Interview with Executive Producers Bruce Helford and Debby Wolfe, and actors George Lopez, Selenis Leyva, Mayan Lopez, Al Madrigal, and Matt Shively of “Lopez vs. Lopez” on NBC by Suzanne 9/15/22
I enjoyed speaking with these actors because they’re all very funny. Because it was a TCA panel, I was only able to ask one question, so I chose to ask George and Maya what it was like to work with each other (since they’re father and daughter in real life). I would have loved to chatted with Al as well. It’s a pretty funny sitcom, and it’s based on their real lives. For some reason, George was wearing sunglasses during the entire interview. I thought that was strange, since we were all indoors.
NBC UNIVERSAL 2022 TCA PRESS TOUR
LOPEZ VS. LOPEZ
Selenis Leyva, Talent
George Lopez, Talent/Executive Producer
Mayan Lopez, Talent/Producer
Al Madrigal, Talent
Matt Shively, Talent
Bruce Helford, Executive Producer
Debby Wolfe, Showrunner/Executive Producer
Virtual via Zoom
September 15, 2022
© 2022 NBC Universal. All rights reserved.
In a virtual press conference via Zoom at the NBC Universal 2022 TCA Press Tour, the cast and producers of the upcoming series “Lopez vs. Lopez” gathered to discuss the highly-anticipated show. The talent-filled panel included Selenis Leyva, George Lopez, Mayan Lopez, Al Madrigal, Matt Shively, Bruce Helford, and Debby Wolfe, who shared insights into the show’s creation, its autobiographical elements, and the significance of representation in the Latinx community.
“Lopez vs. Lopez” is a working-class family comedy that delves into themes of dysfunction, reconnection, and the rollercoaster of emotions that come with family dynamics. The series is set to premiere on Friday, November 4th, at 8 p.m. on NBC, with subsequent episodes streaming on Peacock the following day.
During the panel, a clip from “Lopez vs. Lopez” was shown, giving the press a glimpse of the show’s humor and heart. The cast and producers, seated in two rows on the Zoom call, were ready to answer questions and discuss their experiences working on the series.
Mayan Lopez, who plays a version of herself on the show, was asked about the autobiographical elements of her character and the similarities to her real-life relationship with her father, George Lopez. Mayan shared that her parents divorced about ten years ago, and there was a period of estrangement between her and her father for approximately three years. However, the pandemic brought them back together, and they started creating TikToks as a way to reconnect. This eventually led to the birth of the idea for “Lopez vs. Lopez.” Mayan emphasized that while her character’s story reflects her own experiences, it also draws from the stories of the show’s writers and explores the cultural aspects of Latino parent-child relationships.
George Lopez, both talent and executive producer on the show, was asked about the differences between “Lopez vs. Lopez” and his previous show, “George Lopez.” He highlighted the evolution of comedy, changes in social media, and the availability of talented actors, making the production process easier. Bruce Helford, executive producer, added that the casting landscape has changed significantly, allowing for more diverse and talented performers, particularly within the Latinx community.
Debby Wolfe, showrunner and executive producer, praised George Lopez and his previous show for paving the way for Latinx talent and opening doors for diverse stories. She emphasized that “Lopez vs. Lopez” continues that legacy, bringing together a talented cast and crew to share authentic and relatable experiences.
Selenis Leyva, who plays a fictionalized version of a real person in the show, spoke about her approach to the role and the blending of her own experiences with the character. She highlighted the complexity and talent of George Lopez and Mayan Lopez, emphasizing that while they play versions of themselves, their performances require depth and skill. Debby Wolfe clarified that Selenis’ character, Rosie, is a fictionalized blend of various Latina moms, drawing inspiration from her own mother and other Latina writers in the room.
The panel also discussed the unique experience of working with family members. Mayan expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work alongside her father and called it a gift and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. George Lopez shared his admiration for the talented cast and the joy of being able to work with his daughter. The show’s executive producer, Bruce Helford, praised the genuine connection between George and Mayan on and off-screen, noting that their real-life bond shines through their performances.
Matt Shively, another cast member, discussed his role as Quinten on the show and how it differs from his previous comedic roles. He mentioned the emotional depth required for his character and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work with the talented ensemble.
Throughout the panel, the importance of representation in the Latinx community was a recurring theme. Debby Wolfe acknowledged the progress made in recent years but stressed the need for further advancements in on-screen and behind-the-scenes representation. She highlighted the responsibility of “Lopez vs. Lopez” to tell authentic stories and open doors for Latinx talent.
In conclusion, the cast and producers expressed their excitement for “Lopez vs. Lopez” and its potential to resonate with audiences, sparking conversations and connections within their own families. They recognized the significance of being part of a show that represents the Latinx community while telling universal stories of flawed, yet loving families.
“Lopez vs. Lopez” is poised to make its mark as a groundbreaking comedy, continuing the legacy set by George Lopez and opening doors for diverse storytelling and representation on television.
George Lopez is back in primetime and this time he’s bringing his real-life daughter, Mayan. This hilarious and heartwarming comedy tells the story of a working-class old-school Latino who moves in with his modern Gen Z daughter as they rebuild their dysfunctional relationship one argument at a time. It’s old vs. new, father vs. daughter, Lopez vs. Lopez.
“Lopez vs Lopez” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group in association with Mohawk Productions, Travieso Productions, Mi Vida Loba and 3 Arts.
George Lopez/Executive Producer, “Lopez vs. Lopez”
Lopez has broken ground for Latino comics by embracing his ethnicity, confronting racial stereotypes, and fighting for his community on and off the stage. He will join the DC universe in 2023 in the superhero film “Blue Beetle.”
Lopez’s “OMG Hi!” comedy tour concluded in the fall. He has four HBO specials on his resume: “The Wall” (2017), “It’s Not Me, It’s You” (2012), “Tall, Dark and Chicano” (2009), which was nominated for a Best Comedy Album Grammy Award, and “America’s Mexican” (2007).
On television, Lopez produced and starred in “Lopez,” a semi-autobiographical single camera sitcom for two seasons on TV Land. In 2014, Lopez co-created and starred in the multi-camera ensemble comedy “Saint George” for FX. He hosted TBS’ inaugural late-night talk show, “Lopez Tonight,” for two seasons, marking Lopez’s return to series television after co-creating, writing, producing and starring in ABC’s groundbreaking hit sitcom “George Lopez,” which ran for six seasons.
Lopez’s extensive film credits include “Walking with Herb,” “Western No Man’s Land,” “The Tax Collector,” “El Chicano,” “Valentine’s Day,” “The Spy Next Door” and “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl.” He starred in and produced the inspirational drama “Spare Parts,” based on a true story about four undocumented Mexican-American teens who team up to build a robot for a national competition. Lopez has lent his voice to a string of animated films, including “Rio,” “Smurfs,” “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and the “Cats & Dogs” franchises.
In May 2004, Lopez’s autobiography “Why You Crying?” earned a spot on The New York Times Bestseller Top 20 List. Lopez released his second memoir in 2013, “I’m Not Gonna Lie and Other Lies You Tell When You Turn 50.”
Time magazine named him one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America in 2005 and the Harris Poll named him one of the Top Ten Favorite Television Personalities. The following year, Lopez received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Mayan Lopez, “Lopez vs. Lopez”
Mayan Lopez plays Mayan Lopez on the new NBC comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez.”
Lopez, who is an actress, producer and Tik Tok influencer, grew upon the set of the hit television series “George Lopez,” which started filming when she was 5 years old.
To help launch her career, Lopez received extensive training at the Conservatory Program at Second City Chicago and Columbia College Chicago’s Comedy Writing and Performance Program. She honed her improv skills while performing with various improv troupes late at night at Second City after the Main Stage shows and also did voiceover work for the local Chicago and regional Midwest market.
Lopez left Chicago and returned to Los Angeles just as the pandemic struck. In quarantine and with no auditions, she started to do Tik Tok videos as a creative outlet and her account took off.
Her other credits include “Handsome: A Netflix Murder Mystery,” “Other People,” “Jersey,” “Mr. Troop Mom” and “George Lopez.”
Rosie “Lopez vs. Lopez”
Leyva is best known for her co-starring role on the Netflix hit series “Orange Is the New Black” and in the Disney+ original “Diary of a Future President.” For her work on the latter, she won a 2021 Gracie Award, which honors standout women in entertainment and news programming that addresses timely topics and social issues.
Up next, Leyva will star alongside John Boyega and Connie Britton in the drama “Breaking,” which opens in theaters Aug. 26. Leyva and her “Breaking” cast won the Special Jury Award for Ensemble Cast in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at this year’s Sundance. She will also star alongside Michael B. Jordan in the highly anticipated “Creed III,” opening Nov. 23. Leyva recently wrapped production on the HBO Max comedy series “Gordita Chronicles,” which will chronicle the life of a 12-year-old Dominican girl who struggles to fit into 1980s Miami as her family pursues the American dream.
Quinten, “Lopez vs. Lopez”
Matt Shively plays Quinten on the new NBC comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez.”
Following high school, Shively launched his career in 2008 with a role on Nickelodeon’s “True Jackson VP.” In addition to a series regular role on the ABC comedy “The Real O’Neals,” other prominent series in which Shively has appeared include “The Purge,” “American Housewife,” “Santa Clarita Diet,” “Teen Wolf,” “CSI,” “Aquarius,” “SMILF,” “Me, Myself and I,” “The Resident,” “Last Man Standing” and “Grand Hotel.”
On the film side, Shively made his way to the big screen in 2012 in “Paranormal Activity 4.” Other movies on his resume include “Power Rangers,” “Father of the Year,” “The Wedding Year,” “Bucky and the Squirrels,” “Expelled,” “Underwater Upside Down” and “Mark, Mary + Some Other People.”
Last year Shively joined the cast “Players,” Paramount+’s upcoming esports series.
Oscar, “Lopez vs. Lopez”
Al Madrigal plays Oscar on the new NBC comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez.”
Madrigal’s film credits include “The Way Back” with co-star Ben Affleck. He’s has also been seen in “Night School,” alongside Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish; “Morbius,” alongside Jared Leto; and “Hollywood Stargirl,” opposite Judy Greer and Uma Thurman.
On television, Madrigal is best known as the senior Latino correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” a series regular and writer on Showtime’s “I’m Dying Up Here” and served as a writer, actor, and producer on the CBS show “Broke.”
Madrigal and fellow comedian Bill Burr co-founded All Things Comedy, which is a leading comedy podcast network featuring shows hosted by some of the industry’s top comedians that has over 15 million listeners and 50+ shows.
Executive Producer, “Lopez vs. Lopez”
Bruce Helford is the supervising writer and an executive producer on the new NBC comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez.”
Helford co-created “The Drew Carey Show” and served as executive producer for its entire run from 1995-2004. He also created or co-created “The Norm Show,” “Wanda at Large,” “Freddie,” “George Lopez,” “Nikki,” “Bless This House,” “The Oblongs,” “Anger Management” and “Kevin Can Wait.”
After serving as executive producer and head writer on the fifth season of “Roseanne” in 1992, he returned as executive producer and head writer for the revival and series spinoff, “The Conners.”
Executive Producer, “Lopez vs. Lopez”
Debby Wolfe is the showrunner and an executive producer on the new NBC comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez.”
Wolfe’s other credits include “The Conners” for ABC, “Primo” for Freevee, “Love, Victor” for Hulu and “One Day at a Time” for Netflix. She previously had development at Amazon, Disney+ and CBS.
Her award-winning short films have screened in festivals worldwide, including Tribeca, NBC Universal Short Cuts, the BET Urbanworld Film Festival and the HBO NYC Latino Film Festival.
Despite her many accomplishments in comedy, Wolfe’s Salvadorian mother still doesn’t think she’s funny. Her Jewish father says he could do her job better.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda