CRISTELA’s Maria Canals-Barrera previews the end of the show’s first season
Throughout the season, as many brand new comedies have come and gone without much fanfare, CRISTELA has continued to be a very bright spot on ABC’s Friday nights. Created by, and named after, comedienne Cristela Alonzo, the show follows a multi-generational Mexican-American family as they deal with work and family in Texas.
Maria Canals-Barrera stars as Cristela’s sister Daniela and we spent some time talking about what is coming up through the end of this season, plus what Season 2 might hold!
What was it about CRISTELA that got you interested when reading the script – had you known or worked with Cristela before?
I’d never worked with Cristela before. When I first read the script, I loved it! I thought it was very well written with great characters and I immediately identified with Daniela. I also loved the idea of doing another sitcom. It’s like theatre because of the live audience and I love it. My family and I watched Cristela Alonzo’s stand up on YouTube and enjoyed her very much. When I met her at the audition, she was so kind and supportive to all the actors. That’s when I thought, “Wow, what a blast it would be to play her sister!” It was really EVERYTHING having to do with the project that got me interested in it!
What is it that you think viewers will love about the show, or what are you hearing from fans about what they love about the show? I personally am such a fan of the family dynamic, and how real it seems that they would pick on each other and support each other at the same time!
I agree with you. There is something so special about shows that feature family dynamics. The ups and downs of it all! Those were the shows I was always drawn to. ALL IN THE FAMILY, GOOD TIMES, and ROSEANNE are just a few examples. When it’s done right, people really care about the family and their relationships to one another. They identify with the characters and care deeply. I believe that’s what’s happening with our show! It’s such a privilege to be part of that kind of storytelling. I hear it a lot from fans and get stopped often because they want to share with me. They tell me how funny it is and how much they like all the characters, especially Natalia (the mom) played by Terri Hoyos. Cristela Alonzo is committed to telling her authentic story and I think the viewers are really appreciating that.
What can you preview for us about this week’s episode? What about beyond this week as the first season comes to an end – sounds like Daniela is dealing with a little bit of a career blow?
Yes, my character, Daniela, is going through some interesting career challenges. There is so much I love about how our writers wrapped up our first season. There are unexpected twists and turns. I love it. So many new dynamics for all of our characters to kick off season two with!
What is it like working as this family / with this cast – have you all bonded?
We’ve all bonded tremendously. The family and the office cast. All of us. We really love doing the show and genuinely like and respect each other. I thought I was blessed when I did WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE. This is lightening striking twice.
What is the feeling about what comes next – I hope that we will see the show continue for many years – have there been discussion about Season 2, where the story goes?
Thank you! I hope our show goes on for many seasons as well. I chatted with one of our Exec. Producers at the wrap party and he shared some of the fun situations I’ll be in for season two, but I can’t spoil it for you! 🙂 I will tell you, it’s fresh and funny and unexpected, all the story ideas I heard.
What else do you have coming up that we can look forward to?
As of now, what I’m hoping for and look forward to in 2015, is beginning season two of CRISTELA!
Are there shows you can’t miss? Are you a binge watcher?
Right now I am loving THE PROFIT on CNBC. It’s star, Marcus Lemonis, is such a find. He’s this terrific business man who goes into failing businesses, invests his own money and saves them. Sometimes, if the business owners lack principles or character in their business dealings, he’ll bail. There are so many life lessons in it! We watch it as a family and our daughters are learning so much. Oh, and BTW, I have NEVER binge watched. Is it fun? 🙂
CRISTELA airs Fridays at 8:30/7:30c on ABC – fingers are crossed for season 2!