“Any storyteller or creator is waiting to tell their story from their point of view,” says “Vida” creator Tanya Saracho. When this playwright-turned-scriptwriter was pitched the idea for the new Starz drama she didn’t know they wanted her to be the showrunner. “They gave me a shot,” she explains, so she put the story “through my filter, which is queer, and Latinx, and female.” The series centers on two sisters — Emma (Mishel Prada) and Lyn (Melissa Barrera) — who return to their East Los Angeles neighborhood following the death of their mother. While there they are confronted with shocking truths about their mother’s true identity when they meet her partner, Eddy (Ser Anzoategui). Watch our exclusive video interview with Saracho above.
While “Vida” has been praised for its realism, that wasn’t a primary concern for Saracho. “I didn’t worry about making it authentic,” she reveals. “That’s for Mexican food restaurants to worry about.” Instead, as she was writing the pilot, she “held onto family, to those two sisters, and then the world just sort of filled out around it.” It helped that all of the scribes in the writers’ room were Latinx. “There’s one male, and the rest are female, and most of them are queer,” she reveals. This ensured that they would always be “true to life.”
Saracho started as a playwright in Chicago, where her works have been produced at the prestigious Steppenwolf and Goodman Theaters. She transitioned into television writing for such shows as “Looking” and “How to Get Away with Murder.” She has also worked as an actress, appearing in guest-starring roles in “Looking” as well as “Hung.”
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