The new season of Hulu’s East Los High promises more romance, more sex, and lots more relationship drama. We caught up with cast members Danielle Vega and Gabriel Chavarria and got real about some of the toughest topics from the Emmy-nominated show.
Q: The show touches on a lot of sensitive topics, like abusive relationships.
Vega: It touches on how far you’ll go for a relationship to make it work until you realize it’s not worth it. We talk about the importance of knowing your self worth. You’ll see Ceci struggle with that on season 3. Young people need to realize that you don’t have to be with someone who says they love you, but also physically abuses you.
Struggles of Being a Teen Mom
Q: Ceci’s character is not only involved in an abusive relationship, she’s also raising a child. How do fans react to this?
Vega: Unfortunately, a lot of girls go through what she has gone through. The familiarity that comes with her character really allows for girls to look at her as an example and mentor. I think that’s why she resonates so well with fans.
Q: What life lessons have you learned from the show?
Vega & Chavarria: Always use protection. Ceci, Jesse and Vanessa are all characters that show you the consequences of not wearing a condom. So all we can say is, ALWAYS use a condom.
Their Lives Versus Their Character’s Lives
Q: How have your parents reacted to the show?
Vega: My mom had such a tough time watching the first season of the show. She didn’t want to see me get beat up, but she appreciates the show for what it is. I think I surprised her a bit with my acting skills.
Chavarria: In my home, we try not to talk about those shirtless or risque moments. [Laughing] I’m sure they’ve closed their eyes on a few episodes.
Guilty Pleasure: Telenovelas
Q: Your show is like a telenovela. Did you ever watch them?
Chavarria: I was glued to the TV whenever El Clon was on.
Vega: I can’t stop watching Capadocia on HBO. It’s amazing.
The Hard Times
Q: Being an actor seems glamorous, but I’m sure there are hard times. What have you overcome in your career?
Vega: The auditioning process can be tough to deal with. In our line of work we hear more ‘no’ than ‘yes.’ The toughest is when you audition for a role where you’re just saying one line and you still don’t get it. The odds aren’t always in your favor, but what will set you apart is your drive and hunger. Anybody can hear ‘no’ and give up, it’s how you overcome those moments of doubt that will determine your future.
Chavarria: Everyone doubted the success of the show. You got an all Latino cast, speaking in English, talking about real issues, it had never been done before. I think everyone hoped for the best but we never thought it would be such a hit and in a non-traditional format like Hulu. If anything we are an example of what it’s like to overcome insecurities or moments of doubt.
‘East Los High’ season 3 premieres July 15 on Hulu.