She’s the epitome of beatuy and brains. She graduated from Brown University, went on to be the first runner up in America’s Next Top Model’s 3rd cycle, and has now become a Hollywood working actress. With a resume like that Yaya Dacosta is a beautiful, brainy, actress to envy. And now Ms Dacosta, a native New Yorker of mixed ethnic backgrounds (too many to name) is busy promoting her latest film. She has a bit part in this winters Tron Legacy playing a siren with very high and uncomfortable heels, if you can call them that. The stylish and very cool Tron Legacy, in theaters now, is lucky to have Ms Yaya Dacosta because we definitely see a bright future in Hollywood for her. To the future and beyond with Ms Yaya Dacosta.
Samara: Tell us about your ethnic background? Cause I see you have some interesting mixes in there?
Yaya: Oh, I have people from all over the world. (LOL) Yeah I don’t know, I have cousins everywhere, in the West Indies, in Europe, obviously on the continent of Africa like we all do but don’t know because of the history. I have family in Brazil, I mean I don’t know Native American, a lot, a lot going on. Like most Americans really, were muts.
Samara: Do you think in the future were not going to be able to label people any one nationality because everyone will be so mixed?
Yaya: You know I think a lot of us are already very mixed but theres something about human beings that likes boxes and definitions and they wanna catergorize everything, you know? It’s always interesting listening to this conversation about background and race because a simple answer doesn’t seem to be good enough. You know it’s like we are citizens of the world and yes eventually I think that people will begin to accept that even more. But even now when I travel it’s like, “oh you’re American but you can’t be because you speak this language or you can’t be because you know how to dance and you cook and you clean.” It’s really funny how our perceptions are very limited and I think that it will be wonderful if eventually we can let go of it. But I don’t foresee it happening very soon. I mean I know that statisticly, the census and everyone else is saying that the lines are being blurred and everyone is getting mixed up and you know white people will no longer be the majority. And that’s fine. But I think it’s gonna take a long time for people to stop restricting themselves, ourselves really to those definitions. Even if I tell you where everybody in my family came from, which I can’t, really because of the slave trade. But even if I could people would still want a simple answer. “OK but you’re Brazilian because your last name’s DaCosta.” And I’ll say, “OK, fine. If that’s what makes you happy then fine.” I think people are still going to be made to feel better with simplification.
Samara: How many languages do you speak?
Yaya: Well it depends on levels of fluency. There have been times that I have been fluent in five languages but I’m really not practicing my French right now. Even talking to you I wasn’t sure if you were going to do it in Spanish or what. It just depends where I am and how much I’ve been practicing. But I love languages and I try to pick them up where ever I go and I just love communicating with people and so the less barriers that we can have the better. You know I pick up phrases in Japan, I mean where ever. It’s fun for me.
Samara: A.N.T.M, Ugly Betty, and now Tron. How has the last five years been for you?
Yaya: Uhmm… Interesting. Well, there’s been a lot more going on. (LOL) In between those five years and the first thing that you mentioned was almost going on seven years ago really but you know I’m an actor and I dabble in different things. And it’s nice to just be in a place where I can continue studying and growing and if I can work every once in a while and meet amazing people like the ones that I worked with on this film and the other films that you named I just feel blessed to be able to do what I love and still be surviving at it because not a lot of actors can say that.
Samara: Tell us about your role in Tron?
Yaya: I have one scene in Tron. And when you see the movie you’ll see. It’s just a few seconds I say two words and that’s it. I had a blast shooting it. It took a long time. The costumes that we wear look very sexy but in actuality they felt far from it. They were very uncomfortable (LOL) and difficult to move in but we had a blast.
Everybody was really nice and we knew that even though that this was just a small moment being produced but it was part of a really, really big, really great film.
Samara: How was it shooting this big production 3D movie as apposed to a regular movie/TV show?
Yaya: Well, it’s just different. When I did The Kids are Alright I was on set for three days and I shot all of my scenes within that time. On Tron, oh I don’t know I might have been there for two weeks and you see me for a few seconds. I mean that’s the difference really. It’s the budget and the time that they have to shoot a whole bunch of stuff that they later decide that they don’t need and discard. I mean its also different with all the Sci-Fi computer, technical stuff. That takes a lot more time as well than a traditional film or an indipendent film. They’re very different but both very valuable for different reasons.
Samara: Was your scene shot all in green screen the whole time?
Yaya: There were some real stuff and there was some green screen stuff. But when you see it you’ll see that my only scene is in the big hall kind of big room. Some of it, like I said, was actually there and some of it was green screen.
Samara: Do you think our future is going to be like the movie Tron?
Yaya: No I don’t. I think that the Tron represents the kind of future that film has been representing for decades now. Just on the next level. The human imagination is really fantastic and its great to see worlds like that on film. But in actuality when you look at the things going on in the planet its because of technology and things that are prevalent in the film that the human race is going through the difficult times that we are now. Natural disasters are increasing. I mean I think the question is if we’ll have a future at all. And if we do, which I really hope, it definitely wont look like that. I think it’ll look like the kind of world that used to exist rather than the one that we want.
Samara: Do you think 3D is here to stay?
Yaya: 3D has always been around its just now that people are adicted to it but I don’t know. I don’t know that people will want to wear the glasses all the time, I find them uncomfortable. And looking at the economy still, looking at how many people are still losing their jobs. 3D movies and Imax theaters cost more than regular film. I don’t foresee it becoming the way to watch films. It’s kind of like when I go to Brazil and I spend a few months there or something and I eat pão do queijo, which is like a cheese bread, every day. After a while I can’t eat it anymore. A year can go by and I still don’t want anymore cheese bread because I just over-did it. So, I don’t know. Maybe 3D will be like that. We’ll see.
Samara: OK, so can you tell us about what projects you’re working on now?
Yaya: I’m not at the point where I think I can right now. I just filmed a couple of scenes in Andrew Niccol’s new movie Now. And that was great. It’s another kind of futuristic film. But it’s a completely different discussion about humanity and values and it’s really a great script. But anything other than that I can’t really talk about yet.
Samara: OK, thank you so much for your time Yaya.
Yaya: Thanks for talking. Ciao.