Yesterday a movie that marked us and moved us completely was released. We’re talking about Haymaker. And we had the opportunity to chat with its star Nomi Ruiz about her experience in this movie, the importance of telling the story of trans people and her upcoming projects.
Here we go!
First, so you don’t miss anything, here’re the synopsis and the trailer for the film.
Haymaker follows a retired Muay Thai fighter (Sasso) working as a bouncer, who rescues an alluring transgender performer (Ruiz) from a nefarious thug, eventually becoming her bodyguard, protector, and confidant. The relationship leads Sasso’s character to make an unexpected return to fighting, risking not only his relationship, but his life. Haymaker tells a story about human dignity and love.
And now, our exclusive interview with Nomi Ruiz!
For us, Haymaker is special for reflecting a story that needs to be told and shown on our screens. But we wanted to know why this story is special for Nomi and I think her answer says it all. We totally agree with her and when we heard her we could only think: PREACH!
“The really special thing about Haymaker for me is just being a trans character who is desirable and successful and complicated in ways that are just outside of her tenderness and also seeing a male character who’s not afraid to just love, you know, whoever he wants to love, I think that’s for me the most special thing. I’ve been wanting to see this movie, you know, it’s really cool that it’s happening and I’m actually a part of it”Nomi Ruiz.
This story being so close to Nomi’s personal experience, we wanted to know how much of her own experience she used to put herself in her character’s shoes or if she interviewed someone to do so. And you have to read what she told us … we love her even more for it because she relieved her experience through this movie and you could feel how she remembered everything as she told us about it.
“No, I think, you know, as a woman of trans experience, I wrote a lot of my personal life with the character, and that for me was, you know, it’s a blessing to have that experience. And then also it was interesting to face those emotions on camera and have them be so personal and then have to, you know, go back to, remember that you’re playing a character. But also it is a part of our real lives, these emotions that, you know, that sit with us because of our experiences. So it was a learning process for me”.Nomi Ruiz.
Nomi Ruiz is a trans icon and her story serves to inspire many people in their lives, in their transition, in their own stories. But we were curious to know who inspired Nomi both for the film and in her day to day life. And this is what she told us. And she gave us many feels … you have to read to know why.
“Well, obviously I was very inspired by Whitney Houston from The Bodyguard, and I was definitely having my bodyguard fantasy come to life. And I’m just knowing I also heard her story and her struggle and all, you know, women in general are always inspiring me, especially women who fight for their successes, who have never really had it easy. I think I’m inspired by the women of color who are pretty successful themselves in a world that doesn’t want us to succeed”Nomi Ruiz.
Nomi is a very versatile artist. She’s a singer, songwriter, actress and author and we wanted to know which side of her career she loved the most. It was not an easy answer … and her answer didn’t disappoint.
“It’s hard to pick one, you know, that is what I love about Haymaker, because I got to do my right, my music and sing my music and also act as well, acting is great for me. So, music is what brought me here. Music is definitely one of my big first loves in my life because it’s given me all the opportunities that have come to me now. And it’s nice to be a part of something where I can bring it together”.Nomi Ruiz.
Haymaker is a very special story and the character of Nomi is a strong, determined, brave woman who loves with all her heart. We knew that deciding to say yes to this character didn’t have to be difficult for her, but we were curious as to what made her decide to do so. And you just … have to read what she told us.
“I said, yes, almost right away, so when I met Nick, he was very passionate about talking about the project and I right away I felt the love he had for his work and that those are the people I want to always work with, people who are really passionate about what they do. And he was very passionate about me being a part of it. And I felt, you know, I felt safe with him. I felt safe being part of the project. Even before I read the script, I was already, you know, so I already wanted to be a part of it. And I’m looking because Nick also respects me and my ideas. And he made me a producer on the project and he made sure my voice was also heard”.Nomi Ruiz.
Being such a versatile artist at such a young age, we needed to know what her dream job was. If there was anything she thought she had to do, her golden inspiration. And everything that she told us … sounds so good and really impressive and inspiring. Without a doubt, we’re here for this.
“My dream job… Yes. Well, now I really want to develop my own film project, I’m working hard to create a series based on my life and also incorporate my music. So, that’s my next goal. Just continue telling my story and working on a book as well. So those are my goals for this year, the TV series of my own and writing my book”.Nomi Ruiz.
Nomi, luckily, doesn’t have time to get bored because she doesn’t stop. She’s doing what she loves and it shows in every word she says to us. Right now she has a lot on her plate in terms of upcoming projects but she is totally happy about it and we are definitely going to follow her. But what comes after this movie for her? Here’s her response.
“Yeah, well, I’m releasing the music from the film, that’s what’s coming next, and I think I’m releasing the first single from the film called Like a Ghost. So I’m excited to have my fans hear the music and go back to see the movie. And yeah, after that, I’m going to be releasing more music and hopefully working on more film projects on my own”.Nomi Ruiz.
The film has several very intense emotional scenes, we confess that we could not prevent our tears from escaping our eyes on several occasions. So we wanted to know which scene was the most emotional for Nomi, which scene made her unable to help but get emotional on set.
“Yes, there were a few emotional scenes but I think there’s a scene in Greece, you know, I don’t want to give it all away, but the very thing it’s very romantic. It’s also very painful. And I remember. You know, being on set that day was very emotional for me. It took me a while to get out of the emotion of, like, loss, you know? And I’m still learning that as an actress how to shut my emotions off when we’re done, when the cameras say “cut!”, I feel like crying or still getting the feeling of like, you know, what we were doing because it’s so real to me. It’s so real to me. I’m excited about that, you know what’s really beautiful? Think Greece, one of my favorite places in the world”.Nomi Ruiz.
The scene in Greece … oh God, you don’t know what awaits you because it is really beautiful, but it also breaks your heart.
And here is our interview with Nomi ends. She is exceptional. Talking to her was a real pleasure and we learned a lot. We really only listened to her carefully because everything she said was worthy of being heard, of being taken into account.
And we really feel her passion for her work but also her awareness that telling her story can help many other women like her to find out who they are and find the strength to follow their own path. To tell their own stories. And Nomi is also aware that these stories, her story, their stories, need to be shown much more on our screens. There are still many steps still to conquer. But she has hope.
And so do we.