Home Film Stephanie Beatriz On Bringing Disney’s Latest Heroine To Life In ‘Encanto’

Stephanie Beatriz On Bringing Disney’s Latest Heroine To Life In ‘Encanto’

by Aaron Escobar

Of the many inspired casting choices in Encanto, Stephanie Beatriz ranks high among them. As Mirabel, Beatriz brings a quirkiness and warmth to her that you can’t help but find her endearing. In Encanto, Mirabel feels like an outsider among the rest of her gifted family. When the foundation of their house and family begins to fall apart, Mirabel may be the only one who can save the magic before it’s too late.

At the official Encanto press junket, when the cast was asked about their character’s gift, or the lack thereof, and how they personally related to it, Beatriz responded: “Mirabel doesn’t have a gift, which I find extremely relatable, because there have been many times in my life where I felt like I didn’t belong, I didn’t measure up, I wasn’t talented enough to be there. I had that sort of imposter syndrome, but I also discovered by getting older, and working more and more on trusting myself, that I do have something to offer, and it is special, and I am myself. So, you know, not everybody’s gonna love that, but the people that do are gonna love it really hard.”

Beatriz was asked what it was like being the latest “Disney princess”, she clarified by saying: “Well, I mean, technically Mirabel’s not a princess, but she is a Disney heroine, which I think is even cooler. Disney has this incredible tradition of crafting these female characters. The protagonists and their stories, are these girls and women who are really brave, really good at heart, want the best for everyone around them, and are willing to go on these sometimes really dangerous, crazy, magical adventures to get what they want. And I’m really proud to be part of that legacy, to hopefully honor the work of all of the women that have come before me that have been in this position, and also hopefully add something new to it as well.”

Mirabel Madrigal in ‘Encanto’ courtesy of Disney

When asked what part of herself she wanted to bring to the role, Beatriz stated: “Awkwardness. My anxiety, my-oh-my, and honestly, my use of comedy. Often when I’m uncomfortable, or don’t really know what to do, or how to handle a situation, I often turn to try to make a joke out of it, to make myself more comfortable, to make somebody else more comfortable. I think comedy is really useful ’cause it takes the air out of stuff, you know? Like, everything can be really intense, and then you make a joke, and everyone relaxes. You can’t really laugh if you’re tense. Does that make sense? So I think I tried to bring that to Mirabel. I like to improvise. I like jokes. I like making other people laugh. I think one of the highlights of my life would be when Jared, and Byron, and Charise would laugh at something that I would do. I was like, ‘Oh, yeah.’ And then I don’t care if anything else makes it. I did that today. There’s some funny stuff-I mean, I don’t want to give anything away, but there’s some fun stuff once Mirabel sort of takes off on the adventure, that happens. There’s some funny stuff when she’s like, sort of by herself, which she’s kind of trying to entertain herself. Because really, what’s kinda crazy is in this big, huge family, Mirabel often is alone and depending on herself. And so she kind of becomes her own sidekick and talks to herself a lot. And I think a lot of that improv ended up making it into the film.”

Encanto is now in theaters

Follow writer Aaron Escobar on Twitter: @aaronfraggle

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