Entertainment

The Director Of ‘Mi Vida Loca’ Ended Up Adopting Her Daughter From One Of The Movie’s Real Gang Members After She Died

“Mi Vida Loca” is a cult classic. Latinos love this movie and it’s a part of our pop culture legacy, but when “Mi Vida Loca” first premiered in 1993 it wasn’t seen in the light that we see it today. A lot of critics panned it. One critic said that while filmmaker Allison Anders mixed “real gang members with up-and-coming Latin American actresses,” the ploy failed “to lend the film authenticity or vitality. The tone seems, to put it kindly, misguidedly romantic.” Another said, “While the characters are colorful and vibrant, the film is strangely flat.” However, this independent film represented much more than it was. For Latinos, it wasn’t just a low budget movie, it was ourselves on the big screen. 

It was Latinos representing Latinos. It was our story and no critic could ever take that away. 

Director Allison Anders was inspired to create “Mi Vida Loca” after meeting her daughter’s Latina friends.

The basis for Sad Girl and Mousey is based on real people that Anders saw in her neighborhood. Her daughter informed her mom all about the novela that was taking place right outside her door. In a 1994 interview with Bomb magazine, Anders said, “I had seen these two 14-year-old girls with babies on their hips, yelling at each other. So finally I said, ‘Devan [her daughter], what’s up with these girls?’ And Devan, who was nine years old at the time said, ‘Well, Christine and Marty were best friends since elementary school. Then Christine had a baby by Ernesto. But then Marty had a baby by Ernesto. And now they don’t get along.” And that is how the story of how Sad Girl and Mousey was born.

Anders said they filmed in Echo Park, which is where she lived too, right as the gentrification of the area was taking place. 

That meant she had to make sure everyone on the set was safe because real gang members lived there as well. Anders said the real gang members she met as inspiration for “Mi Vida Loca” were actually part of a gang that didn’t reside in Echo Park, but a neighborhood nearby. That tension of real actors and real gang members shooting a film in gang territory caused for some interesting days on the set. 

“I was very concerned however with keeping the real gang members in the cast and crew safe,” Anders said in an interview with Screen Slate. “So my producers and I involved the Echo Park members every step of the way to know which neighborhoods were safe for us to shoot in. We literally took them in the car location scouting to check out the safety. Sometimes the borders were block to block: “We can shoot down here—but not across the street.”

While some had issues that a white woman was directing a movie about Latina gang members, Anders said she got the dialogue approved by Latinas on the set.

Anders said that real gang members “approved every single draft of the script, and after a while could pitch it and give notes better than anyone I’ve met since, seriously.” She added that each person that was consulted on the film was paid and credited. “We even kept the money in the neighborhood literally – the art department rented set dressing from their homes – which also gave a sense of pride that a movie company was renting some banner they made for their bedroom to put on film. We rented the homes of the parents and grandparents of the Echo Park locas and locos. Make-up purchased the real stuff the actual girls wore from Woolworth’s on Sunset Blvd.”

Here’s one remarkable story about how Anders adopted the child of one of a Latina gang member that died before the release of the film. 

Anders said that Nica Rogers, a member of the Echo Park gang, died of an overdose at the age of 19. She was in a few scenes in the movie as well. Rogers had a son named Rueben who was left orphaned after the death of his mother, so Anders adopted him. He is now 28-years-old, married with his family and living in Texas. He is also working in the Hollywood industry. Anders also started a Nica Rogers scholarship that would benefit the youth in Echo Park. It’s so amazing to see this movie live on in not just on the screen but in people’s lives too. 

READ: Mousie And Sad Girl From “Mi Vida Loca” Are Ultimate #Friendshipgoals

‘One Day At a Time’ Filming Without Audience Over Coronavirus

Entertainment

‘One Day At a Time’ Filming Without Audience Over Coronavirus

One Day At A Time / Netflix

Ay yay yay looks like One Day A Time has caught the fever.

Sí mi gente, your beloved “One Day A Time” series has caught onto the coronavirus scare. According to Deadline the comedy series from Pop TV has been audience-free since Tuesday.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the beloved primetime multi-camera sitcom has decided to forgo forego taping in front of live audiences.

Pop TV

According to a statement from ViacomCBS’ Entertainment & Youth Brands their “top priority is the safety of our guests and staff. All of our LA based shows including Comedy Central’s Lights Out With David Spade and Tosh.0 will film without an audience starting Monday, March 16th. There have been no developments at Lights Out or Tosh.0 to cause concern for audience members who have plans to attend tonight’s tapings. MTV’s Ridiculousness will also tape without an audience beginning today and Pop TV’s One Day at a Time has been doing so since Tuesday. These decisions have been made out of an abundance of caution and concern regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”

Earlier this year, when news that Netflix had canceled the critically acclaimed show “One Day at a Time” hit Twitter, many were feared the entire site would be burned down.

Pop TV

News that the beloved comedy-drama, which followed the life of a Cuban American family, had officially been canceled spurned various criticisms of Netflix and backlash from the show’s fanbase. Netflix users decried the decision accusing the site of giving POC viewers low priority and nearly no visibility through its shows. Some canceled their Netflix accounts altogether and even started hashtags to do the same. To say the least, fans were devastated.  

So when the TV channel PopTV announced that fans had convinced them enough to save the series and buy it for their own, Latino viewers were beyond elated. Here’s hoping fans of the series get a chance to attend live productions soon!

A Look Back At ‘The Proud Family’ And Everything We Loved About The Show

Entertainment

A Look Back At ‘The Proud Family’ And Everything We Loved About The Show

The Proud Family / Disney

Disney Channel had an iconic moment during the 1990s and early 2000s. The channel gave use Disney Original Movies that we still remember to this day. Not to mention, the network was pumping out some of the best TV shows animated and live-action. One of those shows that will always be in our mind is “The Proud Family.”

Let’s start with singing along to one of the most iconic theme songs of TV history.

Brought to you by none other than Solange and Destiny’s Child, “The Proud Family” theme song is something you will never forget. Be honest. As soon as this song started playing, all of the words have come flooding back to you and you’re singing along.

This show brought Black culture to the Disney audience like never before.

There is a reason that people are so connected to the show. It was fun, authentic, and delivered by the best cast imaginable.

Of course, so many of us clung to the Afro-Latino Boulevardez family.

Credit: The Proud Family / Disney

LaCienega Boulevardez was one of Penny’s closest friends and her neighbor. Her parents, Felix and Sunset Boulevardez, along with her abuelo Papi, were always involved with the shenanigans with the Proud family one way or the other. It was a moment in time when we were able to see an Afro-Latino family represented like every other family but with two cultures instead of one.

And it wasn’t until we were older that we got the joke about their names.

Credit: calvinstowell / Twitter

La Cienega and Sunset boulevards are major roads in Los Angeles and La Cienega deadends into Sunset in West Hollywood. That’s right. The daughter and mother from the Boulevardez family are named after two major LA roads.

Alisa Reyes gave her voice to LaCienega Boulevardez.

Credit: alisareyes / Instagram

The “All That” cast member is the woman behind the iconic Disney cartoon character. Since the show, Reyes has continued acting and has become a musician. If you want to check out her music, you can check out her video for her single “Sexy Hot” here.

Sunset Boulevardez was voiced by Maria Canals-Barrera.

Credit: maria_cb / Instagram

Before “The Wizards of Waverly Place,” Canals-Barrera was Sunset Boulevardez. Honestly, one of the most iconic Disney moms ever.

Who else knew that Carlos Mencia was the voice behind Felix Boulevardez.

Credit: arlosmencia / Instagram

Now that I listen to it, I can definitely hear it. It wasn’t long after the start of “The Proud Family” that Mencia’s career really took off.

LaCienega Boulevardez holds a very important place in television history, even if she had big feet.

It was one of the first times young Afro-Latina viewers could see themselves finally represented on television. The character existing on a children’s cartoon show makes it even more impactful. It is a storyline and identity so rarely seen on television at the time.

The show included Afro-Latino celebrities into the story with well-placed cameos.

Who could possibly forget Mariah Carey playing Mariah Carey? Her pet monkey François was sick and, fortunately, Dr. Trudy Proud was able to help Carey’s pet get better.

In the time of reboots and revivals, it is nice to go back and revisit some of your faves exactly as they were. All these years later, “The Proud Family” continues to be one of those shows we all love and remember.

Who else remembers watching “The Proud Family” when they were younger?

READ: 25 Latino TV And Movie Characters That Stole Your Niñez