With Disney Channel sitcom Wizards of Waverly Place ending its four season run tonight at 8 p.m. (EST), one question is left unanswered: which young wizard will win the wizard competition? Cuban-American actress and Selena Gomez’s TV mom Maria Canals-Barrera shared with Latina.com exclusively about who her character Theresa Russo is rooting for to win the final competition, playing a Latina mother on television, and what she really thinks about Gomez’s boyfriend Justin Bieber.
How does it feel to have represented a Latin family in a magical world for four seasons?
It’s one of the few times where especially the American Latina is represented as me on TV and that she’s part of an American family. She’s part of a Mexican heritage, but she’s an American person foremost and her husband is an American man. They concentrate on what we have in common as a family and our differences are added fun and flavor and part of who we are, but there’s just so many layers with magic, hijinks, and the sibling rivalries. There’s so many layers to our show that it’s been more of an experience and the layer of being a half-Latin family is wonderful and we don’t see it enough on television.
What appealed to you most when first getting involved with the show?
I loved being an American Latina mom, a very well rounded character, even for a sitcom that deals with magic and special effects. She still had a lot of wonderful writing, my character, that had wonderful themes that really dealt with the ying and yang of the mother-daughter relationship of those teenage years. You love your mother and then you hate your mother. Or your mother consoles you and tries her best but falls flat on her face. That’s the comedy!
Who are you rooting for to win the wizard competition?
Well in the episode, Theresa is rooting for Justin. And then she kind of says, ‘Let me just root for Max because no one is really rooting for him.’ So it’s really funny! Parents aren’t supposed to pick favorites, but these dysfunctional parents do!
As Selena Gomez’s TV mom, do you approve of her real-life boyfriend Justin Bieber?
I think he’s very nice. He’s a very nice boy – and he’s not a wizard! Theresa would be all for it!
Tune in tonight at 8 p.m. (EST) on Disney Channel to see if who will win the wizard competition on the Wizards of Waverly Place series finale.