‘The Outlaws’ Star Rhianne Barreto Spoke on the Need for Her Meaningful Role
On the face of it, Rhianne Barreto plays a stereotypical role — "the Asian good girl" in The Outlaws. She admitted it herself.
A studious and smart Oxbridge candidate being raised under her protective Asian parents. However, just under the surface of it, there is a loose thread, a thread that the show tugs on from the very first episode.
The Asian good girl turns out to be a kleptomaniac and tugging on her shoplifting habits, narratively speaking, lands her in a pickle.
Rhianne Barreto with her 'The Outlaws' co-stars (Source: Instagram)
Rhianne Barreto on 'The Outlaws'
The Outlaws plays out with Barreto coming into contact with a motley crew of fellow offenders, each with their own backstory and played out by an ensemble cast that includes Christopher Walken, Poldark’s Eleanor Tomlinson, and Stephen Merchant.
The outlaws have all been forced into a hundred hours of community service each which they pay off by working on renovating an old community center in Bristol.
"We’re archetypes so that we undo our archetypes… we’re paired off as offenders with people that would jar us in normal life, people we wouldn’t mix with in normal life, but who actually complete us," Barreto spoke of The Outlaws with Evening Standard.
Dishing out some more about her character in particular, she noted how she found different coping mechanisms interesting.
"What people do to cope is really interesting, and I think if you’re isolated with really intense parents, you find a way to rebel," Barreto told the outlet.
Rhianne Barreto's Efforts towards Representation
Although her character in The Outlaws seems generic from the get-go, there are layers to her, layers that the show was willing to explore.
Barreto has garnered quite the praise for her role and status amongst fellow performers & aspiring souls.
More than a few young brown girls had come up to her and said, "I’ve never seen anyone like you in your career, at your level."
But for her, these words were saddening.
For me to be rare and like a shining light for them is sad actually, that they don’t have that representation.
Thanks to her supportive parents, Barreto made it big in the entertainment industry. Yes, her family had no connections, but she had one thing that most kids like herself did not — supportive parents.
Rhianne Barreto's Parents Greenlit Her Acting
"I know so many people that wanted to act but have parents that were like, ‘go to uni, study something normal first,'" she told the outlet.
So it was of utmost importance to her that she be the trailblazer for so many more like herself.
"I’ve asked not to do best friend roles anymore," she professed.
Not to demean supportive roles, but to stand up for her people.
"I think it’s really important that unless it’s a [expletive] great role, brown or non-white people aren’t just playing the supporting lead so that big productions don’t get blasted for not being diverse," she argued.
That being said, Barreto was also considering dabbling into artforms other than acting, directing to be precise. She wished to be a director in theatre or film.
Her desire was to create something interesting from her perspective.