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Watch > Episode > Cara Santana - A Rising Star's Journey in Hollywood

Cara Santana - A Rising Star's Journey in Hollywood


One of the recurrent themes on London Real is how so many of our guests turn adversity into triumph. That’s exactly what today’s guest has done with her life.

Navigating Hollywood culture, the pressures of beauty and success, dealing with addiction and becoming a pioneering entrepreneur: Cara Santana has done it all.

And quite honestly, it looks like this woman is only just beginning. Although Cara is now on the cusp of fantastic new experiences with the launch of her new Glam App, she has already been through so much transformation in her life. Early on in this conversation Cara gets super-real with me about her own journey and even references the famous Steve Jobs commencement speech where he says “you can’t connect the dots looking forward, only looking back”.

Born on April 2, 1984, in El Paso, Texas, Cara Santana’s journey into the world of entertainment began with a passion for acting that manifested at a young age. Her dedication to the craft led her to attend the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, where she honed her skills and laid the groundwork for a career in the performing arts. Santana’s early experiences in local theatre productions set the stage for her venture into the competitive landscape of Hollywood.

Cara Santana gained widespread recognition for her role as Marla in the popular Netflix series “Santa Clarita Diet.” Her portrayal of a real estate agent navigating the complexities of a zombie apocalypse showcased Santana’s versatility as an actress. The show’s success catapulted her into the spotlight, garnering praise for her comedic timing and ability to bring depth to her characters.

Santana’s filmography extends beyond the small screen, with appearances in various movies that highlight her range as an actress. From romantic comedies to dramatic roles, Santana’s film projects, including “Reunion” and “Steps,” underscore her ability to take on diverse characters and immerse herself in compelling narratives. As a producer, Santana has been involved in bringing engaging stories to the screen, further solidifying her presence in the entertainment industry.

Her desire to get into showbiz was always driven by her naturally creative spirit, and her love of entering into new worlds and experiences.

As a young woman in LA, however, the pressures of the entertainment industry led her to some dark places and she grappled hard with addiction. Despite her challenges, Cara’s love of her craft as an actor always kept her going, and she now looks at those difficult times as not just helpful, but completely crucial in forming the person she is today.

And that person is a tough, street-smart and determined artist who is taking her creative vision into the beauty industry. “Making it” in Hollywood is hard enough. And so is running a start-up, and I can really see how Cara’s journey in battling her demons has given her passion and love of life a new depth.

Cara Santana’s journey in Hollywood is a testament to her talent, resilience, and ability to navigate the complexities of the entertainment industry. From her breakthrough role in “Santa Clarita Diet” to her ventures in fashion, entrepreneurship, and advocacy, Santana continues to captivate audiences with her multifaceted talents. As she evolves as an actress, producer, and fashion influencer, Cara Santana remains a rising star whose impact extends beyond the screen, leaving an indelible mark on the diverse and dynamic landscape of Hollywood.

For someone so intimate with the world of glamour and celebrity, Cara is remarkably honest, humble and grounded. I think what makes her different from a lot of people who burn out in Hollywood, is her quiet fearlessness in the relationship she has with herself. Cara tells me that ultimately addiction and battling with our demons means we have to get okay with who really are.

Once we do this, once we really become content with our limitations, our frailties as well as our strengths and talents, then we liberate ourselves to become all that we can be. Prepare for inspiration.

Prepare also, for ideas and insights about the world of entertainment and business. I’ll leave you now to enjoy the fascinating actress and entrepreneur Cara Santana.


08:03 Cara’s view of London – culture, fashion and looks.
12:19 Challenge of getting into acting in Hollywood compared to becoming CEO of a Tech Startup.
17:10 Connecting the dots, à la Steve Jobs. What are her dots?
19:05 Addiction, why and what Cara learned from that period.
24:13 Is life easier after addiction?
25:15 Qualities needed to be good in the acting profession.
27:02 Cara’s role in Salem, the American supernatural fiction drama TV series.
29:38 The Native American People.
32:13 Naked sex scenes.
33:03 Cara’s screenplay.
35:13 There is so much more to Los Angeles than the entertainment business.
38:13 How important is a person’s strong relationship with their parents?
40:40 Genesis of App idea for Cara.
44:21 Developing and scaling up Glam App.
46:41 Why business partner Joey Maalouf is fundamentally intrinsic to the concept.
50:19 Cara’s micromanagement style.
53:50 Future company development, tech knowledge, marketing and Europe.
56:56 Differences between doing business in London to that in the USA.
58:53 Does Cara’s personal profile make a difference to the business?
1:00:20 Success Secrets.
1:01:11 Who comes to Cara for advice as to how to emulate her?
1:04:30 Phone call to the 20 year old Cara.
1:05:42 Best advice ever received.
1:06:33 Cara’s advice to the 20 year old who wants to be an actor, or be a business entrepreneur. Where to begin.


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