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Dariana Alvarez ’27 details journey from Disney set to BioMed

Crew members speak highly of Alvarez’s work ethic on set of Disney+ short film

<p>The minute she saw the audition call for the show, Alvarez was hooked. “I feel super connected to the material,” Alvarez said. </p><p>Courtesy of Disney</p>

The minute she saw the audition call for the show, Alvarez was hooked. “I feel super connected to the material,” Alvarez said.

Courtesy of Disney

From accidentally getting into the acting industry at the age of six years old — conveniently discovered in the waiting room of her mother’s audition — to successfully taking part in various commercials and film series, Dariana Alvarez ’27 is already a veteran in the entertainment industry.

Most recently, Alvarez appeared in the short film “Beautiful, FL,” which is part of a series of live-action shorts produced by Disney Launchpad that aims to highlight emerging talent and support stories from diverse communities. 

“It is definitely the biggest thing I have done,” Alvarez said in an interview with The Herald. 

“Beautiful, FL” premiered on Disney+ Sep. 29 and follows protagonist Omara (Alvarez) as she tries to win an ice cream-making competition with a recipe inspired by her late abuela’s Puerto Rican treats.

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The minute she saw the audition call for the show, Alvarez was hooked. “I (felt) super connected to the material,” she said. Like the character Omara, Alvarez is Puerto Rican and inherited a strong passion for baking from older family members. 

Producer Helena Sardinha said that it was a priority for the creatives behind “Beautiful, FL” to respect the authenticity of the film’s narrative, so Alvarez was the perfect fit for the role. 

“She has a really close connection with the character,” Sardinha said. “For us, it was how natural she was. (She) didn't feel rehearsed.” 

“Dariana has a warmth and curiosity that was clear from the moment I saw her audition tape,” said Joel Perez, who co-wrote and acted in “Beautiful, FL.”

Alvarez said that she felt more connected to the script after having conversations with Director Gabriela Ortega about Omara’s motivations and thought processes throughout the film.

One of the most high-stakes scenes Alvarez shot was with Perez’s character, Copernicus Crus. Since Perez is a co-writer of the film, Alvarez felt that she “really had to do (the part) justice.” 

Because “Beautiful, FL” was the biggest project Alvarez has worked on to date, she felt much of the same emotions as Omara did in the film. “Omara is feeling pressure. And she's feeling nervous. So I was like, well, it's perfect,” she said. 

“Dariana was a total pro,” Perez said. “Getting to share the screen with her was the cherry on top.”

As part of Disney Launchpad, “Beautiful, FL” was shot by a majority Latinx crew. From the sets to the script, there are small but meaningful moments throughout the film that contribute to its overall holistic portrayal of Omara’s experience, directly benefiting from the crew’s personal relationship to the project, according to Alvarez. She also praised costume designer Laura Cristina Ortiz, who added small details to her costumes that made her feel even more connected to Omara.

Balani_Dariana_Alvarez_Profile_CO_Dariana Alvarez.jpg

Courtesy of Helena Sardinha

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Sardinha praised Alvarez’s professionalism, punctuality on set and eagerness to perform across long filming days. “She has star quality,” Sardinha said. 

According to Perez, anything Alvarez ends up doing will “be executed at a high standard.”

At Brown, Alvarez is making use of the flexibility that the Open Curriculum provides to pursue various courses and passions. “I am in my exploring era,” she said. Alvarez is currently studying biomedical engineering but plans to take courses that cover topics related to screenwriting, playwriting and everything in between.

Alvarez is also keen on exploring the behind-the-camera world of filmmaking through Brown Motion Pictures, though she is still open to working on acting projects happening on the East Coast.

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Regardless of the field she ends up in, Alvarez “will be successful because of her work ethic,” Sardinha said. “That’s something you see … the fact that she has such discipline and takes the job so seriously at a young age.” 



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