Florencia Lozano (Narcos, One Life to Live), who is starring in “Life After You,” an independent feature just released April 5th on Pay-Per-View, Video On Demand, and other Major Platforms. The film centers around a suburban family’s struggle with the death of their 19-year-old son, following an overdose of heroin that was laced with fentanyl.
“Life After You” explores the questions of who and what is responsible for this tragedy and follows their journey to answer these questions as their family unravels from grief, guilt, and anger. The film is inspired by the book, “Life After You: What Your Death From Drugs Leaves Behind” by Linda Lajterman.
Florencia Lozano, along with Sarah T. Schwab, wrote the screenplay to shine a light on the opioid crisis that is on the rise in our country and killing so many individuals. In 2019, nearly 50,000 people in the U.S. died from opioid-involved overdoses. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. “Life After You” will hopefully spark a much-needed dialogue among parents, teenagers, and officials who are in a position to make a difference.
Link to “Life After You” trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUic3dmeHU4
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
Thank you so much for interviewing me, first of all, and for giving me the opportunity to talk about LIFE AFTER YOU. I am a child of immigrants and the youngest of three girls.
Can you share the most interesting story that has happened to you since you started acting?
I knew from a very young age that I loved being in the spotlight. I used to don dishwashing gloves when I was a wee tot and pretend to be the sexy woman in the ENJOLI perfume commercials, singing “I can bring home the bacon…ENJOLI! Fry it up in a pan…”. I had no idea what I was “performing” but I knew it made people laugh and that was all I needed, to keep me doing it. (My middle sister was mortified, of course.)
On stage was the one place I felt there was room for me. It was hard to compete with my older sisters who knew more and were more advanced in so many ways—so making people laugh and making them happy, felt like what I was meant to do.
When I was in third grade I played the “Head Villian” in a musical of THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES. When the performance was over and the audience applauded, I will never forget the feeling of that wall of love crashing onto me. I was instantly hooked to that feeling of being loved by an audience.
Tell us more about “Life After You”, your role, how it affected your life. How do you think that will help people?
This isn’t a story but it is something I’ve learned during my life as an actor: how to be a person. At first acting was a way for me to hide and not have to show up in the world. As a young girl, I felt scared and unsure and wearing the mask of other peoples’ words felt like a disguise behind which I could hide and be safe. Through pretending to be other people, I could express my own fear, anger and confusion without having to own it as mine. As I grow older, I realize that showing up in the world as a person takes a lot of work and courage. I don’t want to hide the way I used to want to. To show up for other people and for one’s self, to be able to be alone and to think for one’s self, to discover who one really is, is the gift each of us get to have while we are here. I played Linda Lajterman in the film LIFE AFTER YOU. I cowrote the screenplay with Sarah T. Schwab (who also directed the film). It which was inspired by Linda Lajterman‘s book LIFE AFTER YOU:What Your Death From Drugs Leaves Behind. It was challenging and deeply daunting to play a real person who had lost her son. I felt a profound responsibility to honor Danny Lajterman‘s memory and Linda Lajterman‘s journey. Playing Linda affected my life deeply. Throughout the making of this film–from start to finish–I wasn’t sure I was equipped to do it. I was plagued by self-doubt. I learned that anything truly is possible– especially when you are with people whom you trust and in whom you believe. I am hoping that this film helps people know that they are not alone.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My parents always told me to do what I loved, what I was passionate about. I sort of took it for granted as a kid but later in life I realize that not everyone– in fact, very few people– grew up with parents who told them to follow their heart. I am so very grateful that my parents always encouraged me to do what I love to do and that has made all the difference.
From your experience, what are a few ideas that we can use to effectively offer support to others who want to work in the film industry?
Relationships really are everything. So make it your business to connect with people. See a lot of work and ask yourself: “what is the work that you admire? who are the people you want to work with?” Reach out to people whose work you admire. Also, ask yourself: why am I working in film? What is it that I want to say through my film work? What is it I want audiences to feel and think about and take away from after watching my performance?
Can you please give us your favorite ”Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I am a huge fan of quotes. I have a daily Zen calendar that I drive everyone crazy with because I’m always sending them quotes of the day. I stumbled across a quote a few years ago that said “The bad news is you’re falling. The good news is there is no ground.“ It made me laugh but it also made me feel free to let go. The truth is that we are surrounded by mystery and so many unanswered questions. It seems to me the wisest thing to do is to enjoy the ride and to spread our wings and fly, dance, have FUN and be grateful for the time we have.
How can our readers follow you online?
My Instagram handle is florencia_lozano