Alexxis Lemire Talks About Her Role in 'The Half of It'
The actress discusses her breakout performance in Netflix's hit new movie.
Alexxis Lemire plays Aster Flores in The Half of It, the latest Netflix movie delighting audiences across the United States. If you watched the film and found yourself falling in love with Aster, then you're not alone. "She is really amazing," Alexxis tells People CHICA of her character. "She was popular and had a popular boyfriend and friends, but she goes a lot deeper than the surface level. ... You see her struggle with having to fit in, and her family acts a certain way to fit into this town. A lot of Latinx women struggle with that. Having a character that was so specific to me and the Latinx community was great. Aster was so inclusive, which I found so beautiful."
The movie shows a different kind of love story. "So often you see these rom-coms focused on romantic love, but this one also shows the platonic side of love — the relationships between friends and family, which are so important," explains the 23-year-old. "It has a lot of comedic bits, but it feels like a coming-of-age story."
The actress says she is spending quarantine in her apartment in Los Angeles and brightens up her days by going on hikes and runs and reading, writing, and snuggling with her Maltese poodle pup. Lemire was a competitive cheerleader and model before turning to acting. She grew up in Massachusetts and moved to California to pursue her acting dreams. "I'm grateful to have such a supportive family, but in the beginning it's definitely difficult," she says. Her roles in films like Truth or Dare and The Other Mother helped her get her foot in the door. "I've finally started seeing results."
Like her character Aster, Alexxis identifies as a Latinx woman. "My mom is 100 percent Puerto Rican, as is my brother," she says. "I'm very close to my abuela and bisabuela, and Spanish used to be my first language. I'm really proud to be Puerto Rican. I've been to the island a few times with my family. It was nice seeing San Juan, where my mom is from."
Her tricultural status has its challenges, too. "Being half Puerto Rican and half French and living in America is not the easiest," she admits. "Sometimes people put the pressure on to choose what side I am. Being in this industry and going to castings, sometimes I'm too Latin for a Caucasian role, or not Latin enough. That's a struggle I continue to face."
Getting positive feedback from viewers after watching The Half of It means the world to her. "I got a lot of messages from people saying they felt understood and it made people cry," she recalls. "As an actress you want to be part of a film that resonates with people and makes them feel less alone. Life is crazy and high school is a weird time, so to do a film that kids that age can watch and feel they are not alone? I felt honored to be part of that. I want to be able to do what I love for the rest of my life, to continue to be on set making films that move people and that mean something."
Photographer: Tiziano Lugli; styling: Tiffany Briseno; makeup: Dillon Peña; hair: Richard Collins.