Jenni Rivera had the chance to see “Filly Brown” during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, the actress made an impact in the movie and with her colleagues. Rivera was able to transform into a mother in prison (in four difficult and demanding scenes) where she emotes gripping passion derived from her personal experiences.
The film is about the efforts of aspiring hip hop artist Majo Tonorio (Gina Rodriguez) whose two goals in life intersect—to become a star under the name Filly Brown, and make enough money to get her drug-addicted mom (the late Jenni Rivera) out of prison.
Twitch stated “There’s nothing much new here. But the performances and the milieu make ‘Filly Brown’ an entertaining, honorable installment in a story that is the American Dream incarnate, and has been ever since the first wannabe showed up on Tin Pan Alley at the beginning of the last century.”
Edward James Olmos told Efe that sharing the stage with Jenni Rivera was an “incredible” experience.
“Working with her was a dream because it was the first time that she had done dramatic acting and she was incredible. We were very happy to work together,” he said.
Sharing that opinion is Rodriguez, who added: “Everyone who loves and adores Jenni Rivera has been able to see who she was. Working with her was a blessing. Each day I have to give thanks for having worked with her.”
Jenni Rivera was killed in a plane crash last Dec. 9 in northern Mexico. “Filly Brown“, which has its limited release on Friday, was her first and only film.
“You may know Lou (Diamond Phillips) or you may know me and you are sitting there but you don’t know anybody else,” explained Olmos to the Associated Press. “You are going to get your mind blown because they are brilliant performances. But then you find out this was the first time she ever touched the art form, and this is what she gave us. You could only imagine where she could have gone.”
Phillips admitted he knew nothing about Rivera before they worked together on “Filly Brown”, but was greatly impressed by her performance.
“This isn’t a glamorous role. This is a down and dirty, gritty performance,” Phillips said. “She didn’t hesitate. She came in and grabbed it with both hands and just wrestled this beautiful performance out of herself and that was impressive.”