As the brand new community comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez” airs its midseason episode Friday, Afro Latina actor Selenis Leyva mentioned she’s excited a few TV collection that desires to alter the way in which Individuals see Latinos.
“I undoubtedly wished to leap on board and be a part of what I really feel is sort of a history-making motion proper now, with this present,” mentioned Leyva, who performs the previous spouse of George Lopez and mother to Mayan Lopez. “Particularly throughout these occasions, we’re at all times speaking about Latino illustration.”
“Lopez vs. Lopez,” which airs on NBC (NBC Information and NBC are a part of NBCUniversal), focuses on the generational pressure between Mayan Lopez and her estranged father George Lopez — who’s additionally her father in actual life.
Leyva believes that the present is making tv historical past as a result of it is telling optimistic Latino tales.
“There’s one thing about, in casting, if you find yourself Latina, you’re the sufferer, you’re lower than,” she mentioned. “And on this collection, no, Rosie is a self-made girl along with her personal enterprise and she or he’s a tough employee and so is Mayan. So we’re exhibiting Latinos in such a optimistic mild, and I’m loving that.”
Leyva mentioned that by exhibiting how Latino characters work and dwell, “Lopez vs. Lopez” is difficult viewers to see “us in a extra grounded and well-rounded approach.”
However she additionally known as out that the present makes some extent to the touch on themes that join with on a regular basis Individuals.
The present, she mentioned, poses a compelling query for viewers: What occurs when any person comes again into your life after being gone for thus lengthy?
“We’re coping with psychological sickness. We’re coping with what the pandemic did. You recognize, George’s character within the collection loses his job,” she mentioned. “That connects with lots of people.”
“I’m hoping that individuals will discover that this present can be about redemption. It’s about forgiveness. It’s about making room to forgive individuals and provides them house to make higher, to make amends,” she mentioned. “So, we’re going to see the event of that, how that occurs, the way it performs out, how George and Mayan’s relationship will get higher, will get stronger.”
Outdoors of this present, followers will acknowledge Leyva as Gloria Mendoza — an inmate at a most safety jail for ladies — within the hit Netflix present “Orange Is the New Black.”
The award-winning comedy-drama, she mentioned, modified her life.
“Six months earlier than I received Gloria on ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ I had given up appearing,” she mentioned. “I instructed my crew, ‘I feel I’m accomplished. It’s too exhausting to like one thing a lot and repeatedly be instructed that you simply’re not sufficient, there’s no place for you.’”
Leyva defined that Mendoza was solely supposed to seem in a single or two episodes, however she then turned a primary character for seven seasons.
She described “Orange Is the New Black” as a catalyst that helped her get to the place she is at this time as an actor.
She believes that “Lopez vs. Lopez” will do the identical for different Latinos in TV and movie.
“The success of our present is simply going to open doorways for extra reveals that we will relate to,” she mentioned.
Leyva mentioned her father is Cuban and her mom is Dominican, however she was raised within the Bronx amongst many Puerto Ricans and Mexicans. And this blended Latino heritage makes her proud to play an ex-wife and a mom in “Lopez vs. Lopez.”
“I’ve this background that I really feel is a little bit little bit of everybody,” she mentioned. “It feels good. It looks like I’m representing a gaggle of individuals that you simply don’t essentially see in roles like this.”
The midseason episode will characteristic cameos from the unique forged of the “George Lopez” present.
Supply: NBC News