Mayan Lopez Takes After Her Father in Lopez vs. Lopez

“I’m an actress, author, and producer, in addition to a content material creator,” Mayan Lopez tells when requested to outline herself. She’s obtained a brand new present on NBC this fall, “Lopez vs. Lopez,” which she each stars in and produces. Mayan jokes the sitcom is “making an attempt to place the ‘enjoyable’ again in ‘household dysfunction'” by telling the story of a younger lady coming into her personal and reconciling along with her estranged father. Her real-life father, comic George Lopez, stars alongside her, taking part in the present’s TV dad. Discuss a full-circle second.

“Ever since I can keep in mind, I’ve all the time needed to be a performer,” Mayan shares. “I obtained the performing bug or the comedy performing bug from watching ‘I Love Lucy.’ I’ve in all probability watched it from the start 4 or 5 instances.” As somebody who identifies as each Mexican and Cuban, Mayan says, “even simply seeing Desi Arnaz . . . simply seeing a Cuban on tv again then, it is like, ‘Wow.'” After all, Arnaz is not the one well-known Latino comic Mayan grew up admiring. She had her dad, the hero of Latinx tv together with his present “The George Lopez Present,” which grew to become one of many uncommon breakthroughs, who helmed a profitable community present for a number of seasons. Mayan credit him with instructing her to be “very fast, very witty, all the time having the ability to come out joke after joke after joke.” In watching his profession path, she was capable of study the worth of working laborious whereas additionally studying fairly a bit about how the business works. “And so I’ve the distinctive perspective of figuring out what it might take,” she provides. “And I used to be all the time ready and prepared to do this.”

Mayan began as a child, doing the Second City coaching camps in Hollywood. She then went on to school to review writing and efficiency. There, she obtained “a little bit animosity,” along with her classmates telling her, “You are gonna make it since you’re George Lopez’s daughter.” She’d retort, “That does not qualify me for something.” As we speak, she acknowledges that her household ties have opened doorways for her however can also be clear that “I nonetheless should have the products. [Those doors] can shut in my face if I am not ready.”


Her huge break got here from social media. “I used to be making an attempt to do writing jobs, however TikTok was a approach that I used to be nonetheless capable of be artistic and likewise get out a few of my ache [around my] relationship with my dad,” she says, explaining that she was “additionally talking to the Latinx expertise,” notably round sharing (and suppressing) feelings. A video of her twerking the wrong way up caught the eye of showrunner and creator Debby Wolfe, who additionally labored on “One Day at a Time.” Mayan explains that Wolfe began noticing her TikTok feed. “[Wolfe] noticed me, and she or he has a really comparable story along with her household. Her father was untrue to her mom [too]. And so she type of noticed herself in me as one other younger Latina, going by way of the identical comparable points,” she shares. And naturally, it helped that she’d labored with Bruce Helford, cocreator of “The George Lopez Present.”

Regardless of sharing a namesake, a reputation, and a star, “Lopez vs. Lopez” and “The George Lopez Present” do have some variations. “It’s positively not the identical present. It’s not the identical George. They’re totally different characters,” Mayan says. However on the core of each reveals lie similarities. “What I’ve heard all through my life, folks coming as much as me, no matter your shade, faith background, it is all the time the deal with household and people intricacies of like ‘oh, my uncle was like Benny’ or ‘my mother was like Angie,'” she says. “Should you have been a fan of ‘The George Lopez Present,’ then you’ll positively be a fan of ‘Lopez vs. Lopez.'”

Because the title suggests, the 2022 present’s central battle is between the grownup daughter Mayan and her father, George, utilizing a few of the actor/producer’s real-life experiences. She sums up their dynamic as a father who “drinks a little bit bit an excessive amount of beer” and struggles to precise to his daughter how proud he really is of her. The daughter tries to show him that phrases matter and tries to reeducate him, with the present diving into these forms of “little intricacies each week.”

“I’ve gone by way of loads of remedy, [so] I believed I will be actually main my character alongside. It is like, step-by-step with me lady, I obtained it,” Mayan shares. “[But] as I began doing these episodes, I noticed that my character is definitely instructing me loads about myself and the way I need to act and be extra direct.”

There are different methods the present parallels Mayan’s actual experiences, too. “We now have an episode the place I speak about how I do not communicate Spanish and the way . . . I have been known as a ‘no hablo child,'” she shares. “I’ve gotten hate even on-line for my pronunciation of phrases, which I am engaged on, however it may be an assault from [within] the neighborhood. And that is one thing that I need to deliver gentle about as a result of it’s one thing of a path that many individuals expertise.”

LOPEZ VS. LOPEZ -- Season: Pilot -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Shively as Quinten, Mayan Lopez as Maya, George Lopez as George, Selenis Leyva as Rosie -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

In the long run, she hopes the present permits audiences to expertise pleasure, happiness, and even therapeutic. “I’ve folks coming as much as me even when the present hasn’t aired, and so they’ve simply seen the episode they simply watched, already feeling touched, already feeling understood, and already laughing and sharing tales with me and having the ability to join,” Mayan says. After all, an enormous a part of that connection is within the Latinx illustration. Mayan asserts she’s “proud to be Latina,” declaring, “We’re robust, highly effective, magical, and mystical creatures, and our power and our loudness will not be one thing that ought to ever be introduced down.”

“We need to be revered, be seen,” she insists. “[But] we’re probably not represented, our reveals are being reduce. And I noticed that with ‘Lopez vs. Lopez,’ we’ve got an area to fill. And we’re very ready to fill it.” The present is purposeful in highlighting Latinx experiences and having the ability to convey them in a approach that isn’t solely humorous however that is additionally actual. One of many issues Mayan needed to deal with is the ability of seeing your self on display. She remembers watching Melissa Fumero and Stephanie Beatriz on “Brooklyn 9-9.”

“It was the primary present to have two Latina leads. And I really spoke to them about two years in the past. And I used to be saying, ‘I’ve all the time needed to be on NBC, however [when] I noticed the 2 of you, I felt like I may do this, too,'” says Mayan, who hopes she will be able to do this for the following Latina actors in line who see themselves in her.

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