It’s cool to be in a movie that normalizes different backgrounds: Sunita Mani on ‘Save Yourselves!’

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Sunita Mani (left) stars as Su and John Reynolds (right) stars as Jack in “Save Yourselves!” Courtesy of Bleecker Street

The new film “Save Yourselves!” begins with a hipster couple in their 30s from Brooklyn, Su and Jack, setting off for a week in a country cabin. They decide to disconnect from tech. They hike, star gaze, and watch what they think is a meteor shower. However, that shower turns out to be an alien invasion. 

“Save Yourselves!” is particularly relevant now, though it was filmed before the pandemic. “There are so many parallels with our current situation, and I feel like there are more apocalypses going on now than we can handle, like I'm ready for the aliens at this point,” says Sunita Mani, who stars as Su.

Mani played a hacker on the TV show “Mr. Robot” and a mild-mannered pre-med student turned gun-toting wrestler on “GLOW.”

On her latest character, Mani says, “I feel like I know this character very well. I am Su in a lot of ways, living in Brooklyn and trying to be like the most conscious person I can be. … Sometimes that's just really foolish and really self important, instead of being for the greater good. But yeah, I had a lot of fun playing this character.”

In this film, ethnic backgrounds aren’t an issue at all. Su and Jack are just a couple, and no one makes a big deal out of the fact that he’s white and she is not.

“I think that labeling happens in institutions sometimes or in the industry. But making stuff with friends, I was never really labeled. My friends just kind of know the dimensions of me as a person,” says Mani. “As I'm dealing with these conversations about representation, I'm realizing these are some of the first times I'm having these conversations, so I have to sort of talk about the framework and the context.”

She continues, “And part of me knows that it is something that I have struggled with, and I have seen myself as an outsider in some ways. So it's something I'm working out myself. But it's cool to be in a movie and in a conversation at a place where we're normalizing that, and normalizing different backgrounds, and taking in different stories and experiences.”