Camila Cabello swapped the Grammy and VMA stages for the snowy streets of Park City to promote her new indie drama “Rob Peace,” which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
In the movie, Cabello plays the girlfriend of Rob Peace (“Tulsa King” actor Jay Will). He’s a promising Yale student who grew up in a crime-ridden New Jersey neighborhood. But his bright future dims after he’s forced to sell drugs to support his incarcerated father’s legal battles. It’s a terrible, true story based on the biography “The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace” by Jeff Hobbs, who was Peace’s college roommate.
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“I felt a story like this needed to be told,” Cabello said at the Variety Studio presented by Audible. “People have told stories like this in an overly simplistic way… people coming from difficult circumstances; binary ways of looking at success and failure. In reality, it’s more complex than that.”
Cabello, who rose to fame with the girl group “Fifth Harmony,” didn’t audition for “Rob Peace.” Chiwetel Ejiofor, who wrote, directed and stars as the lead character’s wrongfully imprisoned father, cast Cabello after seeing her acting debut in Kay Cannon’s modern remake of “Cinderella.”
“I was struck by her charisma,” Ejiofor said. “I knew you’d be perfect for the role. I was thrilled when you said you’d join us on this journey.”
Cabello chimed in, “I was thrilled when you asked.” Of her character, Naya, she says “I really related to her and her hustle for wanting to make the world better.”
As for her budding film career, Cabello remains open-minded about whatever scripts come her way.
“For me, it’s really whatever makes me feel something,” she said. “It’s not that thought out for me. It’s whatever feels new or challenging, or what I haven’t done before.”