I had the opportunity to attend a round table with Karla Souza, one of the stars of the new ABC comedy Home Economics. The series stars Topher Grace as Tom, Caitlin McGee as Sarah, Jimmy Tatro as Connor, Karla Souza as Marina, and Sasheer Zamata as Denise. Also starring is Shiloh Bearman as Gretchen, Jordyn Curet as Shamiah, Chloe Jo Rountree as Camila, and JeCobi Swain as Kelvin.
This light-hearted comedy is about sibling relationships, family dynamics, and the effect that finances can have on it all. Karla’s character Marina in “Home Economics” is a wife and a mom and a proud Latina – just as Karla is in real life.
“I’m so in love with laughing at work all day.”
Karla told us how ready she was to do a comedy after spending so many years doing hardcore drama on How To Get Away with Murder. She was ready for some laughs after this past year, and the role of Marina just hit home in so many ways. Marina is a Mom, Karla is a Mom, Marina used to be a lawyer, Karla played a lawyer, and just like Marina, Karla also has in-laws that make maybe not so sensitive comments.
So having the character resonate and wanting a chance away from drama, this role was just perfect for Karla to dive into. “People are so hungry to just like lay back, relax, and have a few laughs”, says Karla. Regardless of wanting this comedic role, she recognizes just how hard comedy is coming from the drama of How To Get Away with Murder.
Again, she reiterated that Marina is a lot like herself, she’s a Mom, she is exhausted and she may just use some excuses to get that precious moment to herself. She can also relate to the sibling rivalry that happens between the 3 siblings in Home Economics.
Probably one of the most important ways she is like her character is her Mexican roots. She told us how the show is based on the showrunners life, and his wife is from Peru, and although she loves Peru, she couldn’t authentically play a Peruvian character. She said, “I can’t laugh at Peruvian people if I’m Mexican. There’s gonna be some self-deprecating jokes if I’m not Peruvian like that is not OK. I said if you want someone to play a Peruvian, you guys need to cast a Peruvian.”
She specifically asked for there to be writers that are Spanish speakers, that are Mothers, that are women, and that have the attributes that Marina has so that it comes very specific and isn’t like a man writing her Motherhood experience. Karla even made sure that the clothing Marina wears in the show is authentic, and comes from Mexican companies because she wanted her to be authentically Mexican and not a “whitewashed’ version of what they thought Marina would look like.”
Representation throughout the entire cast is important such as feminism, Motherhood, the LGBTQ community, race, ethnicity, etc. All of these avenues are presented and explored.
Karla went on to discuss her co-stars. Topher is very committed, disciplined, super lovely, and very professional. Sashir and Caitlyn and Jimmy, she said, “were such a pleasure.” She said that all of them have different humor separately, but together it just all comes together and works. They generally all love working with one another and hanging out with one another and that friendship comes through on-screen.
Having seen the pilot episode and the second episode as well, I can attest to the friendship coming through on-screen. The show reminds me a lot of Modern Family in the way it is filmed and the subtle nuances it has. It’s smart, and it’s funny and it will definitely speak to a lot of people.
“Home Economics” joins ABC’s Wednesday night comedy block on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7 (8:30-9:00 p.m. EST) on ABC.
STAY SOCIAL WITH HOME ECONOMICS