Popular Girl: Chelsea Rendon
May 24, 2020
Popular Girl Chelsea Rendon shines far greater than most, I guess that’s why her show ‘Vida‘ is on Starz! While the Montebello native is currently killing her role as Mari, you can also find her in the Netflix original ‘Bright’, Freeform’s ‘The Fosters’ and the critically acclaimed Showtime series Shameless’.
We spoke with Chelsea about her role as Mari, her last purchase, and the hilarious story behind her first role.
1. Tell us about your character Mari and the show Vida?
It’s about two sisters moving back to Boyle Heights when their mother dies and finding out she was married to a woman when they didn’t know. A lot of drama happens, with love triangles, finding yourself, and connecting to your roots . Mari is an activist from the neighborhood that’s against gentrification and she sees her sisters as gentefiers – so they’re not cool.
2. How are you and your character similar? And how are you different?
Me and Mari are very similar because I myself am from Montebello East LA and a tomboy as well. I am very in your face and very… let’s just say I can be harsh about my opinions. I feel like Mari is the same way. But we’re also different because I didn’t grow up living with my dad, so I didn’t grow up in that machismo household. And I wasn’t really an activist until the show. It kind of created that in me and also I think the fact that she’s more naive to men and I’m not so that’s how we’re different.
3. What was the filming of “Vida” like?
Filming Vida was such an amazing experience because there were so many Brown people on set and there were so many people of color and it was so just amazing, and it felt like family. Everybody hugged and said hi to each other and it was just really beautiful, and I think it’s the first time I’ve really had that family aspect on set. Again, I think that stems from having so many Latinos and people of color behind the scenes
4. Tell us about ‘The Infiltrators’.
The biggest thing that the infiltrators taught me was that whether or not you feel that you can make a difference, you can. These people literally put themselves on the line and made a difference and got people out of the detention center. Again these people are young folks that were like 20 something years old didn’t even have papers, and they were able to make a difference. So, everyone can make a difference .
5. What do you recall from your first acting credit?
So, my first acting credit was actually a commercial for a lawyer and I was supposed to be paralyzed from the waist down. I remember like swimming in the pool and just moving my arms and then sitting in a wheelchair and the most memorable thing from that experience was it was in Spanish and the white guy who was the lawyer kept saying *cue gringo accent* “todo para los ninos” and then little old 6 year old Chelsea’s like it’s “todo para los niños”and they actually had to have my mom come on set to tell me to stop correcting him so that was really fun.
6. Your proudest moment?
One of my proudest moments has been when I got an offer to work on the show Shameless. I found out that the creator John Wells is a fan of Vida and that just made me feel like “Wow. This person feels that I’m so talented and is giving me this part” and it just made me like kind of take a step back and realize “Wow. People are seeing me in people respect my talent in my work I love her, and I want the best for her”.
7. Last thing you purchased?
The last thing I purchased was actually a pool for my backyard. I was hoping it would help me be more active and then help in the summertime when it’s hot. It was kind of a big purchase. It’s like an 18-foot pool which is way bigger than I thought, but yeah really proud!
8. What motivates you?
What really motivates me is the fact that because I’ve been in the business for so long I been able to see the different phases of “Oh wow Latinos are gonna come up right now” and it’s happened like every five years but right now it’s such an amazing time for Latinos in Hollywood and I’m so proud to be a part of that group and it just motivates me to keep working so that the next generation has an easier time and they don’t have to play the same stereotypical parts over and over and over and that’s really that’s really what motivates me.
9. Can you tell us a secret?
But I talk about it with my friends I actually slept in the same bed with my mom until I was 15 years old. Part of it was because we lived in like a one bedroom or something or a 2 bedroom where I had to share a room with her and my sister had her own room, but then the other part of it was I just got used to it and she would like massage me to sleep don’t judge me. Haha!
- Photographer Vince Trupsin @VinceTrupsin