Stephanie Beatriz is best known for her role as Rosa Diaz, a tough, no nonsense Latina detective in the award-winning American sitcom, Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The Argentinian-born actress told Issue Magazinehow her parents’ support played a positive role in the pursuit of her career. “They came to the United States with an idea of what they wanted their kids to do, which was succeed. When I told them I wanted to be an artist, I think they were afraid because they weren’t sure how it was going to pan out financially…but they...believed in me, and I’m very, very, lucky I had that,” she says.
She began acting in her high school theater group, and says it brought her solace from feeling like an outsider in adolescence. “That’s where the ‘weird kids’ were…,” Beatriz said in a New York Times interview, “I just felt like the best version of myself when I was with that group of kids.” After high school, she continued to pursue acting and went on to graduate with a theater degree from Stephens College in Missouri.
In a 2015 tweet, Stephanie publicly disclosed her bisexual orientation. She told Huffington Post that the writers on Brooklyn Nine-Nine came to her, after her own public revelation, with the idea to reflect that orientation in her character, Rosa. She readily agreed and continues to credit the show’s creators for their desire to build a progressive cultural dialogue. “I think it’s much more interesting for human beings to look at each other’s stories and…really see each other, and then see themselves through other people’s stories. That’s where you start to break down stereotypes,” she says.
Her other work includes a recurring role on the TV show, Modern Family, and lending her voice to a handful of animated TV series, including Bob’s Burgers and BoJack Horseman. She also played a supporting role in the film, Short-Term 12. More recently, she and her fellow Brooklyn Nine-Ninelead, Melissa Fumero, were guest-stars on the Netflix reboot of One Day at a Time, alongside Latina superstars Rita Moreno and Gloria Estefan.
Her performance as Bonnie in the independent feature film, The Light of the Moon, won the Audience Award for the Narrative Feature Competition, at the 2017 South by Southwest Film Festival.
In a continued expansion of her professional career, she recently asked for, and was granted, the opportunity to direct an episode in season six of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. In an interview about the experience with Glamour, she encouraged others considering similar leaps. “Instead of putting your trust in your fears,” she says, “put your trust in that little voice inside, urging you to go for it— that part of you that already knows you have what it takes to do it. I did, and I’m so much better off for it.”