‘Fantasy Island’ is real for Roselyn Sanchez

Actress helps redefine famous series for Fox

Roselyn Sanchez

“Fantasy Island” still has the same mission but a new look, and Roselyn Sanchez is playing a big part in fulfilling it.

For the former “Without a Trace” co-star, that starts with her female variation on the Mr. Roarke character — originally played by Ricardo Montalban as the resort host who helped guests get their wishes, which they often came to regret — in the Fox series reboot currently airing Tuesdays.

“I remember it very well,” Sanchez says of the 1977-84 ABC drama. (That network also did the show’s first reboot in 1998-99). “I grew up in Puerto Rico (where her iteration of the show is being made), so instead of ‘The plane! The plane!,’ it was, ‘La avion! La avion!’ Everybody in Puerto Rico knew about ‘Fantasy Island’; we called ‘La Isla de la Fantasia.’ It’s very vivid for me.”

While Sanchez says that she and her colleagues feel “honored and grateful” to tackle “Fantasy Island” their own way, they know they also have a big legacy to respect. “We’ve taken some liberties,” she confirms, “and we hope that everybody enjoys it as much as the original.”

Remaining in Puerto Rico after filming the “Fantasy Island” season to make her feature-directing debut (with “Diario: Mujer y Cafe”), Sanchez also knows about remakes from having done ABC’s “Grand Hotel” two summers ago.

“That was a big, big idea that originally came out of Spain,” she recalls, “then Mexico did its own version, and then Eva (Longoria) got the rights and decided to do the American version. I thought it was fabulous, and I was devastated when it didn’t come back. It was a shock.”

Roselyn Sanchez

Birthdate: April 2, 1973

Birthplace: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Current residence: Los Angeles

Marital status: Married to actor Eric Winter (“The Rookie”); they have two children.

Other television credits include: “Grand Hotel,” “A Taste of Summer,” “Devious Maids,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Rizzoli & Isles,” “Royal Pains,” “Without a Trace,” “Kojak,” “L.A. Dragnet,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Nash Bridges,” “Ryan Caufield: Year One,” “Fame L.A.,” “As the World Turns”

Movie credits include: “Traffik,” “Mothers and Daughters,” “Act of Valor,” “Rush Hour 2,” “Rush Hour 3,” “The Game Plan,” “Yellow” (which Sanchez also wrote and produced), “Edison,” “Chasing Papi,” “State Property 2,” “Basic,” “Nightstalker,” “Boat Trip”

Roselyn Sanchez is based on ‘Fantasy Island’ now

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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