FilmCourage: Where did you grow up?
Yainis Ynoa: I grew up in the Bronx New York. It’s not the easiest place to grow up but I love being from the Bronx. It made me into the person that I am today. It made me humble and appreciative of everything I have and have been working for.
FilmCourage: Which of your parents do you resemble most?
Yainis: Physically I am my moms twin. In personality, I believe I have a happy medium of both of my Parents. I’ve got the silly sense of humor from my father. He was very amazing and fun to be around and always made people laugh. I also have some of my shy, private and driven personality from my mother.
FilmCourage: Did your parents lend support toward creativity or encourage another type of career/focus?
Yainis: I am really good mixture of both. I think for me it all depends on how I’m feeling on that day.
Yainis: It’s been 5 years since I’ve been to The Stella Adler Studio. They helped me get out of my shell. They challenged me as an actor. They helped me feel comfortable and confident in my acting and in my self as an individual. They make you feel very at home so that you feel comfortable enough to be yourself. I enjoyed my time there very much.
FilmCourage: How did the writer/director Macdara Vallely approach you about the role of Lena in BABYGIRL?
Yainis: My cousin Gleendilys, who had just auditioned for the film, had just been cast as Daishan. She then told me they were still looking for their leading girl and said I should audition for it. So, I said absolutely, went in, and everything just went from there. It was meant to be.
FilmCourage: What was your impression of your character Lena in BABYGIRL?
Yainis: I was very nervous about my first job as an actress being the lead in a film. I had to make everyone proud, especially Macdara. He trusted me to bring his story to life so I was definitely feeling the pressure. But, everyone on set was caring and attentive and made sure that I was OK and felt OK. The rehearsals before we began shooting were also very helpful. As well as the biography Macdara asked me to do for Lena. It helped me understand her even more and the reasons for her feelings and emotions and reactions and she just became my best friend. I knew her inside and out.
FilmCourage: We’re you still in high school while filming the movie?
Yainis: Yes, I was still in high school when filming this movie.
Yainis: The only person that I did know on set of BABYGIRL was my cousin -who played my best friend- but it didn’t feel like I was working with strangers because we had a bunch of rehearsals before hand so we all became pretty close and got to know each other. So by the time that we did start to shoot it just felt like a giant family and I felt right at home
FilmCourage: Was any of the dialogue in BABYGIRL improv?
Yainis: I don’t remember if any of it was improv. Maybe just a little. I think that it being my first film and not having a lot of experience with a script I might have been glued to it.
FilmCourage: What scene was the most compelling or difficult for you emotionally in BABYGIRL?
Yainis: My favorite and most difficult scene to film was the one where Lucy kicks Lena out of their home. I had never done something like that before. The whole emotional ride was very challenging for me as an actor. I loved it!
FilmCourage: How do other peers your age respond to you being in films, doing theater, etc.?
Yainis: My family and friends are loving and supportive!
Yainis: I still get really nervous right before an audition. So I just take a deep breath and try to relax and just do the best I can.
FilmCourage: Can you share tips on what you do to remember lines?
Yainis: To learn my lines I just like to repeat them over and over until I can say them without looking at the paper. I usually don’t study my lines with anyone so I also like to record on my phone the other person’s lines so that I can go over them as a conversation on the phone. It’s extremely helpful!
Yainis: I helped a really good friend of mine do a project for school and she chose me to be her model for a documentary of an upcoming actress. It was very interesting to have a camera crew follow me around. Then watching was very intimidating. Watching myself as myself on this big screen and allowing everyone else into my private life was scary but beautiful. She did a really great job. it was a cool experience!
FilmCourage: Is there anything you haven’t shared yet, that you wish you knew before you made this movie?
Yainis: I prefer working on set of a film or television show but theater was a beautiful experience and I loved it. I would do it again.
FilmCourage: Where is BABYGIRL currently available to watch?
Yainis: Baby girl is currently available on iTunes for rent and purchase.
Watch it on iTunes!
Yainis: I like to write. I have a lot of journals!
Yainis: The person who’s had the most influence in my life is my mom. After my dad passed away, Watching her be the strong woman that she is and just being the most incredible mother to my brother and I, has made me the person that I am today. I am eternally grateful to her and to God for blessing me with her.FilmCourage: Quote or mantra that you live by?
Yainis: “Don’t give up” – The world
FilmCourage: What’s next for you creatively?
Yainis: I have a few projects in the works that I can’t really talk about just yet. But, I am working hard and taking life a step at a time.
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ABOUT THE FILM:
Set in the Bronx, BABYGIRL is a bittersweet drama about teenager Lena who, since she can remember, has watched her mom Lucy squander her life on a series of deadbeat men. When Victor, her mom’s latest boy toy starts hitting on her, Lena sets up an elaborate honey-trap, hoping to show her mom what a scumbag the guy really is. But the plan backfires. Trapped in a twisted love-triangle between Victor and her mom, Lena finally realizes that the only way out is to stand up and finally confront some difficult truths about her home.
BABYGIRL is now available on iTunes