Stephanie Beatriz is swapping New York neighborhoods for her upcoming role as a salon worker in In the Heights. The Argentine actress, who has made her mark as Detective Rosa Diaz on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, headed uptown for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s big screen adaptation of the hit Broadway play. Stephanie is a part of the star-studded ensemble cast that also includes Leslie Grace, Anthony Ramos, Dascha Polanco and none other than Marc Anthony. Though, she admits his involvement is very hush hush. “We're very tight-lipped about his role,” she told HOLA! USA at a recent Art of Elysium event. “I'm thrilled for audiences to see.”
Keep reading to see what else we were able to get out of her in regard to the Salsa King’s part, how this role terrified her at first, and why she refers to Lin as ‘little Buddha.’
HOLA! USA: In the Heights release date is coming up in no time. What was it like working on such a grandiose movie set? Stephanie Beatriz: “It is! I auditioned for the initial workshop production of it. I've known Lin and Quiara [Alegria Hudes], the writers, for forever. I always loved the show, the music. To get the opportunity to audition for it was a dream come true. In fact, Melissa Fumero was the one that really pushed me to audition because I was kind of terrified. I don't think of myself as a dancer or a singer, really. I did, and I booked it. It was a total dream.”
I know you said you've known Lin, but what is it like working on one of his projects?
“He is a little Buddha. I mean that's the best way to say it. He constantly comes into things with good energy. He's present; he's alive. He gives of himself; he's willing to stay and listen to you. He can't be there all the time, but when he is, he is fully present and alive, and it's magical. He’s seen me from the beginning of my career, and here we are on this musical set being directed by the incredible Jon Chu.”
Marc Anthony is also in this movie…
“I'm thrilled for audiences to see. I think we've known him sort of as this great singer, but I think in El Cantante, it was like, ‘Oh, he's a brilliant actor too.’ I'm especially excited for younger audiences to see what an immense talent he is, and it's going to be really cool to share this experience.”
What do you hope audiences will take away from this film?
“The thing that we were all trying to create with this is the idea of family and community, and how you really create that wherever you are. I think one of the greatest things about the film is that we really bonded as a collective cast, as a family. I think that translates to the film in a really magical way. I want audiences to feel like they see themselves, even if they're not from any of the places that the characters are from. At the core of it all, life is about family, connection and community. No matter what else, no matter whatever dreams you've got and ideas that you want to have happen, family is the core of your whole life –family and friends.
In the Heights is in theaters June 26, 2020.