Meet Al Madrigal, who plays Oscar on Lopez vs. Lopez.
Neil Bui: Just wanted to start off and say I’ve been familiar with you since your work on The Daily Show. So, I’m a big fan of your brand of comedy.
Al Madrigal: Thanks, you’re in a very small group of people, but I appreciate it.
Neil Bui: Coming onto the cast of Lopez vs. Lopez, how would you describe the comedy and dynamics at play here?
Al Madrigal: It’s a big silly multicam. If people don’t know the difference, [when] you have a multicam, there are 5 cameras on the floor. So, we capture scenes from a bunch of different angles. It’s all on one stage. Something like Seinfeld went out in the street, that sort of New York City Street, that was on the CBS Radford lot. But we knocked these out, it’s a big, fun, silly show that has a ton of heart in it as well because it’s based on George and Mayan’s real experience. Typically, when you do a show, you have to establish chemistry with your co-stars, and everybody goes out to dinner, and then they hang out. You know, this is based on their real life. This is a real father and daughter.
Neil Bui: Playing the role of George Lopez’s best friend onscreen I think most audiences might be familiar with Ernie from The George Lopez Show. How would you describe your character and how he brings a new take on being friends with this version of George Lopez?
Al Madrigal: I feel like we have good chemistry because we are friends. Ernie with the previous show, he was so good. He actually came out, I’m not sure if you saw the Christmas episode, but the old cast came over to dinner and it was so fantastic working with that group. I just know what I think is funny and that’s all I can do, is use my own taste and choices. But I really do care for George and hopefully that shows because I think Oscar the character cares for him way too much. Oscar would definitely jump in front of a moving car to save George. That is where my character lives, like anything to help this guy out.
Neil Bui: I know an upcoming episode of Lopez vs. Lopez features this friendship battle rivalry with you and Momo over George. You want to kind of tease us about what’s really driving this conflict for the show?
Al Madrigal: You think about your own relationships when you have a best friend. Neil, do you have a best friend?
Neil Bui: Yes.
Al Madrigal: And then some new guy comes in and starts to sort of, you know, dominate that person’s time. It can’t be helped that there’s this rivalry. That’s where me and Momo are at. And then we realized that we’re both being… Like I was telling everybody on the call prior to this, it’s not The Last of Us so I’m not gonna be spoiling too much here but it’s definitely a rivalry and we realize George’s motivation isn’t exactly based in friendship.
Neil Bui: I can definitely see that. I think a common theme throughout this first season so far has been George managing his, I guess, innate, subconscious decision making and then what he truly wants to do as a father and a person. For my next question, I’m really curious how the dynamic has been with cast members, outside of George, like watching the show really shows that Oscar is George’s best friend and Oscar floats around.
Al Madrigal: We’re exploring that more, you get more opportunities like [that], and I think there’s an episode that you haven’t seen also that’s due out, like I spent some time with Rosie, like I spent some time with Quinten/Matt Shively, who’s quickly becoming one of my favorite people. I love the fact that he gets an opportunity to like to spend some time with people that aren’t George. So, I think there’s a tremendous opportunity for me to float around from the different cast members and lend my Oscar insight to whatever situation they find themselves in.
Neil Bui: What do you hope that audiences take away after watching episodes of Lopez vs. Lopez?
Al Madrigal: Well, I think the high watermark for comedy, for me, is when you are silly, it’s smart and heartfelt, and you’re saying something at the same time. So, if you can have all of those things come together, that’s what makes a great show. So, on every single episode you’re trying to stick that landing of being super silly, have a ton of jokes, but then also communicating something in a very sophisticated way that is you’re shedding light on maybe a difficult subject and causing some people to think that they are watching the show. So, if you can laugh, you can think, you can cry, that makes a great show.
Neil Bui: Thank you so much for your time today, Al. Really appreciate speaking with you and I’m looking forward to the rest of Lopez vs Lopez.
Al Madrigal: Awesome, thanks man. Alright, later!
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