Most recognized for her role as Ruthie in the Oscar-nominated film A Better Life, actress Chelsea Rendon is taking a page from the same book and channeling a young, “woke” activist by the name of Mari, starring alongside Mishel Prada and Melissa Barrera in the half-hour drama series Vida (Starz), focusing on two Mexican-American sisters from the Eastside of Los Angeles.
In a new exclusive interview for our site, we’ve been talking with Chelsea about the show and what’s in store for it’s first season. Vida premieres this Sunday on Starz. Don’t miss it!
– Hi Chelsea. Starting next month we’ll be seeing you starring on Starz’s new series Vida, a show focused on two Mexican-American sisters from the Eastside of Los Angeles. Tell us more about the show.
It’s about coming home and facing reality. The truth within the family, the changing neighborhood, even in yourself.
– You’ll be playing a character called Mari. How did you land the role?
My best friend Santana Dempsey actually told me about it. She sent me the breakdown and was like “This is so you, you have to go out for this!” I talked to my reps and sent in a tape and here we are!
– Tell us more about Mari. What’s her role on the show?
She is the definition of the Eastside. She is a young woke activist who will not let her community be turned into something it’s not. She is just a badass!
– Vida is Starz’ first show focused on Latin viewers. How does it reflect the life and stories of this community? Could we compare it to something like FX’s Atlanta with a different target?
The beautiful thing is even though we are telling a Latinx story, the story is universal. Everyone is going to be able to relate to the show in some way. Family issues, grieving, being true to yourself, the gentrification, male privilege. Latinos will definitely get certain things a little better but everyone will get it. This is also the first story to focus on the Eastside without the stereotypes. It is amazing.
– What issues will Vida explore in its first season?
So much. Family secrets, gentrification, how some of the community views LGBTQ people, love.
– How important do you think it is to have shows like Vida airing on television?
It is so important. The Latin community need more representation. Not only that, but a female driven show!
– Before we finish, let us know, do you watch television? Are there any shows / actors that inspire you?
I watch so much, from Grey’s Anatomy to Jane the Virgin to Empire to guilty pleasures like Jersey Shore. I look up to Viola Davis, Taraji P. Henson and Mariska Hargitay. They are and play such strong, badass women. I have always wanted to work on Law & Order SVU!
An interview by Chris Patterson for Lovingseries.