and Rita. I respect them both very much, like I respect any professional artist. I have to deal with all of these difficulties as well when I’m performing, and I know what it means and how difficult it can be at times.

HR: Well said. Thank you. So you were born in Lithuania and rose to stardom there. What has it been like breaking onto the scene here in the U.S.A?

Simonna: So far it’s been great. I’ve been traveling my entire life. I’ve been singing since I was three years old and my first album came out when I was 12, followed by my first national tour. But still, something was missing in my life. I’d always wanted to be in the U.S., Los Angeles in particular.

I always wanted something more – more opportunities – and there are endless opportunities here in the U.S. I think I got this idea from Disney’s Sony with a Chance with Demi Lovato, because when I was younger it was my favorite show. And I still feel it somehow affected my decision to move here.

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HR: Have you had any culture-shock moments here that threw you off?

Simonna: The biggest impression and funniest experiences that I’ve had were in China. People are very excited there when they see a blonde girl from Europe. I was told they have dolls that look like me, which was very fun. The crowds there were always following me wherever I went, including visitor tours and famous places I wanted to see.

I loved it! They are so nice there. The culture is definitely different; nothing there is like it is in Europe or the U.S. They even have rice at their McDonald’s. But yes, even though the culture is very different, I loved the people and definitely want to go back to Asia again.

HR: What would you say is the craziest thing to you about American culture?

Simonna: I love everything here! I don’t know about the craziest, but my favorite thing about the U.S. is that people here know how to celebrate holidays. Everyone is so passionate about it, no matter what holiday it is – Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Halloween. The entire city is full of decorations, people wearing holiday-themed clothes, streets full of decorations – it’s amazing.

I’m big fan of decorations myself and I can say that Americans are the best at it. Many countries in the world are great at Christmas decorations and a few other holidays. But here, no matter what holiday it is, you can feel it everywhere.

Simonna: Photo Credit Brian Lau Xiang, acquired via MW-PR
Simonna: Photo Credit Brian Lau Xiang, acquired via MW-PR /

HR: Your music has a really great sound, and your voice has got a really rich, full, epic tone. Where do you draw your inspiration from for making music?

Simonna: Pop, R & B, rock, rap – any music. Music is what makes people happy. How empty and sad our days would be without it. Imagine life without music on the radios, music background everywhere you go, without all the playlists that you’re listening to? Terrible!

Music itself is inspirational. Sometimes ideas just come like that. You might see something or hear something, or if you’re going through some difficult (or happy) time in your life. Many things can inspire you. And sometimes lyrics just come to my mind when nothing is happening around at all.

HR: I love your song “Rush For Love.” It has that slow, driving beat with perfectly timed lyrics. As a fan of yours and his, I would love to see you featured on an Illenium song. Would you be up for that?

Simonna: I am always up for new things. I am the biggest workaholic. I don’t party, drink, or smoke. And I never judge others. People enjoy parties and it makes me happy too if they are happy.

But what I do is work, nonstop. Day and night, no matter when, I’m always ready. If I could, I’d work every day all year long. So yes, most definitely, I love all new opportunities! You might like my song “My eyes on you.”

HR: Can you tell me a little bit about the movies you have coming out and your roles in them?

Simonna: I can’t imagine a day without acting. I get to do all the crazy things I never thought I’d do. For example, a few months ago I couldn’t even imagine myself covered in dirt and locked in a cage. I have been a ghost, a detective, Hollywood diva, a “blondie girl,” a glam-sassy celeb influencer (yes, in a movie), a receptionist, cheerleader, a special agent, and, this role – caged girl. What an amazing experience.

But I must say, my ghost role in the horror movie The Blackstone was the most exciting – playing this unique character, a ghostly woman. I always wanted to play some interesting, different character and got this cool role.

HR: When will they be released?

Simonna: Photo credit Brian Lau Xiang, acquired via MW-PR
Simonna: Photo credit Brian Lau Xiang, acquired via MW-PR /

Simonna: A few of my movies will come out in 2019. And I’m also signed for several new movies that shoot next year too. I’ll play a special agent, another movie will have a lot of music in it… can’t tell you more yet, but I’ll be announcing my new projects when I can on my social media.

HR: In watching your acting, I noticed that you’re really, really funny. You’ve got a great sense of humor. Do you enjoy lighthearted roles?

Simonna: I hear every single day that I should have a sitcom, talk show or be a host. I didn’t know that myself actually until I kept hearing it from others – telling me how hilarious I am.

On the way to an event the other day, the Uber driver couldn’t stop laughing. I love making people smile. My thing is, I joke but never in an insulting way. I might joke about myself or other things. But joking about anyone else – I kind of stay away from that sort of humor.

HR: You also know how to go to the other end of the spectrum and take on very serious roles. It’s really impressive. How do you flip the switch like that?

Simonna: That’s my favorite part about acting! Diversity. I love waking up in a morning, being me, then going to work and becoming someone else. It makes my life so colorful. What helps me to switch from one or another character is challenging myself. Asking myself if I can do this role and this way – motivating myself to do it, be in the character, making the character. And I have to switch a lot.

I’ve finished 5 movies this summer alone. All completely different. Drama, comedy, horror movie, action pilot and comedy pilot.

HR: What would you consider to be your ideal role for a movie?

Simonna: I’m the biggest fan of medieval times. Movies about Queens, Kings and kingdoms. My dream is to be in a movie with all amazing royal dresses, hair and make up, kingdoms and knights.

And movies like Fantastic Beasts, too. Or Jumanji or Jurassic World, because these movies are so different. You shoot it “normally,” but when the movie is done and with all the final effects, edits, sounds and fantastic characters, it’s like a completely new thing! Like unwrapping a gift.

Simonna: Photo credit Brian Lau Xiang, acquired via MW-PR
Simonna: Photo credit Brian Lau Xiang, acquired via MW-PR /

HR: Is there anyone, in particular, you want to work with in the future? 

Simonna: The Rock. He was the one who told me to never ever give up, follow my dreams no matter what (and that he loves my name [laughs]). Definitely love to work with Johnny Depp, Jamie Foxx, Peter Dinklage someday. I also really love Sandra Bullock, Drew Barrymore and Julia Roberts. I think these women are just so real, so kind, so talented.

And Leonardo DiCaprio, of course. He is just amazing. I follow all his charity work and the amazing things he does for our planet, animals and all of us. I have a goal to start my own animal rights organization and animal shelters for when disasters happen. I have Victim Advocacy certification degree and BA of Communications, too. Just graduated for the bachelor degree in May.

HR: Where can we expect to see you next?

Simonna: I have several amazing projects in 2019. There are some that are under a non-disclosure agreement until they’re officially announced by the production companies. So I’ll need to wait on those. But there are also some that were announced. One is about Hollywood, a drama called All or Nothing. Huge crew and cast. Another is calledThen She Was Gone, in which I’ll be playing Special Agent Elisa Gardener.

And there’s another called Red Winter, which is going to be a very interesting and meaningful movie. A few others will be announced soon, one of which will fulfill a lifelong dream for me. It’s in early stages now, but I’ll let you know more as soon as I can.

And I’ll also be working more with The Blackstone director on a music video for the soundtrack that we did for the movie. Maybe we will do a second movie, too! I’ll be announcing everything on my social media.

Next. Chloe Catherine Kim talks starring in Lifetime’s holiday special A Christmas Arrangement. dark

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