Elizabeth Grullón is the definition of self-made in Hollywood. A product of humble beginnings, she is a first generation American born to Dominican parents in Queens, NY.
Elizabeth has been looking to films and their stars as an inspiration in her life since an early age. With supportive parents who she describes as saints, she began to seriously pursue acting by attending the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program. Ken Washington, father of the program and mentor to the likes of Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, encouraged Elizabeth and her parents to send her to the program and helped guide her start to a professional career. She has appeared in series such as FX “Mayans M.C.,” ABC “Scandal,” ABC “The Catch,” and CBS “Criminal Minds.” In addition to being on camera, Elizabeth’s voice can be heard on the Disney animated series “The Owl House,” where she recurs as ‘Camilla,’ mother of ‘Luz,’ the young Latina protagonist of the show. Most recently, Elizabeth landed the role of ‘Selene,’ an immortal, other worldly goddess and protector of the Earth in “Saturn,” a sci-fi film part of a trilogy in development directed by Eric Esau.
Elizabeth is passionate about the world around her, from the wellbeing of the planet itself to the wellbeing of the people who inhabit it. An avid meditator, she teaches meditation and mindfulness in Los Angeles and recently completed a 10 month Intensive Practice Program at UCLA through their Mindfulness Awareness Research Center. Meditation has empowered her to find her authentic voice in the industry, ultimately helping her book the roles she was destined to play. Silent retreats have also become a regular practice for Elizabeth to turn off the noise of modern life and reconnect with herself. She enjoys traveling, writing poetry and salsa dancing. Elizabeth is committed to using her platform to help protect the planet and the environment. She believes Earth is the most sacred gift that we have been given and therefore will be lending her voice to the issue of climate change as well as pushing for legislation to protect the planet. Elizabeth also plans on joining forces with her mother, Mercedes, a retired head start teacher for low-income families, to help children of undocumented parents gain access to basic resources and medical care.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from?
I’m originally from Queens, NY. I was born to immigrants from the Dominican Republic. I grew up in Orlando, FL and have lived in London, Minnesota, LA, NY again – so many places have shaped me.
What is it that you do, and what inspired you to do it?
I am an actor and meditation teacher. I also write poetry and have directed my first film. I am inspired by human beings who have practiced enough that they can serve as a channel between here and the other side. People who further humanity, who brighten up the world – like my parents, Eckhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron…I want to be like that but in the form of an actor.
What project are you currently working on and what’s after that?
I’m currently on the reboot of Party of Five, playing an activist named “Sully.” I have a beautiful episode of Grey’s Anatomy coming up that I’m really proud of. I am also completing my directorial debut, a short entitled ASH. Recently, I brought to life the Second Sister in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. I will also be starring in a film called Saturn coming up soon.
Who has been the most important person in your life? Can you tell me about him or her?
My parents. I can’t choose just one. They are each fundamental in different ways and at different times each one comes to the foreground in my life. Mom is tough, smart, unapologetic and no one’s fool. Dad is philosophical, compassionate, wise, the life of every party. I am in awe of them every day.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life so far?
That we don’t experience reality, we experience our thoughts about reality. So, if we can shift our thinking we can shift our experiences. Enter, mindfulness.
Are there any funny stories your family tells about you that come to mind?
Well, I was so fat as a baby that to this day my nickname in the family is Chubby.
Has your life been different than what you’d imagined?
It’s been more challenging than I naïvely thought it would be when I was younger. It’s also been much richer and more beautiful than I could have imagined.
How would you like to be remembered?
I would like people to say I was kind, generous, glad in heart.
Do you have any regrets?
What are your hopes for what the future holds for you?
I hope there’s a lot of love and joy, abundance, style, ease – and I hope I make a difference in the fight to protect the planet.
For your great great grandchildren listening to this years from now: is there any wisdom you’d want to pass on to them? What would you want them to know?
I would say ‘I love you. You are enough. You matter. Go for it.’
Tell us something about your last job, other than money, that would have inspired you to keep working there.
So many things. The best part of working on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was the unbelievable group of super humans I got to work with. The most talented, hardworking, lovely people you could hope to cross paths with.
How would you convince someone to do something they didn’t want to do?
I wouldn’t. I think people should be free.