CHELSEA RENDON [VIDA]

Actress Chelsea Rendon is no stranger to acting. She has been a working actress since the age of 7 starred in several films and TV shows like No Turning Back, E.R., McFarland USA, Netflix’s Bright, The Fosters and a lot more. She currently plays the role of the young activist Mari in STARZ’ VIDA- a show set in East Los Angeles and focuses on the lives of two Mexican-American sisters (Mishel Prada and Melissa Barrera) as well as the Latinx community around them. It is an important show about family, love and identity. 

Like the title of their show VIDA which means life, Rendon provides life to all the characters that she portrays. In this exclusive interview, read on the actress’ stories about her career as a young actress, working on VIDA, how growing up in East LA helped her to connect with her character Mari, her upcoming projects and her dream to work with Denzel Washington.

PHOTOGRAPHY:  JOHNNY JUAREZ

PHOTOGRAPHY: JOHNNY JUAREZ

How was it to start acting when you were young? Did your years of experience help you a lot throughout your career?

Being a kid and curious on set you learn so much about directing, make up, producing etc; it was everything I could hope for. Every project I have worked on has helped me be in the place I am today.

What’s your most memorable audition story?

There was a time when I had an emotional audition and while I was in the waiting room I received a text message from a director I had just worked with. It said how talented I was and that he wanted to find a meaty role for me. I had to go outside and jump up and down because I was so excited. I was so happy that I bombed the audition.

To those who have not seen VIDA yet, what can you tell them about the show and why should they watch it?

It is a great show about family, love and identity. It’s super sexy and out there. We talk about things that are very important, especially right now.

Bralette and Top: MISHI, Skirt: PARADISE RANCH DESIGNS, Coat: JOEL EPSTEIN, Heels: CHARLES DAVID, Necklace and Bracelet: DM JEWELRY, Sunnies: ZERO UV

Bralette and Top: MISHI, Skirt: PARADISE RANCH DESIGNS, Coat: JOEL EPSTEIN, Heels: CHARLES DAVID, Necklace and Bracelet: DM JEWELRY, Sunnies: ZERO UV

Tell us more about your character MARI in VIDA. What’s the best thing about playing her?

Mari is a badass activist from the neighborhood. She hates the sisters and what they represent; “white-tinas”. I love being able to play such a strong character who is also very vulnerable. You get to see the softer side with Tlaloc and Yoli.

How do you approach playing her character?

I grew up in Montebello, East LA so I pretty much was Mari growing up aside from the activism. I did a lot of research and connected it to my own upbringing. I wanted to be as real as possible.

Top: PARADISE RANCH DESIGNS, Coverup: THE ZAM, Earrings: JOIA, Heels: CHARLES DAVID, Bracelets: JEWEL BADGLEY MISCHKA

Top: PARADISE RANCH DESIGNS, Coverup: THE ZAM, Earrings: JOIA, Heels: CHARLES DAVID, Bracelets: JEWEL BADGLEY MISCHKA

How was it to work with a latinx cast and to represent the latinx community in Los Angeles?

It was such an amazing experience, like family; seeing all the little things that the crew added that maybe the other viewers won’t notice but the Latinos connect with. It is amazing to have a show about Latinos by Latinos. I think that is the best way we represent. 

Tell us about your upcoming projects in The Tax Collector, The Infiltrators, and Retreat. What can the audience expect about the characters that you will play?

The Tax Collector is a gritty street crime drama. I can’t say much but my character is fun! The Infiltrators is a true story about a situation with detention center in 2012. It is a very powerful story and I play a real life activist. Retreat is a dark comedy. My character Maisy is like nothing I’ve played before. She’s not a tough or chola type.

 

LEFT:  Dress: SINGLE, Coverup: A LINE CALLED K, Heels: CHARLES DAVID, Earrings: MAMA CASAR, Necklace: JEWEL BADGLEY MISCHKA, Rings: JOIA  RIGHT:  Top: PARADISE RANCH DESIGNS, Coverup: THE ZAM, Earrings: JOIA

LEFT: Dress: SINGLE, Coverup: A LINE CALLED K, Heels: CHARLES DAVID, Earrings: MAMA CASAR, Necklace: JEWEL BADGLEY MISCHKA, Rings: JOIA RIGHT: Top: PARADISE RANCH DESIGNS, Coverup: THE ZAM, Earrings: JOIA

What is your dream role/project?

I really want to play a psychopath; someone super sweet that ends up being a killer. I also want to play a cop, like Olivia Benson from SVU.

 

Which actor do you dream to work with?

I would die if I worked with Denzel Washington.

 

Where do you get your inspirations?

My biggest inspiration is my mother. She is the strongest, smartest woman I know. She helped me get to where I am and I want to make her proud.

LEFT: Dress: SINGLE, Coverup: A LINE CALLED K, Heels: CHARLES DAVID, Earrings: MAMA CASAR, Necklace: JEWEL BADGLEY MISCHKA, Rings: JOIA  RIGHT:  Dress: CHARMIANE JOIA, Earrings: JOIA, Shoes: CHARLES DAVID, Hair Comb: JEWEL BADGLEY MISCHKA

LEFT: Dress: SINGLE, Coverup: A LINE CALLED K, Heels: CHARLES DAVID, Earrings: MAMA CASAR, Necklace: JEWEL BADGLEY MISCHKA, Rings: JOIA RIGHT: Dress: CHARMIANE JOIA, Earrings: JOIA, Shoes: CHARLES DAVID, Hair Comb: JEWEL BADGLEY MISCHKA

What else keeps you busy if you are not acting?

I watch so much TV and love hanging with my friends and family. I am also a brown belt in American Kenpo Karate which takes a lot of time and energy.

 

If you were a book, what book would you be and why?
I might be a Self-Help book. I am super positive and always try to help people and make them feel good.

I would say we could name it “Si Se Puede” (Yes You Can)