The stars of Vida chat to DIVA about their time on the wonderfully diverse show
INTERVIEW BY DANIELLE MUSTARDE, WORDS BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS
After three seasons of heartwarming queer characters and beautifully tender moments we’re very sad to say that Vida, the show that has set the bar extremely high for diversity and representation on TV, has come to a bittersweet end.
For all of its three series, Vida has had an all Latinx writers room, a super diverse crew, and all Latinx lead cast to tell an story about the Latnix community as authentically as it should be.
It has been praised over the years for its diverse representation and even received a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series back in 2019.
The show tells the story of two Mexican-American sisters who move back to their childhood home in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles after the death of their mother Vida and are introduced to her “roommate,” Eddy.
We caught up with the lead cast members Mischel Prada (Emma), Melissa Barrera (Lyn), and Ser Anzoategui (Eddy) to say one last goodbye as we reminisce on what has been a brilliantly ground-breaking TV series. Here’s what they had to say. 🌈
Mischel Prada on the most important part of being involved in the show
I think personally, it’s getting to be part of something bigger than yourself. There’s so much that comes together to build something like this. From the writers room, to the directors, the people on the set, the pre-production and post production editors. We just get to be the cherry at the top. I think that’s really the most important thing to get to see something made in this way.
Having so many women involved, and women of colour too. It’s great that this has been the first introduction into television for Melissa and I.
I know that it’s ground-breaking, obviously because I’m told that it is, but it’s also just normal for us. Moving forward, I want more of that.
Melissa Barrera on getting cast in Vida
It was like I won the lottery getting cast in Vida. It taught me so much about what’s important and what a show can mean to people through the message behind it, and the movement that it can inspire. Moving forward, as I move into producing as well, I want to keep that wave going. I want to keep giving women of colour opportunities, Latinos opportunities, and I want to keep telling stories that are different and that showcase our community and all it’s vibrant colours, and the entire spectrum of experiences that can be found within the Latinx community.
Ser Anzoategui on non-binary representation
I just hope that soon, other TV networks can do the same. When you talk about networks though there are different kinds because there’s also cable, you have more freedom there than you have with a broadcast network.
I hope that broadcast television will open up more to include leads that are non-binary and more roles that defy gender boundaries.
Melissa Barrera on representation
I wanted to make sure that I did that justice, that I was truthful so that people who are born in the United States, but are the child of immigrants, that their experience felt seen. That was a big fear for me at the beginning.
I lost that fear because I received so much love that made me think, “You know what, we all have different experiences, but embracing what makes us similar and the things that we have in common is what people can grasp onto.” That’s why I think our show resonated not only with the Latinx community, but with a lot of other communities.
Mischel Prada on what they learned from the show
I learned so much by understanding much more of the nuances, even the terminology, or trying to open the doors to really be much more understanding of the trans and non-binary community. There’s so much that I just didn’t know. I’m still learning, and I think we’ll continue to learn as we start making more space for more people and more just ways of existing. I definitely learned a lot and I thought I knew a decent amount, but I know more now and hopefully I will continue learning more.
Ser Anzoategui on playing Eddy
People see the character Eddy and think that’s who you are as a person. I think it’s because it’s such a new representation and people are getting used to it. It’s interesting to play a character like that. It’s a powerful thing to have that impact yo define a television show and the impact it has on society.
Being able to have this character that kids see in a living room where they wouldn’t even invite you over because they don’t have anyone in their lives like me. But they’re crying with me, and rooting for me, and loving me because maybe they have a family member like me. It’s deep in reality for people, it’s more than me just being an actor playing the role.
Mischel Prada on the series finale
I think it’s really beautiful. I think the finale specifically really is for the fans. I don’t want to say it wraps it up because these people continue moving past that, but there’s resolution within each of their storylines in a way that still feels like a transition and feels open ended. The finale almost feels like a series of those vignettes in a way of each of the relationships kind of culminating into whatever they are in that moment.
All seasons of VIDA are available on STARZPLAY now
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