“East Los High” is in the middle of its second season on the popular streaming site Hulu. Notably it has been lauded for being the first all Latino cast on American television, but the stars of the show Danielle Vega and Rene Alvarado don’t want viewers to focus in on that aspect of the program too much. That is simply meant to be taken on surface level for much broader issues the show handles such as teen pregnancy and drug use.
Red Carpet Crash caught up with the Vega and Alvarado on a press tour they were conducting in Houston. Here is what they had to say regarding the show’s second season.
RCC: “East Los High” seems to have a mission to educate as well as to entertain, can you discuss some of the themes that will be touch-points in season two?
Vega & Alvarado: “This season we have several issues such as sexuality, domestic and gun violence. We also wanted to explore bullying as it is an issue that has come to the forefront of the general public’s mind. This was an aspect that has previously gone unrecognized on television, well at least in a serious sense many shows tend to poke fun at the fact at bullying, but in actuality it is a very serious issue.”
RCC: Now Danielle, could you delve into CeCe’s character arc a bit to provide some context?
DV: “Now CeCe in season one was primarily dealing with having the baby, did she want to go through with it or not and she wanted to get an abortion, but it was too late and she was debating on giving the baby up for adoption which she ultimately decided to keep. Season two however, follows CeCe and her now two year-old daughter Isabella and their journey together. CeCe returns to East Los High after receiving her GED to coach The Bomb Squad. This season really shows how strong of a woman my character is and I think she is headed in the right direction.”
RCC: How does the relationship between CeCe and Pedro develop over the course of the season?
RA: “At this point in season two Pedro has been dating CeCe for over a year and they live together. It appears that Pedro really cares for Isabella, in that he is very loving and supportive, but no to give too much away some issues arise at the school that could shake up their relationship in a major way.”
RCC: Since this is the first English speaking television show to feature an all Latino cast were there pressures to break down barriers in terms of subject matter?
DV: “I think that the show is innovative in that sense as it is a true reflection of the Latino community in the United States. It shouldn’t be that Latinos should be on shows where they are speaking Spanish. It is a real reflection on what is topical now, and a lot of the times kids aren’t able to talk to parents, or other adults about these certain topics and that is huge in the Latino community. So this show is really makes it able for parents and kids alike to sit down and discuss these issues.”
RCC: In terms of coming of age stories what are some film, or television shows that you have admired over the years?
RA: “This isn’t a coming of age show in the sense that you are talking about, but for me it’s got to be “Breaking Bad.” The work that Bryan Cranston put forth into creating Walter White is astounding. He (Cranston) truly made that character come of age right before our very eyes. It was absolutely incredible.”
DV: I am going to just rattle off a few of my choices off quickly because I was just talking about several of these over lunch. Is that okay?
RCC: Of Course!
DV: “Orange Is The New Black,” “Breaking Bad,” “House Of Cards,” and of course “Game Of Thrones”
RCC: Do you realize that you are part of the “Golden Age Of Television?”
RA: Yes actually, we are in a time where we know we were going to be able to shoot all twelve episodes at one time. As opposed to back in the day when you would go week to week and you weren’t sure if you were going to be cancelled this week, or the next. It’s a pretty incredible format that we are apart of these days.
RCC: Carlos Portugal is the creator and showrunner of “East Los High” what overall creativity did he bring to the project that maybe another person may not be able to articulate?
RA: “First of all, I have been working with Carlos since I first moved out to LA and immediately I could tell that he would allow me so much freedom to play with a character. I really have always enjoyed that about him. You never feel like you are a puppet and that is what I love about working with Carlos. I mean of course he is going to provide you with his creative notes about your performance that is expected, but for the most part he will let you be an actor and go have fun.”
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