Stephanie Beatriz on 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine | Moctesuma Esparza bringing movie going experience to several Latino communities

Posted by on May 24, 2018

Photo Courtesy to Fox 

Out bisexual Stephanie Beatriz sat down with Vulture this week to talkBrooklyn Nine-Nine’s close call and how art imitates life—especially for her. The actress came out as queer in 2016, which inspired her character’s coming out storyline on the show.

For Beatriz, coming out was a slow process. She tells the reporter that she first realized she was into girls at a museum—an early and innocuous outlet for seeing boobs. “My mom took us to see this Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Houston Museum of Art when I was, like, 11. And all I did was stare at the boobs. There were boobs everywhere.” For that reason, museums were her root.

“Museums were probably the root for me because it was free rein to stare at the beautiful bodies in all the paintings," Beatriz says, quipping, “I was obsessed with the Roman era for a long time, and half the ladies had a tit out. Thanks, mom, for my art education/investigation into the world of bisexuality!”


Photo Courtesy of Grace Vallejo

Moctesuma Esparza has by all accounts lived the American Dream. A kid who grew up in East Los Angeles during the tumultuous times of the Chicano civil rights movement in the sixties and seventies, Esparza has spent his career highlighting the Latino experience through film. The Emmy winning and Oscar nominated movie producer —he was one of the producers of the hit movie Selena as well as The Milagro Beanfield War and Gettysburg, Esparza has expanded his efforts by bringing the movie going experience to several Latino communities.

"When I grew up I could walk to three movie theaters, but today Latinos have to drive a far distance to see a movie. I want to make movies a neighborhood event," said Esparza in a telephone interview with NBC News.

The owner and CEO of Maya Cinemas, Esparza opened his latest theater in Delano, California on May 16th, a $20 million dollar multiplex in the heart of the Central Valley. Before the theater's opening, the agricultural city of just over 50 thousand residents had no movie theater; families would have had to drive over a half hour to go see a movie.

Delano holds significant symbolic value for Esparza's target audience of Latino families. Delano was the epicenter of the farm workers movement, where civil rights activist Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta joined workers in a strike against grape growers. The historic event set into motion the establishment of the United Farm Workers union.