Interview with Judy Reyes, Gloria Reuben, Fatima Molina, and Camila Nunez of “Torn From Her Arms” on Lifetime by Suzanne 9/14/21
I haven’t seen this movie yet, but it sounds like a good one. I enjoyed chatting with the women on the panel. The little girl was super cute! Don’t miss it October 30.
MODERATOR: Hi, everyone. Thank you for joining us today. Please welcome our panelists: Judy Reyes, Gloria Reuben, Fatima Molina, and Camila Nunez.
JUDY REYES: Hello.
MODERATOR: Before we get to some of our questions for today, Camila, can you tell us a little bit how you prepared for your role in this film?
CAMILA NUNEZ: Yes. Hi, everybody. I did with my acting coach, with the director Alan and (Mama Fati @ 01:14:49) in the movie (inaudible @ 01:14:50) and do a good job.
MODERATOR: Awesome. Thank you so much. Suzanne, you’re up.
QUESTION: Gloria, can you tell us something about your character in this movie, because I didn’t get to see it?
GLORIA REUBEN: Well, Ginger Thompson is the journalist who broke the story. I don’t know how much I’m able to disclose, but I will — You know, it’s common knowledge that a tape was leaked, and Ginger got hold of the tape from inside the detention center, one of them, that’s all I’m going to say, and she broke the story. She, as soon as she heard the tape, she was up all night documenting it, writing about it, and submitted it to “ProPublica” and, yeah, the rest is history. The whole world ended up knowing about what was exactly going on. It’s great. She’s amazing.
QUESTION: Okay. Great. I can’t wait to see it.
MODERATOR: Thank you, Suzanne. Jamie, you’re up next.
QUESTION: It’s such an incredible movie. Judy, for you, what was it that really drew you to this project? I mean to have four strong female leads is probably enough, but also the subject matter has to be a little strenuous on you as well though.
JUDY REYES: I mean, I was immediately attracted to the story. I’ve been a huge follower of the issues on the border for the last four years since it gained all that attention, and it really mattered to me as a mother. I’m completely heartbroken by the fact that a government would separate the children from their parents. I can’t imagine what it’s like and the thought of it always made me cry. It felt like a bit of a gift to me when it came in my direction to be able to participate in the telling of the story, and I was just excited and really honored to be a part of it along with, you know, if — The truth is if women don’t do it, it don’t get done. And so this particular film with all these women fighting for each other, for themselves, for the truth, and for what’s right.
QUESTION: And for Camila, you have to cry on camera so much. It was so sad watching you with all those tears —
FATIMA MOLINA: I know.
QUESTION: How did you get into that frame of mind to be so sad? And then how did you shake off those sad feelings?
FATIMA MOLINA: It was really easy, you know, when you know the part, when you know the characters, and I had the possibility to talk to Cindy Madrid, who is the real character in real life, and when she told me what she had to — what happened to them, to her and her daughter, it was like so painful. It was like really, really strong for me and you cannot go in, into that kind of part, into that feeling knowing everything what them was going through. And, I don’t know, for me and for actresses, actors, it’s I know that what we do is to entertain, but if we can leave a message to the world this is ideal. And I think this movie, it’s doing a risk. For me, it’s really, really important that the world know this story, this history, and I know it’s a great, great movie and that you will enjoy it.
QUESTION: Actually, my question was for Camila. Camila, can you hear me?
CAMILA NUNEZ: Yes.
QUESTION: She’s on – – I was asking you it must have been very difficult for you to have to cry so much during the movie. How did you shake off all those sad feelings?
MODERATOR: Camila, we can come back to you if you want to think about it. Judy, do you want to answer in the meantime —
CAMILA NUNEZ: (Speaks Spanish.).
JUDY REYES: She said she felt it.
QUESTION: Thank you.
JUDY REYES: And it was, I mean, it’s the simplest way to put it. She’s a really extraordinary young actor and who has a real, real understanding and a connection of the story that she’s telling, and it was a real thrill to be around her.
FATIMA MOLINA: Yeah.
JUDY REYES: And a real inspiration. I mean, she’s a very powerful young actress.
GLORIA REUBEN (?): She is.
MODERATOR: Thank you. Jay?
QUESTION: Hello. My question is for Gloria. Actually, a two-pronged question for you, Gloria. Did you actually meet Ginger and, if so, how did you find her? And, also, journalism, as we know, is going through the times it’s going through, and reporters are being regarded and the way they’re being regarded. Did you feel a special responsibility to portray journalism in the positive light that the story reflects?
GLORIA REUBEN: Right. Well, I think the truth of the story reflects that kind of positive light on its own. And, unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to meet Ginger in person. I came on quite late in the process just prior to the film starting production, but I did end up meeting with her via Zoom shortly thereafter. And, again, needless to say, she is extraordinary. She’s a Pulitzer Prize winner and has been a journalist for I don’t know how many decades now, but she is extremely committed to the truth, and as you said, journalism has been under attack, particularly under the leadership of the same person that implemented Zero Tolerance Policy, right? So I think that that both kind of goes hand-in-hand with the destruction of the truth and humanity and what many of us experienced either as unfortunate witnesses or part of the destruction of those two things as the story reveals. So, again, Ginger, as you can imagine during that time when the story broke and she did travel to Texas, that she was not the only journalist who wanted to get the story, needless to say. That’s how our story unfolds, but there was, and I believe very strongly, a continuous effort and dedication and drive and commitment to true journalism making its mark, because eventually the truth is revealed. Now whether people choose to believe the truth we have no control over, but for those journalists like Ginger Thompson the fight continues. So it was — I know this is said a lot, and I have portrayed actual living people before, but this one is — it’s pretty cool, if you will. It’s too general a term, but she’s kind of a rock star in my book, so that says a lot.
QUESTION: Thank you very much.
GLORIA REUBEN: Welcome.
MODERATOR: Thank you. And there is some Spanish dialogue in this movie. Can you speak to how important that was? Anyone can take that.
JUDY REYES: For me, it was very important. It speaks to the authenticity of the story that we’re telling although it challenges the audience to actually keep up, but the fact is is that’s probably part of the challenge of the situation that caused this so-called Zero Tolerance Policy when people are not familiar. But it gives us an opportunity to step into a world, into another’s person struggle through their very experience. So, for me it was exciting to have a film that presents the Spanish and that we struggled to keep it in. It was very important to all of us, everybody that you see on the screen, for the very reasons that that’s the story that you’re telling, and there’s really no reason not to. Obviously, you have to allow a balance but I think that we did a really, really wonderful job, and I appreciate Life time for bringing the story to you.
MODERATOR: Thank you. Howard, you’re up next.
QUESTION: This question is for Judy. As Gloria stated, the previous administration instituted this policy of zero tolerance and a separation of family, but that situation still is instituted. It’s still occurring. How many families are still separated and the reparation of the family members, how is that coming along?
JUDY REYES: I can’t speak to the actual number, but it’s an unacceptable number. It is in the thousands of the families that are still being separated from their children. Some have been sent back. Others are still here. It’s been such a chaotic and disorganized and dreadful process that a lot of parents are having trouble seeking and finding where their children are. I know that the current administration is doing what’s in their power to reunite the children, because they do acknowledge it. We all wish, I know I wish, that it could be done faster, that more attention can be given to it, but I’m hopeful because attention, a light has been focused and given of the story of Cynthia and Jimena, and how the truth about the reasons that people come here, the struggle that they have getting here, the attempts that they make, the multiple attempts because things back home where they live are that bad, and the desensitization of the people who are in charge of these facilities, for lack of a better term, and always looking for that one light, because people who actually risk coming here are of extraordinary hope and faith and because they don’t want to surrender to the struggle, to the crime, to the threats, especially with their children, and I do appreciate the efforts that are being made by the current administration.
QUESTION: Do you find any irony in the fact that this is a nation of immigrants and the fact that the person who instituted the policy was the son of a — a grandson of an immigrant and, yet, there seems to be a thought process that my family should be the last family that’s entered?
JUDY REYES: Of course it’s absurd and it is rooted in a lot more than irony, and I also, as well as Fatima, got to speak to the people who play. I got to speak to Thelma, and the thing about Thelma is that she’s been doing this for decades, because she knows that’s how it is and that’s how it’s always been, and our attempt in telling a story like this is it is that it changes, because it’s simply wrong. It can’t be that because you came here before me or because your people came here in another way, on a boat, on a plane or whatever the heck, or undocumented, that you get to be the last one. It speaks to a lot of the things that we have to pay attention in other countries where people leave for this very reason. Nobody wants to leave their own land. They want to leave fear and crime and danger.
GLORIA REUBEN: Climate.
QUESTION: Thank you very much.
MODERATOR: Thank you. (Makeesha @ 01:27:29).
QUESTION: Yes. I had a question for Fatima, Fatima. Am I saying your name right?
FATIMA MOLINA: Fatima, yes.
QUESTION: Fatima. Yes, I love your name. Yes, I loved you on “Who Killed Sara,” and I wanted to talk about how —
FATIMA MOLINA: Aw, thank you.
QUESTION: Yes. This is a very different motherhood role for you.
FATIMA MOLINA: Yeah.
QUESTION: And thankfully because we didn’t even get a — Well, I don’t want to ruin it for anybody. But, anyway, can you talk about is that one of the reasons you wanted to take this role? And are you hoping to sort of broaden your audience and get more exposure on this side of the mat?
FATIMA MOLINA: Well, I have no doubt of this story, you know. I think this is a (call about @ 01:28:17) has happened and continue happening, and for me it’s real important that so many people can watch this movie, this story. It’s really, really important for me as a Mexican. I know that we are speaking for a lot of people, and this is really important for all the team that we are part of this. And I’m so sure that so many people are going to understand what we want to say, this is not correct, and we want that things change in these kind of situations. We really need changes in all the world, and I’m so glad to be a part of this project. I’m so happy to share with these amazing people. They’re amazing actresses, and I’m just so happy to present this. I know this is a big, big call to a lot of people, and I feel good.
QUESTION: Me too. Thank you so much.
MODERATOR: Thank you. And our final question before we go is for everyone. If you could tell us what it was like filming on location in Mexico.
GLORIA REUBEN: No comment. No, I’m just kidding.
JUDY REYES: You know, for me, because there was so much Spanish in the film it spoke to — it really challenged me. Spanish was my first language, but I’ve communicated in English most of my life, and I’m from the Caribbean, and this is a, obviously, a Central American country. There’s something palpable about the struggle that shooting on location brings you. It kind of almost puts you in that place.
FATIMA MOLINA: Yeah.
JUDY REYES: I think as actors we also have a tendency to create it. It’s not like we’re dramatic or anything, but it was — I thought it was really essential. It brought a lot to me and that I’ll always have with me, and the wonderful people that we work with just worked really hard to realize this film. I think they received a challenge as well through the story that we were telling.
GLORIA REUBEN: Yeah, no question. I just have to say, Judy, to echo that, for sure, the crew was awesome. It was amazing.
FATIMA MOLINA: Yes.
GLORIA REUBEN: And I didn’t do a lot of exterior stuff but of course to have that kind of, you know, the stuff, the scenes that I know were shot exterior, you had to have it there and you had to film I there, because it’s literally in the air. Everything looks different. Everything feels different when you’re actually on the ground in the areas where, you know, that are very indicative of the true story so, yeah. But, again, the crew, awesome, amazing, hard working and it was terrific in that regard, for sure. Great director, too, so.
MODERATOR: Thank you so much. Thank you to all our panelists today, and stay tuned for our next panel.
JUDY REYES: Thank you.
Torn from Her Arms is the timely story of Cindy and Jimena Madrid, a mother and daughter who fled violence in El Salvador, only to be separated at the U.S. border. Detained in different centers, Cindy and Jimena’s story gained national attention when a gut-wrenching audiotape of six-year old Jimena crying for her motherwas leaked, helping to alert the world to what was happening to undocumented immigrant families at the border. Torn From Her Arms shines a spotlight on the harsh child separation policies in place as part of the zero-tolerance policy and the struggle to reunite families.
Lifetime Partners with KIND (Kids In Need Of Defense) on New PSA Featuring The Cast of Torn From Her Arms
LIFETIME PARTNERS WITH KIND (KIDS IN NEED OF DEFENSE) ON NEW PSA FEATURING THE CAST FROM TORN FROM HER ARMS PREMIERING OCTOBER 30
PSA to Run on Air and Be Featured on Lifetime and KIND’s Social and Digital Platforms
To Help Bring Awareness to the Ongoing Family Separation Crisis
View PSA Here.
Los Angeles, CA (October 14, 2021) – Lifetime is proud to partner with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), the country’s preeminent nongovernmental organization devoted to the protection of unaccompanied and separated children, on a PSA featuring the cast from the network’s upcoming film Torn from Her Arms. Additionally, Lifetime is donating $10,000 to KIND, to help in their efforts to raise awareness to the ongoing issue of family separation at the border. The PSA, which features stars Judy Reyes, Fatima Molina, and Vicky Araico, will air on Lifetime following the premiere of Torn from Her Arms on October 30 at 8/7c and will run on both the network and KIND’s social and digital platforms.
“KIND is grateful to Lifetime for reminding audiences of the needless suffering caused by family separation. It’s pain that continues to this day as many children remain separated from their parents and live each day with this trauma,” said KIND President Wendy Young. “Lifetime’s generous support will help KIND’s continuing family reunification efforts and our representation of separated children. Torn from Her Arms depicts a policy that must never happen again and encourages us to consider a more humane treatment of the most vulnerable seeking safety at our borders.”
Amidst the ongoing crisis at the U.S. border, Torn from Her Arms depicts the harrowing true story of a mother and daughter who must find their way back to each other after being separated. Judy Reyes (Devious Maids, Claws) takes on the role of Thelma Garcia, a Texas Immigration lawyer who works tirelessly to reunite the pair, and Gloria Reuben (Mr. Robot, ER) portrays Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist ProPublica reporter, Ginger Thompson, who broke the story.
The movie follows Cindy Madrid (Fátima Molina, Who Killed Sara?) and her six-year-old daughter, Ximena (Camila Nuñez), who fled violence in El Salvador for safety in the U.S., only to be separated at the border as a part of the Administration’s Zero Tolerance Policy. Detained in detention centers in different states, Cindy and Ximena endured inhumane living conditions and inadequate medical care, but that was nothing compared to the emotional toll of being apart. Their story would gain national attention when a whistleblower leaked a gut-wrenching audiotape of six-year-old Ximena crying for her mother. The onslaught of media attention incited by Ginger’s story alerted the nation to the cruelties being committed against undocumented immigrant families at the border.
Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is the preeminent U.S.-based nongovernmental organization devoted to the protection of unaccompanied and separated children. KIND envisions a world in which every unaccompanied child on the move has access to legal counsel and has their rights and well-being protected as they migrate alone in search of safety.
In 2008, KIND was founded by the Microsoft Corporation and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie to address the gap in legal services for unaccompanied minors. KIND now has offices across the United States and in Mexico that provide unaccompanied children with holistic care that includes legal assistance and social services. Through strategic partnerships, KIND provide pro bono legal representation for refugee and migrant children across the country. Since its inception, KIND has received referrals for more than 27,000 cases and now serves over 5,900 children annually in partnership with nearly 700 law firm, corporate, law school and bar association partners.
Beyond U.S. borders, KIND’s Mexico-based offices and its programming in Central America works with partners on the ground to address the root causes of migration, protect children during migration, and connect repatriated children to essential services. Through its European Initiative, KIND and partners in Belgium, France, Greece, Ireland, and the United Kingdom work to ensure access to high quality pro bono legal assistance for unaccompanied children in Europe.
Each of these efforts informs KIND’s robust state, national, and international advocacy and public education work to champion policies and laws that protect unaccompanied children on the move no matter where they are in their migration journey
Celebrating 35 years of entertaining audiences, Lifetime is a premier entertainment destination for women dedicated to offering the highest quality original programming spanning award-winning movies, high-quality scripted series, and breakout non-fiction series. Lifetime has an impressive legacy in public affairs, bringing attention to social issues that women care about with initiatives such as the long running Stop Breast Cancer for Life now in its 25th year, Stop Violence Against Women which relaunched in 2018, and Broader Focus, a major global initiative dedicated to supporting and hiring female directors, writers, and producers, including women of color, to make its content. Lifetime Television®, LMN®, Lifetime Real Women® and Lifetime Digital™ are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A+E Networks. A+E Networks is a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda