‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Stephanie Beatriz on Season 8 & Joining ‘Tales of Arcadia’

Tales of Arcadia Stephanie Beatriz
DreamWorks Animation/Netflix; Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Guillermo del Toro‘s DreamWorks Tales of Arcadia universe presents its final chapter with Wizards premiering Friday, August 7 on Netflix, and the world is adding a new character to its ranks with Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Stephanie Beatriz‘s Callista.

Following Tales of Arcadia‘s previous chapters — Trollhunters and 3Below — Wizards sees the vastly different worlds of trolls, aliens, and wizards converge in one. The story follows wizard-in-training Douxie (Colin O’Donoghue) and other heroes of Arcadia as they take part in a new time-bending adventure to medieval Camelot. There, an apocalyptic fight for control of magic will decide the fates of these worlds.

While in Camelot, viewers will encounter Callista, Beatriz’s clan-less troll who has been an outcast for her whole life. Below, Beatriz opens up about her role in the franchise, her thoughts about voice work, and maybe a tease or two about what’s in store for Season 8 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

What should people know about Callista and her role in the series?

Stephanie Beatriz: I would describe her as someone who has been an outcast her entire life. She’s never really fit in anywhere. She wasn’t accepted by the humans and also rejected by the trolls. So she’s in this middle space where the only person she has relied on is herself, which makes her tough, kind of a badass and harsh on the outside. But on the inside, she has a lot to offer.

Jim Callista Tales of Arcadia

(Credit: DreamWorks Animation/Netflix)

She’s very brave and willing to put herself on the front lines in this world and is subsequently surprised by her own bravery and ability to let people in. She spent a long time keeping everybody at bay, but over the course of the season, you really see her let people in and make friends. She’s also really funny, and I think that that’s something that I naturally bring as an actor, but also it’s definitely written into these scripts over the course of the season.

The world of Arcadia has this balance of really funny and sometimes slapstick humor that you can really only get away with in this kind of animated world. And Callista’s character really adds to that, but it’s in a very dry way. This character is, over the course of this series, going to discover who she is and who she’s destined to become is bigger than she could’ve ever wrapped her mind around.

You’ve done voice work before, but this show is particularly geared towards children. Is that a driving force behind taking this role?

What determines almost all of my decisions when I’m making choices about what kinds of projects I like to be involved in is the team around the project and what kind of art they’re interested in adding to the world. Sometimes that’s something really light, funny and fun. And sometimes it means being a part of helping to produce an independent film.

This world has always been a dream role for me to enter, partially because Guillermo del Toro has always been an incredible creator and filmmaker, but also a lover of art and imagination. Everyone at DreamWorks surrounding him through the world of Arcadia… you can tell that there’s so much love that goes into these projects. It just feels like a really supportive. For example, I mentioned that I was a fan of the world, and not only did I get to see renderings and have a private tour of some of the offices, I just really felt involved.

Tales of Arcadia Wizards

(Credit: DreamWorks Animation/Netflix)

This is kind of a grand statement, but I do think about what legacy I’m leaving behind as an artist. And I’m excited to be a part of storytelling that is really exciting, thrilling, imaginative, creative, and also says something good and hopeful about the world.

You’re also no stranger to putting on voices, both in live-action and animated series. Is that something you enjoy doing or do you put on a voice if it just feels right for the character?

I think it’s both. As a child, my sister and I would create these radio shows that would go on for hours and hours and we’d do all these different voices. I would interview myself as different characters and it was really a fun way to play and escape into this other world because we didn’t have cable. Most of our imagination grew out of books from the library, drawing and these tape recording sessions that we would do with each other.

I think for me, voice acting is really fun because it can be this incredible further expression of a character. I’m always looking to see what serves the character that I’m playing. So where does that voice sit for that person? And I’m just lucky enough that I’ve been training for it since I was basically five years old. I’m lucky that that expression of creativity had nowhere else to go but into that tape recorder has now led me to this career in which I get to suit up and put on all these different [voices].

How does Wizards fit into Arcadia‘s universe?

It’s the third chapter, and I think it really brings together all of the worlds. The elements that have been introduced already are now all mixing together. It’s been this world that they’ve been building around Arcadia for so long. And now this particular chapter not only expands that world, but it also brings back so many favorite characters together.

Brooklyn Nine Nine Rosa

(Credit: John P. Fleenor/NBC)

Is there anything you can tease about Season 8 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine?

Honestly, I’m really just hopeful to get back to shooting. At this point, the whole world is really up in the air and I’m really looking forward to the day when I step on set again for the first time in a while. I’m really looking forward to reentering the universe that we built and seeing how it shifts and changes to fit the world that we live in now.

DreamWorks Tales of Arcadia: Wizards, Season Premiere, Friday, August 7, Netflix

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