MUSE had the opportunity to talk with the stars of STARZ new series, Vida Mishel Prada and Melissa Barrera which premiere’s on May 6.
This show follows the life of two Mexican-American sisters, Emma and Lyn, from the Eastside of Los Angeles who couldn’t be more different or distanced from each other. Circumstances force them to return to their old neighborhood, where they are confronted by the past and shocking truth about their mother’s identity.
Q: When you get to this part and you’ve read about this character, what’s the first thing that
comes to your mind?
Mishel: This show is everything that id hope I would get to be a part of. And i felt like if i worked hard
and if i worked my way up, one day maybe this would happen and i can’t believe that this being
my first tv show that i get to be a part of this. I remember when it was announced, i was so
excited that this show was happening and i just never really thought that i’d get to be one of the
leads on the show.
Melissa: It’s exciting. I’m a sucker for good writing. So when you get that you’re like I have to be a
part of this. And the character, i immediately identified with lynn, like i could see myself playing
lynn and when youre reading something and you see yourself, i imagine, whatever i’m reading i
can see it in my mind and when i can see myself in a character, i get so excited and so intense.
And i’m like i have to and i pray and i put the candles. I was just a gift and for me it was also my
first job in the united states so i feel like were very spoiled. Because we get the best of
everything. We get the best showrunners, we get the best writers, we get the best characters to
give life to. And what better than to be on a female led show.
Q: With your characters are so complex and strong, how was it reading the script and trying to
bring that out?
Melissa: Its hard and it’s scary. Its scary when you read that and you realize that you’re not only
unveiling what’s inside of these women but also what’s inside of you. Cause i feel like that’s
when the performances are the most truthful when you are willing to also bear yourself and
connect with that pain that they’re feeling and that’s when its goes through the screen and into
the person thats watching it and that’s why they can relate to you. So it was scary to go to some
of these places.
Mishel: 100 percent. CAuse as actors were kind of tasked with actually not lying but telling the truth
and that’s always the scary thing because that’s when it becomes interesting to watch and that’s
when you really feel connected because i love what we get to do because we get to reflect the
times and the society back on itself and i remember listening to a song or a painting or watching
a movie and all of sudden being oh wow im not the only person that feels that. Like someone
actually made a story about that or reading a book and i think that that’s like a big part of
bringing these characters to life is bringing is really coming at it with as much authenticity and as
much honesty as possible and it makes it a little difficult to watch.
Q: We talked to tanya about everyone having secrets, and these sisters definitely have secrets?
Melissa: they go around wearing masks. Like Michelle says they’ve created these personas that
that’s what they present to the world, both of them. And that’s their shield
Mishel: And they start cracking and falling apart and they’re like desperately trying to hold on to
those pieces and they’re like no this isn’t working for me but its like at a time where its supposed
to happen like in your midst away 20s, you really start becoming more self aware and moving
into like this adulthood and hopefully maturing and growing. We don’t all do it but we try
Q: I love how lynn goes to the curandera?
Melissa: you know what? Lynn is trying to find herself through spirituality and dona lupe is that for
her. Lynn has lived her life basically giving off the imagine that she’s cruising. Everything is fun,
just chilling, theres no worries, i don’t have to work because i have a rich boyfriend that i can live
off of and i have these passion projects that i never finish but she’s fine. She appears to be fine
but she’s actually like drifting and she’s desperate to have something to hold on to and she
comes home and she thinks maybe that emma is going to be that person now that she doesn’t
have her mom and its not working out so she has to find this other means of ‘how do i find
myself in this place where its not familiar to me anymore and where i feel like i don’t belong and
lupe is for her.
Q: So you guys have already filmed 6 episodes and were hoping you come back for more. How
do you want your characters stories to unfold?
Melissa: I have so many things that i want lynn to do. I feel like she could do ANYTHING. She’s very
unpredictable. But i would like to see her try to move on from johnny and see what’s going ono,
what happens if that magnet that they have between them keeps coming back or if she’s finally
going to be respectful and be like you know what you do you and i’ll try to do me.
Mishel: I think i would love to see emma allow herself to be loved even a little bit. Just a little bit. And
whether its from her sister, from oeddie, she’s actually surrounded by a bunch of people that
want to love her and she just cannot accept that and i would like to see what happens if she just
kind of cracks that open a little bit and maybe allows herself to be loved and to be seen.
Melissa: You know what would be awesome? A trip to mexico.
Mishel: I know! We also really are trying to get a musical and then were trying to get a road trip.
Melissa: Even if its TJ! And i would love to see more of emma and lynn together, i feel like they have
really good scenes during these first 6 episodes together but its sporadic. I would like to work
with [her] more.