By: DIRK DESOUZA
What does crypto currency and Miami’s growing place in its evolution have in common? Otmara Marrero, a budding home-grown actress, may be the answer.
From the moment I met her, I knew she was the next Angelina Jolie,” says Miami casting director Ed Arenas about his “it girl” progeny-by-proxy, actress Otmara Marrero. And as the digital dreamscape of Bitcoin 2021 was in full swing in Miami the day we chatted, Marrero’s prescient 2016 crypto connection five years prior proved a killer in the day’s zeitgeist. Her portrayal of the brilliant, tormented alt-heroine character Izzy Morales in Netflix’s series “Startup” was spot on. Izzy’s invention of GenCoin, a cryptocurrency-slash-banking platform created from scratch, fueled by cold beer and nicotine, was an eerie reflection of the sinister tech world. Today, with bitcoin halved from its highs and season four of “Startup” in limbo, Marrero remains one to watch. At once mesmerizing and brooding, the Cuban American’s acting chops have more than eclipsed her Jolie-like eyes and bee-stung lips. The former ballet-dancer-turned-Miami-Marlins-cheerleader catapulted from the small parts of “bartender” in USA Network’s “Graceland” and “sexy mourner” in HBO’s “Ballers” to Netflix Top 10 fan favorite.
Since “Startup,” the Hialeah-raised Marrero starred in a love story, Clementine, and followed that with the primetime series “Connecting,” an ensemble comedy about relationships in the time of Zoom. “All the filming was done remotely from my house, and even after I was cast, I hadn’t met any of my castmates, directors, or producers. They sent me set decorations, computers, tripods, and cameras, and I did my own hair, makeup, and lighting. It was a lot to think about,” she shared about the production.
Next up, she will co-star in the film 13 Reasons Why. But a recurring role on “New York Undercover” or a surprise season four of “Startup” could also be in the cards. That’s the thing about Marrero, who effortlessly swings between network primetime and indie features, she keeps audiences wanting more.