breaks boundaries in Hollywood just by existing, every day. The actress, who was born in Argentina, emigrated to the United States, and grew up in a large Texas city, never knew that a bi Latina actress like herself could star on a major network series. When Stephanie talked to Playboy
in June 2018, she didn’t shy away from that. Growing up, she explained, "There were specific standards for what was considered beautiful. It was a certain skin color, a certain color of hair, a certain body type, even down to certain interests. What was hard for me as an immigrant was being pressured to assimilate by my own parents. They didn't want me to be picked on.” Stephanie’s parents wanted to raise their daughter as an All-American Girl, wanted her to join the cheer squad and dress like everyone else. But she, unsurprisingly, felt more comfortable in the theater. A large part of that was realizing she wasn’t straight, and not being able to navigate it on her own.
Today, Stephanie is an integral part of NBC (formerly Fox) sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, one that features queer characters of color — including her own. When her character — the fierce, deadpan Detective Rosa Diaz — came out to her family on TV, Rosa’s family was not quickly supportive. That was important to Stephanie personally, as it mirrored her own journey in coming out to her family. Offscreen, Stephanie is as improbably tough and impossibly hot as that of her onscreen alter-ego. For the record, that disinterested tone Rosa uses with her coworkers is also far from the actress’s real voice. Still, she loves to play this character, which is currently the role she’s best known for. If for only one reason, it’s because of the ideal world Rosa lives in. “It's great to imagine a world where the police officers are like the ones on Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” said the actress to Playboy, “Where all of [the detectives] are really there to serve and protect, where they all believe that black lives matter, where feminism is the baseline, where homophobia is literally punched in the face.”
Playboy loves Stephanie for this. As well as for her activism, her openness, honesty, support for fans, and let’s just say it — rockin’ bod, too!