Exclusive: Lisa Vidal Talks ‘Being Mary Jane’ & Diversity on TV


Lisa Vidal isn’t a bochinchera she just plays one on TV. As Kara on BET’s hit show Being Mary Jane, the stunning, svelte Puerto Rican actress is always in on the gossip or creating it—check her awkward interaction with a gay co-worker in the fourth episode. Beyond her bochinche ways, Kara also plays Mary Jane’s (Gabrielle Union) boss and close friend. Here, Vidal talks about being part of the sexiest show on TV, tackling real issues and multicultural TV shows.

You’re married with children. Your character on Mary Jane, Kara, is divorced with children. Who was your inspiration for this role?

All my single my friends are; I think women who are single moms trying to keep it together, whose relationship didn’t work out and it’s just hard, it’s hard being out there just trying to stay on top. Kara’s worked real hard, she’s made sacrifices, thinking that it was all going to work out. And sometimes you sacrifice too much. I think life has hardened her. I think that she knows what is required of her and she is willing to facilitate that and yet she’s a caring mother, she wants to make sure she can provide for her family. And she’s not letting anyone mess with that. She’s just about, this is what I need you to do, this is what needs to happen, and this is what I need to do. She’s very clear about her direction.


It appears as though Kara has been through some hurdles to be where she is in her career.

Definitely, I think that she had to sacrifice a lot of time with her kids, and obviously with her husband. I think that opportunities come your way and you either take them or you don’t and I think she jumped on something and she’s got dreams and she’s got ambitions. And sometimes you think like that partner is just right there with you and they’re willing to catch the ball because they see you doing whatever you can to move ahead in life as a minority woman and when you get into those positions it’s not easy—you want to stay there, you want to grow. And obviously her man had other ideas.

Being Mary Jane is a sexy show. Can we expect Kara to get hot and steamy scenes this season?

This season it was all about Mary Jane’s sensuality and Kara doesn’t really have a whole lot going on because she’s going through this divorce. She got Carlos [the intern], but she doesn’t know if Carlos is exactly the right guy for her. She’s trying to figure it out. Just how so many single women are trying to figure out when they’ve been married for so long and they’re in a relationship and they’re mothers, what the hell do I do now? How do I navigate through this single scene? And I think we’re going to get into some of that with Kara, and then I think we’re going to get a little deeper next season. So yeah, it’s going to be juicy. I mean this season too, the rest of this season you really get to see how Kara influences Mary Jane’s life.


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About this author

Jesus Trivino,

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Jesús Triviño Alarcón began his professional journalism career at Vibe. At 25, he became editor-in-chief of Fuego, the first national English language Latino men’s magazine, and served as senior editor for Scratch, a magazine dedicated to hip-hop producers and DJs. Since then he has guided the editorial direction for MyNuvoTV.com, the online component of the Latino lifestyle cable network, and BET.com's music shows and specials including 106 & Park. Additionally, he has written and reported for the NY Daily News, SLAM, The Source, XXL, Inked, SOHH.com, People.com, Essence.com, and many more. In his 13-year career he’s interviewed countless celebrities including Carmelo Anthony, Demi Lovato, Marc Anthony, Rosario Dawson, Willie Colón, Jay-Z, Nas, Jessica Alba, John Leguizamo, 50 Cent, Kanye West, among others. Today, as Latina’s Entertainment Editor he’s constantly thinking WWJD—What Would Juanes Do? Follow me on Instagram @JesusTalks and Twitter @JesusTalkz.

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