There's nothing quite like our crazy Latinx familias, and Naya Rivera experiences that on a whole new level in her latest film, Mad Families.
Currently streaming on Crackle, Mad Families stars Charlie Sheen, Leah Remini, Finesse Mitchell, Chanel Iman, Efren Ramirez and Danny Mora. The flick follows three families (one Latino, one African American and one Caucasian) as they find themselves having to share the same campsite over Fourth of July weekend due to a booking error. The camp's mistake quickly causes these families' vacation to turn into a full on war to decide which group actually gets to stay on the camp grounds.
Rivera, who filed for divorce from husband Ryan Dorsey in November 2016 and recently celebrated her 30th birthday alongside her son and some friends, plays Felipa, a member of the Latino family who isn't quite into all the shenanigans. We caught up with the former Glee actress on her birthday to discuss this new role, what it was like working with Leah Remini and Charlie Sheen, raising Josey and more.
Read it all in our exclusive interview below:
First and foremost, happy birthday! You're celebrating the big 3-0 today, any special plans? What are your hopes for this year?
Nothing too crazy. I'm going to hang out with Josey for a little bit and have dinner with some girlfriends. It feels pretty cool to be entering a new decade. I'm just looking back at all the things I accomplished in my 20s and looking ahead to the future.
We're excited to see you back on the screen! Tell us about your character Felipa in Mad Families. What did you enjoy most about playing her?
She's a part of the Mexican family, and she and her two brothers and dad are on this camping trip for her dad’s birthday. There are a lot of twists and turns and surprises. There's a storyline between Felipa and another character — I won't spoil it — but it ends up kind of being the reason why two of the families are on the campground in the first place. She's really like a courtroom stenographer, and she wears Keds, and is completely opposite of Santana or myself. She's a peacemaker, she doesn't like to fight — and she’s reserved. It was kind of fun to play that. I really enjoyed just trying to find the comedy in things that aren't so obvious, and that was pretty cool.
You got to work with Leah Remini and Charlie Sheen — what was that like? Any crazy or funny moments on set with those two?
It was awesome! They are such great people. They’re funny and professional. I'm a fan of both of them so it was cool to be able to be in a cast with them. We were doing a shoot one night for one of the scenes where there was pyro techniques involved and a lot of fire. All of the women had to run in with fire extinguishers and put them out. We were there at like 3am and it was so cold. Leah was playing rap music on her phone and we were all dancing to it. We kept ourselves occupied.
Mad Families is centered around three families who are competing for a camping spot during 4th of July weekend. Things get pretty insane! What are some of the craziest things you experienced with your own family growing up?
Oh my gosh! I think every family has their crazy, but my family, we’re all really loud and extroverted. We definitely had our moments and along those lines we were like big campers and big voters. We always had fun times out there.
Do you think they would have won a battle like this one we see in Mad Families?
Yeah, for sure — and then we have an athlete in the family.
Going camping as a kid, did you hate it or love it?
It was 50/50. I remember loving it, but I was also really girly. I didn’t want to get my hair wet, it was really hot, and I didn't want to get too tan. I always had an excuse.
Tell us one of the scariest things you experienced during those trips.
Not while camping but on a boating trip. My dad jumped off the back of our boat to get the anchor that was stuck, and he gashed his leg open on the propeller. We had to then run in the cove. He was asking for sugar water and we were just like “Why do you need that?” It was scary but also hilarious because of the whole sugar water thing. To this day we still bring that story up.
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