Starz Announces Cast for Half-Hour Drama Series “Vida” from Latinx Showrunner Tanya Saracho
Mishel Prada Cast in Lead Role Opposite Melissa Barrera with Karen Ser Anzoategui, Chelsea Rendon, Carlos Miranda and Maria Elena Laas Added as Cast Regulars
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Starz announced that Mishel Prada (“Fear the Walking Dead: Passage,” Tell Me How I Die), Karen Ser Anzoategui (“East Los High,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “The Fosters”), Chelsea Rendon (A Better Life, McFarland, USA, “The Fosters”), Carlos Miranda (The Bling Ring, Grandma, “Chicago PD”), and Maria Elena Laas (“Suffering Man’s Charity,” The Hot Chick) have been cast as series regulars alongside Melissa Barrera (“Club de Cuervos,” “La Mujer de Judas”) in the new STARZ Original series “Vida” from Showrunner Tanya Saracho (“How to Get Away With Murder,” “Looking,” “Girls”).
Alonso Ruizpalacios (Gueros, Verde) directs the series premiere episode. Big Beach TV will produce the Latinx series with Robin Schwartz, Peter Saraf and Marc Turtletaub, serving as executive producers. Stephanie Langhoff (“Togetherness,” “The Bronze,” “The Skeleton Twins”) is also executive producing with Emmy® award-winning Chrisann Verges (“Girlboss,” “Getting On,” “Warm Springs”) producing. Series casting by Emmy®-winning Casting Director Carmen Cuba (“Stranger Things,” STARZ Original limited series “The Girlfriend Experience,” The Martian).
“Vida” is a half-hour drama series focusing on two Mexican-American sisters, Emma and Lyn, from the Eastside of Los Angeles who couldn’t be more different or distanced from each other. Circumstances force them to return to their old neighborhood, where they are confronted by the past and shocking truth about their mother’s identity.
Mishel Prada will portray “Emma” who, estranged from both her sister and her mother, reluctantly returns for her mother’s funeral and to deal with the family business. Previously cast, Melissa Barrera will play her sister, “Lyn,” a care-free party girl who has figured out how to live a pretty worry-free life in the Bay Area.
Karen Ser Anzoategui will portray “Eddy,” a sensitive soul who is trustworthy, generous and passionate but also intimidating looking upon first glance. Chelsea Rendon will play “Marisol” who is the expression of east side youth culture: woke, politicized, and deep in the resistance. Carlos Miranda will play “Johnny,” a stand-up guy who runs his ailing dad’s auto shop and is engaged to his pregnant girlfriend but has a history with Lyn. Maria Elena Laas will portray “Cruz,” an enigmatic lesbian who has a checkered history with Emma.
Newcomer Mishel Prada starred in the acclaimed Emmy®-nominated digital series “Fear The Walking Dead: Passage” and has appeared in several indie films.
Karen Ser Anzoategui (Ser) is a non-binary Latinx/Chicanx actor/playwright/artivist. Originally from Huntington Park, Calif., they grew up in various East Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley communities. Upon graduating with a BA in Communication and Fine Arts as a theatre major in 2005, Ser wrote their first solo show at Casa 0101 in Boyle Heights. Ser's second solo which centers on queer and trans issues, “Catholic School Daze,” sold out in theatres throughout Los Angeles. Ser’s highly successful theatre recognition led to being cast in a recurring guest star role on Hulu’s Emmy®-nominated “East Los High” as openly queer character “Daysi Cantu.” Following “East Los High,” Ser landed additional roles on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “The Fosters,” “Shameless,” and other projects. They appeared as themself, a comic on LATV’s “Latino 101.” Ser was a selected playwright for the 2017 Maria Irene Fornes Playwrighting workshop at Notre Dame in Chicago.
Chelsea Rendon started acting at the young age of six, jumping in head first and booking the lead of a feature film less than a year later. She won multiple awards for her role as Cristina in No Turning Back. As a child she worked on shows such as “E.R.,” “The Shield” and “Judging Amy.” More recently she’s worked on the Oscar®-nominated film A Better Life and Disney’s McFarland, USA. On television she was featured on “The Bridge,” “Major Crimes” and “Code Black.” This year she worked on Netflix’s “Bright” directed by David Ayer and she is currently recurring on “The Fosters” on Freeform.
Born and raised in San Francisco, Carlos Miranda got his first taste of acting at the age of 13 where he booked a short film. He continued acting in his high school’s theatre productions before moving to LA at the age of 23 to pursue his dream. Miranda appeared in feature films Warrior directed by Gavin O’Conner; The Bling Ring, directed by Sofia Coppola and opposite Emma Watson; and recently Grandma opposite Lily Tomlin. His television credits include “Chicago PD,” “How to Get Away with Murder” and “Dallas.”
Maria Elena Laas was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Saudi Arabia and Japan. She later moved with her family to Los Angeles where she began her career and garnered several film credits including Alan Cumming’s "Suffering Man’s Charity," the blockbuster The Hot Chick starring Rob Schneider and Anna Faris, and has starred in indie favorites Kill The Habit, Lunatics, Lovers, and Poets, Sold and Pastor Shepherd opposite Danny Trejo.
Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) will retain all domestic and international multiplatform rights, including broadcast, home entertainment and digital for the series.
Senior Vice President of Original Programming Marta Fernandez and Manager of Original Programming Kathleen Clifford are the Starz executives in charge of “Vida.”
Starz (www.starz.com) a Lionsgate company (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), is a leading global media and entertainment company that provides premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television networks and produces and distributes content for worldwide audiences, including its investment in the STARZ PLAY Arabia OTT service. Starz is home to the flagship STARZ® brand and STARZ ENCORE channels and provides high-quality, entertaining premium subscription video programming with 17 premium pay TV channels and associated on-demand and online services, including the STARZ app. Sold through U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, telecommunications companies, and other online and digital platforms, Starz offers subscribers more than 5,000 distinct premium television episodes and feature films every year and up to 1,500 every month, including STARZ Original series, first-run movies and other popular movie and television programming.