Stephanie Beatriz Recalls 'Hating On' Herself in High School, Reflects on How Far She's Come (Exclusive)

ET sat down with the actress as she reflected on her career and talked about her role in ‘The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.’

Stephanie Beatriz has come a long way, and she knows it!

Life has been good for the Argentinian-born, Colombian-Bolivian star who grew up in Texas and had dreams of being an actress. ET's Ashley Crossan sat down with Beatriz during The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part junket in Los Angeles, where she got visibly emotional while reflecting on an old high school photo she recently shared on Instagram.

"I was 18. That was my senior photo. I begged my parents because everybody in my high school got these fancy senior photos," she recalled. "And I begged my mom and dad to get me them and my mom was like, 'All right, if you really want them we'll save up and we'll get them for you.' I remember choosing my [outfit]. I had Batman earrings on. I just got my fresh haircut from Supercuts. Yeah, I was really living my best life in that photo."

Now at 37, Beatriz -- who's previously opened up about picking herself apart and suffering from an eating disorder in the past -- is grateful for all that she's gone through.

"Looking at that photo, I'm like, 'Stephanie, you were so in your head about how you didn't live up, you weren't thin enough, you weren't pretty enough, your skin wasn't clear enough, X, Y and Z,'" Beatriz detailed. "I'm getting emotional thinking about it. I was hating on myself so much at that time and I think a lot of teenagers are in that position. And now, I look at that photo, I'm like, 'Look at how beautiful you are! You were just fine. You were doing your best.'"

"It makes me really proud to think about how far I've come, from being in that place of really doubting myself and now I'm, 'You were doing great, girl! You were doing great!'" she proudly stated.


And she continues to do "great, girl!" Beatriz first made waves in the 2013 indie film Short Term 12, which also co-starred Oscar winner Brie Larson and Academy Award nominee Rami Malek.

"I'm so happy for everyone who worked on that film," she gushed. "That was a really special experience. Destin [Daniel Cretton] put together this incredible cast and I felt so lucky to be there and watching Brie's career take off, watching Rami's career take off, watching Lakeith [Stanfield's] career take off, it's been incredible. All of them are just doing such incredible, wonderful work in this world. I'm so happy to have had that experience with them."

Currently, for Beatriz, when she's not commanding the Brooklyn Nine-Nine screen, she's giving orders as General Mayhem in the Lego Movie sequel, a role she said was "very, very satisfying."

"A lot of animated movies in the past have sort of relied on these archaic tropes on what the female characters in those movies can be, and who they are," she explained. "Lego Movie sort of usurped that idea from the beginning with the first film, and this film is really a continuation of exploring the different kinds of heroes and villains that you can have in a movie. And this one is really something I've never seen before. So I was really thrilled to do the voice for it."

See more of ET's interview with Beatriz, including how important it is for her to represent the LGBTQ community onscreen, in the video below.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part arrives in theaters on Feb. 8.

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