The much anticipated show, Vida, is back and ready to delight fans once more with its unique and contemporary portrayal of two sisters returning back to their hometown roots of East Los Angeles.
Season one of Vida showcased the Hernandez sisters Emma (Mishel Prada) and Lyn (Melissa Barrera) from two very different worlds coming together because of their mother’s passing. However, instead of things going smoothly, the sisters learn that their mother was a lesbian and was married to a woman without their knowledge. Aside from family trouble within the Hernandez home, they also have to deal with the business their mother left behind- a bar called La Chinita. But if you love some relationship drama, then you’ll love the complicated relationship between Lyn and Johnny (Carlos Miranda). Latino heartthrob Johnny, the neighborhood’s local mechanic, leaves his pregnant fiancé to be with Lyn- only to be left by Lyn at the end of season one. The creator of the show, Tanya Saracho, also uses conflicts associated with gentrification in East L.A. as well as explores the narratives of gender, cultural identities, and sexual orientation.
Fast-forward to season two- premiering May 23rd on Starz- and the Hernandez sisters have to deal with the mismanagement of the family business, relationship issues, grief, loss, and so much more as they settle back into their Mexican-American childhood neighborhood while leaving behind their previous lives. I was able to speak to the cast of Vida about everything from the tasty Mexican food on set, the love and hate they’ve received for their characters, gentrification in East L.A. and so much more! Check out my chat below with Roberta Colindrez and Ser Anzoategui!
The Knockturnal: Roberta! Welcome to the show! How was it like joining this cast? Since I know this cast is so much like a family, was it easy with getting along with everybody on the set?
Roberta Colindrez: Oh yeah! It was a bunch of really warm, fun, happy, positive, loving Latin people- all day with tons of food available all the time!
The Knockturnal: That’s the BEST! What type of food they had on set?
Roberta Colindrez: Oh, everything! Oh my God!
The Knockturnal: Everything?! Churros?
Roberta Colindrez: Yeah, but it’s just like everyone’s grandmother was there. It was like: Eat more, eat more!
The Knockturnal: That’s the best. So you feel like you’re in grandma’s house basically?!
Roberta Colindrez: Straight up!
Ser Anzoategui: We had an elote cart come!
The Knockturnal: Aw! Perfect!
Roberta Colindrez: The elote cart was unreal! Although I had got mad because they put mayo instead of crema on it but whatever! (laughs)
The Knockturnal: (Laughs) So tell me a little bit about your character on the show.
Roberta Colindrez: Nico is a new character on the show and comes in with an outside perspective on what’s going on with the bar and the changes that it’s going through. And also becomes involved in managing the bar and helps navigate the relationship between Lyn, Emma and Eddy with each other.
The Knockturnal: Besides the LGBTQ presence in the show. What else intrigued you about joining the cast when you first heard about it?
Roberta Colindrez: Specifically about not just being another queer character on T.V. and being more than just another Mexican-American character on T.V. This is a person who is ethnically diverse within herself and has so much more to say about her experiences than just her sexuality and ethnicity. I really think that’s an important thing and it’s actually one of the bigger themes in the show. It’s cool to come on as that. To have a job that’s almost political in its message, when it’s only really fun art is really cool.
The Knockturnal: And then, Eddy! I really feel like everybody is gravitating towards that character on the show. How was it like playing Eddy?
Ser Anzoategui: It was a gift! Like what a great character to have such a great arc. To be able to get down to the nitty gritty of emotions like after twenty takes or whatever to get it, or two. How easy it is to work with everybody. It’s just easy and so it’s easy to be the vessel. I think as a character, she pumps and bleeds- you know, you see it all! You’re like the fly on the wall- “Oh! What’s this/ what’s that?!.” And so because Eddy is so vulnerable, the camera catches everything. We’re in it together, we’re on this ride together. People a lot of times can relate to Eddy because they have to hide that part sometimes or they’re criticize for it- for wearing their heart on their sleeve. That’s what I think, no matter who is relating to it!
The Knockturnal: I can absolutely agree because I felt that as well through your character. And so many fans knew I was coming in to interview you and the first thing they wanted me to ask you was: Will Eddy finally be treated as family by Emma and Lyn? Because I kind of feel like Eddy is treated as this stepchild. So what do you think? Is Season two going to change up a little bit with Eddy and the relationship with Emma?
Ser Anzoategui: Absolutely! There’s a relationship that forges between them- the stepdaughters and the sisters and Eddy. It’s like walking on eggshells sometimes. But there is this unexpected stuff that does happen and the dynamic changes within them all. It forces the Emma character to be like: I have to treat this situation a bit different than in season one because she blames herself for what happened to Eddy. There’s that dynamic. It’s like Eddy basically relying on Emma. Which is not comfortable for Eddy. So there’s this fight and this wanting- that tug and pull. With Lyn, she’s the other part of this dolly. She has her own and Eddy only sees the good.
The Knockturnal: So that plays on to my next question. Do you think Eddy will become a little bit more stronger in her character for this next season? Where she’s not so much relying on Emma anymore?
Ser Anzoategui: For sure! I think that it’s taking Eddy in season two to places that the audience is not expecting. So, she’s going to be challenged in so many different ways. Physically can’t be moving and having to depend on others.