Rosie Perez: 'Now & Then' breaks the 'insulting' Hollywood model of Latino characters

Rosie Perez: ‘Now & Then’ breaks the ‘insulting’ Hollywood model of Latino characters

Rosie Perez steps into the shoes of a police detective in Apple TV+’s new Miami-based bilingual crime thriller Nowpraising the series for moving away from the “insulting” way Hollywood portrays Latino characters.

Now follows five university friends who, 20 years later, are haunted by the death of their friend Alejandro (Jorge López), after a night of beach party gone horribly wrong. Perez’s character, Flora, was a relatively new police detective at the time, working the case alongside his more experienced partner Sullivan “Sully” (Zeljko Ivanek).

Two decades later, Flora is now the most experienced in the department, Sully has since retired, and when a possible new connection to that unsolved death emerges, Flora is determined to get to the bottom of it, even as she struggles with it. health issues. .

This new show quickly won acclaim for the cast of actors and the creation of characters from various nationalities, with Now having both English and Spanish dialogue. Beyond that, each character comes to the table with their own regional dialect, be it from, say, Mexico, Colombia, or Argentina, which adds immense authenticity to the story.

“In Hollywood most of the time they lump us all into one type of Latino character and that’s their idea of ​​a Latino character, and that’s insulting,” Perez said. “You keep telling them, listen, I’m not Mexican, I’m Puerto Rican, I’m not Colombian, I’m Puerto Rican…and so for that to happen is fantastic.”

“When we took the cast photo, I whispered in the ear of one of the Apple TV+ executives and said, ‘thank you.’ I’ve been waiting for something like this for a long time… The different nationalities, the different dialects have nothing to do with the story, and that’s what’s so great, they just happen to be in the story.

Rosie Perez in

Rosie Perez in “Now & Then”, premiering May 20, 2022 on Apple TV+.

For director Gideon Raff, it was a “gift” to be supported to tell a story that organically explores cultures in a “multi-layered way”.

“It was something very important, … to be very credible in terms of dialects, in terms of selecting people from the right countries,” Raff said. Yahoo Canada.

“I had the opportunity to understand the differences even in their way of speaking,… between a Colombian dialect and an Argentine dialect, and even the region in Colombia or Cuba or Chile. So for me, these things that were kind of unknown at first, I dove into that and learned a lot about that, and I’m very grateful for that.

Alicia Jaziz, Jack Duarte, Miranda Dela Serna, Dario Yazbek Bernal, Alicia Sanz and Jorge Lopez in

Alicia Jaziz, Jack Duarte, Miranda de la Serna, Dario Yazbek Bernal, Alicia Sanz and Jorge López in “Now & Then”, world premiere May 20, 2022 on Apple TV+.

“I’m not interested in playing her if it’s just a procedural type role”

While the two ensembles, playing the younger band of friends and their older versions, give captivating, emotional and heartbreaking performances, Rosie Perez really shines. Yeah, we’ve seen a lot of characters in law enforcement, a TV staple, but we haven’t seen one like Flora, who’s so dynamic and layered, a lot of which comes from Perez her -same.

The actor revealed that she’s particularly involved in Flora’s development, including what she looks like physically, wanting Flora to wear looser clothes and have her hair down when she’s older, for example. Perez was also heavily involved in developing the character’s backstory.

“Initially Flora didn’t have a backstory and I said to Gideon Raff and Ramón Campos, I love it but I’m not interested in playing her if it’s just a procedural type role. , it’s boring to me, I’ve seen it before,” Perez said.

Željko Ivanek and Rosie Perez in

Željko Ivanek and Rosie Perez in “Now & Then”, world premiere May 20, 2022 on Apple TV+.

The actor’s daughter-in-law is actually a detective sergeant and his cousin is a retired police officer, so Perez pitched some ideas to the writer and director, who then came back with a character that would allow him to really ” bite with your teeth”. .”

“Guess what they both have in common?” They are human beings,” Perez said. “They’re tough women who don’t take crap from anyone and don’t get pushed around, but they also cry and they have feelings, and they worry about cases and they cry about cases,… they create a family dynamic with their fellow officers.

“I said, I want to bring all of this into her and I don’t want to speak in a monotonous voice, which is driving me crazy. I don’t know why people do that when they’re playing detective… They’re just people who do their jobs really well, and care so much about what they’re doing, because being in the police isn’t easy. Your life is at stake every day.

There’s actually a line on the show that Perez received from his stepdaughter. Young Flora is asked to go see the deceased person and she says “I don’t do corpses”.

“I asked Gideon, I said, ‘can I put this on?’ He says ‘it’s hilarious,'” Perez revealed.

Marina de Tavira, Jose Maria Yazpik and Eduardo Noriega in

Marina de Tavira, Jose Maria Yazpik and Eduardo Noriega in “Now & Then”, premiering May 20, 2022 on Apple TV+.

“Not the kind of glitzy South Beach, Miami Beach stuff we’re used to seeing”

For anyone familiar with Gideon Raff’s work, you’ll know that most of the time he only works on projects he created or wrote, including Country, Dig and The Red Sea Dive Resortso there had to be something special for him Now.

“I usually only direct stuff that I created and here Apple sent me the first two scripts, and I read them and got really taken by them,” Raff said.

“I wasn’t just on the edge of my seat wanting to know who did it, but also, I really bonded with the characters and this notion of how we see the world when we’re 20, as opposed to how we see the world when we grow up.

Located in Miami, the city almost feels like its own character, with a history so closely tied to its location.

“It’s such a multinational, multicultural cultural spectacle, it’s where people from all over the world come and it was just an organic place for those people to meet in college,” Raff said.

“When we started exploring the city and scouting, we were looking at neighborhoods that would be the real neighborhoods where people really live, where they really work, where they really go for their coffee, not the glitzy South Beach kind , Miami Beach things we’re used to seeing.

While some crime-related dramas are criticized for showing their hand too soon, this is not the case for Now. The story’s emphasis is on surprises, story twists, to keep you on your toes.

“It all starts with the script that Ramón [Campos] and Gema [R. Neira] wrote is the genius of the writing, and then add to that this spectacular cast that we had, who with a look could convey that they hide a huge secret, even between husband and wife and between ex-lovers » , Raff said.

“The show is so [about] those secrets and lies we tell to ourselves and ourselves.

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