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'Gentefied' Cast on the Power of Latinx-American Stories | MTV News


– When we first got the script or when I first got the script and I read it, I think the language really spoke out To me, it wasn't something that felt forced, or put on, it just felt like a conversation

So it was so easy to kind of remember the lines So it was so easy to kind of remember the lines and wanna get into this world and start playing around and creating – As a Latina actress in Hollywood, it was, girl you don't have to have an accent to come do this audition That, just for starters like, first stepping into it, that was huge for me – Right away you see it and you're like, "Oh, this is real, this is raw, this is like, how we speak in our everyday lives," and it's just on paper and we're going to be like, filming it, but it's real – I mean, and it makes sense, right? That's like, a lot of the shows that have been presented with wanting people like us, the creators and the writers in the room have not looked like us

And this is now a complete change, now that they do – Which is why the language is exactly how we would normally speak – That's right, girl – I grew up in the south with a lot of white friends and they were always like, "What, that's so interesting that you switch back and forth" – It's beautiful 'cause it highlights the first-gen experience

– The fact that I was able to embody this character that's an Afro-Latina, that's an LGBTQ+ woman, it allowed me to just really dive into what we would say is culture, what we would say is the gente, what we see in our real lives, I got to play that everyday? You don't see that – Not in leading roles I mean like, a full cast – [Julissa] Ensemble – Yeah, in that position, so that is pretty awesome

– And it's awesome to show, how well-rounded every character is, a lot of the times you see Latinx representation on TV and either we're over-sexualized, or we're the virgin, or we're this Or so one-dimensional and you show that like, you know there's sexy, there's steamy scenes with all of us included, and yet, we'll still tear a mother-sucker down and let y'all know what our community's about and how empowered we are, in our bra and panties You know what I mean? (laughing) – The creators of this show, and the people behind the scenes, made the show what it is If we're not in the rooms, and we're not writing this, how is it going to be a real and honest story and true to who we are, if we're not behind it, doing it? Everyone, except for one of the executives are people of color So they understand it, and then the one that isn't, is our ally! – She is, yeah

– She is our ally! – She might as well be – And she understands it, and she wants to pour in to us That is how you create a 'Gentefied' It's having the right people behind the scenes It's having the creators taking chances on two brown creators that really have never done something, and they're like, "Trust me, this is real

" This is honest This is good" And that's how this came to life – Especially with how well, this shows portrays all the colors and all the different issues, without vilifying any issue, it's just like, let's start a conversation – I have a quote, "If you are looking for comfort, "you won't find the truth

If you are looking for truth, you may find comfort" I think that's what's being explored here, is a truth Now you tell me, with now all of these different layers on top of each other, what do you think is right? What do you think should be done? – I want people to remember their dreams, in itself That's it, right there So many times we are caught in the hustle and bustle, so many times we get caught into, we're not making money, so many times we're like, "What if we fail?" Good

Fail So many times we're like, "What is our family gonna think of us doing this?" Sometimes, we're even thinking, like Ana, "Well, my family doesn't support my dreams, so what's the point?" But these are all your dreams You owe it to yourself to stay and stick with that dream You owe it to yourself, to fight for it You owe it to yourself to see, can I be the greatest possible version of myself? – And you can, because you're enough

We're enough Like, we deserve those positions We can reach for those positions, and I feel like, kind of like what you were saying those generations that have come before us they're just trying to survive And you know, then they're like, "Can we even do this? Are we enough?" Yes! Like that is a narrative, kind of like what you say, that just, doesn't need to be told anymore – We're here

We're doing it – We're here, we're enough, we empower women like, these women that we play are powerful I think for me that's what I want women, young girls, to see and know and thrive for – Yeah I feel like with your dreams it's about remembering your why And always going back to that

I've always wanted to act, there's nothing that I've ever wanted to do since I was a little girl And I would sit in the car with Julissa after set, and I would cry, and I would be like, "I don't know why I'm here, I don't know if I deserve this" Imposter syndrome You know with all these other, and I remember she'd be like, "Why are you here? You're here because you deserve to be here You're here because–" and like, she would uplift me, and I was like, okay, and then also, have people that are there that love you enough to remind you of your why

And give you the space to fail, you know what I mean, so I'm so grateful that I have these two beautiful women that constantly remind me of my why, just living in their power We need to keep just telling these stories, without apologizing or without asking for permission, just do it! And I think, slowly, it's not a quick pace, slowly but surely, the industry is opening up for that – That's what I was gonna say, I think the next step is not just the Latinos, I think the next step is the gatekeepers It's the executives and who's mostly at the top when it comes to executive, white men, right? I think they need to understand that our communities, are going to watch We're 40% of the market that go watch movies

People will pay for it, put us in your stuff 'Gentefied' is going to give every little brown and Black kid, hope, to say, "I can make that I can make the next 'Gentefied'" And that's moving forward, that's pushing the needle forward that's allowing us to say, "We are here, we been here, and we ain't going nowhere" – Eso

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