Vixen Chat: ‘Brooklyn Nine Nine’ Actress Stephanie Beatriz on Andy Samberg and a Single Girl’s Guide to L.A.
Each year, the TV and film awards season is sprinkled with red carpet recaps, predicted winners and the occasional surprise. This year, that surprise was Brooklyn Nine Nine. Led by SNL alum Andy Samberg and featuring a slew of familiar and new faces, the Fox comedy pulled an amazing feat with two Golden Globe wins and a fleet of new fans.
Vixen had the chance to chat with fierce female lead Stephanie Beatriz on her kickass role, being star struck at the Globes and why Los Angeles is still a must-see city.
Photo Credits: Getty Images
VIBE Vixen: You have a theatre degree from Stephens College, which happens to be a women’s school. How much of an influence does your single sex education have on you today?
S: I can definitely say that it had an effect on me. It was very women-centric and a very positive environment. Not only was I surrounded by other artists that were women, but we all had voices and were allowed to share those voices and opinions. For me, it was just the right thing at the right time. I come from Texas, which has the reputation of being kind of close minded.
What was the first movie or play that really inspired you to be an actress?
A Little Princess--my sister and I could not get enough of it. We ran the tape into the ground back in the VHS days because it was so beautiful and moving. I know the story and I’ve seen the Shirley Temple version, but Alfonso’s [Cuaron] version was so magical. I just remember thinking, “I want to do that--to make other people feel those feelings.”
Explain Brooklyn Nine Nine to those who don’t watch.
It is a The Office style comedy…a workplace comedy. It is about all these detectives that work in this office and all their personalities are different. They are forced to be together at work, but on top of the comedy stuff, you have the action side of being a police officer, which is really fun. If you ever watched Parks & Recreation then you know the vibe.
Tell us about your character.
Rosa--I would describe her as a completely unapologetic bad ass. She is really tough; a woman of very few words. The character description is tough, sexy and scary as hell. She is really like a beast, which is great as a woman to play that kind of part because you don’t see that very often.
What is it like working alongside SNL alum Andy Samberg?
Andy is extremely focused and really smart. He’s always working hard to make the script better. He never stops…I never know when he rests. He makes it look like he is this funny goofy guy, but that is coming from a really planned smart place. He’s also a sweet guy—and humble and absolutely driven in his art form.
Why should we be watching?
Brooklyn Nine Nine is hella entertaining. It’s this little universe in which you will see a lot of people that you already know--a lot of those characters are elements of people that you know already. You work with them, you know them and they’re your friends. All of the people who work in that office are slightly messed up, but embrace each other’s weird sh*t. It is just so fun to watch.
Another thing that I love about it is that different types of people watch it. I had a girl come up to me in Disneyland and was like, “Oh my God, Rosa-- me and boyfriend watch the show all the time.” It’s not a girl show or guy show.
So it’s a show for everyone?
Yes, I hate to sound cheesy, but I don’t really care. I stand behind it.
The show took home two awards at this year’s Golden Globes (“Best Actor” and “Best Comedy Series”). What was that day like?
It was my first award show ever. This is only my second year in LA, so it was a pretty big deal for me. I was super nervous.
What was getting ready beforehand like?
I woke up really early, all stressed out. I was lucky enough to have my best friend around who is a makeup artist. She came in from New York, did my makeup and we started early in the morning. It was very surreal. I was staring at the ceiling in this limo, one of those really cheesy ones--the one with fake stars on the ceiling. I’m staring at these cheesy stars and then get a glimpse of palm trees in the window. I’m like, “What is happening? What is this?” It was very bizarre.
Were you star struck by anyone?
Meryl Streep walked by our table. I totally freaked and it was fun (laughs).
Which is easier—comedy or drama?
I don’t know if either one of them are particularly easy. I love things that have a mix of both. My favorite kind of stuff is when things feel really real and then you laugh in the middle of it. I do have a soft spot for Shakespeare and American classic plays, but I love the challenge of comedy.
What would you like to tackle next as far as your acting?
I would love to do a play on Broadway someday. I love the feeling of having a live audience there because you are sharing the experience with them. But, TV and film--it’s one product in the end and you can watch it as many times as you want. All of us have television shows that we go back to because they make us feel connected to something we felt the first time we watched it. I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve seen Mean Girls (laughs).
You’ve lived in both New York and L.A. How do you feel about both?
I really love New York. It’s like a beautiful ex-boyfriend that I know is not good for me. I’ve been there and I tried it.
What do you love about L.A.?
S: The normal things like the weather. I found a really great group of friends here. The food is so delicious and healthy--well not all of it--and accessible. The vibe of the city is great. I found what I was looking for. There are a lot of creative artists and people…I find it to be an oddly spiritual place actually.
Name 3 things every single girl must when she visits L.A.
First thing- you have to go to Café Gratitude. It’s a great restaurant with a bunch of vegan food. Just the energy of the restaurant is really lovely. It’s so L.A. to order a dish called, “I am bountiful,” or “I am beautiful.” After you eat there, you feel amazing.
Second – Pop Physique at Silver Lake, which is my favorite ballet workout. You will see all different types of people there. Not only is it an awesome ballet workout, but the music is sick!
The last thing I would say is to go to Santa Monica, rent a cruiser and just ride all the way down to Venice. Just take in all the sights. It’s very L.A. to be riding a bike next to the beach. There is nothing like it.