Actress, model, and two time Miss Puerto Rico Joyce Giraud is the breakout star of NBC’s Siberia, a fictional reality TV show where 16 contestants are dropped in Siberia to survive and compete for $500,000. The mom-of-two plays Carolina, a Colombian refugee coming out of hiding from the drug cartel.
Joyce opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about what Siberia is all about and what sets it apart from other survival shows like Lost. She goes on to discuss the Queen of the Universe Pageant that she created, what her two sons- Leo, 3, and Val, 2- are up to, and what it is like to work with her hubby, film producer Michael Ohoven.
CBS: You are the breakout star of NBC’S new show “Siberia.” What is the show all about? What sets this show apart from other survival shows like Lost and Survivor?
JG: “First of all, thank you for the opportunity and for your interest in Siberia. Siberia is an amazing show about a group of contestants competing on a reality show based in Siberia. There are no rules and they are in the most brutal conditions imaginable. It has the whole Survivor aspect until everything breaks loose, then it is like they are on Lost.”
CBS: Could you tell us about your character on the show?
JG: “I play Carolina, who is from Bogota, Colombia. Even though she is a very private person, she is competing on the reality show because she desperately needs the $500,000 prize that the winner receives. Her uncle, who is the only family member she has left in the world, is in need of an operation to survive, and she is willing to do whatever it takes to help him.”
CBS: You are also President of the Queen of the Universe Pageant. Could you tell us about the pageant? What sets it apart from other beauty pageants?
JG: “The Queen of the Universe Pageant is like a baby to me, and I have dreamed of doing this for a long time. For me, pageants were a great platform that got me to where I am today. They gave me the opportunity to travel the world, explore new horizons, and, most importantly, they gave me a voice. Suddenly, people really wanted to hear what I had to say, so I was able to use that voice to help the less fortunate. I wanted to give that platform and that voice to girls around the world, so that they could also make their dreams a reality.
What sets Queen of the Universe apart from other pageants is that it is a pageant where girls are not judged on whether they are married, single, divorced, have children, or have a particular gender preference. Women should never be judged based on any of those factors. If a woman had a baby at a young age and she wants to represent her country, why couldn’t she? A child is a blessing, not a mistake, so why make that woman feel like she made a mistake by having a baby at a young age? The only important thing that I want all the girls to have is a charity platform. I need to know that they will use that voice to help others, to inspire, and to empower woman around the world. You can find more information on the Queen of the Universe Pageant at www.queenuniversepageant.com.”
CBS: What is your best advice on balancing your mommy duties with everything else you have going on?
JG: “My best piece of advice is to take a deep breath and know that all mothers have a bit of superhero inside of them. Bringing babies into this world is such a huge miracle. Juggling everything is really not that difficult, as long as you have your priorities straight. For me, I can juggle and stay on top of everything, but my family ALWAYS comes first. No if’s, and’s or but’s!”
CBS: Could you tell us about your two sons, Leo and Val? How old are they and what are they into?
JG: “Leo is 3 years old and Val is 2, so they are much too young for me to guess if they will follow my footsteps in the acting world. One thing I can tell you is that they are super funny; they literally crack me up! They also love taking pictures. Leo is into cars and fixing things at the moment. He says he wants to be like Bob the Builder. Val is into stickers and doing whatever his big brother does. He idolizes Leo so much that if Leo jumps, he wants to jump.”
CBS: Your hubby is renowned film producer Michael Ohoven. Have you ever worked with him as an actress in any of his projects?
JG: “Im so proud of my hubby. He is an amazing producer and I learn from him every day. We worked together on a small indie we produced called Shadow People. Even though we have been together for 10 years, I had never worked with him as an actress in any of his projects before that. He always wanted to cast me, but somehow I had the mentality that I needed to do things on my own and go audition and book my own parts, even if they were small and it took forever. This is the very first time I worked in one of our projects as an actress, and I really enjoyed it!
To be able to do what I love with the person I love is the biggest blessing. I loved his criticism and all his input. Also, I am very opinionated so I always gave my input and he loved it. I definitely want to work with my hubby all the time…it would be my best-case scenario.”
CBS: What other upcoming projects do you have?
JG: “The year 2013 is a good year. I have a lot of work right now, but I have no complaints. Im very grateful to God for where I am today. The rest of the year, I will continue working on the Queen of the Universe Pageant. I have to go to my beautiful Puerto Rico, and we start pre-production of another movie soon. Above all, I have to focus on my munchkins (Leo, Val and my hubby). I always say God gave me boys so I could be the eternal ‘Queen of my Home.’”