Exclusive: Justina Machado & Isabella Gomez Talk ‘One Day at a Time’ [Video]

One Day at a Time follows three generations of the same Cuban-American family living in the same house: a newly divorced former military mother, her teenage daughter and tween son, and her old-school mother. 

A reimagining of the Norman Lear classic, centering on a Cuban-American family. Our heroine is a recently separated, former military mom (Justina Machado) navigating a new single life while raising her radical teenaged daughter and socially adept tween son, with the “help” of her old school Cuban-born mom (Rita Moreno) and friends- without-benefits building manager named Schneider. The 13-episode first season of One Day at a Time is produced by Act III Productions, Inc., Snowpants Productions and Small Fish Studios in association with Sony Pictures Television. Norman Lear, Mike Royce, Gloria Calderón Kellett and Michael Garcia are executive producers.

We recently sat down with both Justina Machado & Isabella Gomez to talk their brand new season. Check it out after the jump.

The Knockturnal: I love watching the two of you banter on set. How much of that is real versus the script and improvise. I feel like you guys …

Justina Machado: No it’s the script. The script, none of it is improvised.

The Knockturnal: I feel like you improvise a little bit.

Justina Machado: No

Isabella Gomez: No.

Justina Machado: We don’t. That’s how great the writing is, we do not improvise at all. There might be a word that we think we wouldn’t say and we say a different word instead, that’s okay but you can’t really improvise on a sitcom unless you’re a comedic genius.

Isabella Gomez: Todd Grinnell does a lot that aren’t written.

Justina Machado: Oh yeah he does

Isabella Gomez: And he’s genius.

Justina Machado: Yes.

Isabella Gomez: But in the middle of a scene I feel like I would never, I’ll stick to the words.

Justina Machado: Yeah, I stick to the words, I’m not that smart.

Isabella Gomez: I don’t want to ruin their jokes.

Justina Machado: Exactly.

The Knockturnal: You guys tackle issues like no other. Can we talk about that season finale?

Justina Machado: Sure.

The Knockturnal: Oh my gosh, it was heart-wrenching. How was that for you guys filming?

Isabella Gomez: It was heart-wrenching to film it too. It was honestly a really difficult episode to film and to get through. We work on each episode for a week, and it was a week that I was never on set. I was always in my green room, I never wanted to watch it because its painful to see people you love going through that. And to see Rita laying there was really not a fun time. I mean it was phenomenal to get to do it and as an artist, it was so fun, but as a human, I was like I’m going to cry for the rest of my life.

Justina Machado: I loved it. I loved every second of it. Because I love stuff like that, you know? Because it was great. I was so happy I got to do something so great. I just loved every second of it, it was like a play. That’s what it felt like, so it was great.

The Knockturnal: So where do we see you guys go in season three? Where are the characters going now?

Justina Machado: We have to see if we get a season 3

Isabella Gomez: I know we have to see.

The Knockturnal: You have to give me a little bit, you have to give me a little bit.

Justina Machado: Honestly, I don’t know. That all depends on whether we’re lucky enough to get a third season. If we are, then yes, I think that you’re going to see a lot of the same stuff and, I mean different, but I don’t really know how to say that.

Isabella Gomez: I think it also depends on what’s happening in the world around us because The Alvarez are living in current time, so whatever’s happening is going to affect them and we’ll see a lot of that.


The Knockturnal: We talked about Rita’s episode, but what are some of your favorite episodes doing the show?

Justina Machado: Believe it or not, I loved the gym episode, Homecoming. That was so much fun because you know it threw me back to the eighties, all those great eighties’ gym, you know those dance movies. I felt like Molly Ringwald for a day. And I loved number 9 also.

Isabella Gomez: I loved the flashback episode, I think it was number 8. I loved seeing them interact as a young family when we weren’t around yet, and I loved having Tony Plana who plays Berto on set, he’s the best.

Justina Machado: We love him.

Isabella Gomez: And then that was also the episode that Elena gets to confront Victor and I really loved being able to do that for her.

The Knockturnal: What has doing the show taught you guys about yourselves?

Isabella Gomez: So much, I always say this but I feel like I’ve grown a lot, not only as an artist but as a person on this show. And also because Elena’s so culturally aware, I’ve learned about a whole lot of things.

The Knockturnal: She’s woke.

Isabella Gomez: She’s woke, she’s so woke. I’ve learned about so many things that I had never heard of, so that’s really cool.

Justina Machado: I also got a lot more woke, and also I like leading. I learned that about myself. I’m comfortable in that space.

The Knockturnal: You are the leader.

Justina Machado: I’m comfortable in that space and I like it. I don’t mind. I love everybody and I would do anything for this show, I would do it forever.

The Knockturnal: Thank you so much ladies. Congratulations, appreciate it.

Justina Machado: Thank you. Bye OJ.

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