Rita Moreno and the cast of the Netflix comedy One Day at a Time are bringing the heart back to television! The series – which is entering its third season on the streaming service – follows the hilarious antics of a Cuban family who have three generations living under one roof. Penélope (played by Justina Machado) is a single mom raising her two teenage children in Los Angeles. Penélope’s mother Lydia, (played by Rita Moreno) rounds out the family dynamics and brings the sass. Rita and Justina channel the women in their families – making the on-screen dynamic authentic.
Rita Moreno and the cast of One Day at a Time talk to HOLA! USA about bringing the heart back to TV
“Lydia is like me in that we are both very energetic, very loud,” the 87-year-old Puerto Rican actress told HOLA! USA. “She is not like me in that she is vain, very dramatic. Her accent in English was inspired by my mom’s.” Justine’s didn’t have to look far for inspiration for her role. The 46-year-old star had the ladies in her life to look to. “Penélope resembles me in the sense of community and family that we share,” she said. “I know what it’s like to be part of a Latino family and live with your mother and your grandma, and what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck. She continued: “She’s unlike me in that I don’t have children, and also she is more patient than I am.”
The show also stars Todd Grinnell and Isabella Gómez and Marcel Ruiz, who play Justine’s on-screen children. When it came to the all-Latino ensemble creating a family dynamic – it their connection to their heritage made it a breeze. “The chemistry is incredible! From the first day that we sat down to read the script, it was as if we had always been a family,” Rita said. “I think it’s because we’re all Latinos. Norman Lear [the executive pro-ducer] was speechless!.” Just like any other family, there are differences. However, the cast doesn’t let that stop them from coming together, working it out and getting the job done. “We were a family from the first day,”
Rita Moreno and Justina Machado's series is entering it's third season Photo: Getty Images
Justine added. “We love each other, we laugh together, sometimes—as it happens in all families— we fight, but love always wins!” To read every bit of our fun and fascinating interview with the amazing cast of One Day at a Time, pick up the March issue of HOLA! USA available on newsstands on February 15, or click here to subscribe!