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INTERVIEW – Constance Marie on the Special Holiday Episode of ‘Lopez vs. Lopez’

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NBC’s hit new series Lopez vs. Lopez is releasing a special Christmas episode this week. The episode reunites cast members from the original George Lopez sitcom, and among the guest stars is Constance Marie (who played Angie in George Lopez). I had the chance to speak with Marie about the upcoming episode, reuniting with Lopez, Latinx representation and more!

The Christmas episode of Lopez vs. Lopez airs this Friday, December 16th at 8 PM on NBC and Peacock!

The interview has been edited for clarity. 

"Lopez vs Christmas" Episode 106 -- Pictured: (l-r) Valente Rodriguez as Val, Belita Moreno as Bella, Al Madrigal as Oscar, Luis Armand Garcia as Louie, Constance Marie as Connie, Selenis Leyva as Rosie, Brice Gonzalez as Chance, George Lopez as George, Mayan Lopez as Mayan, Matt Shively as Quinten -- (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/NBC)
“Lopez vs Christmas” Episode 106 — Pictured: (l-r) Valente Rodriguez as Val, Belita Moreno as Bella, Al Madrigal as Oscar, Luis Armand Garcia as Louie, Constance Marie as Connie, Selenis Leyva as Rosie, Brice Gonzalez as Chance, George Lopez as George, Mayan Lopez as Mayan, Matt Shively as Quinten — (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/NBC)

JORGIE: I’m so excited to talk to you. My family would watch George Lopez all the time when I was little. Thank you for talking to me today! Going back to the original George Lopez days until now, have you guys kept in touch all of these years or was this episode the first time you all saw each other again?

CONSTANCE MARIE: We have. I’ve kept in touch with George. Belita [Moreno], not so much cuz she’s kind of retired, but periodically she will surface. And Luis [Armand Garcia], who played Max, he travels, he’s like a butterfly. He’s all over the place. He travels to some of the most fabulous places. And, Masiela [Lusha], I guess that the short answer is yes, I keep in touch with everybody. 

JORGIE: That’s awesome. How was it to work with them all again but also to work with George again on this Christmas episode?

CONSTANCE MARIE: Well, I had worked with George one other time. Masiela and I did on, um…it’s so funny, all his shows are named after Lopez. I don’t know which one it was. It was just called Lopez cause it was short. The George Lopez show. Then there was Lopez and now this is Lopez vs. Lopez. So I guess it was Lopez where I played me, and that was so fun. I mean it’s weird. It’s because, you know, we are linked together in television history forever and um, we definitely just have that chemistry. You have chemistry when you’re with somebody for so long and it goes right back. I mean…I literally, I won’t see him for months and then it, it’s always there. So when he asked me about doing this show, I was like, “heck yes, sign me up.”

JORGIE: Oh, I love that. So did he personally reach out to you like, “Hey, do you wanna guest in my Christmas episode?” How did that happen?

CONSTANCE MARIE: Yeah, he was like, “Well we have this idea. What do you think?” And I was like, “YES.” With the big, big, big whole yes. 

JORGIE: Yeah because I watched that episode last night and when you all came out, I wanted to scream. I was thinking, “Oh my god it’s them!

CONSTANCE MARIE: It was pretty profound. It was the first time we had all been behind the sets waiting to make an entrance since the original show. And we were all very emotional. I kept saying, “George, don’t look me in the eyes because I’m gonna cry. Just, just just go over there.” And he’s trying not to cry. And then Luis is trying not to cry and Belita is trying not to cry. And I’m like, “Oh my God, I’m gonna mess up all my makeup.”

But it was so profound because, you know, we made television history, we’re still making television history, it’s still on. We’ve never been off the air since we got canceled. So it was just so profound for us and our little show and what we did and what we accomplished and [to] see each other again and after all these years cuz we haven’t all been together, um, like that. And to make that entrance. They kept us a secret. The audience was not allowed to see us and as soon as we came out, you know, I was afraid like, would they even recognize us? And they all stood up on their feet and were all clapping and it was just, it was profound. It was just profound.

"Lopez vs Christmas" Episode 106 -- Pictured: (l-r) Valente Rodriguez as Val, Luis Armand Garcia as Louie, Constance Marie as Connie -- (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/NBC)
“Lopez vs Christmas” Episode 106 — Pictured: (l-r) Valente Rodriguez as Val, Luis Armand Garcia as Louie, Constance Marie as Connie — (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/NBC)

JORGIE: Wow. Yeah. That sounds like a very surreal experience because just watching it on screen was amazing. Speaking of making television history, you worked on a lot of movies and TV shows with Latinx casts like My Family, Undone, Selena, and George Lopez. How does it feel personally to be a big part of increasing Latina representation on screen?

CONSTANCE MARIE: Oh my God, it feels like the biggest blessing ever. I’m also on Amazon’s With Love that is coming out in April, which is also…I’m just really lucky. And I guess people say you’re not lucky after 35 years. It’s a kind of choice making. I’ve tried very hard to only do projects that make me proud of my community and I feel like I represent us well and that’s just kind of, you know, it’s like the legacy for my daughter. The greatest compliment I ever got was what is it like to be the Florence Henderson of the Latinx community? Florence Henderson was the Brady Bunch mom, you know, who was like the universal mom. And so I just realized I made a reference that you might not even know because you’re young. 

JORGIE: I’m sorry! No I didn’t, thank you.

CONSTANCE MARIE: No, it’s ok. I know. That’s why I had to explain it. But, everybody wanted her to be their mom and somehow that has happened to my career. And it makes me so proud that I’ve consistently been able to be a positive representation for our community. And that’s why with Lopez vs. Lopez, Mayan [Lopez] it’s now like we’re passing the baton to this new show. Mayan is now the next generation representation. And Debby Wolfe, the showrunner who’s Latina, she’s the next generation of powerful women. And I think it’s so, so important what the show is doing and that’s why I think we all signed on to do it. It was because “Okay fine. Maybe there’s no reboot of the George Lopez show, but let’s pass the baton to Lopez vs. Lopez because you guys are gonna represent for future generations.”

JORGIE: Could you talk a little bit about what you love about that show?

CONSTANCE MARIE: Everything! I mean first of all, the fact that, you know, Mayan grew up around me. Since she was like five or six and she was on the other side of the tape where the audience was and now she’s on the set. She’s, you know, a co-lead of this show and I could not be prouder of her. And also George and Mayan have had an incredibly complicated relationship. And the fact that the two of them are so brave to do this show and talk about like legit family issues and try to work it out and try to make it funny, which I also think is a gift to the audience across America. Cuz how many of us come from complicated families with complicated relationships with our parents. And this provides a glimpse for that. A jumping off point that if you watch it with your family, maybe you could broach some conversations that are a little difficult, but you can also do it with love. And I feel like that is the importance of this show, the real life drama, and the fictional way of working it out and making it funny and representation and it’s just magnificent.

"Lopez vs Christmas" Episode 106 -- Pictured: (l-r) Belita Moreno as Bella, Constance Marie as Connie, Selenis Leyva as Rosie, George Lopez as George, Luis Armand Garcia as Louie, Valente Rodriguez as Val, Al Madrigal as Oscar -- (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/NBC)
“Lopez vs Christmas” Episode 106 — Pictured: (l-r) Belita Moreno as Bella, Constance Marie as Connie, Selenis Leyva as Rosie, George Lopez as George, Luis Armand Garcia as Louie, Valente Rodriguez as Val, Al Madrigal as Oscar — (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/NBC)

JORGIE: For sure. I wanted to ask you, about your show Undone. I’m like such a fan of your work on that show. Can you talk about how different it was to work on that psychological drama, animated show versus like some of the other shows you usually do?

CONSTANCE MARIE: Oh my God, it, nobody knew what we were doing for that show because the genre didn’t exist. Nobody had ever done rotoscope as a television series before. There was like one movie a long time ago with Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder called A Scanner Darkly. And so that’s the reference I had. And I said, “Okay, but they said it’s animation.” So we shot all the scenes in the conference room with no sets except for like, if you were sitting at a table, you had an actual table and a chair and whatever prop you were holding. The rest was all your imagination.

And what I did really like was that it was three Latina leads. That had not happened before. And we had, you know, we had our white guy Bob Odenkirk, he played his role very well. He’s incredibly talented. We had Bob. That’s what we always used to say. So, um, it was just, it was groundbreaking and it was heartfelt and touching. And I loved the magical realism. Was it, does she have an ability to see the future and time travel or is it brain damage from a car accident? You don’t know.

And it just explores ways of healing family trauma. And I think that that is, I don’t know, that’s like a cornerstone of basically everybody’s family, be it on Lopez vs. Lopez or be it on Undone, we all have things that we have to heal from. We all have complicated family relationships. Yes, they’re also wonderful, but life is complex. Let’s look at it either in a direct dramatic way or in a funny way.

JORGIE: Yeah, definitely. I wish I had more time to ask more questions. It was such a pleasure to talk to you. Thank you so much.

CONSTANCE MARIE: Thank you. You’re welcome. Take care.

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Jorgie is a pop culture fan and contributor at POCculture.com. He loves learning about visual effects, production, film, and art, and how they all come together to make films like Star Wars.

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