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‘Breaking out of my shell’: 11-year-old New Mexico girl racking up roles in film industry

Gianna Gallegos in a scene from “The Au Pair Nightmare.” (Courtesy of Lynette Gallegos)

Gianna Gallegos is a shy, 11-year-old girl.

She’s learning to play piano, rides horses and enjoys hanging out with her friends.

She also wants to learn Spanish and Diné.

Yet when Gianna steps onto a set, something changes.

She becomes fearless.

“I really like working with everyone and seeing myself on camera,” Gianna says. “It makes me feel proud of breaking out of my shell.”

Though she’s only been part of the New Mexico film industry for a few years, the Albuquerque native has begun to rack up some roles.

Her first two were in TV series, “The Unsettling” and “Roswell, New Mexico.”

Albuquerque native Gianna Gallegos on set for the Fox series “Deputy.” (Courtesy of Lynette Gallegos)

Then came her role in the Fox TV series “Deputy,” in which she played Camilla for six episodes.

Her most recent is the Lifetime film “The Au Pair Nightmare,” in which she plays Emily. The film, shot in Albuquerque, is available for streaming on the Lifetime app or on demand.

“I like to play serious scenes,” she says. “Mystery TV shows are good. The ‘Au Pair Nightmare’ scared me a little bit, because it was a dark movie.”

During her downtime, Gianna has continued her acting classes, which happen every Sunday for about two hours.

Her mother, Lynette, says watching the transformation in front of the camera has been amazing to witness.

“She has so much confidence on set,” Lynette Gallegos says. “It’s really great to see her grow each time she’s on set. She becomes a different person and makes me proud that she’s found something that she enjoys.”

Gianna Gallegos

Because Gianna is a minor, her mom accompanies her on set. It’s something she’s also enjoyed.

“We do go to every set with her,” Lynette Gallegos says. “If we can’t see her with the naked eye, we have to watch on the monitors. It’s been a learning experience for me as well because being on set is a different type of thing. There are rules that you learn each time. Every set is different. If I can’t go, my dad will take her.”

Lynette Gallegos says she has learned some valuable lessons from having her daughter in the film industry.

“When she first showed interest, I put her in this ‘Mickey Mouse’ agency, and it turned out to be a scam,” Lynette Gallegos says. “Then I found Tina Presley, who is Gianna’s agent now, and things have been amazing. She’s getting seen outside of New Mexico too. I’ve told Gianna to have fun with it and her family will be there by her side. It’s been great to see her find a way to express herself.”

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.

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