“Sometimes I don’t know when our show begins and the world ends,” confesses Nico Santos about TV series “Superstore.” Watch our exclusive interview with him above. He continues, “There have been plenty of times where the writers have come up with an episode and a month later the exact same thing will happen in the news.”
“Superstore,” which just finished it’s fifth season for NBC, is a workplace comedy set at the fictitious Cloud 9 big-box retail store. “I’m excited for our upcoming season because big-box store and grocery-store workers are considered heroes in society right now,” he adds. “I’m really interested as to where we could take our storytelling.”
Santos plays Mateo, a Filipino associate who, at the end of the fourth season, was arrested by ICE for being undocumented immigrant. The actor explains, “How season four ended put Mateo in a different corner. It was heavy on the undocumented story line for a long time. This season it was a challenge to keep Mateo in the world of Cloud 9 and the country. After playing a character for so long, you try to figure out new ways to be funny and dig deep. Mateo has been through so much. This season he had a new love interest. It’s been great to delve into something lighter than him being hauled away by ICE.”
But Santos believes it’s important that the series addresses controversial headline topics. “We’d be doing a disservice to our audience if we didn’t tackle issues that affected everyday Americans. Our show is about the working class and is a real slice of what America really looks like. That also speaks to the kind of cast that we have. We wouldn’t be able to tell those stories if we didn’t have a cast as diverse as we do.”
In recent news from that diverse cast, America Ferrera will be leaving the series after the first episode of next season. Santos says, “She told us individually before the news broke. We understand why and we fully support her, but we are losing a member of our family. We’ve gotten so close and she is an integral part of the show. But there is still a superstore and Cloud 9. America is an amazing leader, beyond being an amazing actor and activist. At the top of the show, she sets the tone about how everyone is treated. From day one America set a tone of professionalism, kindness and openness that has spread throughout. It’s really inspiring.”
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