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Melissa Barrera and Leslie Grace Discuss Filming IN THE HEIGHTS and How it Represents the Latinx Community

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Melissa Barrera and Leslie Grace Discuss Filming IN THE HEIGHTS and How it Represents the Latinx Community

Melissa Barrera and Leslie Grace, who play Vanessa and Nina in the upcoming film adaptation of In the Heights, recently chatted about what it was like making the film, during a virtual panel discussion at the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP)'s 21st Annual Media Summit.

"The entire thing for me felt like a dream sequence," said Barrera. "Everything was so beautiful and perfect, and everyone involved was such a good person."

Barrera talked about how the film represents the Latinx community.

"You see a lot of these moments very clear in the film where a character is about to give up and they have someone else come and lift them out of the slump they find themselves in," she said. "And that is a beautiful message because that is the essence of Latinidad. That is who we are."

Grace said that she felt a responsibility to represent her family, especially with this being her first film role.

"As my first film, to play Nina, I felt like that was a huge responsibility," she said. "And I felt the weight of my parents' sacrifices and my family's sacrifices on my back as I stepped on to set everyday."

Read more on Variety.

In The Heights was written by Quiara Alegría Hudes and the film was directed by Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians).

The film stars Anthony Ramos as Usnavi, Melissa Barrera as Vanessa, Corey Hawkins as Benny, and Leslie Grace as Nina, along with Olga Merediz as Abuela Claudia, Jimmy Smits as Kevin Rosario, Stephanie Beatriz as Carla, Dascha Polanco as Cuca, Marc Anthony as Sonny's Father, Noah Catala as Graffiti Pete, and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Piraguero.

The film was originally supposed to premiere in theaters on June 28, 2020, but due to the health crisis, it's now set to release June 21, 2021.

The Tony Award-winning musical IN THE HEIGHTS features music & lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and book by Quiara Alegría Hudes. The show opened on Broadway production in March 2008 and was nominated for 13 Tony Awards, winning four: Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations. It won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album and was also nominated for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.


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