Lynda Lopez is going to move you!
Together with sister Jennifer Lopez's Nuyorican Productions, the 43-year-old journalist executive produced a new documentary called Los Jets.
The six episode docu-series tells the emotional story of former investigative reporter, Paul Cuadros, who gave up his career as a journalist to mentor and coach a primarily Latino-only high school soccer team in Siler City, North Carolina. Cuadros dealt with obstacle after obstacle trying to convince the school district to create a soccer team in a community that wasn’t exactly accepting of Latinos. The series follows the ups and downs of the team’s journey and how they began to turn the hearts of those in the community.
We chatted with Lopez to hear all about what went behind producing such an incredible and touching documentary. Read it all in our exclusive interview below:
What made you decide this is a story that needed to be shared with the masses?
You know everything about the story is compelling. It’s a great story first of all, and then everything about the subject and what it’s saying and the story it’s telling, I feel is so relatable. We’re a country of immigrants and I think that you don’t have to be Latino, or any specific ethnicity to relate so closely with the story.
Yes, that’s certainly true. And did you feel now was sort of the perfect time to release this considering everything that’s going on surrounding immigration reform and this year having been the year of the World Cup?
Actually those stars all aligned. We’ve been working on this project for more then a year believe it or not. It was really about what we are hoping to do at Nuyorican Productions, which is Jennifer’s company. We’re trying to tell stories about our community. We’re trying to tell real stories about the real things that matter and that matter to us. So this is something that when we saw the stories of these boys, and we saw the story of Paul Cuadros who’s the coach of Los Jets, we knew these had to be heard. When you watch the series you see some of these boys have been through things that adults I know have never been through. They’ve been through a lot of struggle and a lot of things in their lives, so their stories should be told and we don’t see them enough. We don’t see those stories enough.
When I was growing up, I didn’t see a lot of people who looked like me on TV. I didn’t see a lot of people who looked like my family and the people I know. It’s funny how you don’t realize it’s really important to see that reflected back at you -- your culture and what’s familiar to you and people who look like you -- so that’s something we wanted to do.
What would you say was the absolute best part about working on this?
Oh my god! The absolute best part was when I finally got to meet the boys, believe it or not. When we were shooting -- you know it follows their entire soccer season through their senior year of high school -- I was down in North Carolina on shoot days and no one ever saw me. Marc Lanson, our director, felt really strongly about wanting to capture these boys live. Like he didn’t want to make them feel like “TV” was being created. He just wanted be in the background and shoot their lives. When I was down there he made me hide [Laughs]. I went to one of the soccer games and I was on the bleachers for the opposing team sitting with their fans with a hoodie on and hiding. So the entire process where we went through shooting and getting their stories, I never met them. After that was over, meeting the boys for the first time was really the best part of the process for me.
That’s sweet! And what was that meeting like?
I was really excited when I met them. I hugged them. I felt like they were sort of my sons. You can’t help but fall in love with them. When you watch the series, you’ll just fall in love with them. They’re amazing, amazing kids. They’re really exceptional kids. So that was a great part.
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