Lopez vs. Lopez Star Mayan Lopez Wants You to Laugh — & Heal — Through Her Pain

At the age of five, Mayan Lopez made an odd discovery: she shared a dad with the rest of America. Her papi, actor and comedian George Lopez, was the only Latine sitcom father in 2000s-era television, so for countless millennial and Gen-Z viewers, he felt like ours, too. 
Through TikTok, Lopez has been sharing parts of her dad and their real-life relationship in ways we didn’t get to see on TV. Since 2020, she has been laughing at her family drama and traumas, bothering her divorced parents, and not taking herself too seriously — and hundreds of thousands of people have been tuning in. It’s these viral videos that led to Lopez vs. Lopez, a new NBC series premiering November 4 that fictionalizes the real-life relationship between Lopez and her father.
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“I want people to feel like they see themselves and have a new family that they can fall in love with, with characters they can relate to,” the Mexican-Cuban actor and producer of the series tells Refinery29 Somos. 

“I want people to feel like they see themselves and have a new family that they can fall in love with, with characters they can relate to."

Mayan lopez
Twenty years after the 2002 premiere of George Lopez, Lopez vs. Lopez tells a new Latine family story, one where a working-class father and his daughter, estranged after betrayal and divorce, try to rebuild their relationship.
The series hits home — literally — for its co-stars, as Lopez and her father were estranged following George’s infidelity and subsequent split with Mayan's mother. Since the start of the pandemic, the pair has been reconciling their relationship, and some of that healing is happening on set. 
“I think this whole series has been incredibly healing, more healing than my dad and I thought going in,” the 26-year-old says. “There are some times that it gets a little real. I’m not gonna say it hasn’t been challenging. I think healing isn’t always linear; you don’t have to be perfect to heal, which I think is what is important.” 

"This whole series has been incredibly healing, more healing than my dad and I thought going in."

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Watching this scripted program of a real-life relationship between a father and daughter duo that loves each other but is scared to reconnect brings an authenticity to Latine entertainment we haven’t seen before. 
“There’s comedy, and you definitely laugh along with us, but you also see moments where we’re really talking to each other. It brings a dynamic that hasn’t been seen before. It's real and it's raw, but it’s released through laughter in those really hard moments that I think many people have experienced in their own lives with their own families,” Lopez says.
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For the actor who grew up on set watching from the sidelines, her television debut is a full-circle moment. “I’ve wanted to be a performer since I knew what that was. Since I was five years old, as a little extra on the set of George Lopez.” 

“I want everything I can have in this life.”

Mayan Lopez
But growing up, Lopez’s artistic inclinations weren't always rewarded. “I used to get in trouble in school for being too honest, but it was funny,” she says. To avoid backlash, she developed a creative filter, but it didn’t feel right to her. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve always kept that little girl who wanted to perform and make people happy. That’s really who I listen to as I go forward in my career,” she says.
Now, she calls it her superpower, and embracing her trouble-stirring comedy is how she has been able to create space for herself in Hollywood.
Lopez, however, is just getting started. Her biggest dream: to host Saturday Night Live and star as a comedic actor in blockbuster films.
“I want everything I can have in this life,” she says, determined to make it happen. 

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