Danielle Larracuente Opens Up About Her Role in Jennifer Lopez’s ‘This Is Me…Now: A Love Story,’ Her Son’s Breakout in ‘Griselda,’ and More

Jennifer Lopez’s film This Is Me…Now: A Love Story trailer was released last month, and Puerto Rican actress Danielle Larracuente had the opportunity to act alongside another Nuyorican. Larracuente is known for her previous role in “Bosch: Legacy.”

Her path into the entertainment industry has been inspiring. She is a Puerto Rican New Yorker from Westchester and daughter to retired NYPD officers. Having relocated to Los Angeles in her youth to pursue acting, Danielle successfully balanced her career with acquiring a Cosmetology License and a B.S. in Psychology, all while being a devoted mother to her son, Benson.

Her journey encompasses Broadway acclaim and television roles in series such as “ER” and “This Is Us.” Presently, she is leaving her imprint on Amazon’s “Bosch: Legacy” and an eagerly awaited Jennifer Lopez film.

The beginnings of her acting credits include at nine years old she secured the lead role of Young Nala in Broadway’s “The Lion King” in 2001. Following this, she appeared in a skit on “Saturday Night Live” with Jimmy Fallon in 2002 and hosted commercial breaks for the Women’s National Basketball Association in 2003.

Other roles when she was younger include a guest-starring role on “ER” in 2006, followed by a role in “Without a Trace” in 2009. Beyond her acting prowess, Danielle is a passionate advocate for several causes, notably championing women’s empowerment, and civil rights.

To celebrate being a part of Lopez’s new film, Larracuentemade an Instagram post with the following caption:

OKAY FAM!! The jig is up!!!!Yes!!! Your girl had the most amazing opportunity to act alongside the ICON @jloI am still in awe!! You guys know me!!! Little Puerto Rican Danielle from NY can’t even believe it’s real! I am sure most of us feel this way… but she helped me see ME…. And was one of the driving forces that made me follow my dreams!!! So THANK YOU a million @jlo you are and will always be the best to ever do it!

This Is Me…Now: A Love Story demonstrates a new and fresh side of Jennifer Lopez. Collaborating with director Dave Meyers, Jennifer embarks on a narrative-driven cinematic journey, intertwining mythological storytelling with personal healing. 

Released alongside her first studio album in ten years, this Amazon original transcends genres, providing a visual manifestation of Jennifer’s voyage to love, as perceived through her own eyes. 

Featuring mesmerizing costumes, stunning choreography, and noteworthy cameos, the film serves as an introspective retrospective, capturing the resilient spirit of Jennifer’s heart.

Cast members such as Fat Joe, Keke Palmer, Lopez’s husband Ben Affleck and more well-known actors, dancers and talents are part of this cinematic journey.

Check out the trailer here and stay tuned for the release on February 16th on prime video.

Contrast’s Sarah Ruiz had the chance to chat with Danielle on her recent project.

What did it mean for you to get the role in
Jennifer Lopez’s new film “This is Me…Now” What was that like? The audition process? How did you even find out about it? “It was really interesting because when the audition originally came in, she kind of kept it really under wraps on what kind of role it was. We were kind of confused, like, is it a music video? Is it a movie? We didn’t really know. I’m an actor. I don’t want to, like, dance and all that stuff. So at first, I was like, well, I don’t think that’s a good fit or whatever. And, it just so happens, you know, when something’s meant for you, it comes around again. And they were like, we really think you should audition for this. So I’m like, alright, great.

I auditioned for it. I actually auditioned for a part for a different role, and I ended up getting this one, which I couldn’t be more happy about because I play the role of “The Fighter.” It’s really cool. She has five friends that follow her throughout the movie and we basically just comment on her life, so when she’s doing something, or when she’s in a certain scenario, we’re like, girl, we wouldn’t do that if it were you, don’t do that, or we don’t like him. What’s cool is that the five friends are labeled as these personalities. We have the fighter, the lover, the cynic. It was so interesting because these five actors, we kind of really ended up being in these roles. She picked them so well. We’re all so different.

Danielle also spoke to us on how amazing the experience was.
“It was such an amazing experience because I was like, oh my God, as a Puerto Rican from New York, I saw her and was like this is awesome. I can actually see myself doing that. So, to actually have this come, you know, full circle for me and actually be in something with her, I was like, pinch me, this is not real. There were so many times I was like, am I breathing? I don’t know if I’m breathing.”

Was there anything that you learned on set with JLO, and your Co-stars? What was something that you took away from that? “I really loved how free she was on set. A lot of times when you go on some shows, they’re very strict with the lines or they’re strict with how they move. When we got on set and we were ready to film, she let us be really creative. It was really fun. But at the same time, when it was time that things had to be in order or on time, she had a great balance of that. I thought that was really nice to see, as a Latina, as a woman, as a boss chick, to see that she was able to have fun, play, be creative, but also run a tight ship. That was really cool, that’s what I took away.”

Photography by Mark Hill, courtesy of Icon Publicity.
Photography by Mark Hill, courtesy of Icon Publicity.

What were the steps that helped you get to this stage of your life and where you are now? “I would definitely say that I have a really good role model like my mom. She is a retired cop and then went back to school at a late age and became a lawyer. I had that instilled in me, if I really wanted something,  to never give up and keep going. I think that’s a big thing that really helped me get where I’m at. But also being an actor, especially in 2024, breaking down these barriers and being the first of many for a lot of things, I think is what has kept me going even in the hard times. I still get a bunch of no’s to one yes, and just learning how to just keep compartmentalizing, keep going, keep pushing and learning that there’s only one me in the world, right?  I don’t have to change anything. It’s just that it was not the right opportunity for me.”

Your son was in Netflix’s new ‘Griselda’ series. How does it feel for you to see your son following your footsteps and wanting to be an actor?
“Oh my god, I couldn’t stop crying all over the place. When I think the biggest moment for me is when I took him to the red carpet for Griselda. I was so nervous.Cameras, he’s seven years old, and he did the role when he was five. I’m like, oh my god, don’t be scared. It’s okay. Put your hand in your  pocket. And he’s like Mom,“ I got this.” He went in front of the red carpet,and he’s like this with his thumb. That’s it. That was his move the whole night. And I was like, alright!  Like, he’s telling me  to sit down. He has the most freaking confidence. I think the biggest takeaway is that I just kind of followed him.I was a child actor as well, and that’s how my career started developing, so I just do it, like, when he wants to take breaks, he takes breaks, when he wants to get back into it, he gets back into it, and, uh, we have fun, we also, he directs a lot of stuff, he makes some skits home. Oh! I played the Tooth Fairy the other day, and I was like what are we doing?And he’s like, just, just play the Tooth Fairy. Then he’s like, woke up as a kid and was like “Oh my god, I see a tooth fairy” The cast of Griselda  were so sweet to him. I couldn’t say enough about the cast. His brothers, he doesn’t have, you know, older brothers So he’s like so attached to them already. It’s so cute.”

What advice would you give other Latinas wanting to be an actress, work in this industry that you feel that they should know?  Or something that no one ever told you that you found out now that you’re a working actress?
“I’d say the biggest thing for me is just being yourself authentically. I think when I first got into the business again, because I took a long break after being a child and then I got back into it as an adult, I found myself trying to fit more of these boxes. Oh, you want somebody with this hair, or you want short hair, or you want, oh, you want my name to be different, or I can do that accent. And I was like, this is not working because we’re so special, right? We’re so different. And that’s what I love about the Latino community is that with all our different cultures, we’re all so different. Even, like, me meeting another Puerto Rican. We’re different, you know? And I think that’s what you have to bring to the table.

“I would give them the advice to be themselves. Study. Work hard. Don’t  take no for an answer. Keep going, but be yourself. And that’s what’s going to get to the point.”

Are there any other future projects that you’re allowed to share at least with me or Contrast that we can expect from you soon?
“Yeah, I just finished an indie film. It’s a rom com, that’s coming out. Really excited. My first lead. That’s going to be really fun. Check out for that.You guys can also follow my social media. I always put up updates and let everyone know what’s going on.”

What is your dream project, movie or something you would really love to do in your career? And we’re going to manifest that it will happen.
I think what’s really big and where I’m at right now is I want to keep pushing the barrier. I  don’t want to be stuck with any type of box. I want to be a nurse. I want to be a lawyer. I want to be a scientist. I want to be, you know, the struggling mom or in Bridgerton. I’m all about pushing the envelope and  I feel like for so long, especially our community, we get put into these roles and they can’t see outside of that.  I’m like, as much as I can do, as much as I can push the envelope, so the girl behind me, it’s a little easier for her.”

Both Larracuente and Lopez are Puerto Rican and from New York in which this was Unforgettable experience. Larracuente stated: “It was huge. It was definitely like, Oh my God, all right, I could check this off my list. You know, something that, you know, I did this in my career. I was able to act alongside my idol, which is, you can’t ask for more, right?” 



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