Tisch Drama Alumnae Gina Rodriguez '06 and DeWanda Wise '06 Highlight Diversity in 'Someone Great' on Netflix

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2019

Wise and Rodriguez at movie premiere


In a recent Variety interview, Tisch Drama alumna Gina Rodriguez '06 talked about the importance of having diversity in storytelling and what it was like working with her friends on the new Netflix film "Someone Great"—including former classmate DeWanda Wise '06.

“I want to tell the stories that haven’t been told, I want to tell them with people you haven’t seen yet, and I want to open hearts and minds to more tolerance,” she said at the movie's premiere. “I think that art has the ability to create healing, so those are the kind of movies I want to make. I definitely am looking to my future.”

And while she wants to direct, serving as both producer and star of the film kept her plenty busy. 

“One of my main goals as a producer was to bring on a very inclusive cast—to have the cast look like the world I walk through,” she said. “I was blessed to have a lot of great friends participate in this." 

Along those lines, Rodriguez is scheduled to host a panel of women leaders in their field next week at NYU Skirball, in "Breaking the Glass Ceiling." 

Wise said Rodriguez jumped at the opportunity to work her friend into the script for "Someone Great." The two met more than 15 years ago when they were both training at Tisch Drama. 

"For the most part, it was so surreal filming around NYU, filming in SoHo, filming in the West Village, right next to my favorite coffee shop, right next to Grey Dog, right next to all of my vegan, plant-based haunts,” Wise told W Magazine.

The nostalgia hit Wise hard, in the best way.

“[It was] just immensely full circle, as you can imagine, to have the privilege of working as an actor, and then you layer on playing a character from New York, filming in New York, filming in Washington Square Park. I mean, that park has changed a whole lot since we were at NYU, but it’s still Washington Square Park. I knew it was magical when it was happening.”