Mishel Prada Interview: ‘Vida’
“It’s an invitation to get to know a part of an American story that might not be something that you grew up with,” reveals Mishel Prada about the Starz series “Vida.” The half-hour dramedy set in an increasing gentrified neighborhood in East Los Angeles stars Prada and Melissa Barrera as sisters who come together following the death of their mother. “Vida” begins airing its third and final season on April 26. In our exclusive video interview (watch above), Prada reflects on the show’s cultural impact as well as her own journey as a first time series lead.
Prada’s character Emma began the show as a very controlling and emotionally reserved businesswoman. “She lives in a world of very black and white, a to z, this is the way that things go,” she says. Over the course of the series, Prada reveals that her sometimes tenuous relationships with others have altered Emma’s outlook. “At some point she’s learned… that life doesn’t work that way.”
Prada has developed a close relationship with her on-screen sister Barrera. “It’s authentic because Melissa for me is a sister,” she exclaims. That closeness helped Prada when it came to filming some of the series’s more emotionally raw scenes. “Working with her has created such a beautiful bedrock of what I hope to continue in other projects. ”
Because “Vida” is Prada’s first leading role on a series, she admits that the experience has certainly impacted her. “Nothing really prepares you for leading a TV show,” she explains. “What I learned throughout this time is really trusting myself and speaking up for myself and understanding where my boundaries are.” Prada credits the show’s creator Tanya Saracho with giving her that feeling of power. “She became a family member. She works fully with who she is,” she says. “I have so much respect for her because she a force, and what she was able to do and how she made the show what it is is so beautiful.”
Equally beautiful to Prada is the show’s message, which she describes as one of acceptance and understanding. “It think that in the end [the message] may not be ‘I forgive you,’ but ‘I get it,'” Prada claims. “I think if we can even do that for each other as we go through life… I think it would be really beautiful.”