From show creator Tanya Saracho, the half-hour Starz series Vida has returned for Season 2, as Lyn (Melissa Barrera) and Emma (Mishel Prada) attempt to figure out the best way to approach rebuilding their mother’s business without it fully dragging them under financially. As the series continues to explore identity, culture, gender and sexuality through the lens of a Latinx family and their community, these previously estranged sisters must figure out what they want from each other, the relationships in their lives, and their futures.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actor Ser Anzoategui (who plays Eddy, married to Lynn and Emma’s mother Vidalia, at the time of her death) talked about the importance of representation and visibility, what it means to be a part of Vida, fan feedback, being a non-binary actor in Hollywood, enjoying Eddy’s journey, and learning so much more about who the character is.
Collider: I very much enjoyed the first season. This is such a fun show to watch, and to binge.
SER ANZOATEGUI: Thank you! I’m so happy to hear that, for real.
Obviously, representation and visibility matters, and it’s important for everybody to have the opportunity to see themselves on screen, and this show does that not just with its characters, but with its cast and its creative team. What has it meant to you to bring this character to life, but also be given a voice and a platform for people who could see themselves in you?
ANZOATEGUI: Well, it’s been incredible. It started a little bit earlier, when I was cast in East Los High and I was like, “What? You want me in TV?!” I was doing theater, and they actually sought me out. I was like, “This is great!” At the time, there was a masculine center character, and it was this impactful, far-reaching story. So, it does feel like a responsibility, but at the same time, I’m used to that. I’ve been writing about that and performing it, for a very long time now, and I just kept going and didn’t quit. I kept believing in myself and kept training, as an actor, and never said, “I deserve that role” or “I’m not gonna train. I’m not gonna go to class next week. I cried, and then I was like, “Okay, now it’s back to the next day,” or “Now it’s time for self-care.” There was a lot of self-care that went into it, so, that I could get up the next day and cry again. I know that someone with my background could really be triggered, playing these emotions and drawing from the actual place that happened. It was a spiritual process for myself. I had to trust in myself and my guides and God, and the ancestors and the city. I’m from Los Angeles, and I feel a deep connection to the streets of Los Angeles. I was homeless. So, I feel really blessed. That’s something that’s important, to be able to portray Los Angeles in a non-stereotypical way, with all of these characters.
Did you get meaningful feedback from fans, right away?
ANZOATEGUI: Yes. It was very immediate. It’s very personal to people. When they do reach out and tell me, through Instagram or in person, it’s very special, because it’s also a reminder, no matter how hard it is. If I get discriminated against or treated a certain way, either professionally or in my real life, I remember the fans and I remember how it makes a difference. That’s how I keep on going. It does matter, and I can get past this all and break through a lot of the barriers in front of me, within me, and outside of me.