What or who has had the biggest influence on your career?
Early on I would’ve said, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchet and recently Viola Davis but these last few months have changed me and my perspective. I am now inspired by the me in the future. An artist who is surrounded by meaningful work and joy. An award-winning actress, a philanthropist, an author to name a few. I’m inspired by how things will unravel and I’m in full anticipation of it.
What interests you in a role, story or character?
I am interested in roles that push the implied barriers of my skin color, my body type and my ethnicity. I love the idea of, for example, being cast as the Queen of England. This may sound ridiculous to some but I welcome that. I have seen many unexpected castings in movies and I would rather love to see what that feels like. To be ridiculous and to do it fantastically well. That’s how I’ll know I’ve “made it”.
From your career so far, what role/project are you especially fond of and why?
It would have to be Norma from Gentefied. It’s the first time I was cast as something other than a “Latina mom”. And so, Norma is special in that way for me. My favorite part of Norma is that she lives so comfortable within me. I feel so free playing her. And I love that she represents someone who every Latin person knows. She’s a very real person in our culture.
As audiences have shifted to streaming content, what opportunities does this bring to you as an artist?
Many it would seem, and yet pay seems to be less. There are more opportunities to work so that’s good. One can have more screen time to show their skills but on the flip-side everything is changing so quickly it leaves one wondering if we as actors will suffer in the transition.
Is there a genre that you haven’t worked in yet that you’d like to?
I love fantasy/sci-fi. The idea that writers have of the future always interests me. It always makes me think of the present and how our decisions shape our future; even if most of the time it freaks me out!
What are the strengths of Latin American film?
It’s specificity. I feel that the more culturally specific a story is, the more outside cultures can find empathy with one another. We can realize we all want the same things like love, a healthy family, a nice place to live, an opportunity to make our dreams come true. We are all more alike than different. I love watching movies/tv shows from other countries. I feel kinship in that and it brings me peace and hope for the future.
What do you have coming up next?
Well, I do have a pending project that is in limbo due to the pandemic, so at this moment I can’t say anything. Wish me luck! And of course, there is the second season of Gentefied! Coming soon!
Brenda Banda is represented by @EspadaPR
Brenda Banda – IMDb
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