For Isabela Moner, who stars in the most recent installment of the Transformers film franchise, “Transformers: The Last Knight”, being part of Hollywood’s new generation of Latinos is “a big deal.”
But the 15-year-old actress, who was born in Ohio to a Peruvian mother, says before hitting the big screen she learned two valuable lessons from her mom: to have pride in her roots and the importance of an education.
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After skipping two grades, Moner was accepted into college earlier this year. She now plans to pursue a degree, while continuing to develop her career in Hollywood; a career in which she says, honoring her Latino heritage, is a priority.
“I really appreciate the fact that Peruvians accept me as their own, and I do speak Spanish, and it’s very important to me to remember my roots and to work on [improving] my Spanish, and I think it’s important for [other] children of immigrants to do that as well,” said Moner.
That’s why she was so excited when director Michael Bay, after overhearing her quietly speaking to her mother in Spanish while on set, told her she could “throw in a word or two” into the film.
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“I really appreciated him letting me do that,” said Moner.
In “Transformers: The Last Knight”, Moner, plays “Izzy”, an orphan who is sentimentally attached to the Transformers, and is led by “Cade Yeager”(Mark Wahlberg).
The two try to save the planet, engaging in a war between Transformers and humans, in which Transformers are considered “illegal” on Earth. Both Izzy and Yeager, however, have special bonds with certain robots, and throughout the movie fight to save the Transformers.
Throughout the film, Izzy hangs out with a small blue robot, named Squeaks, who she has a strong bond with.
“Throughout the movie, it’s a thing to have it be humans versus transformers, but you see, Izzy, and she has such a deep connection with not only the transformers, but specifically Squeaks who’s almost like family.”
The actress, who played “CJ Parker” in Nickelodeon’s “100 Things to do Before High School” before being cast in “Transformers: The Last Knight”, considers herself very young to be in a “movie of this caliber,” and says she was given the opportunity to do her own stunts on the film.
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“It was an amazing experience,” said Moner. “A lot of people have come up to me and told me [that] it was a special moment in the movie seeing my connection to the robots and to these aliens.”