The thrilling survival story Keep Breathing is making waves on Netflix for the standout performance of lead actor, Melissa Barrera. Correspondent Rachel Smith sat down with the star to discuss filming in the wilderness and more.
Keep Breathing follows the story of Liv, a young hotshot lawyer from Manhattan whose plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness. With no one but herself to rely on, Liv must seek her way back to civilization and survive the unforgiving outdoors.
In terms of psyche, Barrera said that playing Liv has been her most challenging role yet, as she explained,
"It was definitely the most the most challenging project I've ever done. The script was so beautifully written, the character was so rich, and just the idea of this woman alone and having to survive not only the elements but her emotions and her traumas and everything bubbling up to the surface was so interesting to me. I think a lot of people are going to be able to relate."
Known for her roles in the newest Scream movie and Lin Manuel Miranda's musical film In the Heights, Keep Breathing marks Barrera's first starring role. The actor revealed that while was was thrilled for the opportunity, it was also very physically challenging.
Like Liv, Barrera was not accustomed to the wild before filming the series. She shared that she enjoyed being outside when she was younger, but never grew into an "outdoorsy" person. Keep Breathing helped rekindle her love of nature.
"I also feel like I'm not an outdoorsy person at all, and I learned a lot by doing this show. And I was actually, you know, in the woods for three months," she said. "So, I feel like I relearned to love it, and that maybe I'm more outdoorsy now, and I'm less scared of being around critters and bugs and being dirty. And swimming in lakes--now I'm like, 'Oh, I can do it,' because I did it."
As to which of her roles has been the scariest, Barrera says Keep Breathing beats Scream by a longshot, though it may be due to her own personal fears. She elaborated,
"For me, the idea of being alone in the middle of nowhere is the most terrifying thing. Because if you're being chased by a psycho, I could always somehow defend myself. But when you're by yourself and there's no one around, and you don't know if anyone is ever coming to find you and you don't know if you're ever going to make it back to civilization... That, to me, is terrifying."
Keep Breathing is a six-episode series available to stream now on Netflix.