BEVERLY HILLS — A lot happens in the first episode of Starz’s news series “Vida.” There’s a death in the neighborhood. Friends and family cope with the loss. Secrets are revealed. And viewers see sex — lots of sex.
The death also sets the entire storyline in motion.
Mexican-American sisters Lynn and Emma Hernandez (Melissa Barrera and Mishel Prada) return to their Boyle Heights neighborhood for their mother’s funeral and soon learn she had been living a secret life.
Their mom, Vidalia, was married to a woman, Eddy (Ser Anzoategui).
In a show filled with strong characters, topical subject matter, and tangled relationships, Eddy stands out with a softspokeness and love that centers the show.
Anzoategui’s portrayal of Eddy is a great counterbalance to Prada’s hard-as-nails, no nonsense Emma, and Barrera’s free-spirited and even reckless Lynn.
Anzoategui, who identifies as queer, non-binary, and uses they/their pronouns, sat down with Q Voice News at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills during a “Vida” press day.
During the interview, they talk about their experience of bringing Eddy to life with a Latino cast and writers who celebrate the queer Latinx experience, the long road to inclusion, and why characters like Eddy are so important.
“Vida” airs Sundays on Starz.
Meet the “Vida” characters:
Lyn (Melissa Barrera)
Lyn is a care-free party girl, who has figured out how to live a pretty worry-free life in the Bay Area with her boyfriend. When she returns to Boyle Heights for the funeral of her mother, Vidalia, Lyn is forced to face her past and deal with everything she thought she knew about herself.
Emma (Mishel Prada)
Emma, estranged from both her sister, Lyn, and her mother, reluctantly returns for her mother’s funeral to deal with the family business. She quickly realizes things at home have changed drastically, and Lyn might be the only person who can help her make sense of everything.
Eddy (Ser Anzoategui)
Eddy is a sensitive soul, who is trustworthy, generous, and passionate but also intimidating looking upon first glance. In many ways, Eddy is the heart of the community. When her wife, Vidalia, dies, the community aches, too.
Marisol “Mari” (Chelsea Rendon)
Marisol is the expression of east side youth culture: woke, politicized, and deep in the resistance against gentrification. She will do anything to fight injustice, but when Marisol realizes she’s the victim of injustice, her drive and courage will be tested.
Johnny (Carlos Miranda)
Johnny is a stand-up guy who runs his ailing dad’s auto shop and is engaged to his pregnant girlfriend. He has a clear idea of his future — Be a good husband and father. But, when his first love, Lyn, returns to town, things get messy.
Cruz (Maria Elena Laas)
Cruz is an enigmatic lesbian, who has a checkered history with Emma. With Emma returning to Boyle Heights, issues that were left unresolved between them come to the surface.