Channel 1 Los Angeles
News content Courtesy Starz Tanya Saracho
fragment interview by
Vida showrunner Tanya Saracho compares producing the final season of her Starz series
Did you know this would be the last season before you started writing?
Yes, Starz told me they were giving me six episodes and suggested I prepare this like it’s my last season. It was tough. I went through all the stages of grief while also being grateful we were getting six more. I was hoping we could maybe change their minds if we produced six masterpieces [laughs], but I think this is it. I wanted to tell a love story between two sisters and it’s very satisfying to be able to do that. Starz was fantastic about letting the episodes be what they needed to be, length-wise. They were really respectful and supportive of making this a special season.
You directed your first TV episode last season. Now you directed the last three episodes. Would you direct projects that you didn’t create?
The bug has bit me. I love directing now, but no, I don’t wanna fuck anybody’s stuff up. [Laughs.] Before corona, I was supposed to go to take a course at the London Film Academy in cinematography. I’m so serious about this. I don’t have any training and I want to learn more. And then, coronavirus. Coronavirus! Did you see Cardi B? [Laughs.] So that didn’t happen. Oh my God, I’ve been alone too long.
Vida put you on a different career trajectory. But what do you take from this experience personally?
I feel like I count everything BV and AV: Before Vida and After Vida. I wrote Vida while I was recovering from back surgeries. From then to now, it was a total life shift. I was a mid-level writer. I was a co-producer on a network show. And then I almost died. When I was writing, I actually had MRSA. So I wrote the pilot like that and then I’ve just kept going for these three seasons. I never stopped. Now, I’m different. My knowledge of the industry is the same, yet my knowledge of the craft of making a television series is profound. It’s weird because I still feel like a co-producer that doesn’t know shit about the industry. I don’t wake up and read the trades and see what show’s been canceled and what the numbers were and know how to sell stuff. I still have no experience when it comes to the industry, except for crafting this lovely little show that I did. I’m seen differently, but I still see myself the same. It’s a mind-fuck, especially when I run into Latinx people who tell me they know they can do it because I did.
After Netflix canceled One Day at a Time and you spoke up about what that void meant, people saw you as a leader in the Latinx community. How do you feel about taking on that role?
It’s overwhelming. I sometimes feel like, Wait! The emperor has no clothes! [Laughs.] People ask me, “How do you pitch? How do you sell?” Honey, I’ve never done any of that. I’ve done a lot of other things — sold plays, directed plays — but [Gloria Calderón Kellett] can teach you the craft and the business of it. But when it comes to us and this industry, I can’t shut up because I got here and realized that we were oppressed and pushed aside.
Chelsea Rendon Actriz episode 3 final season Vida