Mariana Rodriguez

He still has the same twinkle in her bright blue eyes and sass I recall seeing, when we were but teens, and just getting into this business that’s referred to as : showbiz. Mariana Rodríguez has always been beautiful, smart, funny and as cool as a cucumber, all things that make for a fantastic television personality. Now happily married, and the mom of a toddler (Valerie) she’ll be going on 11 years as the anchor of Telemundo’s successful Acceso Total. We finally squeeze time in our agenda to grab lunch at Domaine Souviou (a boutique wine bar with a vineyard that produces red and rosé wines under the Bandol and Côtes de Provençe appellations, in France) and dish about everything we can possibly squeeze into an hour.   

When did you realize that showbiz was your calling?

I just wanted to work on TV to get the chance to meet Menudo! Eventually, that dream was realized when I began working at La Feria de La Alegría on Telemundo. Now many years later, I have realized it’s a love and a passion that has let me surpass many obstacles.

We both lived out our awkward years on television; now tell me the truth, how awesome or awful was it to work together at such a young age?

I don’t think we knew how lucky we were then or the magnitude of the opportunity. We were too young to realize not to sweat the small stuff. Only experience and life lessons can give that. Looking back it was a blessing that formed who we are today and we turned out very fabulous (insert wink). 

The perks (and drawbacks) of working on a television game show (Telemundo’s La Feria de la Alegría) that aired live, is the unpredictability aspect of it, can you share a funny story of something that unfolded while doing one of the shows?

This is the hardest question; I have way too many good stories. Worthy of a book!

Just one of many if I must…

I was driving with a restricted license to Hialeah where the network was, in the era of no cell phones! No credit cards. I ran out of gas one time and walked over a mile in heels to find a pay phone only to find it didn’t work! Luckily, a good Samaritan recognized me and helped me out.

You are now going on 10 years as the host of Telemundo’s Acceso Total, how would you sum up that experience in less than three sentences?

For me Acceso Total is very special and personal. I’m so proud of all the accomplishments and all the talent and entertainers that have touched my life. I’ve worked hard, but it’s been worth it and rewarding.

What entertainer, political figure or celebrity have you not had the opportunity to interview that you’d love to interview, (as in: OMG, me muero)?

That feeling of OMG me muero is reserved for Ricky Martin, no matter if I have interviewed him many times…it just reminds me of my fan days and it takes me back to my roots. Also, knowing that there is someone out there [watching what I’m doing] with the same kind of dreams that turned into my reality. 

I understand you’re a big foodie, given the opportunity to throw your own dinner party with famous individuals (dead or alive)…list TWO chefs you’d want to make the dinner, and list FOUR individuals you’d have at your dinner table.

I would invite Emeril, he is the one that gets a lot of the credit for the beginning of chefs becoming celebrities. Also, Aarón Sánchez, he cooks amazing and he is kind and super fun. My guests would be my amazing husband and my stepsons I love…they are 17 and 14 and are real foodies. Also, my daughter Valerie, I want her to learn how to enjoy the culinary world.

You are the mom of an adorable little girl, what has motherhood taught you?

It has taught me to prioritize. To value and take care of my health to be there for her. Also an increased sense of responsibility.

You appear to have figured out work/life balance. What is the advice you’d share with moms that struggle to balance being a #girlboss and a good mom? Is there a secret?

When I’m at work I give 100 percent. I set daily goals and follow them. If you, work smart, when you get home you can give your family undivided attention.

What is your ultimate (I can’t live without) comfort food?

Pizza and wine!

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