America Olivo Turns Us On – To Movies, Music & More

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We asked America Olivo – star of the new thriller "Circle" (now on DVD) and soon to be seen on Broadway's "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" – to give us her current pop culture picks.

Movies

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'Little Miss Sunshine'

I love films where the characters are so original and yet so relatable. I'm often cast in genre projects that are bigger than life and out of this world. I love when that out-of-the-box attitude is incorporated in the everyday family situation.

'A Serious Man'

I have the same feelings about this one as I do "Little Miss Sunshine." The characters are completely believable and real, but they're put in the middle of hilariously absurd circumstances.

'Food Inc.'

This is the best documentary I've seen regarding the food industry without being preachy. It empowers the viewer, giving the audience the information and tools to make better choices. Hopefully it makes a change.

Music

Elbow – 'One Day Like This'

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I was recently married and my husband, Christian Campbell, introduced me to this song when we first met. I fell in love with it and with the band, who is hardly known in the States. It is now "our song," and I pushed and pushed to find the sheet music for it for our wedding in Italy so the harpist could play it, but to no avail. I had mentioned it in an email to the wedding music coordinator in Lake Como, and much to my surprise, as I walked down the hillside villa path to the altar, I heard the harpist strumming the chords to the song. I burst into tears. It is so hopeful and beautiful. That whole album is amazing. I can't wait to hear more from them.

Lea Delaria

I saw standup comedian/actor/jazz assassin Lea Delaria perform in New York recently at the Harlem jazz club SMOKE on a Sunday afternoon where she plays two free shows a day. She was out of this world! She sang covers of classic Jazz standards as well as jazz covers of Blondie and other popular bands and just turned my heart and ear inside out and upside down. It was funky, cool, and just genius.

TV

'30 Rock'

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I mean, Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) is my all-time favorite character on TV now. I feel like I am Liz Lemon, and I've never loved a conservative capitalist as much as I cherish Alec Baldwin's character. My mark for good TV is when I can watch every episode repeatedly and laugh deeply over time, at the same joke, or to continuously find other nuances and jokes I missed the first, second, and or third time around.

'Curb Your Enthusiasm'

Again, I relate to neurotic characters and there's nothing like laughing at yourself. Larry David is so lovable and yet does and says the most despicable things! I'm in LOVE with the character Leon Black (J.B. Smoove). I love the pairing of Leon and Larry.

'Arrested Development'

This is a show that, needless to say, should have gone on for many, many years. I was so disappointed to see this go off the air and continued to watch it in perpetual reruns for months after it was cancelled. I think I've memorized every episode. I relate to it -- I come from a family with characters who are just as colorful.

Books

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David Sedaris

My favorite writer right now is David Sedaris. The most recent book of his that I've read is "Me Talk Pretty One Day." Like I've said with all my favorites, absurd, but I can COMPLETELY relate! He's embarrassing to read in public because I laugh aloud and unabashedly. He writes in such a relatable way as well, that I feel like he and I have lived the same life, yet we have nothing in common. Does that make any sense?

Dr. Seuss – 'The Lorax'

Yes, my second favorite book has big letters and lots of illustrations. I've always loved the "Lorax" story and I've often referenced it in life, after having read it and cherished it as a child. I have recently readdressed it and found the genius in its simple, but ever-important message.

The Web

Groupon & More

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Recently I have stumbled on Groupon.com. That's fun! It has local deals you can buy in the city you're in. I LOVE deals.

Also, Floorstoyourhome.com just sent me the most amazing new floors for my home and I'm so happy about that. They were SOOO cheap and they look amazing.

As far as YouTube goes, I'm dying over "Rape in Lincoln" (a.k.a. "The Bed Intruder Song") and the remix. The guys who did the remix are brilliant.