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Encanto's Stephanie Beatriz on Leading a Disney Film As a Queer Woman

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Starring out, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and In the Heights alum Stephanie Beatriz and featuring a character that the internet has affectionately dubbed a new lesbian icon, Disney's latest animated film Encanto is a charming musical tale of a magical family in Colombia who use their powers to help their community flourish and thrive! 

Mirabel Madrigal (Beatriz) comes from a family where each member is bestowed a "gift" (i.e. power) from their magical house. For some reason, though, Mirabel ended up not getting a gift of her own, and naturally, because of that, she feels like the black sheep of the Madrigal family. Exploring themes like otherness and not fitting in with the people you're supposed to be closest with, it's easy to see how queer audiences can relate to Encanto, and the film being lead by a bisexual icon like Beatriz cements that relatability even further! 

Out got the chance to chat with lead star Stephanie Beatriz about what attracted her to the role, working with her friend and In the Heights creator Lin-Manuel Miranda (who wrote Encanto's original songs) again, and what it was like landing a leading role in a Disney film as a queer, Latinx woman! 

"One of the things that I think about a lot is that my existence, period, is like sort of political. It just kinda is because I'm an immigrant, I'm a woman, I'm Latina, I'm queer. So all of those things together, they make up who I am, and just me being alive, it's kind of a cool, awesome, sometimes scary thing," Beatriz told Out. "The fact that I am in this film and have this incredible opportunity to bring this character to life is really amazing, because there was a time, not too long ago, where someone like me wouldn't have even been written for in a Disney film. And now here we have this amazing script with all of these amazing collaborators. They've centered the story on a family from Colombia and created this magical, magical fable around them, and that means that someone like me is just right to play one of those characters. And I think that that's a world that I really am excited to be living in."

Disney's Encanto is now playing in theaters!

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