Melissa Barrera talks Keep Breathing, Scream 6 and Carmen

Welcome to this week’s “Just for diversity.”

Melissa Barrera admits she had to overcome some major issues while filming her new Netflix series Keep Breathing. The “In the Heights” star plays a lawyer who is the sole survivor after her small plane crashes into a lake in the frigid wilderness. “Dipping in that water was probably one of the scariest things,” Barrera tells me on this week’s show Just For diversityPodcast. “I have this real fear of drowning. So doing all of that has been very therapeutic for me.”

Stunt coordinators gave her breathing exercises before she dove. “They used to tell me to take as many deep breaths as needed until I felt ready,” Barrera recalls.

Like her character, Barrera is a city girl at heart: “I’m a person who enjoys having indoor plumbing, a shower and a toilet. And I don’t like being dirty and I don’t like peeing in the woods…but I’ve become a lot more open through the show.”

I spoke to Barrera over Zoom from the set of Scream 6. She is reprising her role as Sam Carpenter after making her debut in the smash hit franchise reboot earlier this year. “I can’t tell you anything,” Barrera says. “All I can tell you is that we are having the time of our lives.”

Never Campbell recently announced that she will not be returning for the sixth “Scream” because she doesn’t feel the salary offer reflects her true worth. “It was shocking, but as a woman, I understand it,” says Barrera. “Particularly as a woman of color, I’m constantly dealing with these things that I feel aren’t paying me what I’m worth. But usually I feel like it’s because I’m a latina and they don’t appreciate us as much as white women do. When Neve feels undervalued as a white woman, it just goes to show how big the problem is in the industry. I applaud her for sticking to what she believes in.”

Barrera will be at the Toronto Film Festival next month for his first director’s premiere Benjamin Millepied‘s feature adaptation of “Carmen”. Barrera Stars opposite Paul Meskal (“Normal People”). “I think people are going to be very surprised by this film,” says Barrera. “It’s a very different kind of film and I don’t think it’s what people expect at all. That’s Benjamin’s vision and it’s so unique and so specific and different. He made ‘Carmen’ his own.”

As for working with mescal, Barrera says people know he can sing, but he can dance and move and he’s such an athlete too. You know, he’s such a go-getter. We had to do these crazy exercises and learn to trust each other completely.”

Which was more nerve-racking – jumping into the Keep Breathing water or her first lift with mescal? “I think going into the water was probably scarier.”

Listen to the full interview with Barrera above. There you will also find “Only for diversity” wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

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Salma Hayek knows iconic women. Not only did her work as Frida Kahlo in 2002’s “Frida” earn her an Oscar nomination, she is now the producer of Hulu’s “Santa Evita,” about the disappearance of Eva Perón’s body after her death in 1952 at the aged 33 years. “It really is a thriller,” Hayek tells me. “Instead of who killed the person, it’s like, where is the person’s body? who stole it Who has it? Why did they steal it? I find it very original. It also gives us a fantastic excuse to show Evita [played by Natalia Oreiro] full of life and tell some anecdotes that are not among the most well-known.”

Think of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway musical “Evita” or the film adaptation starring Madonna. “I liked that Madonna was interested in Latin American women,” says Hayek. “I think that she felt inspired by Eva Perón and that she felt inspired by Frida Kahlo. I feel honored that people are interested in my culture. It is done respectfully.”

Hayek also believes Perón’s story resonates today because it revolves around women’s rights, equality and advocacy. “The obsession that men have for women’s bodies and also the control they have over women,” she says. “One of the characters on the show says after Eva left her body that only men decide what happens to the body. We go through different men with different obsessions. Some of them are threatened by their power even after death. In her lifetime, she accomplished incredible things in a very short amount of time, including giving women the opportunity to vote in Argentina. But she felt like she wasn’t helping enough, that she wasn’t strong enough. And yet we see that she is still powerful even after her death because many people were threatened by her presence even after she was gone.”

Hayek recently completed Without Blood, an indie drama written and directed by Angelina Joliebased on the bestselling novel by Italian writer Alessandro Baricco, with co-star Demian Bichir. “Angelina is the best director I’ve ever worked with,” says Hayek. “She is extraordinary. I think this might be her best film. She had such a clear vision and gave herself the freedom to experiment and gave us the freedom to play with her. It was just nirvana. She has no ego.”

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Dane DiLiegro attends the premiere of “Prey” on August 2 in Los Angeles.
Michael Buckner for Diversity

To get to know Dane DiLiegro! The 1.80 m tall ex-pro basketball player embodies the Predator in Hulu’s “Prey”. “It was a suit, and the head goes off every now and then,” DiLiegro tells me of his alien costume. “You have to drink enough water so you don’t pass out because it’s so hot, but not so much that you have to go to the bathroom all the time. I know my dietary restrictions. I had to time everything because when I’m shooting a 12-hour day I need to know what’s going in and what’s going out.”

Since beginning his acting career three years ago, DiLiegro has appeared on television shows such as Sweet Home, American Horror Stories, and Quest. He played a monster in doja cat‘s music video “Get Into It (Yuh)”. “Even now it’s not real to me,” he says. “I still can not believe it. Every morning I wake up and I open my eyes and there’s like four seconds of ‘This is crazy!'”

He spent four hours doing makeup for the Doja Cat music video. “I remember she came on set and said, ‘May I touch your face?'” recalls DiLiegro. “I said, ‘Yes, absolutely, you can touch my face.’ she is so cool She was so approachable and great to work with.”

Juien Leroux

Executive Producer of “Tehran”. Julien Leroux and his husband Vasilis pulled off a hilarious wedding ceremony as they married in Greece this summer. The happy couple asked the “Tehran” actor Vassilis Koukalani to pretend to be the Greek Orthodox priest who is marrying her. “Our fake priest greeted us both on stage and asked us who to marry since there were no brides!” Leroux tells me. “We explained that it was both of us and that there were no brides.” After a few scripted banter, Koukalani left the grooms alone on stage — the ceremony took place in an open-air cinema in Athens — before the guests understood. “Since we no longer had a priest, we asked if one of our guests could marry us, and Polymeris, my husband’s brother, who was another accomplice, came on stage and ended up marrying us.”

I could only imagine what they would do if they ever renewed their vows.

Congratulations, Joel Goldman! The nonprofit guru has joined On Our Sleeves as National Director of Social Impact and Influence Engagement. The longtime executive is a Hollywood favorite after stints at the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, Feeding America and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

blank Melissa Barrera talks Keep Breathing, Scream 6 and Carmen

Charles Jones

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