Cheyenne Isabel Wells is part of the talented ensemble cast of Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies. She plays Olivia Valdovinos, one of the fierce Pink Ladies whose reputation isn’t the greatest after a scandal. Olivia effortlessly sloughs off the drama and bonds with Jane, the creator of the Pink Ladies. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Cheyenne about Olivia’s journey in the first season.
“She goes through a very big change towards the end of the season, but she finds out the true meaning of friendship and what friends mean and that she doesn’t need to be on her own all the time,” Cheyenne said. “She can get through life or high school or anything with people. It’s good to have a support system. I think there’s a lot of growth within Olivia, but I can’t say much.”
The actress noted that Olivia is “the tough girl” of the Pink Ladies and has major “Rizzo energy,” but she “has this facade that she puts up because she’s very vulnerable and feels alone. She doesn’t know where to go. She doesn’t have friends. She has her brother obviously there, who’s a T-Bird, but she’s just kind of lost at Rydell. There’s a lot to her. She’s a very loving, very caring person, but she doesn’t like to show it very much because people will take advantage of that.”
Olivia’s brother, Richie, is her “best friend.” The siblings are twins, so they’ve been side-by-side since they were born. “They’re really, really close. Her brother takes care of her,” Cheyenne said.
Cheyenne admitted that she “learned a lot” from playing Olivia. “She is such a powerful person, and it kind of helped me find that powerfulness within myself that I didn’t have because I’m kind of a quiet, meek, shy person,” Cheyenne told HollywoodLife. “But I think definitely playing her for so long, it kind of helped bring that side out of me a little bit more.”
Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies marks Cheyenne’s TV debut. She revealed that she was brought in for the role of Jane at first before she read for Olivia. “But I was actually told no at first,” Cheyenne admitted. “I was told by the casting directors that, unfortunately, you’re kind of too in between the characters, and we don’t really know what’s going to happen.”
She continued, “And I was like, okay. Move on to the next audition, you know? And then literally a week later, I get a random email and it says, ‘Hey. So tomorrow they want to do a director session for Grease. Remember that one we did a week ago?’ It was less than 24 hours I had to reprepare everything and do everything.”
Cheyenne eventually met her Pink Ladies co-stars via Zoom since they were testing for roles during the COVID-19 pandemic, but their first in-person meeting wasn’t actually on set. “We didn’t meet each other until we got to Vancouver, and it took us like another week and a half for us to actually meet each other because we had to go through the COVID protocols and all that stuff. The first time we met was during a fire alarm at the Sutton Hotel. It went off and we all went downstairs and I was like, ‘Wait, Marisa?’ We were like, ‘We’re in the same show together.’ That was the first time we met and we have a little video of it that’s really cute.” New episodes of Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies premiere Thursdays on Paramount+.