A woman in Harlem desperately scrambles to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime while carrying their first child.
About to premiere “If Beale Street Could Talk”, a moving and delicate drama that defined as “pure love”, the Latin actress Emily Ríos He highlighted to Efe the patient and special way of working of its director, Barry Jenkins, the director who marveled the world with “Moonlight”.
“Everything is fast on television.” Hurry up, we only have eight days to make an hour of television, run, run, run. “And it breaks your spirit a bit, I do not want to be famous. everything is focused on the moments, and especially on television, they do not give you moments, “he described.
“But on ‘If Beale Street’, Barry came once, put a hand on my shoulder and said, ‘You take all the time you need.’ We were shooting in the Dominican Republic, fighting against the light because dusk was approaching and he tells me that anyway, he knew that in the movie you have to see the feeling: it’s a movie of pure love, “he said.
Rios (Los Angeles, 1989) plays a small but crucial role in “If Beale Street Could Talk,” the film adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel of the same name that will arrive next week in US theaters.
The film is the first of Jenkins after “Moonlight” (winner in 2017 of the Oscar for best film, best original screenplay and best supporting actor for Mahershala Ali).
With the fine attention to detail, romanticism and intensity with which he shined in “Moonlight”, Jenkins tells in this new film the love story of a couple of African-Americans (KiKi Layne and Stephan James) that is abruptly interrupted when the Man is imprisoned for alleged rape.
Rios plays Victoria, the victim of rape, in a feature film with a powerful reflection on racism that rings between the candidates for the awards season in Hollywood.
Known for series such as “Snowfall” and “Breaking Bad,” Rios, who grew up in the troubled El Monte neighborhood of El Monte, was very frank and joking when she spoke of her childhood in a family of Mexican origin, very religious and strict.
“I always went to sleep with the sound of police sirens, it was like my lullaby at night,” he said ironically about a zone dominated by gangs.
Rios, who is a lesbian, did not find it easy to understand her parents, who were Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“My mom was always in the kitchen, my dad was the first one who was given the food (…) When I turned 18 I ran away, until I tripped leaving the house (laughs) It was like: ‘ At last, I am already free! “But now we are very well: they support me, they love me very much, they know that it is my way of being,” he explained.
His first contact with the interpretation was by chance, by accompanying a “casting” to his sister.
“I wanted to play basketball professionally since I was 5. But then I never grew up (laughs) It was a coincidence, but I was very excited, I loved being in front of the camera and under the spotlight,” he recalled.
And his career took off as a teenager after starring in the movie “Quinceañera” (2006).
“It gave me an experience that I had not had until ‘If Beale Street’: having a group that had worked before and that were friends, a family, that were respected and was a collaboration,” he said.
That complicity on set again felt in this new film, which stars in a heartbreaking sequence with Regina King.
“I was very intimidated to work with her (…) But after the first shot I forgot I was acting, Regina took me to a place where it was impossible for me not to bring Victoria to the screen (…) How he looked at me, his gestures, the language of his body, how he spoke to me … He gave me something I was not prepared for, “he said.
That fundamental moment of “If Beale Street” was, in addition, a moment of intimate catharsis for Rios, since he suffered in real life a trauma similar to that of his character.
“It was a way to leave him, I was carrying him like Victoria Barry told me something went away and something changed in me after that scene,” he said of a part that, even with the film already finished, He has preferred not to see.
Finally, Ríos urged that there be more directors that favor racial and sexual diversity in Hollywood.
“Right now, with this political climate, we have to have many more of these voices,” he concluded.