Summer’s next big comedy series is here with Gordita Chronicles, a coming-of-age series about a Caribbean family, opportunity, love, resilience and boldly defying the status quo.

The HBO Max series premieres Thursday and stars Olivia Gonclaves, Juan Javier Cardenas, Diana Maria Riva, and Savannah Nicole Ruiz. Zoe Saldana and Eva Longoria are behind the project. Ahead of the show’s premiere, Shadow and Act spoke with the cast, as well as Saldana and Longoria.

The series is a passion project for Saldana

The multi-hyphenate says the show takes Latinx stories to the next level. Additionally, she says she’s hopefully all people who’ve immigrated to different countries can relate, while also opening up the eyes of viewers.

“I think it’s it’s the next step of us being able to continue broadening the narrative of the American Latin experience,” she said. “In addition to all of the beauty of this family, they’re immigrants. Dominican, they’re Caribbean. They’re biracial, but they’re still a family. And I kind of vowed from the beginning that that was going to be the number one thing that people were going to relate to– a family where the parents love each other and they love their children unconditionally, and they would do whatever it takes to be together and to continue growing.”

Longoria says the representation of Latinas, and specifically, women, is imperative within this series

Being a Latinx creative, roles have been slim and opportunities beyond that have also been scarce, despite her success. This show allowed her to tap into her culture fully, showcase the audience to a new world, and expand upon diversity in Hollywood. 

“You don’t see this normally in a press junket, all these brown faces. So that’s a win in itself,” she said in our chat. “It was really important that we had not only Latinos in front of the camera, but behind the camera,” she added.

More importantly, she registered with the story and the focus of it being about a familial unit.

“I remember reading the script and falling in love with this family,” she said. “The heart of this family was what we were exploring.”

Olivia Gonclaves is the star of the show and her character, Cucu, is smart, loves her family, curious and witty

She also deals with the typical growing pains of adolescence, particularly the struggle to fit in and come to terms with issues around body image. It’s a message she thinks is important for girls her age who watch the show to grasp

“I feel like it’s really good to feel like yourself in your own skin. You shouldn’t feel like you need to be skinny to look a certain way,” she told us. “Even though I may have those thoughts sometimes where I wish I was skinny or I would have looked so good in a certain dress…You can’t have that mental thought.”

Watch the full interviews below: