How Chrissie Fit and 'Pitch Perfect 3' Are Challenging Latino Stereotypes (Exclusive)
Chrissie Fit is challenging the status quo.
The 33-year-old actress portrays a different kind of Latina character in Pitch Perfect -- and one that will only evolve when the franchise's third installment hits theaters in December.
"A lot of the times you'll see the Latina character being overly sexual and loud, and then Flo is on the opposite end of the spectrum," Fit told ET over the phone on Monday. "She's dry, sarcastic and really soft spoken, so it's a cool thing to see the different representation."
Fit isn't exactly Flo, the foreign exchange student from Central America added to Pitch Perfect 2 -- but the character definitely hits close to home.
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"I base [Flo] off of my mom...and my mom's always like, 'Stop saying that! I don't want to be famous!'" laughed Fit, whose parents and grandparents emigrated to the U.S. from Cuba before she was born. "If my mom was in college and in the Bellas, that's how she would be: kind of just like, 'Are these girls serious?' so that's where I got my inspiration."
Flo's commentary about immigration and deportation made the audience do a double take -- and while Flo won't lose her signature humor in Pitch Perfect 3, Fit says her jokes will evolve in response to the current political climate.
"We had to talk about it, because the landscape has changed a lot," she explained. "I'm so grateful that we have such good communication to make sure that everyone's comfortable and feeling good."
"I had individual meetings with [director Trish Sie], and sat down and talked about it. I was really vocal about what I did and didn't want to do, but I wasn't feeling comfortable doing deportation jokes because it's not funny. It's not funny anymore when it's happening to people in the middle of the night," Fit continued. "In the first movie, that joke that I would be deported stems from reality, because your student visa [does expire]; that's something that I improvised. But it was a different time, and I felt a little more comfortable doing those kinds of jokes that pushed the envelope."
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"Here, I was very lucky that we were able to talk before filming, and I had freedom to improvise and talk about different options," she added. "And you'll ultimately see me sing a little more in this movie, which is really exciting. It will be fun for people to see a different side of Flo."
Fit admitted there's "still work to be done" in changing Latino stereotypes in Hollywood, but is proud to be part of showcasing a different side of Latinos and bringing their stories to the mainstream.
"I think that's why Pitch Perfect is so popular, because it's a story about 10 women, [but one that is] universal for everyone," she shared, before praising how "supportive" her cast is in real life. "We're all like, real friends."
"We just vacationed together in Cabo in May after we wrapped the movie, so we love spending time together," she explained. "When we were doing rehearsals, we made a pact to not just enjoy the ride of filming, but also create memories when we were in Atlanta, and I think we did that. We're really close."
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Fit, who describes Pitch Perfect 3 as "an aca-adrenaline ride," is working to expand Latino presence across other media, by writing her own content and starring as Princess Valentina in Disney Channel's Elena of Avalor.
"It's a dream come true. When I was a kid, I was like, 'I wish I was a Disney princess.'" she said. "I'm proud there's going to be another Disney princess of color. We're moving in the right direction!"
"I really want to keep doing TV shows and movies, and get on the other side of the camera, because I've been writing a lot," added Fit, who recently starred in, produced, wrote and created Temp(orary) with Cyrina Fiallo. "The people that are creating content are the ones that are affecting the most change."
Fit also encouraged her fans to lend their support in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
"If there's any way you can donate to Puerto Rico after the destruction and devastation left by hurricane Maria; please do so. You can either go to www.hispanicfederation.org or to www.unitedforpuertorico.com / www.unidosporpuertorico.com. Anything helps!"
Pitch Perfect 3 hits theaters on Dec. 22.