Interview: Briza Covarrubias / The Stolen Valley (2022)

Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) enjoyed chatting with Briza Covarrubias, the lead actress of The Stolen Valley (2022), available digitally from April 17th in Australia and New Zealand, thanks to Lightbulb Film Distribution.

Let’s break the ice with a fun question: do you have an all-time favourite film and why?

Oof, that is hard! I have several all-time favourite movies, BUT most recently, I have not stopped talking about the comedy Bottoms and the thriller Leave the World Behind!!! Bottoms just gave me one of the best high school comedy ensembles I have seen on film in a long time! It was hilarious, smart and refreshing. Then,  Leave the World Behind gave me chills…I was almost glad it was on Netflix! Because I got to pause and take in all the cinematography and performances…and go into existential crises. I enjoyed every bit of it.

Let’s break the ice some more: who inspires you the most?

Both of my parents inspire me the most. They are some of the most giving, multi-hyphenated problem solvers I have ever met. They inspire me to always look forward and use my surroundings to find solutions to any problem I find myself in. 

Given its themes and powerful message, how did you react when you discovered you would star in The Stolen Valley?

I literally felt like I finally landed the dream role of a lifetime. I got to represent my community, speak on social issues I care about and I GOT TO DRIVE A MOTORCYCLE. Lupe is a badass! 

Was any preparation required, or was there any inspiration for the role of Lupe?

I definitely had a lot of inspiration taken from my own experiences that helped shape Lupe. As an indigenous & Latino actor, I had a lot to pull from. However, learning to ride motorcycles was the least of my worries. It was the importance of learning about the Navajo Nation, the Dine people and language. I am forever grateful to have met and worked with our Dine Elder Carla Bea and a fellow Dine friend of mine, Charissa Wood. These women were the foundation of Lupe. Its not just learning about the history but also about the community and way of life. My indigeneity, although from a different tribe, helped construct a pathway to understanding where I understood or related to the Dine people and what was left to learn and acknowledge. 

Your character, Lupe, has multiple heartfelt, dramatic moments, etc. Did you have a routine or method to help you gain the best from these scenes?

Yes! I always had a ritual before filming that started with the soundtrack I curated for Lupe and going about my routine as Lupe would do. This helped me separate and hold on to Lupe through the long day and keep creating her arc throughout the film. 

Was it like working with the Director, Producer and Writer Jesse Edwards?

It was an awesome experience. It was my first time out of LA working on a feature, so I was truly immersed in his working style. He is incredibly talented and collaborative. Every time on set, should there be character ideas or a change in how he wanted to film, it was game on! I truly appreciated how open he was and invested in staying true and respectful of the culture.

Tell me a little bit about the main character, Lupe. Is there any key aspect about her that you find relatable or likable to yourself?

The willingness to do absolutely anything for family and community is a key aspect of what links Lupe and me. That alone is what grounded a lot of my choices.

While making The Stolen Valley, what was your biggest challenge while playing as Lupe?

I think the weather was the hardest challenge! I am a Los Angelina, a true Cali woman through and through. So filming as if it were mid-July while it was snowing in Kanab, Utah, was a magical and gruelling experience. But it taught me just how much I love what I do.

What was your most enjoyable moment while working on this film?

I think every moment where the entire crew was on set was enjoyable. I mean it. Allee and I have become like sisters and are still in touch and close to our crew. From our stylists Samantha Roe, Production crew Lee Thomas, Makeup artists Tiffany Hudson & Joscelyn, our incredible stunt women Juliene Joyner and Weixin Le, and so many more. We became a family; everyone was great to work with and learn from.

You share the screen with actress Allee Sutton Heathcoat, and the chemistry you both have for the entire duration is enlightening, playful and fun. Did you enjoy working with her behind the scenes?

ABSOLUTELY! She’s my Gemini from another mister! And I know it cannot be the last time we work together. 

As our interview ends, why should the people of Australia and New Zealand watch The Stolen Valley on Digital from April 17th?

It’s an adventure-packed film that truly and truthfully shows a different side to the American Western! People will see themselves represented for the very first time in a way never done before!

12th April 2024
Written by Peter Walkden

THANK YOU FOR VISITING!

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Prepare yourself for a one-of-a-kind journey that you won't experience anywhere else as you join Jennifer Lopez, a renowned celebrity artist and actress. Through song, dance, story and spectacular picture, she takes you on a tour of her mind, heart, and soul, guiding...

Subtraction (2022)

Farzaneh (Taraneh Alidoosti) is a driving instructor. During a lesson where she tries to teach someone who is completely ignorant and careless about basic driving rules, she sees something unusual far away outside the car window. From a distance, she can see her...

Inspector Sun and the Curse of the Black Widow (2022)

The film is set in Shanghai in 1934 and follows the story of Inspector Sun (played by Ronny Chieng), a brilliant and confident huntsman spider. Inspector Sun is known for working alone, and when we meet him, he has been tasked with solving the ultimate unsolved case -...

Riceboy Sleeps (2022)

Found on a cold winter’s evening as a baby wrapped in a blanket, no one knew where So-young was from. As she grew up, she bounced around from one orphanage to the next before packing her bags when she got older and leaving to live in a big city. So-young hoped for...

Interview: Mark Leonard Winter / The Rooster (2023)

Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) had the honour and pleasure of chatting with Mark Leonard Winter, director and writer of The Rooster (2023), which is Available in Australian Cinemas from February 22nd. When the body of his oldest friend is found buried in a...

The Rooster (2023)

Dan (Phoenix Raei) is a police officer working within a small community. Life presents many challenges and struggles for Dan, and he finds himself walking around in what feels like a real-life nightmare. Pushing him even further over the edge is the discovery of a...

The Jester (2023)

One evening, a man named John (Matt Servitto) walks around alone in a small community. While walking, it's evident that something, or perhaps someone, is following him from a distance. John also appears to have strange and unexplainable visions of a little girl. The...

Dario Argento Panico (2023)

Introducing a documentary focused on the well-known horror director, writer, producer, actor, and composer Dario Argento. Today, many public figures would say Dario is like a painter or a musician in the film style. Dario's films have always featured fantastic camera...

May December (2023)

Elizabeth (Natalie Portman) is an actress working on her newest film. To prepare for her upcoming leading role, Elizabeth has the opportunity to study the real person she will be portraying, a woman named Gracie (Julianne Moore). It's been over twenty years since...

Birth/Rebirth (2023)

Celie (Judy Reyes) is a single mother who works full-time as a nurse. At the same hospital is Dr. Rose Casper (Marin Ireland), a morgue technician who is working in the field of pathology. Even though they work at the same hospital, Celie and Dr. Rose Casper are...

Interview: Simon Emmett / Welcome to the Darkness (2023)

Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) had the honour and pleasure of chatting with Simon Emmett, director of Welcome to the Darkness (2023), available on Digital from January 24th, thanks to Lightbulb Film Distribution. Have you been a long-term fan of The...

Anatomy of a Fall (2023)

Over the last year, a family of three consisting of Samuel (Samuel Theis), Sandra (Sandra Hüller), and their vision-impaired son, Daniel (Milo Machado Graner), have been living in an isolated location in the mountains. The film opens with Sandra attempting to share a...

Interview: Josh Forbes / Destroy All Neighbors (2024)

Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) enjoyed chatting with Josh Forbes, director of Destroy All Neighbors (2024), Now Available Exclusively on Shudder. How did you become connected with Destroy All Neighbors, and what was the biggest attraction to working on...

Welcome to the Darkness (2023)

It's incredible to think of it now, but in 2002, The Darkness was an unsigned band. By 2004, its key members- Justin Hawkins, his brother Dan Hawkins, Frankie Poullain and the original drummer Ed Graham- had sold over a million records. But in 2006, something...

The Iron Claw (2023)

Based on a true story set in the early 1980s, The Iron Claw follows the Von Erich brothers and their journey within the world of professional wrestling. Firstly, we are taken back in time to glimpse wrestling icon Fritz Von Erich (Holt McCallany), delivering a final...

The Jungle Bunch: World Tour (2023)

The Jungle Bunch is a group of animals who, when called upon, will help and save the day. Whether it's another animal in need of urgent help or an area in the jungle that requires their attention, their goal and desire is to help maintain peace and harmony. When one...

The Canterville Ghost (2023)

In the late 1800s, there's a wild storm during the night right at bedtime for Lord Monroe (Bill Lobley), the proud owner of a stunningly large manor house in Canterville Chase, England. However, before going to bed with his teddy bear, Lord Monroe encounters something...

Career Opportunities (1991)

Jim (Frank Whaley) isn't the brightest bloke in the community. He struggles to hold a job, still lives with his parents, continually lies to everyone around him, and has failed to discover his true purpose as an adult. When Jim loses his job at an animal shelter, his...

Destroy All Neighbors (2024)

William Brown (Jonah Ray) is a passionate rock musician and composer with one major issue: he's unable to create the perfect song to take him further. When William isn't working on his music or spending time with his partner, he works at a recording studio as an...

The Holdovers (2023)

Paul Hunham (Paul Giamatti) is a teacher at a prep school located in New England during the 1970s. Paul is a firm, strict, and extremely cranky teacher and is disliked by students and co-workers alike. As school breaks up for another year over Christmas, many students...

Stargate (1994)

In 1928 Giza, Egypt, an incredible, large artifact is discovered by a group of archaeologists. We then jump to the present day and are introduced to Dr. Daniel Jackson (James Spader), an archaeologist knowledgeable about ancient Egypt, including translating the...

The Man in Half Moon Street (1945)

Who was Julian Karell, and where did he come from? What manner of man was he? For some, he was a fine, incredibly courageous scientist who lost track of truth. Another man claims that Karell was a cold-blooded murderer and a remarkable criminal. Lastly, we hear from a...

Kane (2023)

The film opens with a game of chess being played by two mysterious men and a voiceover letting us know who they are: Abe (Jeremy Lindsay Taylor) and Frankie (Nathan Phillips). Abe is an old-school gangster who has dissociative identity disorder, meaning there are...

Top Rated Films of 2023

You can agree that 2023 was another outstanding year for cinema. Below is a list of my favourites and, once again, my top ten titles. Trust me when I say it: it was a challenge to narrow it down to number one. On behalf of my family and myself, I would like to take...

Anyone But You (2023)

It all begins when Bea (Sydney Sweeney) rushes into a local cafe, hoping to use the toilet. The cafe staff are not helpful, but Bea is rescued by a nearby knight in shining armour, Ben (Glen Powell). Regardless of a few funny and awkward moments between Bea and Ben,...

Ferrari (2023)

Set in 1957, Enzo Ferrari (Adam Driver) is an ex-race car driver and the current owner of a well-known Italian car company. However, Ferrari is currently in hot water due to the lack of sales. Enzo's wife, Laura (Penélope Cruz), also works with him as a business...

Dream Scenario (2023)

Paul (Nicolas Cage) is a biology professor with a wife and two teenage daughters. There are multiple challenges for Paul, including trying to fulfil his long-term dreams of writing and publishing a book. Many around Paul live a life of success and wealth, but for...

The Shift (2023)

While sitting at a bar and drinking alone, Kevin (Kristoffer Polaha) meets his true love, Molly (Elizabeth Tabish). Instantly, Kevin is smitten by her to the point he is willing to make significant changes in his life, such as taking a deeper step into church and...

The Boys in the Boat (2023)

In the 1930s, Joe (Callum Turner) is studying to become an engineer at university. Financially, he is struggling to make ends meet as he pays off school fees. Unsuccessful at finding a job, he is sleeping in his car each night. Joe hears of a paying job for the...

Coup de Chance (2023)

When Fanny (Lou de Laâge) walks along a busy street, she soon hears her name being called out from afar. A man approaches her, claiming to know her from high school. At first, Fanny is surprised but soon learns the man is Alain (Niels Schneider). Once upon a time,...

Wonka (2023)

After seven years of living on the ocean, Willy Wonka (Timothée Chalamet) has decided to say farewell to the sea and start afresh in a city over the horizon. Willy Wonka is a skilled magician and chocolate maker with determined dreams of opening a brand-new chocolate...

Merry Little Batman (2023)

It's the Christmas season in Wayne Manor, and the only thing that six-year-old Damian Wayne (Yonas Kibreab) wants is to fight crime with his father, Batman, aka Bruce Wayne (Luke Wilson). On Christmas Eve, Bruce decides to give Damian his present early. Damian eagerly...

Wish (2023)

When he and his family are attacked, Magnifico (Chris Pine) decides to start afresh somewhere safe. Travelling far, far away, Magnifico and his wife find an island where they can begin a new life, welcoming others to join them and live in harmony. In time, a new...

Time Addicts (2023)

Denise (Freya Tingley) and Johnny (Charles Grounds) are a pair of good mates who are lovers of all things drug-related. Both Denise and Johnny are eager to get some more drugs, having recently run out and needing a quick fix. However, when it comes to finances,...

Master Gardener (2022)

Narvel (Joel Edgerton) cares for the garden at the luxury home of Mrs Haverhill (Sigourney Weaver). During his preparations of the garden for the Spring Charity Auction, word is received that Mrs. Haverhill would like to speak privately with Narvel. Upon their...

Candy Cane Lane (2023)

It's Christmas time, which means a critical thing for family man Chris (Eddie Murphy): the opportunity to enter one of the most exciting contests of the year. Chris will again compete with his fellow neighbours, all of whom will decorate their homes to the best of...

Silent Night (2023)

After witnessing the brutal murder of his son during a drive-by shooting, Brian (Joel Kinnaman) instantly chases after the men involved. However, during a showdown, Brian is gunned down and badly wounded. The results of the chase and his wounds leave Brian recovering...

Slotherhouse (2023)

Emily (Lisa Ambalavanar) is a young student in a sorority house who lacks the confidence to raise her hand in the upcoming election for sorority president. While shopping at her local mall, an incident occurs, and she meets a stranger who has animals for sale,...

It’s a Wonderful Knife (2023)

It's Christmas Eve in the small town of Angel Falls. Winnie’s (Jane Widdop) Christmas holidays are less than pleasing. The city is dramatically changing due to the town's mayor, Henry Waters (Justin Long), who is continually forcing people out of their homes due to...

Trolls Band Together (2023)

Long before Branch (Justin Timberlake) ever met Poppy (Anna Kendrick), Branch was a member of the famous pop band "BroZone". Made up of Branch and his brothers, the band was doing well until they had a disagreement before a massive performance. The arguments and...

The Old Oak (2023)

TJ Ballantyne (Dave Turner) owns “The Old Oak”, a pub in a village north of England. The pub has seen better days and relies on a small group of regular customers who visit often. It's also evident that the community members have never recovered from the loss of the...

The Skeleton Key (2005)

Caroline (Kate Hudson) is a skilled nurse, continually exhausted from witnessing facilities and workers treat patients as disposable. Seeking a healthier environment, Caroline quits her current position and seeks alternative employment. After perusing the ads in the...

Uproar (2023)

In the early '80s, Josh (Julian Dennison) is a seventeen-year-old high school student. Each day at school, Josh does his best to keep to himself, keeping his head down to avoid conflict with fellow students. Life for Josh has its challenges. Not only is he constantly...

Christmess (2023)

Chris (Steve Le Marquand) was once a famous actor, featuring in many hit films. However, a growing addiction to alcohol changed everything for the worse. Not only did Chris find himself in rehab, but over the years, he has become highly distant from his only daughter,...

The Royal Hotel (2023)

Two backpackers and good friends, Hanna (Julia Garner) and Liv (Jessica Henwick), are having the time of their lives as the cruise ship they are currently travelling on enters Sydney, Australia. However, their wild times of travelling and partying halt when Liv...