Working together on a show like Starz VIDA brings people together. That couldn’t be truer for Chelsea Rendon, who plays Mari, and Carlos Miranda, who plays Johnny. They play siblings on screen and off it they act like the brother and sister duo you’d expect.
We got a chance to speak with Chelsea Rendon and Carlos Miranda from Starz VIDA about what’s next for their characters journey, what they’ll remember most about the show, and what they’re doing while stuck at home like the rest of us!
1. Last season we saw Mari being kicked out of her home. And as much as we know she’s a survivor, Mari is going to struggle this season to find her place like everyone. Could you tell us a little bit about that journey?
Chelsea: I think I can say this. Mari starts season 3 living at the auto shop. So that is kind of her last resort. She can’t go to Yoli. She got kicked out by the sisters as well, and she burned that bridge. So she’s kind of literally on her own, trying to figure it out with her brother helping her out a little bit. But Mari is strong and she’s a survivor so she’s getting through.
2. Johnny has a new, a new family, that he has to take care of. How is that going to change Johnny?
Carlos: You know what, I just think it’s something that will continue to help him change. Like it’s something that is now part of his life and I’m sure it’s going to help him and guide him into making better decisions moving forward. Because he’s a father.
3. Who will have Mari’s back as she tries to survive on her own?
Chelsea: Well, the idea right now is that she has her own back. I think this is that time when you’re growing up, and I can say from my experience, when I went from high school to graduating, there was a complete change of who I considered my friends. And I think Mari is finding out right now, “Ok, I may have a different belief than the people that I’ve been on the same page with. And now I gotta have my own back. I can’t depend on anyone else.”
I think the beautiful thing is that you kind of see Johnny being there for her but at the same time he’s doing his own thing. And he’s made mistakes with their relationship. So it’s really interesting to see how their dynamic grows throughout the season. But it feels really beautiful to see Mari like…even though she’s struggled and had problems, she’s surviving and really grows a lot this season. This is the season where you’re going, “Shit, this is who Mari is.”
4. Do you think Johnny will fall back into bad habits? Mainly bad habits with Lyn?
Carlos: I don’t want to spoil, but with the whole Lyn situation, she’s kind of involved with someone else now, and they kind of made peace they were gonna go their separate ways. He’s a first time father and his priorities are kind of clear at this point, you know?
5. With this being the final season, is there a moment that you will always remember when it comes to VIDA?
Carlos: Aww man, first table read. I cried. Now that I think about it, I remember booking the job and everything was cool. I was gonna be on a show and the idea sounds all cool. But then when I sat down with the cast and did the first table read. I read my character out loud and it was the end of the episode and we closed the book. And man, I look around the table and I see these people choked up and it’s like, “Wow, I’ll always remember that.” My first table read in my first series. That’s amazing.
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Chelsea: I think the first one, because Carlos is my brother, I remember the first time I met Carlos when it was his chemistry read. I had already gotten the part, but of course at that time anybody can get fired. But that was the first time we met and we worked together and I remember I was giving Melissa Barrera a ride afterward and I was like, “It’s Carlos. They’re gonna be stupid if they go with the other guy.” That’s the first thing that popped in my head.
6. Last season we saw Mari being pulled back and forth between her group of warriors against gentrification and Lyn & Emma. Could you tease where Mari is going to land this season?
Chelsea: This season Mari has an ICE storyline. She wants to start fighting for that. So that goes from a smaller scale of gentrification in her community to what’s happening to her people all over the United States. That for me, was really great, seeing her…having her step back and realize Vigilantes is all about gentrification. And that’s cool but we have a bigger demon to fight right now.
Some are getting kicked out of their house but this is people getting kicked out of the country or getting detained. It’s a bigger animal to fight and seeing her pull away or push forward from people to be able to do that is really beautiful because she’s not just sticking to what she’s always known. She’s able to go on the defend into uncharted territory and so strongly defend that because that is so wrong.
7. What do you say to your fans that are stuck at home and excited about season 3 of VIDA?
Carlos: Try to set a little schedule for yourself. Kind of just like, every day you do something that’s gonna make you feel like, I didn’t just sit on my ass all day. At least one thing that’s productive, do it each day and go like, “I worked out.” or “I read a book.” Just do something. That’s what I think because you’re home all day and it’s pretty boring. But there’s so many things you can do. There are a lot of outlets nowadays. There’s so many options. Get creative, you know what I mean?
Chelsea: I’m the total opposite. This whole month I’ve been sleeping in, just watching TV, and eating. And now, going into the second month is when I’m like, “Ok, I need to do something. I need to like, start having some sort of plan for the future.”
VIDA season three premieres Sunday, April 26th on Starz.