Humberly González Tells All About Lifetime's Maps And Mistletoe - Exclusive Interview

Humberly González keeps herself quite busy. You may know the actress from one of the many TV shows and movies she's worked on recently. Just in the past few years, she's had roles in "Ginny & Georgia" as Sophie Sanchez, "Jupiter's Legacy" as Gabriella, and "Utopia Falls" as Brooklyn, just to name a few. Now, she's tackling a new genre with an adventurous Christmas romance, "Maps and Mistletoe." The Lifetime original is premiering on December 13, starring González as cartographer Emilia Martin and Ronnie Rowe as North Pole explorer Drew Campbell. It's the perfect fun and festive film to get you in the seasonal spirit.


During her exclusive interview with The List, the actress shared behind-the-scenes stories, as well as why she loves this movie and what playing a Venezuelan lead in a holiday film meant to her. She also told all about starting Season 2 of "Ginny & Georgia" and opening up about her sexuality — not to mention a possible music career and even more upcoming projects.

Why Humberly González loves Maps and Mistletoe

So, what can you tell us about your new movie, "Maps and Mistletoe"?

Well, I'm very excited because this is actually my very first Christmas movie. And I didn't expect it. It came to me, I read the script, and I loved it. And as movies do and scripts do, it ended up changing as we got closer to filming it. And I read it again, and I was like, "Wait. Actually, I really love this, too."


I love Christmas movies, and I watch them every year, so it's really fun to be a part of it. And not just that, but being Venezuelan and being a part of it.

But "Maps and Mistletoe," honestly, the title kind of says it all. There are maps, and there's mistletoe. No, I play Emilia Martin. She's a cartographer, which is so interesting. I don't think I've seen that as a career in a character before. She's really smart, she's kind, and she knows a lot about maps.

It's kind of a very adventurous movie. She is staying home for the holidays, and she is planning on just a quiet Christmas at home until she gets given this assignment to make a map of the North Pole. And to her, she's like, "How am I supposed to do that? Who do I turn to? Is the North Pole real?" There are all of these questions. And she ends up meeting Drew Campbell, who is a North Pole expert, and essentially turns to him for guidance and how to make this map happen in turn for him getting a tour, by me, of my little hometown. So we are both helping each other out about locations and where we are. So we're both kind of exploring both of our avenues. It's cute.


That's so fun. Do you feel like you have any similarities with your character?

Well, I'm not very map-savvy, but if anything, I think I just brought a lot of myself to the character. Especially because when I booked the role, I ended up talking to the production, and I was like, "I would love for her to actually be Venezuelan and bring aspects of that into the movie." We were able to change and adapt the script to be Venezuelan. And so, that was really exciting because that doesn't always happen, and I don't always see Venezuela be represented on screen. So it was really exciting for me to be like, "Oh, I actually am."

And there's a really nice scene in the movie. And the production surprised me with a Venezuelan decoration on the day that I was going to use in the movie. And it was so exciting because I was like, "I'm crying right now. This is so sweet." And I actually got to keep it, so I'm going to put it on my tree this Christmas.

How they filmed Maps and Mistletoe in 14 days

Was it nice working with a team like that, where they were willing to change things around and work with you?

For sure. Yeah, they were so kind. Honestly, it was one of those productions where everyone was so used to working with each other, first of all. They had all filmed many movies before, so they knew how to make a movie in 14 days. That's all we had. And when you think about it, that's not a long time to shoot a movie. It was a fast pace. Everybody trusts their work. Everybody is so willing to help each other out. So I just felt very accepted, honestly, right from the get-go.


If I had a suggestion or something, they were like, "Yeah, let's try it. Why not?" Instead of like considering if it would work or not. But they were so, so happy to be able to kind of give me a platform to be able to represent who I am, and let alone in a Christmas movie because I've never seen that in North America, so it's really special.

What was it like filming with that really short deadline?

Honestly, I had never done that before. Especially being the lead in a movie, you're there from the top of the day to the end of the day, every single day. We do get Saturdays and Sundays off, so that's the days where I learn lines. But on the day-to-day, essentially, you wake up really early, you're in full glam by 7 or 8 a.m. That was always very odd. Just having your omelet, and you're just looking like you're going to a gala. But it was great. Honestly, it doesn't always feel like work when you're doing something you love.


And even though I was there every single day, the producers were so kind, always bringing us coffee and snacks, taking us out for lunch. And when we wrap late, and I know that I have scenes for the next day, my co-star, Ronnie, taught me this. He was like, "This is what you do. You get home, you eat, you take a nap, and then you wake up and practice lines." You need to almost give your mind a break and your body a break, so we used to do that. We used to literally eat, nap, and then get together and practice our lines for the next day. And magically, they would appear in the brain the next morning, and then we just go.

So you kind of have to find your groove on how to learn the material while also making sure that you're rested and that you're fed and all of these things. But it was a great learning experience because I've always wanted to do that. We survived.

And you made a movie, so a little more than surviving.

We made a great movie. I'm so excited.

The best and the hardest parts of filming Maps and Mistletoe

What would you say was the best moment and also the hardest part of filming?

Oh, okay. Well, the best moment was definitely the day that we filmed the sledding scenes because we actually got to sled and in an actual sled, too. And I was like, "How are both of us, these two full-blown adults, going to fit in there?" But we made it happen. We laughed so much that day. Even the director got on the sled. So many people were going up and down the hill. It was just like, "Oh, we're just hanging out and just happen to be shooting a movie." But that was really fun.


I think the hardest part of it all was the cold. Honestly, there were some scenes that were so frozen. I was like, "Is my lip moving? Am I talking? I don't even know if I can feel my face at all." Specifically the night scenes, we were next to a river, and it was so cold. And then there's one scene where we're at the top of a roof in a fire escape. And I was like, "Yep; this might be the end of me. I'm going to be an icicle." But we made it happen.

I mean, the beautiful part of that, too, shooting a Christmas movie in the winter, was that we had incredible snowfalls that were actually part of the movie, and it was so magical. It was March, but for some reason, it actually felt like it was Christmas. It was just so snowy and beautiful, and then the set decor and everything. And I was like, "Oh, cute." I'm like, "Christmas just passed, but here we are."


Where were you guys filming?

We were actually in Ottawa. And we also shot in this little town called Almonte. It was so cute. It actually feels like Christmas started there. It's just little shops and decorations. And we actually got to decorate the entire town because it wasn't Christmas. So just having to put up lights and bows on the lights and things like that. So yeah, just little small-town vibes.

What do you think viewers will like most about this movie?

Honestly, this is very much a two-hander, me and the lead, the other lead. I think our relationship. I think we brought our appreciation for the job itself, the work. And also, we just had so much fun shooting it that it never felt like we were acting. We met on the movie, but we had such great chemistry and the banter and the jokes and everything. So I think they're going to really enjoy just watching two people get to know each other quite literally on screen and true laughter, true love. It was just so, so nice to do that.

And because the movie, it truly is ... In a lot of Christmas movies, you see a family, you see the best friend, you see all of these relationships. But in our movie, it's very much about these two people that are just getting to know each other. And I think it's going to be really special.


Reuniting with the cast of Ginny & Georgia

So, you were also on "Ginny & Georgia." What was it like being on that project?

Oh, incredible. We just started shooting again literally last week, so it's so fun to be back at it after two years that we finished wrapping. Literally, almost to the day, we literally said goodbye, had a wrap party, and it was like December 2019. But I love the team. It's so great that everybody just loved the show and it was so loved. What an interesting year.


Funny enough, I was filming this movie at the same time. I think we started, and it was like day two or three of the movie when "Ginny & Georgia" premiered. So while I was shooting this Christmas movie, my show had premiered, and I was just like, "There's so much going on." And I just had this moment of like, "Wow, I'm so grateful, and I love my job so much to be just doing it." I'm excited for Season 2. Yeah.

What was it like seeing the reaction as people got to binge it on Netflix?

Incredible. It's like every day there were more and more people watching it, and there are more and more people messaging, relating to the character. There were so many just beautiful connections that the show made.


I'm so grateful I got to play Sophie, and the impact that it had on young people specifically. Specifically, young, queer people and feeling represented. Being Latina as well, there were a lot of new ... I guess, just newness in the show that you don't often get to see a queer Latina on TV and feel seen. So for me, it was really special, and I think it was for other people, too. And that was the majority of the messages I got was just people feeling inspired to be themselves.

And what's it like getting back together with the cast now that you've had this big, long break and you're all coming back?

Incredible. I think we see each other like every single week and weekend. There's always some kind of get-together or movie or going out for dinner, whatever it is. It's really unique, and it doesn't happen often that castmates in a production are so close.

I think there was just such a safe environment right from the get-go. Debra [J. Fisher] and Sarah [Lampert], the creator and showrunner, just bridged all of that for all of us. They're constantly on set. They're always available for us, and they're just amazing.

We're here for five months. What else are you going to do? Hang out with your castmates? Yes, I'm so in. And so, these beautiful friendships have come out of us working together, and there's nothing better than working with people you love.


She's planning to release music

On "Utopia Falls," you were acting, singing, and dancing.


What was it like bringing all that together?

Oh my goodness. Honestly, that was the dream. That was the dream. That was a huge milestone for me. When I started acting, I actually started in musical theater. So I just never thought that it would all come together in film.


A lot different, too, because I was a series regular on it, so it means that I was there pretty much almost every day for four months. And so, imagine being there every day shooting, but then on the weekends we also have dance rehearsal. And then, on top of that, my character also had to be in the studio singing. So it was just kind of like a full-on production.

And at first, I was a little anxious, but while I was in it, I was like, "Wow, I can actually take on more than I thought." And I was capable of doing it all without burning out, and I enjoyed it so much. Being in the studio singing was a dream come true. Never in my life did I think that would happen. I think the reason I went into acting was because of singing. Since I was a kid, I always used to love singing and dancing and just running around, doing things like that. And now I get to do it all. And for that production, too, it was just, wow. What a wild ride. That was two years ago, too. Time just literally passes by so fast.


It's been a busy two years for you, though.

Yeah, for sure.

Would you want to pursue music more going forward, whether that's in more roles or just on your own?

Yes. I actually, recently in the summer, I filmed a movie called "A Hundred Lies," and I play a singer. All original music as well. So that kind of reawakened that passion for me because it was in the present day as well. And working with Gavin Brown, who's our music producer, he's a genius and incredible. Rob Raco, who is my co-star, also sings in it and plays in it. And it was just such a beautiful musical endeavor.

And from that, I think I made these relationships and people who are like, "You need to make music, and we're going to make it happen." So honestly, I think in the next year, I'm going to definitely just rip the Band-Aid off, not be afraid and just make music because it's something that's really, really close to my heart.

That's so exciting. Have you been working on it already, or is it in the planning stages?

Right now, it's planning stages, for sure. But I know that there are people who are there literally like, "Here you go. All you have to do is come in and take it." And I'm like, "Woo, okay." Yeah.

How playing LGBTQ+ characters helped Humberly González come out

Both Brooklyn from "Utopia Falls" and Sophie [from "Ginny & Georgia"], like you mentioned, are in the LGBTQ+ community. What was it like for you providing that representation for people?

Honestly, it's so interesting because I, myself, am queer as well. And that was something that I was struggling to share publicly. And I didn't really know how to come out, essentially. And the beautiful thing about this career is that it puts you quite literally in the shoes of somebody else's experience. In this case, it happened to be my own, just it wasn't known. It actually allowed me to have the courage and be brave enough to own that.


And with Brooklyn, they never really talk about her sexuality. Everything is just kind of normalized, and she just is who she is and loves who she loves. That was so refreshing because that's always how I felt. It's just that in society, things are not that simple, and there's, unfortunately, a lot of hate involved.

So for me to play these characters that are just accepted right away was so important. Not just for me, but for people watching that they can just be themselves and love who they love. And it doesn't have to be questioned. You don't have to explain yourself. You don't even have to have this insane coming out story and make a post about it. And I thought about that. I was like, "Do I need to post about it? Who do I talk to?" It was just a moment of like, "You know what? I can just exist, and that's enough, as long as I come to terms with who I am, and I love myself for who I am."


My first queer character was actually Vanessa in CW's "In the Dark." Back then, I was like, "Oh my gosh." I was so scared. I was actually really scared to step into that because it was so new for me, too. And at the time, it was right at the start of me being like, "Okay, I'm just going to be myself and tell the people who I love and those around me this is who I am." I was very supported through it.

Then playing Brooklyn and then playing Sophie, I was like, "Okay." Playing Sophie was kind of the last thing, and I was like, I am ready to be open about it. Not that you ever have to, but for me, it was like I know that it would be so beneficial and it would mean a lot if people knew this about me. It would be a way for me to connect to my audience, too, and to people watching. And that it isn't always easy and that's okay. But honestly, acting in this job has gotten me closer to who I am, so I'm very grateful.

That's really cool. Like you were saying, how you kind of took inspiration from the characters you were portraying, and they also inspired others.

I was like, "The camera knows. How did they know?" People are always like, "Did you get to choose your characters and who to play?" I'm like, "No, I never get to choose any of that." It was just this beautiful serendipity, and maybe the universe was kind of offering me this because it was a safe space, and it was for me to be able to say yes and accept myself, too. I brought authenticity to those characters just by being me. So that was really cool.


She loved playing a superhero in Jupiter's Legacy

Then you're in "Jupiter's Legacy" too.

Oh yeah. That one, too. I also have a girlfriend in that show. I just happen to have superpowers.

Well, I was going to ask, what's it like now you've been in a superhero show?


I know. Honestly, I want to do more of that. It was not easy doing green screen and wires. Although painful, very exciting. Just because you're literally hanging from the center of your body and you're being strung up in strings and running and doing fight choreo, but it was such a cool experience. I love that team. I'm still very close to my castmates on that. It's really cool.

You bring all of these shows up, and I realize I've done so many different kinds of characters and genres. I always just say, "Yes." I'm like, "Sure. Why not?"

Yeah. I was looking through everything you've been in recently, and I just kept thinking, "I don't know when she sleeps."

People say that they were like, "Do you ever relax? Do you ever just chill?" And I'm like, "I feel like I do." I do not feel overworked or burnt out at all. I think the times where I do take time to relax, it feels like I do recharge.


And at the same time, I'm so extroverted that I don't need to be alone in a room to recharge. I actually get recharged by being with my friends and even going out for dinner with them after wrapping or even on the weekends. It does feel like enough for me. Although, I would love to take a vacation somewhere tropical. I'm ready for that.

She's keeping busy with even more upcoming projects

What has been the most exciting moment in your career so far?

Oh, my goodness. "Utopia Falls" was definitely one of them. Booking my first series regular, being able to sing, dance, and act in that. Getting to do video games, that was really fun. Ever since I learned that that's something people can do and then being able to do it. Being part of "Far Cry" was such a huge game. And I love that team. It felt like it was all of the things that I love coming together, like theater and the imagination being super creative, but yet you don't see anything around you. It's all very like you imagine it and then you do it. I've gotten to do really cool voiceover projects. And that was something that I was always very interested in and wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do it or be cast in it.


But wow, there have been so many moments that I feel like I'm skipping over so much. Even working for Netflix, getting to do "Ginny & Georgia" and "Jupiter's Legacy," those were huge. 2019 was probably the biggest year for me because I got to do so many different kinds of projects, and it was all right after the other. And I just had to like say, "Okay, we're doing this." Go to Newfoundland, shoot this. Be in an action movie with Bob Odenkirk and shoot "Nobody" in Winnipeg. It was just kind of all over the place, and we made it work. I have an incredible team that supported me through all of it. Yeah, it's just the beginning, and yet it feels like I've done so much.

Are there any upcoming projects that you can tell us anything about?


Maybe. I mean, yes. I'm always like, "When can I talk about this? Is it time?" They did actually release the Deadline article, so I can talk about it. I just wrapped two films that are so exciting. Another new genre that I've never done because it's a murder mystery. The executive producer is Toni Braxton, and she's our lead. And it follows a book club, and they just happen to be ex-cons, and then things get really strange. They find themselves in the midst of a murder investigation. And it's a multi-picture deal, so there are actually a few movies based on these novels. So exciting. It's an incredible team that's involved. Yeah, that was my most recent thing. They'll be out next year.

And another film that will premiere next year is a Netflix film called "Slumberland," Jason Momoa's new movie, and I'll get to be in that. That was really exciting. So yeah, those are two things that are coming out.

"Maps and Mistletoe" starring Humberly González airs December 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.