Isabela Merced in Netflix's Sweet Girl

Sweet Girl’s Isabela Merced Gave Us Some Insight Into Her Character

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Sweet Girl, on its face, feels like an action movie to show how badass both Jason Momoa and Isabela Merced are, but it’s so much more. When Rachel’s (Isabela Merced) mother has cancer, there’s only one drug that seems to be working for her, but it’s too expensive for her family to afford. The healthcare system doesn’t seem to care about how that can hurt families, though, and so when a cheaper drug comes on the market, Ray Cooper (Jason Momoa) and his family finally have a chance to keep Amanda (Adria Arjona) alive.

But Simon Keeley (Justin Bartha) has other plans. The CEO of a medical manufacturer forces a cheaper version of his medicine off the market, making it impossible for the Cooper family to afford what Amanda needs to survive, and when Amanda is a victim of a healthcare system that cares more about money than saving lives, Ray and his daughter Rachel make it their mission to get justice for their lost loved one.

Talking with Isabela Merced about the film, it is clear that she’s one of our next big action stars. From playing Dora the Explorer to now bringing Rachel to life, she’s (for lack of a better term) a badass. But there’s more to her portrayal of Rachel than just kicking ass. Rachel is struggling with the loss of her mother and a father who hasn’t properly grieved while still trying to get justice from the healthcare system in America.

Merced had a fascinating answer when I asked what drew her into the role of Rachel in the first place:

Mostly the fact that I had not too long before they sent me the script, I had studied psychology for two years and I absolutely adored it. And I feel like it made me a better actor, a better person. I wanted to learn more about myself and more about mental health in general. And I studied psychology personality, child development, all kinds of different things, but I wasn’t really set on one because I wanted to learn as much as possible. And so when the script came around, I totally loved the aspect of Rachel’s mental struggle in the movie because she overcomes so much, indures so much trauma, obviously will have PTSD, obviously like feels like she has no other option and has to muster the strength of a grown man, because that’s the only way she feels like she’ll be able to do it is if she becomes her father, because she doesn’t believe she has a strength in it herself by herself. And it was just all really fascinating to me. And I hope they kind of explore the psychological aspects of it on the sequel. If there is a sequel let’s hope there is. Cause I would absolutely love that. And I want to talk to the director about it.

I asked her what her hopes for a sequel would be, and she already has her plans ready!

I want her to continue fighting for justice. I want to talk about the important things like how messed up the healthcare system is in the United States. I want to expose a lot of the bad things that are happening that are blatantly happening in front of our eyes, but people don’t think it’s worth paying attention to until one of your relatives is on their deathbed with cancer or COVID and they’re giving them the wrong medication and they’re giving them a combination of medications that are actually making the situation worse and are slowly killing your loved ones because it’s better to make more money off of someone staying in the hospital then to then to cure them. And it’s true. Like they want you to keep coming back and I’ve been dealing with that firsthand with my mom who has cancer and it’s just been an insane struggle because their solution is just chemo.

Sweet Girl is an important look at our healthcare system, those who want to exploit the sick to line their own pockets, and the pain that all puts on a family that is stuck in a healthcare system that doesn’t seem to care who lives or dies. You can see Isabela Merced as Rachel in Sweet Girl on Netflix now.

(image: Netflix)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.