Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-08-15
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION Mishel Prada of 'Vida' on boundary-pushing show
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Starz series Vida is breaking down borders with its depiction of the LGBT community.

Based on the book Pour Vida by Richard Villegas Jr., this is a half-hour original story about two Mexican-American sisters, Emma and Lyn, who return to their old neighborhood in East Los Angeles.

The show was created by HBO's Girls writer Tanya Saracho, who along with the cast, recently screened several episodes at the South by Southwest festival in an event that local performer Fawzia Mirza moderated.

Mishel Prada stars as Emma in Vida, a sexually fluid person who discovers shocking things about her mother's identity that affects her life in unexpected ways.

Prada brings experience from Fear the Walking Dead: Passage and Tell Me How I Die to the diverse cast in Vida.

Windy City Times: Hi, Mishel. Are you originally from LA?

Mishel Prada: I grew up in Miami. My family is Dominican, Mexican and Puerto Rican.

WCT: Did you always want to act?

MP: It was something that I always loved, but wasn't sure if I could make a career off of it. I started doing church plays when I was 3 years old. I then was performing at shopping malls at Christmas during high school, in musicals.

WCT: Do you have a favorite musical?

MP: I was a dork; my mom wouldn't let me spend the night in New York, so I would fly there, watch a musical, then come back. I was really into Phantom of the Opera—I saw it at least five times!

WCT: How did you land the role on Vida?

MP: I found out it was in production about a year and a half before I booked it. I was really excited and a fan of Tanya Saracho's plays. This show had the representation that I wanted to see on television. Now I get to play one of the lead characters on it. It was more than I expected.

WCT: Had you read the book Pour Vida beforehand?

MP: No. I just got a little breakdown for the audition and read the pilot. I went in to audition for Tanya and Carmen Cuba, who is an incredible casting director. I fell in love with them. I had such a good time and was not nervous.

WCT: Talk about your character, Emma.

MP: Emma is very strong and driven. She comes from a neighborhood that she is trying to escape from in a way. A big part of that is being realized throughout the season. It comes from a place of hurt where she was sent away by her mother after being found kissing another girl.

She becomes estranged from her mom and puts herself through grad school. She has to come back for her mother's funeral, and finds out her mother has been married to a woman.

As you can imagine there are a lot of feelings inside of her, which she doesn't want to feel. She believes she can exist as an island.

WCT: She is sexually fluid?

MP: Yes. She will be with men, women, trans, non-gender conforming. She is attracted to it all.

WCT: Was it freeing to play a part like this?

MP: I think the challenging part is baring yourself. As a female actor in LA you are taught to guard yourself with nudity, to be very careful. History has shown us it is easy to be exploited.

The great thing about working with Tanya and female producers was there was a safe space to explore and feel empowered over our bodies. There was no feeling of shame going there sexually, because it was not about the sexuality of it. It was about the character's journey.

The amazing and liberating thing was that the nudity was there when we were just getting dressed in the morning, not just the sexy scenes!

WCT: So you were okay with the vibrator scene?

MP: Yes—that is a perfect example of it not being about the sexuality in that scene. It is about Emma and doing things on her own. She doesn't need another person to feel something and create a release. She doesn't orgasm the way she thinks before getting the release. It comes to her in tears, in the cries that she keeps refusing herself to have in mourning her mother who is essentially a part of her.

WCT: I noticed a lot of Spanglish throughout the season.

MP: That is how I grew up. My mom spoke English and Spanish, but only yelled at us in Spanish. Most of the time we would switch back and forth without even thinking.

Something else we see is one generation only speaking English with another generation only speaking Spanish. Both may understand it but not speak it. This is very common as well.

WCT: Do you think people will understand the slang in Vida?

MP: Well, that was something Tanya really stood by, was to not have Spanish subtitles. I think if you like at the Spanglish as a whole you can understand what is happening. You might understand that word but can figure it out by context. That is a part of being invited into our homes.

WCT: The Spanish street food made me hungry!

MP: I was hungry until I had to eat 20 tacos like a madwoman every single time. The first four tacos were really good. It was the same thing with the flan and the drinks. I had a really gross drink that the character Lyn made and it had milk in it. It was not fun!

WCT: How was the reception at South by Southwest?

MP: It was the first time seeing some of those episodes and we watched them with the audience. People really resonated with it and we won the audience award. We had a good time being together and celebrating the show while presenting it like a quinceanera.

WCT: What do you want people to get out of the show Vida?

MP: I want our Latinx community to be really seen, heard, and represented. I hope other networks will be inspired to make other shows like this and more will be written in the future.

I want people to see the show and realize we are more the same than we are different. Our cast is all LatinX and based in a Latin community. There is a family aspect to it. That resonates beyond skin color, culture, and gender.

WCT: Did you have a special moment from being on Fear the Walking Dead?

MP: That was my first opportunity to work with a network like AMC. It was awesome. Andrew Bernstein was a wonderful director to work with. My costar Kelsey Scott I am very close with and is very supportive.

It was a cool universe to exist in and a feminist story that I was totally down with.

Look for Vida on Starz starting Sunday, May 6.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

'Wendy Williams Show' in town Aug. 23 2018-08-14 - The tour promoting the 10th season of The Wendy Williams Show will stop at the House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn St., on ...

Gay News

TELEVISION Orange Is the New Black cast talk new season, LGBT issues 2018-08-08 - Orange Is the New Black is finally ready to be binge-watched on Netflix, with a newly released season six. The series is based ...

Gay News

New Drag Reality Show Camp Wannakiki Coming Soon to YouTube 2018-07-26 - Camp Wannakiki is a new drag reality show airing on YouTube starting in August 2018. The premise is simple… take eight drag queens ...

Gay News

2018 ASANA Softball World Series Coming Live To A Screen Near You 2018-07-25 - NEW ORLEANS, LA, JULY 5, 2018 — The Amateur Sports Alliance of North America ( ASANA ), organizers of the 2018 ASANA Softball ...

Gay News

TV Getting crafty with 'Making It' contestant Jeffery Rudell 2018-07-25 - Parks & Recreation stars Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman return to TV screens on Tuesday, July 31, with their new reality-competition show, Making ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jennifer Hudson, 'Horror Story,' Kathy vs. Ellen, gay boy band 2018-07-24 - Jennifer Hudson will be making a new movie "Memory" playing the "glamour cat" Grizabella in Universal and Working Title's big-screen adaptation of Andrew ...

Gay News

TV 'Sharp Objects' screens at Chicago History Museum 2018-07-23 - The new limited series Sharp Objects on HBO already has audiences intrigued after just the first episode. On July 13, the second episode ...

Gay News

NUNN ON ONE TV Mj Rodriguez strikes a 'Pose' 2018-07-16 - Actress Mj Rodriguez plays the character Blanca on FX's Pose, the show set in the '80s about ballroom culture in New York City. ...

Gay News

NUNN ON ONE TV Gay psychic Thomas John aims to take your mind on a trip 2018-07-15 - Psychic Thomas John, who is openly gay, has said that he started at an early age communicating with dead relatives, including his grandfather. ...

Gay News

70th Annual Emmy nominations announced 2018-07-13 - The 2018 Emmy nominations have been announced. Outstanding Drama Series nods went to The Americans, The Crown, Game of Thrones, The Handmaid's Tale, ...


Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.