The highly anticipated Party of Five reboot is coming to Freeform in 2020. Notably, this revival has a totally different storyline from the original. While the number of siblings and the part about missing parents are still the same, the new storyline is ripped from the headlines.
The heart-wrenching trailer could have been a scene from the news or a documentary about family separation. A mother and father are held in ICE detention while their children watch helplessly, as they’re forced onto buses and deported to Mexico. The Buendia family could be any family and the producers and writers have taken special care to ensure they handle these delicate topics with empathy.
Tosta’s character Lucia becomes angry and radicalized when she loses her parents. But it’s a very real and timely conviction that Tosta says she was excited to portray. “Lucia is such a badass, she’s very determined. She’s not afraid to stand up for what she believes in, she’s very studious — she’s a straight-A student. And she becomes a justice warrior and she’s breaking those stereotypes that the industry has for people like us which is so relevant” Tosta said at the NALIP Diverse Women In Media panel.
Lucia’s character, like all the characters on the show, will give viewers real people to relate to that are more than the short-sighted archetypes they’re used to seeing in Hollywood. “There are stereotypes for us and we’re more than that, we’re more than just the sexy Latina, we’re more than just the drug dealers, we’re more than just the gang members. We’re more than that and the show isn’t afraid to portray such strong male and female characters that have such complexity to them.”
Like the rest of us, Tosta, as well as the cast and crew are glued to the news. The timely nature of the show means that everyone involved is racing to stay informed. “My two older siblings on the show, which are Brandon [Larracuente] and Niko [Guardado] they play Beto and Emilio and we have a group chat where we’re constantly sending each other articles and you know we’re just trying to keep informed on what’s going on in the world so we can bring it to the show,” Tosta told HipLatina
this is so surreal. our faces at times square. i can’t breathe😭❤️ so beyond blessed!! AHH WHATS HAPPENING https://t.co/ZEz7vwNxSd
— emily tosta (@emilytosta) December 17, 2019
Emily Tosta, who plays Lucia Buendía on the show, says that she has drawn from her own immigration story in order to play her character.
“I definitely did [use my own experience] just being an immigrant and constantly dealing with legal issues and having to renew work visas, and going through family members that aren’t even allowed to come to the country. My grandma and my mom haven’t seen each other because my mom lives in constant fear of leaving the country and my grandma cant even come into the country. They haven’t seen each other in 10 years. And those are stories that happen to so many people. So being able to draw from my real life and what happens in my world and bring it into the Party Of Five world I think helps me be able to tell an authentic and real story.”
Tosta’s message for other women and girls who, like her have the odds stacked against them is this: “I would just tell them don’t give up, work hard, stay perseverant, stay determined, and something that my mom would always tell me is that I have a plan A, I don’t have a plan B. My plan B is to reinforce plan A,” she laughed.
Party of Five will premiere January 8th on Freeform.