Latinx representation in Hollywood is limited and especially now on television and we can a new comedy centered on an immigrant Dominican family living in Miami to the short list. The series, Gordita Chronicles, is set to premiere on HBO Max and is inspired by the life of writer Claudia Forestieri (Selena: The Series) and will be directed by Eva Longoria. It centers on Carlota “Cucu” Castelli, who will be played by newcomer Olivia Goncalves, Deadline reported, described as “a willful 12-year-old Dominican immigrant with a heart of gold.”
Cucu and her family leave their home in her parochial school in Santo Domingo to live in Miami in the 1980s. Her father is a marketing executive with a large airline who gets transferred to the U.S. and so begins their journey to achieve the American Dream. Forestieri is bilingual and was born in Puerto Rico, grew up in Miami, and is of Dominican-Italian descent. Dominican sisters Zoe Saldana, Mariel Saldana and Cisely Saldana executive produce the series for Cinestar Pictures. The cast also includes Savannah Nicole Ruiz, Noah Rico and Cosette Hauer.
“The women in this photo came together to help bring Gordita Chronicles to life. In the process, we proved yet again that as Latinas, we’re stronger together. #representationmatters,” Forestieri capitioned a post on Instagram with Longoria, the Saldana sisters, and executive producer and showrunner Brig Muñoz-Liebowitz (One Day at a Time).
Latinx representation is evident both behind and in front of the camera, something the team behind the series was intentional about. Ruiz has appeared on the Latinx Netflix series Gentefied while Rico was on the series Betty en NY, and Hauer is a newcomer. Dominican actress Diana Maria Riva (Dead to Me, Sabrina the Teenage Witch) and Juan Javier Cardenas, who is of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent, best known for his work on The Walking Dead.
“From the minute we heard Claudia’s childhood story, we knew it was not only incredibly funny, but emotionally poignant and an important story to tell,” Jason Clodfelter, Co-President, Sony Pictures Television Studios, said in a statement. “Cucu and the Castellis remind us of the iconic sitcom families we grew up watching, but none of those ever captured a Dominican family’s experience of coming to America. This show changes all of that, and we are thrilled and grateful to dive back in and make a wonderful series for our friends at HBO Max.”
The show is currently in production and no premiere date has been announced but we’ll keep you posted.