Get your scrunches on and your tape decks out, because we’re going back to the 80’s! Okay, so Marty McFly can’t actually take us back in time with his DeLorean, but ABC’s The Goldbergs is always available for your 80’s fix. Not only is it, in my humble opinion, one of the funniest sitcoms on television right now, but it stars fellow-Christian Hayley Orrantia as the sassy Erica Goldberg.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t her acting that first got her noticed in Hollywood. It was her singing. The first season of The X Factor introduced Hayley to us as one-fourth of the country girl group Lakoda Rayne. Each girl had originally auditioned as a solo act. It was the judges who put the four of them together. A successful pairing, the group made it into the Top 9. In a Digital Spy interview, Hayley said “A lot of people expected a manufactured group to not be as successful because we were thrown together and had such a little amount of time working together, but we actually came together really well, became best friends and sisters.”
Although Lakoda Rayne tried to continue after the competition, in 2012 one of the members left to attend college and in 2014, the group officially disbanded when another member decided to get her degree and Hayley was cast in The Goldbergs.
I guess it’s true that when one door closes, another opens. The Goldbergs has been a smash hit and is going into its 5th season. The part even earned Hayley a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series.
Unlike many celebrities, Hayley has used her newfound notoriety to be a positive influence on others. She spoke up on the red carpet about the fact that women shouldn’t have to flaunt their bodies to get ahead. In an interview with ET, Hayley stated, “One of the biggest things I struggle with is trying to cope with the younger generation that are seeing these influences of showing your body and kind of using sex as a way to be successful. It really bothers me because I personally believe that you don’t have to do that.” When asked about Kim Kardashian’s nude selfie, she said, “”I don’t think you will ever see anything like that from me,” and that people with “that kind of fame and that kind of wealth” should “use it for good.”
She is a shining example of how to use fame for good. In 2016 she starred in the Christian film God’s Not Dead 2 alongside Melissa Joan Hart. In the film she plays a student who brings up the subject of religion in school. Her simple question sparks a debate between her teacher and the school board about whether or not the topic of God should ever be discussed in school. Fox News interviewed Hayley about the film and she explained, “Everyone kinda feels like they have to walk on eggshells … talking about certain subjects in our country, and I think this is one of them that we’re trying to sweep under the rug. God’s Not Dead 2 kind of raises it up and puts it in peoples’ faces and says, ‘No, this is something we should talk about.'”
The choice to speak about faith in Hollywood isn’t always an easy one. Hollywood has a way of making Christians feel that if they speak up, they will face major consequences. Hayley said, in an interview with the Washington Times, “I was hesitant at first [taking the role in God’s Not Dead 2]. Being an actor in Hollywood, I debated talking about my religion. That can be very controversial. You wonder if you’re going to get another job or not. I stand by my faith in God.”
Hayley is continuing to show her faith in God through her singing. She has released several singles, including the song Silence You featured in the film God’s Not Dead 2. Her latest single is Give Me Back Sunday; which was released just this year.