Rising Star Lizet Benrey: “Art is at the epicenter of love, kindness, and ultimately, unity; This is what we so desperately need today!”

A black and white image of the letters l, r, and s.

I envision bringing people from around the world together in one location to hold hands and dance. Art is at the epicenter of love, kindness, and ultimately, unity — which we so desperately need today!

Ihad the pleasure to interview Lizet Benrey. Lizet is an award-winning actress filmmaker and artist. Born and raised in Mexico City, Lizet was surrounded and greatly influenced by a community of well-known creatives. Lizet became an actress, graduated from UCSD with a BA in Visual Arts and later became an internationally recognized artist having exhibited her work around the globe. Lizet has earned multiple art prizes and has been showcased in various international auctions. She has directed, written and performed in numerous films and art videos. She also produced a documentary in tribute to her mother, Shirley Chernitsky, a notable Mexican painter who had a strong influence on her artistic life. As an actress, Lizet’s career covers film, theater and television. Her most recent acting work has been in “Wild Beasts of the Desertâ€, “Noticedâ€, “Carving a Lifeâ€, “The Magiciansâ€, “Tea in a Thunder Cupâ€, and of course, “The Witching Hourâ€, from which she took home several awards including a Golden State Film Festival “Best Actress†award in Hollywood, California. She has several exciting projects in development.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Having come from a family of artists, it was only natural to follow suit. My mother, Shirley Chernitsky, was an internationally recognized painter. From a young age in Mexico City, I remember sitting in her studio, admiring, watching her create as she converted the blank canvas into worlds of color. I daydreamed, and these magical worlds took hold of me, as I turned into a character in these quasi-surreal stories.

Art, for me, amongst other things, is a vehicle for conveying emotion. An instrument to transport the heart and mind to the metaphysical and fundamentally enrich our world from within. Ultimately, I’d say my life has been a journey with art as my language.

From my beginnings as a painter, I had the desire to take my abstract work one step further, to add music, dialogue, and further the story. This was the genesis of my film career. Acting became an extension of my artistry, bringing the complete artistic experience to my characters to best feel and understand humanity.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

I remember going to The Museum Dolores Olmedo in Mexico City with my husband Francis and our two boys Jonathan and Alexander. We were looking at the magnificent masters being exhibited. Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, among other greats. As we walked the halls, I asked my boys, “What if your Mom exhibited her work here? How would that make you feel?†I saw their little eyes light up, and their smiles said it all. Two years later, my work formed part of a group show at the museum and my paintings were exhibited in the exact museum gallery I had asked my boys that question. What an honor it was.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I remember going to a friend’s audition in LA. While waiting his turn, the lady who worked there asked me if I wanted to audition as well. “Sure!†I responded. Nervously, and I quickly ate some grapes I had brought with me.

“Please go in,†she said. Unknowingly, the commercial required me to smile virtually the entire time. As we left the audition room, I smiled at the mirror as a sort of debriefing, and there it was in all it’s glory — -the widest grape peel covering my tooth as if I had no tooth at all! I took this as a great lesson in preparation.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Coronavirus put several of my film projects on a temporary hold. Nevertheless, as an artist, I’ve taken this moment of solitude as growth and as a reawakening. I am simultaneously working around these hurdles on my art, filmmaking, and on myself, as an actor. As artists we must be willing to reinvent ourselves and create within the hardships of the times we live in. I have also been taking excellent classes online and connecting with wonderful accomplished people in the industry.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

Leonora Carrington is top of my list. As a little girl, I met her in her studio she became my muse for life. As an adult, I had the honor of directing and producing a film to tell a glimpse of her story visually, as words could not do her work justice.

I also met Ringo Starr at Baby’O in Acapulco, and it was wonderful! I was and still am a diehard Beatles fan. My mom and I dressed up as bunnies to the event. I was very young and will never forget dancing with Ringo Starr.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out�

Focusing too far out into the future can turn prohibitively daunting. I find the magic in the journey, and fascination in embracing the unexpected.

Can you share with our readers any self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.

I try to eat as healthy as possible. Organic, whenever possible, to do good to my body and the world around me. I love hiking, biking and going on multi-mile walks. I find it meditative, and it helps bring perspective to my day.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first startedâ€

  1. Things will happen when you are ready.
  2. Patience is a virtue.
  3. Your dreams can and will come true.
  4. Take rejection as an opportunity for growth.
  5. Success is being able to do what you love.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote� Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.†-Albert Einstein

Everything I do stems from my imagination. I passionately believe imagination is limitless and the path and guide to turning desire into reality.

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?

I feel an enormous sense of gratitude to my mother Shirley Chernitsky. She was a brilliant artist and taught me the greatest lessons in life.

I produced a documentary on her life when she passed away, it helped me process my profound grief. Even though this edited version is in Spanish I believe it will tell the story visually.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I envision bringing people from around the world together in one location to hold hands and dance. Art is at the epicenter of love, kindness, and ultimately, unity — which we so desperately need today!

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

Yes, I would love to have a private breakfast with Anthony Hopkins. He has always been a source of inspiration for me. I deeply admire him as an actor and painter. His joie de vivre and love for his cat are truly precious.

How can our readers follow you online?




Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

Thank you for having me!

Photo Credits

  • Dana Patrick
  • Sharon Cohen
  • Bruce Meyer