David Zayas taking selfies ala Anthony Wiener style. Olga Merediz drilling harsh jabs into George Lopez. You’ll find both on FX’s new Lopez-led comedy, Saint George. As Lopez’s grandmother, Alma, and cousin, Junior, Merediz and Zayas, respectively, are side-by-side with the Latino legend of comedy on his return to TV. Here the duo speaks about working with Lopez, inappropriate family behavior and diversity on TV.
You’re a bit mean to George’s character on the show.
Olga Merediz: It’s because I really want to get him in line and I want him to stay connected to his roots. Hopefully the lovable aspect also comes through.
Did you watch how Belito Moreno who portrayed his mom on The George Lopez Show as research?
Merediz: I purposely did not, so that I could create my own thing. Some actors like to do that but I don’t like to do that. This character is based on his grandmother but they wanted us to use our imagination.
How is it working with fellow veteran Latino actors like Danny Trejo?
Zayas: First of all it’s great because so much of the material whether it’s Chicano, Puerto Rican or Dominican, a lot of the material especially from our culture is so recognizable to us. And it’s always, whether it’s Latino, Caucasian, or African American; it’s always great to work with really good artists. And in this show we have some really good actors and really good people that you can actually create that family atmosphere that hopefully could translate onto the screen. It’s a lot of fun. I just love working with everybody. We hang out as much as we can outside of it. So it’s a good vibe.
Merediz: This is a dream come true for me because it’s so easy. Imagine working with David, Danny, George is un bon bon—he’s so sweet and generous. George will take a funny line and he’ll say, “You take it.” He improvises on the spot and you got a new line right there; you have to deal with and react to. Everybody is so easy to work with and such pros. And we understand each other because we’re Latinos, it’s very comfortable, it’s like home, it’s like family. I love it.
How is it working with George Lopez?
Merediz: I mean can you imagine, when they cut in between takes you’re dying laughing because he’s cracking you up. He’s just hysterically funny, you’re laughing all day long.
Zayas: First of all, he’s an amazing comedian; if you see him on stage it’s just hilarious. He’s so smart and he knows how to bring that Latin culture and actually just bring it so that everyone understands whether you’re Latino or not. And I think in this show what he’s really good at is identifying what may be our strengths and using that within the show which makes him that much more of a generous actor. But he’s really just more talented than people think he is. He’s always prepared, he works hard, and he comes up with some great storylines, I think he’s underrated when it comes to actually coming in and delivering. I really enjoy working with him. I’ve learned a lot from him, because I’ve never done a sitcom or comedy. And he was so generous and just being patient and explaining things to me.
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