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  HOME | Arts & Entertainment

Karla Souza Finding Right Comedic Note in ‘Home Economics’

LOS ANGELES – A completely synchronized and “in tune” orchestra where a single discordant note can ruin everything. That is how “Home Economics” star Karla Souza described to EFE the spark needed to create good comedy on her return to it after several years of dramatic roles, including “Nosotros los Nobles” (2013) and “How to Get Away with Murder” (2014-2020).

On Wednesday, Souza will make her debut on ABC’s “Home Economics,” a comedy series also starring Topher Grace, Caitlin McGee, Jimmy Tatro and Sasheer Zamata.

“Home Economics” focuses on three brothers: a writer in his spare time (Grace), a millionaire (Tatro) and an out-of-work therapist (McGee).

Intertwined among the misadventures, jealousies and awkward incidents involving the three brothers is Marina (Souza), the Mexican wife of Grace’s character who, from an ironic but also pragmatic perspective, watches the train wreck of her in-laws almost always with a glass of wine in her hand.

Question: Let’s talk about Marina, a character who, in the face of the doubts and problems of the three brothers, seems to have things pretty clear and her head in the right place.

Answer: One hundred percent. I (speaking for Marina) don’t understand all the things that they’re thinking about or the problems that they make for themselves.

Marina is very clear about what she needs to do.

She knows when she wants a drink (of wine), why … what kind of wine she wants … when … At times she goes too far, perhaps she hasn’t eaten enough and then she has to vomit. But (then) she knows she has to return to the party.

That’s Marina. She doesn’t go around worrying about much. Yes, she has three children, but she’s trying to avoid them at all costs.

Q: Marina is trying to convince her husband, Tom, to ask his brother for a loan. How is that relationship with her husband?

A: I think that Marina is the one who wears the pants in the family. She’s the alpha personality in the marriage, definitely.

She’s not afraid of asking for money from the brother (of her husband) because he’s a millionaire, literally.

She says to (Tom): “If you want I can return to my job as an attorney” … And it ends up being Marina who pushes him (to ask his brother for the money).

Sometimes in this family they have … things they don’t want to communicate, and Marina is like: “Say it, say it. Why don’t you talk about things more?

She’s a bit of the antithesis of the three brothers.

Q: Why in this family is it so tough to tell the other brothers what’s going on?

A: Everyone thinks that the others (in his/her family) have things better than he/she does. That also happens in the series …

In this family, when they’re face to face and talking about these things … is when they’re really saying: “Oh, so you’re not happy where you are either? … So give me a hug since we’re all screwed up…”

That’s the family dynamic. Until you look at yourself and talk about it, you keep going on with mistaken ideas about what the other person is experiencing.

Q: In the US, they may know you better for “How to Get Away with Murder,” and so comedy in “Home Economics” means a complete change for you.

A: I told my team that I wanted to do comedy … And, suddenly, I got to the set and … several actors in this series … only do comedy … and they (had all sorts of) ideas … And I felt like the little grandmother who’s just starting over (smiling).

I said: “Oh boy, I’m going to have to rework my timing and everything.” And so, after rehearsals and all the rest, I thought “OK, I’ve gotten into this world also” … It’s like a musical machine that’s playing and you have to come in with the right note for it to work. And if not, it doesn’t work.

It seems easy and effortless, but it’s not.

Q: It’s clear … that (Marina is) Mexican. Why … is (that) an important contribution to the story?

A: If it weren’t like that I wouldn’t have done it that way. That’s how I can tell you very simply.

(At first) they wanted Marina to be Peruvian … But I told them that … I’m not going to laugh at the Peruvians or say something about Peru when I’m not Peruvian.

I think the world’s changing a lot (in that sense) and I told them that I could contribute a lot from where I’m from and with my comedy.


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