Speakers Forum hosts Stephanie Beatriz of Brooklyn Nine-Nine fame


Courtesy of Katie Davin

Stephanie Beatriz, with co-hosts, Eva Erickson ’21 and Mitchell Famulare ’21

Sydney Lewis, co-News Editor

On April 24, Stephanie Beatriz joined the Union community through a Zoom call co-hosted by Eva Erickson ’21 and Mitchell Famulare ’21. Beatriz stars in the American comedy television series, Brooklyn Nine-Nine as Detective Rosa Dias. The seventh season of the series concluded on April 24, and although filming has come to a halt now, they are currently scheduled to begin again in the fall. Members of Speakers Forum, Union Pride and Women’s Union all worked together to put the talk together. 

Following a highlight reel of Rosa, Erickson and Famulare asked Beatriz about how her passion in the arts developed. Following the talk Erickson said, “I think Stephanie was a great person to chat with because she’s both really funny and casual but also had an important message about represention in media…I hope we continue to discuss queer and intersectional issues with the campus community in light-hearted and entertaining ways.” 

Beatriz is currently in Los Angeles, California where she has had events, meetings and play-readings occurring as well as they can over technology. She is thankful for being healthy and tries to remain in a routine to keep her function on as much of a normal schedule as possible. 

Beatriz grew up in Webster, Texas after emigrating from South America at two and a half years old. Her mother would take her to museums and libraries where she was able to consume media from all sides through books and records. She also described the difficult beauty standards put in place while she was growing up and how it took awhile for her to come to the conclusion that her niche was acting through trial and error during grade school. 

Julia DeFelice ’21, Treasurer of Speaker’s Forum, explained that Beatriz’s notoriety on Brooklyn Nine-Nine as well as her activism within the LGBTQ community sparked interest for the different organizations to reach out. She says technology did not cause a barrier as the outreach followed the same procedures as usual, the only difference being that the meeting couldn’t be on campus. 

Beatriz elaborated on her connection with her character in the series, sharing that she loves everything about Rosa and finds it impossible to judge characters she plays. After coming out first to friends and family and later through social media as bisexual, she knew that she wanted to put some of her own experience into the episodes that would involve Rosa’s sexuality. The director’s wanted Stephanie’s voice involved in these decisions as well. Simply put by Beatriz, “Rosa likes who she likes.” Regarding characters in general she went on to say, “their decisions, and choices are yours,” and in relation to Rosa specifically, “We are very different but have some of the same core values which is why she comes off as believable.” 

During the interview, Beatriz answered a lot of questions about her personal life and the show.  When asked about her favorite moment from the show, she mentioned the moment she found out that Brooklyn Nine-Nine was getting another season after the end of the first. “All of us were so happy, crying, yelling, high-fiving,” she said. She also mentioned that it is relatively easy for her to disappear into Detective Rosa when wearing her costume that “feels like armor!” Her favorite guest star on the show has been Vanessa Bayer, and she continually draws inspiration from actress Rita Moreno.