“None of us really want to believe that we live in a rape culture. It’s so ugly to look at,” reveals says Stephanie Beatriz in our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video above). Her new film “The Light of the Moon” dares to look at the ugliness of sexual assault and the trauma that can endure from a single, horrible event. In the movie, Beatriz portrays Bonnie, a New York professional who is attacked and raped after a night out. However, the movie’s prime focus is on what happens after.
Beatriz discusses that it was sometimes “terrifying” to step into the highly emotional role, largely because a sense of “social responsibility” to get the character right. She says her “hope would be that it touches on something that feels real, to actual real survivors.” She adds in the interview how she appreciates the way writer/director Jessica M. Thompson tells the story from Bonnie’s perspective, and how rare it is to see the survivor’s point of view in film. Beatriz wants survivors like Bonnie to see that “you have power” and hopes “The Light of the Moon” can start important conversations.
Beatriz feels lucky that in both her film and the hit series “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” she is surrounded by a talented diverse group of actors. When first auditioning for the Fox comedy, she read for Melissa Fumero’s role and couldn’t believe that two Latina actresses became regular cast members on the same show. “I really think it’s a lie, that we can’t identify with a culture or a person that doesn’t look just like us” claims Beatriz. Pointing to success stories like Disney/Pixar’s Mexico-set “Coco,” she notes that “the lie is crumbling.”
With screen roles that juggle comedy and drama, Beatriz feels like she fits somewhere in the middle of it all. “Even if that seems a bit precarious” to straddle both genres, “it also feels like the best place to live.”
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