Awake in Love and Monsters
This past year, many people across the world have been using Zoom to attend classes, work remotely, and catch up with family and friends. However, Ariana Greenblatt has utilized the popular video-conferencing platform for a different reason: promoting her movies and their at-home releases. “Of course, we wanted it released worldwide in theaters, to have a premiere, do the junket together, and celebrate with one another,” the 13-year-old actress says of one of her latest films, Love and Monsters. “Having to do press from home on Zoom, not having a chance to regroup and see one another to celebrate what we all made kind of sucked, but what can you do? It just seemed responsible and the right thing to do to just get it out there, and let the people enjoy something new and fresh from the safety of their homes, so in that way, I’m very pleased.”
Although 2020 has presented an unprecedented set of challenges to the world, that has not stopped Greenblatt from doing what she loves. In 2020 alone, she has starred in multiple movies, in addition to Love and Monsters, which tells the story of Joel Dawson, played by actor Dylan O’Brien, who ventures out into a post-apocalyptic world to find his girlfriend, Aimee, who is played by Jessica Henwick. Greenblatt’s character, Minnow, plays a crucial role in the movie by rescuing Joel from a pack of monsters and helping him learn critical survival skills. “She refused to be a victim, to ever give up,” she explains of Minnow. “She’s a fighter, a survivor who has lost her family at a very young age and could be bitter and angry, but still has the heart to look for the good in all creatures. She hasn’t lost herself or her child-wonder.”
As Greenblatt is known for going for roles that challenge her creatively or represent someone inspiring to her, her upcoming role in The Boss Baby: Family Business – the highly-anticipated Boss Baby sequel that is set to release in March – is no exception. Greenblatt plays the voice of Tabitha Templeton, a 7-year-old girl at the top of her class at a prestigious school. “This was a much bigger opportunity in terms of character and scope,” she notes. “Not only is she super-smart, but her family’s story is so wonderful, and I get to sing, which nobody really knows. The incredible Hans Zimmer wrote an original song for Tabitha that I have the honor to sing, so it’s just incredible.”
While Greenblatt has a number of projects lined up for 2021 and beyond (including 65, to co-star alongside Adam Driver in, Awake, and In the Heights), she has worked on her YouTube channel since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to give her fans a glimpse of her personal life.
She is half-Jewish and half-Puerto Rican, and the events of this past year have also allowed Greenblatt to reflect on her identity. Though she says that there is still a long way to go until the Latinx community is fairly and equally represented in popular media, she hopes to be a positive influence on “the audience. The writer always has something to say or that they are trying to convey. I stay away from negative-stereotype roles, even if they have some huge director or studio behind them. I’m hyper-aware of my audience and my fan base, which are predominantly other girls just like me, so I always try to remember that.”
Driven by a sense of kindness and compassion, Greenblatt wants to make sure that we are all kind to one another. “It’s very easy these days to be hard and angry, but simple gestures that come from a place of understanding and love make all the difference in the world,” she asserts.
Writer: Hannah Fitzpatrick
Photographer & Videographer: Haldane Morris
Editor: Eiko Watanabe
Special thanks to imPRint (@imprintpr) & EPK Media (@myepk & @epkmedia - epkmedia.com)