Chrissie Fit – Pitch Perfect 3

December 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

When she joined the “Pitch Perfect” franchise for its first sequel in 2015, Cuban-American actress Chrissie Fit was just happy to be there. Not only was she being added to a cast, who three years prior starred in the original surprise hit ($115 million at the box office on a $17 million budget), she also became the first Latina to be recruited by the Barden Bellas, a competitive a cappella group at the fictional Barden University where the first movie is set.

In “Pitch Perfect 2,” Fit was cast as Florencia “Flo” Fuentes, a foreign exchange student from Guatemala and one of the newest member of the Bellas. Although it was a big step to write a Latina character into the script, the role didn’t come without criticism. In a few questionable scenes, Flo makes an insensitive joke about deportation and dying at sea, explains to the other girls that she had diarrhea for seven years (presumably from the water quality in Central America) and reveals that when she was nine years old, her brother tried to sell her for a chicken. Right.

Now, in “Pitch Perfect 3,” which reunites the Bellas after graduating from college on a USO tour in Europe, audiences learn that Flo has become a successful entrepreneur, opening a franchise of mobile organic juice trucks. As an actress with some “Pitch Perfect” experience under her belt, Fit said she felt more comfortable to sit down with producers and the screenwriter and director to talk about the development of her character and her desire for those stereotypical scenes to not be a part of the new film.

During an interview with me last week, Fit, 33, spoke about making her character a more natural part of the singing group, how she feels now that the trilogy is over and what big Hollywood sequel she currently has her sights set on. We’re looking at you, Tom Cruise.

“Pitch Perfect 3” opens nationwide December 22.

Now that the “Pitch Perfect” trilogy has ended, does it feel more bitter or sweet?

It’s a little more bitter than sweet. Although, I do feel like people are hopeful that there will be more [movies]. Who knows? We would do these movies forever because we love working together. We have become a family in the last couple of years. [This franchise] isn’t like a typical Hollywood movie. Here, you have 10 strong, diverse women at the center. It’s been a joy for me to do these films.

Do you think Flo Fuentes could carry her own spin-off movie?

Maybe. There is so little information that people know about Flo. In this film, you get to see a little more of her business savvy ways. I think there are a lot of possibilities to expand and grow. I think audiences would be interested in knowing her backstory a little more. It would kind of be cool to get a prequel to all of this – to see where the girls were before they were Bellas and how they eventually became the group. I mean, they’re doing it for “Star Wars.” Now, we’re getting a Han Solo origin story, so why not, right?

What was it like being the lone Latina singer in the group? Were you conscious of it?

I was definitely conscious of it. Representation is the most important thing. The more you see Latinas on the big screen or small screen the better. Being able to be someone young girls can look to and relate to and see themselves in is so important. It’s an honor. Since the beginning, I was very proud to be a part of this strong group of women.

Your role received some criticism in the last film for some of the stereotypical elements to your character. Does the film stray away from those types of jokes now?

In the second film, I saw her in the center of all these white girl problems. In this film, before we started shooting, I sat down with the director and talked to the producers and writers about it. I knew it was a risk that maybe I wasn’t going to get as many jokes, but I let them know that I wasn’t comfortable doing any of those [stereotypical] jokes. I think the longer you’re on the set, the more power you have. I was very grateful that everyone was as conscious of it as I was. [In “Pitch Perfect 3”], we wanted to make Flo a more natural and organic part of the group. We don’t have to point out their differences at every turn. I think you see that in this film. It’s a positive image that I want people to see of Latinos in Hollywood because that’s my reality.

Were there specific jokes in the script that you didn’t want to do or are you speaking more generally?

I’m speaking more generally. There was already evidence that [the production] had gone in a different direction. Also, we had already made those jokes, so we needed newer material. Flo is actually the one character that is the most together from the Bellas after college. That was very cool to see. So, as far as deportation [jokes] or “in my country” [jokes], we definitely had time to improvise and change those [jokes] if they were there. Flor is an entrepreneur in this movie. I thought that was a cool thing for the character – to represent the hard-working communities that I’m a part of.

See she that you also have a solo on the soundtrack.

I sing “Feliz Navidad!” It was so fun. I do it a cappella. I was trying to get them to singing a Spanish song in the movie. But we do have a Spanish song on the soundtrack, so that’s really cool. I also get to sing a lot more in [“Pitch Perfect 3”] than I did in the second film. On the soundtrack, you can hear me sing a lot more, too, which is awesome. I sang most of the bass line in the second movie, but I got more singing parts in this one.

I saw some video of you and cast members running around to the song “Danger Zone” in front of some military airplanes. Do you have a pitch to get cast in the upcoming “Top Gun” sequel?

We were just at a military base doing “The Today Show.” I just posted a video of me walking in slow motion in front of a helicopter. It’s pretty legit. I think I should at least be considered [for the “Top Gun” sequel]. I think Tom Cruise’s character (Maverick) should’ve fallen in love with a Latina and had a daughter who is trying to get into flight school. I’m as reckless as he was. Then my dad has to be my Goose up in the air at one point, but not die. Doesn’t that sound like a great film?!

Blake Anderson – Dope

June 19, 2015 by  
Filed under Interviews

In “Dope,” actor Blake Anderson, best know for his hilarious role on the TV show “Workaholics,” plays Will, a computer hacker/“motivated stoner” who helps the film’s three main characters — all of whom are obsessed with 90s hip-hop culture — set up a drug operation online where purchases can be made using bitcoins.

During an interview with me this past week, Anderson talked about what he was doing in the 90s, whether “Dope” has something complex to say about race in America today, and what popular movie franchise he hopes to land a role in soon.

This film focus a lot of the 90s culture. What were you doing in the 90s as a young man?

I was watching a lot of Nickelodeon — “Rugrats,” “Doug,” “All Real Monsters,” you name it. Nickelodeon was basically on TV nonstop.

It’s not like that at your house today?

I don’t know if it has the same programming as I remember back then. They might have a throwback channel. If they did, I’d probably still be “stuck on the dial” as they used to say.

Your character gets a bit controversial because he wants to say the N word in the film. How did you handle that part of your role?

I didn’t think too much about it. I don’t use that word in my everyday use. I listen to a lot of hip-hop, so I’m not afraid of the word. I just don’t personally use it.

When the word is used in hip-hop, do you just consider it part of the culture?

Yeah, I rock that stuff, for sure. You just know not to say it as a white dude. I’m not trying to get slapped in the face as you can see in the movie. That’s why I don’t use the word.

Do you think a film like “Dope” has a message about race it’s trying to convey to audiences?

I feel like I’m getting my Barack Obama on tackling race issues over here. There will always be race issues in the United States of America. But I think the important thing is that we’re all here doing our thing. We might as well get along. Our differences are what make us awesome. USA all the way! Get along, damn it!

“Dope” is an independent film, so I would say it’s pretty courageous to come out during the summer against some of these major blockbusters. What would you tell moviegoers to get them to go see “Dope” and not “Jurassic World” for the tenth time?

Well, “Dope” is a good movie. It’s a fun adventure. And there is a message that is very important. It’s a human message. It’s not a reptilian message. Dinosaurs are dead. Get. Over. It. OK? We’re living here and now. Come on!

You do great work on the TV show “Workaholics.” Is film something you’d like to do more of or is TV where you want to be right now?

I had a lot of fun on this movie. I can only hope to do more. It would be great to have more fun. It’s a different pace working in movies. But it is cool when you get the right project. I’m glad that I started with “Dope.” It’s a great jumping off point. I really hope to do more in the future.

Going back to hip-hop really quick, you’re a big fan of rapper Lil B, right?

Yeah, I am.

Do you really think he thinks he can put curses on people?

I mean, you saw what happen to [the] Houston [Rockets], man [during the 2015 NBA Playoffs]. Just acknowledge that you’re doing the “cooking dance.” Lil B all the way, man. BasedGod. That’s what’s up.

Are you an NBA fan? Do you follow one of the California teams?

Absolutely. I grew up on the East Bay. The fact that the [Golden State] Warriors won [the NBA Championship] last night is why I’m still drunk talking to you right now.

Were you running in the streets? Flipping over cars?

(Laughs) I tried to flip a car, but living in L.A. I didn’t have a lot of people helping me. Trust me. I tried to flip some neighbors’ cars.

I’m talking to you from San Antonio, so even though we’re depressed we didn’t repeat this year, we’re happy for Golden State because of Steve Kerr.

He acknowledged that. I didn’t realize how many legendary coaches Steve Kerr got to play with. Phil Jackson. [Gregg] Popovich. It’s pretty cool. The Spurs are a hell of a dynasty. They’re a great team. It’s too bad the [L.A.] Clippers didn’t make it farther after they beat them. That was a big mountain to climb for them.

Do you think the Warriors have what it takes to keep this run going for a few more years?

They could! They’re young. If they stay together and keep up with that energy, it could happen. I believe it. They’re deep. That’s what’s cool about them. The whole team deserved that win last night. For the Cavs, it was just basically LeBron.

“Dope” is going to be at the theater at the same time as your “Workaholics” co-star Adam DeVine’s movie “Pitch Perfect 2.” Have you started trash talking yet?

Man, it’s going down. “Dope” is about to beat “Pitch Perfect 2” at the box office. So, watch me man! Yeah, I don’t know if that is possible. They have like a “Twilight” following. You can’t beat a cappella movies! It’s impossible!

Maybe you should start working on your singing voice.

Yeah, I’m trying to get into “Pitch Perfect 3.” (Singing) Pa pa pa pa pa, pa pa pa!

Fat Amy (actress Rebel Wilson’s character) could possibly use another love interest for Part 3, so maybe you can fill that role.

Absolutely. I’m down to eat a bunch of bagels and be Fat Blake. I’ll do it. I’ll put on weight for a role. Trust me. I’ll eat Reuben sandwiches…at night.