Rosie Perez is an American actress, descendant of a Puerto Rican family, who has established a name in Hollywood. A dancer and also a producer, she has starred in films such as “I could Happen to You” alongside Woody Harrelson and in Fearless (1993) with Jeff Bridges, whose performance earned her a nomination for the Golden Globes and the Oscars for Best Supporting Actress
This time, she plays detective Flora Neruda, in the bilingual Apple TV + Now&Then series where she shares leading credits with a one hundred percent Latino cast, including Manolo Cardona, Soledad Villamil and Maribel Verdú:
“It is not the first project I have worked with for the Latin market, but it is the most important because it has executive producers in the studio, and the people who appear come from different countries, they eat differently, dress differently, speak different dialects and have different sensibilities. We have things in common, yes, but they are different, ”she says via Zoom.
For Pérez, (57) the most difficult thing about the series was not speaking Spanish almost all the time, but being away from his family and his dogs. “I worked very hard. I am the first in my family to be born in the United States and no one wanted me to speak Spanish because they wanted me to follow the American dream.
YOU CAN SEE: Bradley Cooper reveals his addiction to drugs in his early days in Hollywood: “He was addicted to cocaine”
I only spoke it when I went to Puerto Rico and they laughed at me, so I had that stigma with me forever. In such a way that, when they gave me this series, I told my sister Carmen: ‘I’m so scared’. But she stayed with me during the filming in Spain and Miami, building my confidence to speak Spanish,” she says.
Her sister wasn’t the only one involved in cultivating her good Spanish: “The first strong scene I had to do completely in Spanish was with Manolo Cardona and he was very kind, sweet and very supportive. So much so that when the scene ended he told me ‘great’ and wanted to open a champagne.
When I got over that barrier, it was such a relief, actually tears of happiness were streaming down my face, because I let go of this stigma. The rest of the cast was also a great support for me, even the youngest ones told me: ‘you can’ and I did the same with them with English. We all helped each other it was very special. Ultimately, you connect with people on a human level, language is secondary.”
YOU CAN SEE: Ezra Miller disappears after complaint of assault on a child under 12 and the teenager’s mother
For the construction of Flora (a police officer obsessed with a homicide for 30 years), Pérez affirms that his fascination with crime series helped him, but also the experience of some of his relatives.
“I’m addicted to docuseries and murder series, I watched them all before they became popular. Now the world is obsessed with them, but not precisely because of the crimes, but because of the beings involved in the story: the victim families, the police who cannot solve the case.
I think this is reflected in Flora’s obsession, but also in Flora as a human being. I have a cousin who works in the police force and someone else in the police and I would ask them things like how his first crime case had been and they would tell me: ‘he was a bundle of nerves’”.
The important thing for Rosie Pérez was working on her character from a very human point of view: “Flora is obsessive, but she has a reason, an injustice that she may never have overcome. She also has a sense of what is right or wrong, but sometimes she crosses the line.”