If you have kids, love superheroes, and if you don’t wanna take yourself too seriously, then you’re probably part of the millions of people who have watched We Can Be Heroes directed by Robert Rodriguez on Netflix. Missy Moreno is a young girl who lives with her dad, Marcus Moreno (Pedro Pascal) a superhero who promised his daughter that he would stay retired from the Heroics, his own team of superheroes. But, when Aliens start invading the planet for a “takeover”, and the Heroics are captured, Missy and all the children of the Heroics quite literally decide to fly to the rescue of their parents and to save the world.
I spoke with the wonderful YaYa Gosselin, aka Missy Moreno, who’s already getting ready to “kick some alien’s butts” in the newly announced sequel of We Can Be Heroes.
Hey YaYa, how are you?
Y.G : Hi! How are you?
Very well, thank you! Congratulations on We Can Be Heroes, I had such a great time watching it! You’re killing it in this movie!
Y.G : Oh thank you so much!
So We Can Be Heroes is about to become the only movie to be #1 on Netflix this late in its run. How do you feel when you hear something like this? Did you expect that to happen?
Y.G : Oh my gosh not at all! It’s completely mind-blowing! I would have never believed it, that a movie I was in would get this far!
I mean it’s a superhero movie, and it’s very popular, and seeing kids in a superhero movie has to be something people want to see.
Y.G : Yes absolutely. I think that’s one of the reasons why it’s doing so well.
How was it like to work with Robert Rodriguez, Pedro Pascal, and everyone on set? Because when I watched the “behind the scenes” content, it seems like you guys had a lot of fun!
Y.G: Oh yes, we had such a blast, Robert was always so nice and Pedro so kind, and they were all the best to work with. I cannot wait to go back and to work with them again.
Yes, and it’s happening very soon because Robert Rodriguez officially announced the sequel on his Instagram. Did you know about that or was it a surprise for you?
Y.G : Not at all. My co-star Nathan Blair actually called me and was like “YaYa I’m gonna text you something, you really need to see this!” and I was like “Why don’t you tell me over the phone? “. He just said “No look at your text messages!” [laughing]. And it was a screenshot of the Instagram post that said that we were getting a sequel and that 44 million families had watched our film. And I thought “OH MY GOD!” Because most films that you watch, it takes a while for it to get a sequel. Even some films that I watched, I’m still waiting for a sequel to be announced. So it’s crazy how fast it got a sequel.
Absolutely, but Robert Rodriguez is at the origin of this universe with Sharkboy and Lavagirl, so seeing how great you all were in this movie, you can only want to make a sequel right away right?
Y.G : Yes absolutely, it’s been on my mind for so long, and I hope that we can start filming as soon as possible.
So what do you think we can expect from this sequel, and most importantly, what would you like to see in this sequel?
Y.G : Oh that’s a good question. Me and my co-stars have been thinking about that a lot actually. There are so many storylines that could really unfold in the sequel. I’ve been hearing a lot of “I want Missy to get powers” I actually don’t want Missy to get powers, I think she’s perfect the way she is. But I really hope that it dives more into the team kicking butt, and Missy realizing that she is enough a part of the team as anybody else’s and I don’t want her to feel like she’s not part of the team because she doesn’t have powers.
Okay, that’s interesting because that was actually my next question. Would you like to find out that Missy actually has powers of her own? But you don’t want that.
Y.G: I don’t think so because I think it’d be cool if she had something that had powers but she doesn’t have powers, like a sword or something, that would be very cool, kinda like her dad. But I don’t think I want her to have powers, because that’s something that really stands out to girls right now, you know, why my character is received so well because girls are looking at it and go ” Oh my gosh, she doesn’t have powers and she leads this”. Missy is a powerful kid and I think it really speaks to them, that you don’t have to have powers to be a superhero.
I completely agree, and when I was watching the movie, I also thought that if there is going to be a sequel, Missy doesn’t necessarily need powers, because she’s already such a great leader.
Y.G : Yes absolutely.
But in real life, what’s a superpower that you would love to have and why?
Y.G : Oh okay! I would like to have the superpower to kill viruses and diseases. I think it would be a super cool superpower because that’s what we need right now. You know, draw the coronavirus out of the world would be the best right now, and also heal people with a lot of other diseases that would be a really great and useful power.
That would be amazing indeed! Do you have a personal superhero in your life? Someone you look up to and consider to be a role model?
Y.G : I always, and that’s also what makes Missy such a great leader, I always have people that I’m looking up to, and I’m always looking for role models and leadership in my life and I think that makes me a better leader in my real life. I have a lot of people that I look up to in my family, my grandfather probably is my biggest role model. He actually got to come to set, and meet Robert and see me do the things that I love. But then about two weeks after production shut down, he passed away of cancer. But he will always be my biggest role model.
I’m so sorry to hear that. It is important to have someone in your life who shows you the way as a role model. So do you think that your generation has a responsibility to save the world like we see in the movie? Does the young generation have to take over?
Y.G : I think our generation is pretty accepting and more inviting. We’re not so judgmental and that’s what the world needs right now. So I think that Gen-Z is totally ready to save the world.
I love seeing that an 11- year old girl is saving the world by leading a team of superheroes. I know that for you and Robert Rodriguez, and for the world in general, it was very important to see a young Latina as a leading superhero. You truly “lead by example” as we hear in the movie, what did it mean for you to find out that you were going to portray Missy?
Y.G : Oh my gosh, even now, I am blown away by the fact that I am Missy. You know, it’s inspiring so many girls. I used to be the girl that looked for Latina leads, and there aren’t many. But I would look up to them, and I just thought that they were so incredible. Now me getting to be in that position is so surreal, and finding out that I could portray somebody like that just makes me feel so inspired and powerful and it still does to this day.
That’s wonderful. Are there any movies in particular that you watched to prepare for the role of Missy? I heard you say that you loved Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman.
Y.G : Yes I love Gal Gadot, she’s like one of my favorite people ever. I actually had a poster of her in my room while we were filming, so I would wake up every day and see her every day as a leading example. And that made me feel ready for work and lead by example on set. Surrounding yourself with powerful and leading women is the most important thing you can do to be a better leader. Gal Gadot and Wonder Woman, they’re just so strong and powerful. Her armor and everything, I just love her so much. Watching Wonder Woman and coming out of the theatre just made me feel so empowered and it still does. I love it so much.
I’m sure Gal Gadot would love to hear that, she would be extremely flattered. So do you like action movies YaYa? Is it something you see yourself doing a lot in your very promising career?
Y.G : Yes I think about my life without acting. And I can’t see my life without acting. It’s something I’m so devoted to, and it’s my passion, I never wanna stop. I’m pushing myself every single day to be better than I was the day before. I just thrive, I love acting and I wanna do it till the day I die. I would love to be in a western movie, it’s like my dream. And I have so many goals that I wanna achieve, but I wanna try as many different roles as possible.
I’m sure you’ll be able to try them all!
Y.G: [laughing] Yes!
Did you do your own stunts? I saw photos and videos of the cast doing their own stunts, and Robert Rodriguez was very proud. Did you do it as well?
Y.G : Yes, I did do my own stunts. Missy didn’t have a whole lot of stunts, but everything that I had to do, like the fall into the pit, I did all that myself. I have to say my shoulder hurts a lot after that [laughing]. But I’m proud of myself. I felt very proud to do my own stunts because I’m known to be a little wimp when it comes to that kind of stuff, so I’m very proud of myself for doing that.
And you should be! It’s fantastic, a lot of actors and actresses are very happy and proud to do their own stunts, but you guys are so young and you’re already doing it! Did you have fun practicing your stunts?
Y.G : I had so much fun doing it! The stunt coordinators made it so fun and made it seem like play instead of work. We had about two weeks before filming where we just trained with martial arts, and it was probably my favorite moment on set. It was so fun, we would have competitions and games, so they made it seem fun and not scary.
That sounds like so much fun. Do you still practice martial arts while we’re all in lockdown?
Y.G : Yes I am training in Taekwondo. I wanna prepare for the sequel you know, I wanna make sure that I’m ready to kick some alien’s butt.
[laughing] You’re prepared, and no one can take over the world now! So final question for you YaYa, who’s a celebrity that you’ve always dreamed to work with?
Y.G : [pause] Oh that’s so hard because it changes every single day! I think I would love to work with Kenny Ortega, I would love that. I would also love to work with Julie Andrews, that’s one of my dreams, and also I would love to work with Dan Levy from Schitt’s Creek.
Pretty great choice, and Julie Andrews of course, an icon, who doesn’t want to work with Julie Andrews? [laughing]
Y.G : [laughing] Yeah, yeah, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve watched The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins and The Princess Diaries. So many times [laughing].
[laughing] YaYa thank you so much for joining me today, congratulations again, and best of luck on the sequel. I cannot wait to see it!
Y.G : Thank you so much for having me, bye!