Leslie Grace on Her In the Heights Acting Debut and Working With Spotify to Celebrate Latinx Heritage
Bachata princess Leslie Grace talks to People CHICA about her acting debut in the movie In the Heights and collaborating with Spotify for Latinx Heritage Month.
Leslie Grace is over the moon about her acting debut in the upcoming film adaptation of In the Heights. “I'm starting a whole new chapter of my career, which is the acting side. … I started auditioning for different things for a couple of years before I landed this role, which has been one of the biggest blessings in my life,” the Dominican American star, 24, tells People CHICA. In the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's hit Broadway show she plays Nina Rosario. “She is the girl who made it out. She gets into Stanford, she has always been the smartest kid in the neighborhood and everybody puts the weight of all of their dreams on her.”
Working with Miranda has been a dream come true, and so was living in New York while she filmed this project, which also features Dascha Polanco, Jimmy Smits and salsa crooner Marc Anthony, among other Latinx stars.
The singer also teamed up with Spotify to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month with an exclusive short film of Grace toasting to Latinxs uniting, while paying tribute to other renowned Latinx artists. “It's a brindis, a toast at a Friendsgiving table, and I talk about all the things that we should be very proud of and the artists that have paved the way for people like me, the memories of growing up feeling the pride of our culture, and hearing it in our music and enjoying it in our food and sharing it with the people we love,” she says.
Spotify also put together a special playlist “bringing honor to the artists that we have grown up listening to and that are legendary” like Celia Cruz, Selena and Marc Anthony. “You've also got some of the highest-streaming songs in the Latin community like ‘Despacito,' ‘Macarena' and ‘La Bamba,' all these songs that have been ingrained in us since our childhood and we continue to listen to,” she adds.
Spending time with family helps the singer stay focused and keep her feet on the ground. “There is so much going on in my life sometimes that every time I come home I want that peace of just being with my family and catching up,” she admits. “We'll get together at my parents' house, put on a bit of music and eat. Just doing regular daily things when I come back home, it makes me appreciate just chilling in the beauty salon with my mom or going to pick up grandma and talking to her in the car. Those are the things that keep you human and remind you of who you are.”
The “Sola” singer is happily single, she says, and her latest track was inspired by meditating and “talking to God” after moving out of her parents' house and experiencing living by herself for the first time. “Now I'm enjoying my time on my own. I definitely don't close the door,” she says. “It has to be a very special person that can enjoy the life I have. When I meet that person it will be very clear and I won't have to second-guess. It hasn't been the time, and I've actually found a lot of peace in knowing I can enjoy my life on my own and not have have to put the weight of that joy, happiness or completion on finding someone.”