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Living la ‘Vida’: Actor enjoys role in nearly all-Latino cast of Starz series

Actor Adrian Gonzalez plays Rudy Marquez on the Starz series “Vida.” (Courtesy of Alex Stone)

Adrian Gonzalez is always looking for a challenge.

That’s why he jumped at the chance to be involved in the Starz series “Vida.”

“I’ve known (show creator) Tanya (Saracho) for 15 years,” he says. “I was there for the birth of ‘Vida.’ That’s how I first found out about the show. I auditioned for Nelson and lost out to my friend Luis Bordonada.”

In the series, Gonzalez plays Rudy Marquez, a fit, compassionate politician playing opposite Melissa Barrera as Lyn.

Gonzalez says Marquez is a Los Angeles city councilman who meets Lyn at a gym.

“They develop a quick attraction, and he’s a go-getter,” Gonzalez says. “He’s genuine and sweet. He loves a challenge, just like I do. Rudy is constantly fighting the battle of giving too much and not coming off too thirsty and play it cool. He’s ready to move forward with Lyn and make her his Michelle Obama.”

Since its debut, “Vida” has been making waves in the TV community because of the nearly all-Latino cast.

The series – which has already been renewed for a third season – follows the lives of two Mexican American sisters from East Los Angeles whose lives are flipped upside down after the death of their mother.

Gonzalez says the series is important because it represents diversity and women, not to mention a Latina director helming each of the 10 episodes.

“It’s very special having all Latina directors and a Latinx writing room,” he says. “Everybody speaks the same language. You get some creative, strong people that get along really well in collaboration to tell strong stories.”

Although Gonzalez is finding success in acting, being in front of the camera wasn’t his first love.

Born in the border town of Matamoros, Mexico, he spent his middle and high school years being heavily involved in swimming, diving, football and track, all while being voted president of his senior class. The youngest of four, he had originally planned to attend medical school.

“Acting didn’t really become an option for me until I was in college,” he says. “I was pre-med, and I had practical parents. I didn’t grow up performing. I performed by doing sports, and I was kind of a bit of a show-off. I was in college and took a performance class. I got hooked.”

As theater began to call, he still had his sights set on a medical career.

“I took my MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) in Albuquerque,” he says. “My sister was working at UNM, and my brother-in-law was in grad school.”

As Gonzalez continues to make strides in the film industry, there’s one element that always captures his attention.

“Great writing will always get me,” he says. “Sometimes it will be the directors and I’ll try to jump in on the project to challenge myself with a different type of role each time.”

 

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email film@ABQjournal.com. Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.

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