Batgirl star Leslie Grace has had 10 months to accept that Warner Bros. would not release that film, and she insists that she really has.
“I have moved forward,” Grace tells Yahoo Entertainment. “I’m working on a lot of exciting things that feel really aligned with the path that I’m looking forward to just enjoying and building. And I’m very grateful to have had the experience of Batgirl and have met the people that I’ve met from that experience, and to have received the support that I, in some cases, didn’t even know was there after the news of it not coming out.”
She hasn’t even ruled out a role in James Gunn’s DC Extended Universe in the future, or playing a superhero anywhere, if it’s offered.
“Yeah! I mean, why not? Why not?,” Grace says. “Who knows what the future holds?”
For now, the singer and In the Heights star is cheering on the stars of the movie Blue Beetle, in theaters August 18, which features the DCEU’s first Latino superhero.
“I think it’s such a major win for our community to be able to see people that represent us in a way that we haven’t been able to see in the past,” Grace says. “And, absolutely… if you’re Latino in the industry, you know that there’s a lot more work yet to do, and there’s also just so much space and room for nuanced representation of Latinos in film and TV that we’ve yet to unpack.”
Grace talks about her own heritage: Her maternal grandmother came to the United States from the Dominican Republic in her 30s. She had to leave her three children behind for a few years while she established a home for the family in a new country and, to this day, she struggles with English.
Grace, 28, was born in New York City. She remembers that, while growing up, she saw her older siblings translate things, something as simple as an interaction at a grocery store, for adults in her family.
“My mom ended up speaking English, and my other aunts and uncles,” she says. “But, with my grandma, her ability and capabilities, we would notice, would become so limited just from the barrier of not being able to understand what someone might be saying to her or what might be in her mail, something really important at the doctor’s office.”
Because of her backstory, Grace really connected with Translators, the upcoming short film that she’s promoting, even though she’s not part of the cast or crew. That’s how much she believes in Emmy-winning director Rudy Valdez’s story of the 11 million-plus child translators in the U.S., who help their older family members navigate their daily lives. They translate their teacher’s comments about them to their parents at a school conference, help them understand crucial instructions from the doctor or even to obtain an American license.
Grace feels so strongly, because it’s her family’s story, too.
“Myself and some of the younger family members in my family have done that for the older generations in my family,” Grace says. “And so once I saw the doc, I just wanted to get involved and lend my voice to amplify the stories of the three families in this doc.”
The singer/actress, who starred in and executive produced this year’s podcast How to Win Friends and Disappear People and co-stars in upcoming crime flick The Thicket, alongside Juliette Lewis and Peter Dinklage, will even attend the premiere of Translators on June 13 at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.
“I’m excited… just be able to be a part of the conversation that I think will be shocking for some people,” Grace says, “to learn that a third of Hispanics aren’t fluent in English and their children are their main translators and taking on this burden. So, hopefully we can find some more effective ways of catering to these families that are just as worthy of access as anyone else.
Translators is available to stream beginning Wednesday, June 14 at TranslatorsFilm.com.