Traci Shannon (AKA StarTraci) is a blogger at A Star in My Own Universe and is a new author on FSM Media.
Season Two of AppleTV+’s “The Mosquito Coast” brought a new and exciting development to the dangerous cocktail of characters, Andrea Bautista. This highly-educated, elegant entry throws much into the mix and we were fortunate enough to interview the actress, Cosima Cabrera.
Star Traci: Hi, Cosima! Thank you for this opportunity. It’s a pleasure to speak with you about this unique show but also the distinct personal history you bring to the production. To begin, as one who has struggled on and off for years to improve her fledgling French, I am in awe of your many languages. How did that come to be? Was your home multi-lingual?
Cosima: My parents sent me to more than one language immersion school when I was a child because they valued being multilingual, and I’m glad they did because I also see the value in being multilingual.
Star Traci: Have you felt that this has influenced your career choices, both as an actress and now in your continued studies of psychology?
Cosima: It has influenced my career in the sense that it influences the roles I sometimes audition for. I don’t think it necessarily influenced my desire to study psychology, but speaking different languages expands your capacity for thought because the different ways to express and describe things in different languages varies. Like, there aren’t words for certain things in certain languages that other languages do have words for. And speaking multiple languages gives you that heightened capacity for conceptualizing and understanding the world around you.
Star Traci: I loved hearing that this role was written for a man. Recently, I heard that “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once” was written for a man and I can’t imagine it without Michelle Yeoh. You own this role. It’s about time that more of these roles are made available to both genders. At what point was this change made? Were their men still being seen when you auditioned?
Cosima: I actually don’t know the point at which they decided to change the role to a man, but I auditioned the same week I got cast, so I imagine it was a decision they made somewhat later in the casting process. But a lot of people thought the character was a lot more badass as a woman, and I would agree with that.
Star Traci: I was very impressed by your parents’ work and it is no wonder that would influence your worldview and direction. As a graduate of an intensive acting program, I know the amount of work that your Yale Drama degree required of you and you managed a second major! Carrying that strength and education into the role, Andrea is no Latina stereotype. Please speak to her character.
Cosima: I actually did not go to Yale School of Drama. I went to Yale undergrad, so I was able to get a BA in Theatre and double major in Literature, but both routes are impressive. And yes, Andrea is, like me, an Ivy League grad. It was very cool to get to play a super confident, powerful business woman because I don’t often get to play those roles on TV. She is different from me in the sense that she’s tearing down the Guatemalan jungle to build a resort, and I am super passionate about the environment, so I loved getting to play a complex, multi-dimensional character like her.
Star Traci: Finally, you joined an already successful series in the second season. What was that like? Being your first big co-starring role, did you feel embraced into the current cast? How was the location shoot?
Cosima: Most of the actors I worked with were also new to the second season. The only one who was also in the first season was Ian Hart, and he is one of my favorite actors I’ve gotten to work with because he’s so kind and talented and funny and was always sharing hilarious and entertaining stories. I also did work briefly with Gabriel Bateman for one of the ensemble scenes in the finale, and he was also lovely to work with. And yes, it was very cool to get to shoot in Mexico in Tulum, so that was very special.
Star Traci: And of course, I would be remiss, if I didn’t try to sneak any preview. Any clues for next season?
Cosima: I have no idea if there will be a third season, but I hope there will be one as I think it’s a very cool and unique show.
Star Traci: Thank you, Cosima, for your time and your powerful performances.