Becky G, the rising 20-year-old star -- whose achievements include landing a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Latin charts ("Can't Get Enough") and a breakout three-episode turn on TV's Empire -- says that she is happy to be playing the film version of Trini, the Yellow Ranger in the big-budget Power Rangers film hitting theaters this weekend, to be part of a franchise whose appeal has always been diversity -- and that she is happy to be a Mexican American in the era of President Trump.
In fact, she cited and explained her 2015 song, "We Are Mexico," which she wrote in response to then-candidate Trump's statements in 2015 about illegal Mexican immigrants.
"Sometimes, I think, with stuff like that, I think we need to speak from the heart, because I think sometimes people think too much with their brains," said Becky G. "What I mean by that is you can't change what's in your head if you don't open your heart first.
"I feel like for me, being a Mexican American, I'm so proud of my culture and the story of my last name [it's Gomez] and the blood that runs through my veins, but I'm also very proud to be an American. So for me, to have one foot in and one foot out, it gives me a unique voice to reach other people who feel out of place," she said. "I know there's a lot of people who are so scared, feel like they don't belong, or they're worried about themselves and their families. But I'm an optimistic person ... and I feel right now, at this moment in time, we cannot become angry and hateful or fight fire with fire, because the fire will only get bigger and more destructive and more people will get hurt."
It's why Becky G feels Trini, her character in Power Rangers, will resonate with many young people.
"There's a lot of self-conflict that she goes through -- just trying to find purpose and struggling with her identity, and I feel that is something really, really relatable to what a lot of kids are going through right now," she said. "She's an amazing character."
Besides the ethnic diversity in the film, Becky G said Rangers -- in which the five heroes are initially teens who meet in high school detention -- reminded her of an all-time legendary teen film.
"From the first time I read in the audition, it felt like a scene out of The Breakfast Club. It's such an iconic story," she said. "You have different teenagers from different cultural groups, and then, all of a sudden, they spend time together and find this common ground.
"You know, we're just humans, and we all have our own feelings, and we're all just trying to get through life," she said. "Self-acceptance is an important thing, and so is accepting each other. I think those kind of interactions are things we don't get to see very often onscreen, especially when it comes to teenagers. ... But eventually, all these stereotypes are broken, and everyone realizes how alike they are -- which I think is very cool."
In closing, Becky G said she was optimistic that this would happen to everyday Americans as well.
"I feel like our nation was built on immigration," she said. "It's why, in a place like Los Angeles, I can have amazing Mexican food and right next door I can have amazing Indian food and right next door to that have amazing Chinese food -- then go to Miami and have excellent Cuban food. That, to me, is what makes America great!"