'Vida' actor Adrian Gonzalez discusses the spicy Latinx flavor of the show and teases what's awaiting Rudy and Lyn's romance
Vida has garnered immense fame and popularity for its Latinx flavor, both in essence of the series and in terms of complex, multidimensional characters
At its heart, Starz's Vida' might be a tale of two polar opposite Mexican-American sisters from the Eastside of Los Angeles who couldn't be more different or distanced from each other. Circumstances force the two - Emma and Lyn - to return to their old neighborhood following the death of their mother after which, the plot kicks off as they are confronted by the past and a shocking truth about their mother's identity is revealed. But on a more elevated level, the show has also managed to garner immense fame and popularity for its Latinx flavor, both in essence of the series and in terms of complex, multidimensional characters, that - as actor Adrian Gonzalez will reveal - has earned the interest of non-Latinx people, who are able to identify with the characters of the two sisters.
Gonzalez plays the role of Rudy Marquez on the show, which is based on the short story 'Pour Vida' by Richard Villegas Jr., that premiered on May 6, 2018, on Starz. Rudy plays the romantic interest of Lyn (Melissa Barrera), whom he "meets while working out," shares Gonzalez in an exclusive interview with MEA Worldwide (MEAWW). But apart from the captivating chemistry between the two characters and Gonzalez's dynamics with the gorgeous and talented Barrera, he would like to insist what an active emblem of representation the show has become, with respect to its portrayal of the Latinx community.
“'Vida' is definitely groundbreaking in its Latinx flavor, especially behind the scenes," assures the 'Superstore' actor. "I think what makes it even more special is that it proves to be relatable for all backgrounds," he adds, continuing: "I often hear non-latinx people tell me they’re an Emma or a Lyn. People identify with all of these characters because they transcend their ethnicity. They’re fully dimensional, complex, human beings that everyone can see themselves in." That being said, Gonzalez also notes the industry's representation of the Latinx community still "has a long way to go. Often I feel like our community is either brown-washed or whitewashed. In 'Vida' we see all colors, shapes, and sizes. Hopefully, it will become a continued step in the right direction."
This step in the right direction has a lot of hurdles to overcome, the primary one being that of avoiding stereotypes and cliches - something that 'Vida' excels at breaking. "Stereotypes will always be there. They exist for a reason, but they’re not interesting," remarks Gonzalez about the issue. "No one wants to see the same thing over and over again. By looking beyond the stereotype and finding the humanity in each character, you can save a role and make it way more interesting and surprising."
Speaking of interesting, there's no denying how intensely his character Rudy is trying to woo Lyn - which sometimes might even come off as 'thirsty', quips the actor. "Rudy and Lyn develop an attraction and Rudy becomes smitten very quick, maybe a little too quick. He ends up helping Lyn out with a couple of situations with the bar. It wasn’t a big challenge stepping into his shoes mainly because I think right now, we’re just getting to know him," he says about the two. "I love his genuine earnestness towards Lyn, and even though it may feel a little ’thirsty', there is a sweetness that I’m interested to see where it takes him. I would say there is definitely more than what meets the eye."
But while we're rooting for the two to be endgame, how far does the couple actually go this season, is the question that has plagued viewers. Worry not, Gonzalez assures "the odds are good!" especially in terms of the ongoing second season, which premiered on May 25. "I hope they’re good," he quickly adds, before noting: "So far we’ve just seen them have a little fun. You’ll have to watch to see where they end up." There was one particular challenge with playing Barerra's romantic interest though, as Gonzalez admits. " Working with Melissa was tough! It is hard to work opposite someone so talented and gorgeous," he muses, adding: "She was constantly making me laugh. Really, it was exhausting! Seriously though, I loved every second of it."