We’ve only seen one episode of The Baker and The Beauty – the new rom-com style TV show that’s making our Monday quarantine nights sweeter, but we pride ourselves on being TV connoisseurs, so that’s enough for us to tell you that this show is going to be our new obsession.
Of course, it helps that the show is helmed by a longtime favorite of us here at Fangirlish, Dean Georgaris of The Brave and Bluff City Law fame. And of course, you can’t beat the happy, light tone of the show, which feels like exactly what we need right now. But that’s not all that’s drawing us to The Baker and the Beauty, no. We’re also pretty darn excited about this cast.
We had a chance to talk to Belissa Escobedo, who plays Natalie, Daniel and Mateo’s little sister and a young woman trying to find her voice in a family that is very, very loud and can make it hard for her to be heard.
Of course, because we’re all on quarantine, our first question for Natalie had to be about what show she’s binging during her days inside. The answer was both surprising and not surprising: La Casa de Papel (or Money Heist), whose 4th season debuted not too long ago on Netflix.
The funny thing is – we can kinda see Natalie binge watching the same thing.
Natalie is, after all, like Belissa shared “curious, passionate, and more than anything, incredibly resilient,” which she’d have to be, considering her circumstances. Sure, her family is doing well, they have a business, and she is the baby, but that doesn’t mean there are no expectations placed on her.
On the contrary, Natalie’s journey in the show might just be about those expectations, and about what it means to exist in a latinx family in the United States, one that has assimilated but has, nonetheless, never stopped being …well, very latinx.
“I think she’s the youngest and the baby but she also has two older brothers that made all the mistakes, got away with everything, so now she kinda has to be the perfect child, because her parents have these high expectations for her,” Escobedo shared, when talking about the family dynamics. “They want her to expand the family business, go to college, get a business degree,” she explained, and that means that, in many ways, Natalie’s future – or her possible future, is already set in stone.
But is it? Is that what Natalie wants?
Or does Natalie want to be…well, just a girl, one who can maybe, fangirl over Noa Hamilton? And, you know, maybe help her brother out a little.
“I think it will be something Natalie has to figure out with Daniel. It’s definitely surreal for her, and of course she wants to dive right in and hand her brother a notebook filled with facts about Noa, but she also wants the two of them to be endgame. She knows the kind of love her brother is searching for, and knows that it’s going to need to be built organically, without too much of his little sister’s meddling. But that won’t stop Natalie from doing her best to make sure the two of them are still going strong. She has her ways.”
Looks like Natalie is just the perfect wingman.
As for what Belissa fangirls about, she dubbed herself a “somewhat “retired” fangirl” and explained her reasoning as “One Direction really did a number on me. My entire family still talks about how I’d have the life size cardboard cutouts in my bedroom just watching me sleep.”
We can’t say we don’t understand that level of intensity around here.
Back to Natalie, and how to get into the mindset of the character, Belissa, who is an accomplished poet, shared that she’s “found journaling helps me get into a scene but, with Natalie especially, writing is so significant to her. It’s how she’s been able to communicate the things she feels are being silenced. It’s therapeutic for her, as it was for me in high school and still even now.”
Her favorite scene of the season of The Baker and the Beauty, which won’t air till episode four (and which we won’t spoil here) is, for her, a perfect example of what this show is about – or what the cast hopes we can get out of it, as we watch. In that regard, Belissa shared that “Those days shooting that scene were so joyous, there was constant laughter between (and during) takes, dancing, singing, the entire warehouse set was alive and I’m hoping that vibrancy will translate on screen.”
Finally, when asked what the show is about for her, and why people should be watching, especially in a time like this one, Belissa gave the perfect answer to make you give The Baker and The Beauty a try. “The Baker and The Beauty, for me, has always been about love. Love without limitations or judgment. If people want to feel like they are being hugged by their TV and like they’re reliving their happiest moment with family over and over again. That’s what our show can feel like.”
How can you say no to that?
The Baker and The Beauty airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.