During her 15-year career in Hollywood, actress Natalie Morales has worked with several high-profile stars like Emma Stone (Battle of the Sexes), Dev Patel (TV’s The Newsroom) and Linda Cardellini (TV’s Dead to Me). Being on the set with three Oscar winners in her new film The Little Things, however, gave a new meaning to “star-studded cast.”
In The Little Things, Morales, 35, stars opposite Denzel Washington (Training Day), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyer’s Club) and Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody). She plays Jamie Estrada, a Los Angeles homicide detective who is on the trail of a serial killer. On a set with a mostly male cast, Morales said the dynamic was inherently different.
“In general, when there is a lot of women on the set, I would say things run more smoothly,” Morales told Remezcla jokingly during an interview earlier this week. “But this is a harder drama than I’m used to being in. I think the mood on set kind of reflected that-in a good way. I spent the most time with Rami … and we were always joking around. But you sort of have to keep that to a minimum, especially when there is a dead body lying around.”
With dozens of films and TV series under her belt, Morales said that when a script crosses her desk, she’s always looking for a good story to tell. Whether that’s a horror-comedy series like Santa Clarita Diet or lending her voice to an animated show like BoJack Horseman, Morales is up for the challenge.
“I also look to see who my collaborators are going to be and if they’ll be fun to work with,” Morales said. “If it’s possible for you to make your work environment somewhere you like spending your time, you should because that’s how you’re spending your life.”
While Morales’ career success continues to rise each year, she still considers herself a hustler in the industry. She said her goals in Hollywood were met years ago and that anything that comes now is just a bonus.
“I always want more because I can have more, not because I need more,” she said. “There’s always going to be a hustle there because I really enjoy it and want to keep making things for as long as they let me.”
The Little Things premieres at theaters and on HBO Max Jan. 29.