‘Twisted Metal’ star Stephanie Beatriz: “I forgot that I have to remember lines!”

‘Twisted Metal’ star Stephanie Beatriz: “I forgot that I have to remember lines!”

In the ultra-violent world of dark comedy Twisted Metal, only the strong (or smoothest-talking) survive. An adaptation of PlayStation’s cult classic game series, the show is set years after a cyber attack destroys the United States of America. Society’s best-behaved have sealed themselves away in fancy cities, while everyone else is left to fend for themselves in a lawless wasteland.

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Quiet, a silent car thief played by Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Encanto), falls firmly into the second camp. When she’s torn away from her brother and forced to team up with amnesiac delivery man John Doe (Anthony Mackie), she becomes the violent yet witty star of the show, capable of holding her own against bandits, cannibals, and a murderous clown voiced by Will Arnett.

With the first season of Twisted Metal now available to watch in the UK, we caught up with Beatriz to learn more about one of her wildest roles yet.

Silence is golden

As her name suggests, Quiet begins Twisted Metal with zero dialogue. For Beatriz, this meant giving viewers a strong first impression of Quiet without saying a word. Though it sounds tough on paper, she tells NME that it was easier done than said.

“A super ridiculous thing we heard in acting school was that acting is reacting,” she says. “But really, it is. A lot of it is just watching, listening, and really being present. One of the gifts of not speaking in those episodes is that I didn’t have anything to remember. Obviously you’re thinking about what’s coming up next, where the cameras are, stuff like that, but one of the really freeing things about those episodes was that I didn’t have any lines and could just be really present.”

Eventually, Quiet opens up to her reluctant partner in crime John Doe (played by Anthony Mackie) and starts talking. The lengthy silence didn’t add any pressure to her first lines in the show, says Beatriz, although she’d become a little too used to not talking.

“I was like, ‘oh shit! I forgot that I have to remember lines’,” says Beatriz, laughing. “Usually that sensation comes when you first step on a set. It’s a bit like doing this motion with my body, like a car stuttering to start. I had two stuttering starts on this show – the first being on set with all these new people, the second was having them all hear my voice on camera.”

Twisted Metal. Credit: Peacock+

Alligators aren’t good co-stars

Think about the most dangerous hazard at your workplace. Wrist strain? Spilling hot tea? For Beatriz and her co-stars, it was being hunted by alligators during a “surreal” day filming at an abandoned theme park.

“There was an animal handler that had to stand on a bridge where the casting crew had to walk between two sides of the park,” says Beatriz. “He was like, ‘there are five alligators here stalking everybody, so I’m here just in case they jump up onto the bridge.”

Luckily, none of the cast was snapped up, and Beatriz has fond memories of the shoot. “ It was wild,” she says, “but one of my favourite days.”

Stephanie Beatriz isn’t a “set stealer”

Earlier in the year, it was revealed that Sting still has the codpiece he wore in David Lynch’s 1984 version of the film Dune (and generously offered it to Austin Butler on loan). Though there’s nothing as, ahem, fashionable in Twisted Metal, one standout costume is Quiet’s circus ringmaster-style red and gold jacket, which she takes off the corpse of her murdered brother. Beatriz “loved” the top, but unlike Sting, isn’t a “set stealer” – so didn’t take any souvenirs from the post-apocalyptic set.

“I knew those costumes had to be preserved exactly like they were just in case we got a second season,” she says. “But I thought [the jacket] was so cool, it felt like armour when I put it on […] it’s such a piece of art – it’s handmade and beautiful.”

However, humid set conditions meant there were times when even Beatriz wanted rid of it. “There was a day where we were shooting by a river in New Orleans and it was incredibly hot – like out of control, face melting off your body hot,” she recalls. “I suggested to the director [Kitao Sakurai] ‘maybe we don’t do the jacket? Maybe we just leave it on the front seat, and [Quiet] is relaxing, so you don’t need the jacket?’”

The ploy didn’t work, but we’ll give Beatriz A for effort. “There’s a discussion by the cameras, and they come back like ‘We actually need you to wear the jacket’,” she says. “I was like, ‘You wear the jacket, Kitao!’”

Twisted Metal. Credit: Peacock+

Beatriz has a plan for the apocalypse

In Twisted Metal, the world becomes a cutthroat wasteland after all of the world’s computers simultaneously fail. We get to experience some of the chaos that causes during a flashback scene with Thomas Haden Church’s violent cop character Stone, who experiences the apocalypse first-hand when his patrol through a shopping centre turns ugly.

A real-world apocalypse might not be as “fun” as Twisted Metal’s, says Beatriz, but that’s not to say she isn’t prepared. “We live in California, so we’re used to earthquakes and stuff,” she says. “We’ve got these big orange bags that have a week’s worth of food and supplies, so we’d get in the car and try to get out of the city.”

“Or we’d buckle down here in the house and fortress it out,” Beatriz adds. “It all depends on how much food lasts and how violent people start to get.” It’s nice to have options!

Twisted Metal season one is available on Paramount+.

The post ‘Twisted Metal’ star Stephanie Beatriz: “I forgot that I have to remember lines!” appeared first on NME.

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