We chatted with Latin American actress Ariana Ron Pedrique about her new thriller/documentary film Ayar, which was released in theaters and on demand November 26, 2021. It follows Ayar (Ariana Ron Pedrique), a first-generation American Latina who returns home to her daughter. But when her mother, Renata, refuses to let her see her due to Covid, she is confronted by the many roles she’s been forced to play. We asked Ariana about how she got into acting and storytelling, how she prepared for her role as Ayar, and what we can expect from the film. Check it out below!

When did you decide that storytelling and acting was something you wanted to do?

Ariana Ron Pedrique (ARP): I believe my unofficial training for acting started when I was a kid, and my mom would play songs for me with amazing stories behind them, and I would then want to act like the characters on those songs. For example, I would dress up and act as Penélope, the woman Joan Manuel Serrat sings about in his well-known song titled by the same name. On top of that, I always had a big imagination, so I would go in my parents’ closets and dress up as different characters and act like I was a completely different person. I would also reenact commercials for my family that I loved. However, it wasn’t until I moved to Mexico City that I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.

What was your first acting role?

ARP: When I was eleven years old, I was chosen to be Juliet from Shakespeare’s renowned tragedy on the yearly school play. It was such an enriching experience for me, I loved it!

What is the best thing about being a storyteller in your opinion?

ARP: I love seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. The moment I have a script in my hands, I experience life from my character’s viewpoint, and I love that. It gives me perspective. It also teaches me empathy. When I am writing, I love the freedom of it. I love how you can create a whole world out of thin air. It’s magic!

What can you tell us about Ayar?

ARP: Ayar is a feature film about a Latina who is tormented with guilt over leaving her newborn child behind to pursue her dream of becoming a singer. After five years of an unsuccessful career in Vegas, she is determined to return home and mend the relationship with her daughter, Jasmine (Calliah Sophie Estrada). But when her mother, Renata (Vilma Vega), refuses to allow her to contact Jasmine due to COVID, Ayar is forced to grapple with past mistakes and peel back the layers of who she is has become.

How did you prepare for your role in the film?

ARP: First, I tried to focus on finding the similarities between Ayar and me. Luckily, the collaborative scriptwriting process with Floyd and Vilma helped me understand her even more deeply. Also, Ayar dreams of being a singer, which is crucial for the narrative of the film. I realized that if I was going to commit to the character entirely, I would need to sing and play the piano as it calls for in the script. Since we were only a few weeks away from the shoot, there was not enough time to learn how to read music. With the help of an excellent piano coach, I played piano every day for two weeks and approached it much like I approach dance…like choreography for my fingers. That was extremely exciting for me! It was definitely a fun challenge.

When people watch Ayar, What are you hoping they get out of it?

ARP: I hope they feel inspired by Ayar’s story. I find this strong-willed woman, willing to face all her demons to mend the relationship with her daughter, incredibly moving. Hopefully, they’ll see how this story is about survival, regret, forgiveness, and rebirth.

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Follow Ariana Ron Pedrique: Instagram

Watch Ayar on demand here

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